Two new ways of capturing leads in Saleswah CRM

What is a lead and what to do with it?

Understanding leads

A lead is a preliminary information about a possible interest in your product or service. To make any sense, a lead needs to have at a bare minimum, a name and contact number/ email for us to follow up.

For more on leads.

How to add, upload, assign and convert leads 1

Where do leads come from? How to add them

Leads can come from multiple sources: your website, someone calling in, a chance meeting at a public space, a marketing campaign- roadshow or tradeshow etc.

You could so far add a lead to Saleswah CRM

  • one by one
  • by uploading a list

In both these cases, the menu options are available under Sales to the left. While you can add as much information as you have, a name and contact information (email or phone) are mandatory.

2 New ways to add leads to Saleswah CRM

The new way is: directly from your email.

And, this works – whether your email provider is Google Workspace or Microsoft Office 365. No, it does not work with personal email domains like or or with other mail providers.

Google Workspace Users

If your email provider is Google Workspace, then ask your Google workspace admin to activate Action Saleswah CRM from the Google workspace marketplace (formerly the G-Suite marketpplace). Once your admin activates it for your domain, you will see this in the space for addins. Like this.

Two new ways of capturing leads in Saleswah CRM 1
Notice the Saleswah CRM Logo

Add a lead

After you login to the Addin, all you need to do is open any email in your inbox and you will get a prompt, like this:

Two new ways of capturing leads in Saleswah CRM 2

The lead goes to the CRM immediately.

Office 365 users

Office 365 users will be able to likewise activate Actions Saleswah CRM addin from the Appsource.

The rest of the workflow remains the same.

Assigning leads

By default leads are assigned to the user who is adding it to the CRM.

Only users in a Sales or Marketing role can add a lead or be assigned a lead.

Leads can be assigned to anyone below you in the hierarchy.; i.e. a manager to his reportee.

Cancelling leads

Leads can be cancelled by anyone who is at present assigned the lead. Saleswah keeps a record of the person who cancelled the lead and the date and time of cancellation.

While cancelling a lead, select a reason from the drop-down menu. And, yes, the reasons can be customized by your account administrator.

The new Saleswah: CRM for sales and service automation

CRM for Sales and Service

Saleswah CRM for Sales and Service Automation is not a new product. It has been around for a decade. For the first 3 quarters of the decade, it was a pure-play sales CRM aimed at B2B sales processes. Then onwards, it has added a very large post-sales service management functionality. We are able to configure it easily for one of three flavors: sales CRM, sales and service CRM, or service CRM.

The new SalesWah CRM for sales and service

At its heart, Saleswah is a web-based, comprehensive CRM for sales and service that allows sales, marketing, and customer support to share data and collaborate. The Saleswah of past focused on the sales process tracking and monitoring. The customer support side of Saleswah is a comprehensive field service management software as well as software for running a service (repair) center operation.

Schedule preventive maintenance
Service CRM Dashboard

User-configurable CRM for sales and service management

Both the field service and service center software are totally user-configurable—no coding required. Both can handle any type or types of product, with a large geographical spread, hundreds of users, or a multiplicity of service centers.

And, Saleswah CRM for sales and service is where they are joined at the hip. By sharing the same database, service truly starts where sales hand over.

Saleswah CRM for sales and service has one of the most powerful mobile apps for field sales and servicepeople. Location tracking, photo upload from the field, and custom forms for data from the field.

Recent enhancements in Saleswah

Mobile app sales dashboard
Sales CRM mobile app dashboard

Over the last 2 years, we have added significantly to the CRM for sales and service. Among the more important things we have done are:
Implement the entire flow from delivery to installation to warranty management, preventive maintenance, repairs, and progressing to annual maintenance contracts.
We implemented a “what next?” flow in sales, where after every activity closed (task, sending a quote, creating a deal, and so on), the salesman gets a prompt to select the next logical activity.
elaborate notifications and alerts—browser-based, app-based.
spares: indenting, usage tracking, and stock tracking.

And, we are mobile first and web first.

The significance of the changes

1. From a pure-play B2B sales and marketing automation product, we have now become a marketing, sales, and service CRM. Earlier, it was more of a profile, event logging, and process tracking tool. Saleswah does much more. It adds significant downstream processes that are post-sales but does it in a seamless manner.

2. It adds process triggers, significantly enhances the reporting capabilities, and adds some really useful dashboards.

So, it is not just an improved product—it is, in many ways, a different product.

The Simply C2 companion app to Saleswah.

Simply C2

The existing problems in customer service

As we have described elsewhere, call centers tend to be expensive to operate for the service provider (that is you). They also create a lot of problems for customers. Customers wait in a queue, face a language barrier in a country like India, and the process is not smooth.

After the logging of the complaint, the customers do not get updated and frequently need to call and talk to the service center.

How Simply C2 solves them

Simply C2 solves it. All service complaints can be logged from the app. The exact current status is updated in the app directly from the Saleswah backend. What’s more, detailed itemized repair estimates can be “pushed” from Saleswah to the customer using Simply C2, and he can approve and pay for the repairs directly from the app.

The Simply C2 is a free service for your customers. Please log into your admin dashboard and enable access for them. Ask them to download the latest version of Simply C2 from the playstore.

Sales CRM processes are a lot more than booking, billing and collections

For small and medium sized businesses, the accounting system of choice is QuickBooks. Starting as a desktop, standalone software, QuickBooks Online- the web based version has caught on and I would reckon is as popular if not more than its legacy version.

This is a fiercely contested market. There are others like Xero, Freshbooks, Wave accounting, Zoho, Tally solutions- plus many software products that cater to one or 2 markets. QuickBooks from Intuit stands out for catering to many markets, having a easy to understand user interface and a very very affordable pricing.

It’s the software that we ourselves have used for close to 5 years.

So, when it came to integrating with an accounting software for Saleswah CRM, it’s no surprise that we chose QuickBooks.

We are not the first CRM to have integrated with QuickBooks, we will also not be the last. But, there is a difference with how we have approached integration with QuickBooks vs how most others have.

Firstly, even if you do not have a QuickBooks account, you can work with Saleswah CRM.

Secondly, Saleswah CRM is a robust B2B sales (and service) CRM which deep and extensive process flows in lead management, marketing campaign management, deal and funnel management, contact and account management and scheduling and logging activities like appointments, visits and tasks. It maintains its own products list, pricing table and can send out Quotations and acknowledge customer purchase orders.

We wanted QuickBooks Online and Saleswah CRM to be complementary in how they worked together.

So, we have 2 use cases.

Let’s say you are already a Saleswah CRM user (admin) and you want to link it with QuickBooks online. You can link to your existing QuickBooks account from within Saleswah. If you do not already have an account with QuickBooks, you will be asked to create one.

Or, if you are a QuickBooks user and you want to check out Saleswah CRM, you can do so by going to the QuickBooks app store and click on Saleswah CRM to instantly create an account with Saleswah. Once you have a Saleswah account, head to the integrations page (under admin settings) and import your Contacts and Accounts, Products List and the list of pending invoices for your sales team to follow up for collections.

Yes, right now we want the QuickBooks integrations to serve the purpose of helping collections effort. The next step will be to push invoices out and do collections reconciliation.




Starting-up: then and now, in the silicon valley

Much before starting-up was even popular in the lexicon, Bill and Dave were folks who got together to create the pioneering company – that is widely recognized as the birthplace of silicon valley.

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard (no prizes for guessing right), in 1939 started Hewlett-Packard (HP) from the garage in Addison Avenue, Palo Alto, a stone’s throw from Stanford university.

Before starting-up was even a thing: the HP Garage
Always an inspiration to those starting-up: The HP Garage

Why invoke this very well known fact? Just to illustrate a contrast between what starting up meant then and what it means today.

I was triggered by a book review that Mukund Mohan did on his blog about the book Bad Blood. It is a fascinating read – and I am sure many of you have read it or even otherwise are aware of Elizabeth Holmes and her partner Sunny Balwani. Mukund lists his learnings from the sordid saga of Theranos.

The changing ethos and expectation of starting-up

It struck me how things have changed in the valley since those early days where starting-up meant innovation, unleashing the creativity and frequently engineering genius. Bill and Dave were not altruists; they were remarkably savvy businessmen. But they were mindful of their customers, fiercely proud of delivering engineering value to make their work easier.

Would Bill and Dave have recognised “a) fake it till you make it”? From the beginning, an HP marketer was told to NEVER promise the future product and “only sell what is on the price-list”. And to get on the price list, the product must already be available, ready to be shipped.

Trust, respect and shareholder value

Would Dave or Bill have built a company where the customer, employee and investors were all duped?

Would Dave and Bill be starting-up with a plan to run 13 years on no or negligible revenue; only burning investor cash?

Packard, ever the financial conservative, offers a timeless lesson on financial responsibility:

Financial responsibility is equally important, however different in nature. It is essentially a service function to see that we generate the resources which make it possible for us all to do our job.

These things translated mean that in addition to having the objective of trying to make a contribution to our customers, we must consider our responsibilities in a broader sense. If our main thought is to make money, we won’t care about these details. If we don’t care about the details, we won’t make as much money. They go hand in hand.

Dave Packard- Quote: source- The HP Way: Dave Packard on How to Operate a Company

Very few starting-up today have a lofty vision like that.

Starting-up: then and now, in the silicon valley 3
The birthplace of Silicon Valley- the Mecca for starting up

How did this idea for starting-up come to such a pass? How did we all fall prey to the thinking that the future is always bright and mistake gambling for investing? How did so many people, grown up, wizened old men among them, make this mistake? How come it took 13 years for this scam to unravel?

The answer, Mukund says lies in FOMO. So many people, willingly suspended disbelief for fear that if they passed up on Theranos, they would hand over a massive advantage to their competitors.

I think there are other factors too. The accent today is on growing the top-line, faster and faster and everyone is setting “Bold, Hairy and Audacious” goals. Start-ups today do not see building a company to last as a goal. Bill and Dave built their company such that it became an institution and their folksy wisdom; which included unwavering focus on the customer and respect for employees, returning values to the shareholder became management wisdom.

How many times, have I seen my managers in HP walk away from bad deals? Countless. They were old timers, brought up indoctrinated by the HP Way- a deceptively simple way to run business. I say deceptively, because many of the tenets of the HP way, would be hard to live up to, simple as they may sound.

Web lead form to CRM leads database

How to create the web lead form

Web lead form to CRM leads table

Customers interact with you at multiple touch points. They phone, they mail and increasingly they drop a note with their message on your website.

It’s best to provide a structured form to gather feedback or enquiries. But having done that, what should you do with the inquiries that come in. Most web forms will generate an email back to you including the text of response. Those need to be sorted and enquiries need to be marked to the right executive for follow up.

So, we decided to eliminate the email.

Now you can use your Saleswah CRM account to create a lead form and embed the code directly on the page of the website where you want the form to appear. Any submission on the form is securely inserted as a lead into the database.

Once in the database, the Saleswah lead management process takes over. You get an instant alert (on email, browser or even on the mobile app). So, you can get to work on it right away. Qualify the lead further, assess interest level and either reject it or accept and move it further down the funnel.


Email templates for sales campaigns

We use email templates for marketing campaigns. What is less appreciated is using email templates for running sales campaigns.

Unlike marketing campaigns, sales campaigns focus on more immediate revenue generation activities- tasks that relate to specific funnel stages.

Why do you need templates?

Sales people are busy and there is a lot of demand on their time. They win business when they are in front of their customer- face to face or on phone.

But, there is a lot of paperwork in sales. The need for paperwork stems from:

  1. Cold prospecting- or introduction.
    • Have you ever faced this? You call a prospect and he says, “can you send me a mail saying exactly what you do?” If you sat around and sent out a mail only hours later, he may even forget you called, or the context of the conversation.
    • Having a template for an “intro-mail” is a no-brainer. It saves time. Imagine getting off the phone and firing off the email at the click of a button. It does not have to be complex. It may contain bare facts about your company, how your product relates to his needs and what you will do next.
    • You will obviously tweak the text a little bit before sending it to personalize it.
  2. Meetings notes: minutes
    • You have a meeting. Either on the phone or face to face. If you are sending the minutes, let it be professional. Nicely formatted and the names of meetings attendees recorded in the email.
  3. An email for every occasion:
    • Thank you for a meeting..
    • Thank you for an order.
    • Gentle reminder for follow up on a visit.
    • Update on a commitment.
    • Relevant company news.
    • Sending literature.
    • Response to a demo request.
  4. Email for proposals.
    • Product/ category wise preliminary proposal: cover salient specs, budgetary ideas and success stories.
    • Product/ category wise firm proposal: cover detailed specs, clear budget and other standard terms of business.

How many of these can you automate? To save your time and that of your team? And help win business faster?

What do you need to build a product?

We are on our way- we started years back, we are still building. And we keep adding features, tweaking or revamping UI and we keep adding customers.

It sounds great but it is not so simple, obviously.

We have worked hard for years, made changes to workflows, UI, cut features, added features, changes pricing, run promotions. We have shown the product to thousands. And a few thousands have used and continue to use the product.

And we keep getting better. There are many answers to the web on “how to build a great product”. I personally like many of them. But, the one quality you need – other than the obvious and usual ones like getting to a product market fit, hustle, investing in scale, selecting the right feedback…

And, that quality is patience. Coupled with belief.

Not just yours; but your customers’ too!

You must have faith in your sense of direction. And your customers, especially some of the early adopters must share it too.

You must be patient. There will be problems that will take days to solve. Implementation issues will clog delivery of that new feature that the customers have been shouting for. Perfectly working integrations will suddenly stop working.

No documentation, no roadmap, no stories of “been there and done that”. You need to have patience and you need customers, who have bought into the vision and are willing to wait.

Remember it is a journey. Enjoy the ride.

Understanding the different Saleswah CRM user roles

Saleswah has 4 types of roles (other than the admin) which are relevant for your users.

a) Sales executive b) Sales Manager c) Marketing d) Sales co-ordinator (telesales/ inside-sales)
There are differences among the roles in terms of what data they get to access or what functionalities are available to them.

A sales manager can do virtually everything that the software allows- except the admin work, of course. He can also see the customer data for all the execs reporting to him.

A sales exec has access to all features/ functionalities but sees only his own data.A sales exec and a sales manager are the 2 types of roles that carry sales targets. They also have “account ownership” – meaning direct responsibility for business generation from named accounts. Sales execs and their managers form a pyramidal structure.

A user in a marketing role can’t perform sales activities like creating a deal/ creating a quote etc. But, he/she can view all data which is visible to the person in the hierarchy he/ she is reporting to. As an example, lets’s say Brian, (in marketing role) reports to Susan and thus can view all data. But he can’t action much. He can of course upload leads, create and run email marketing campaigns etc.

A sales co-ordinator can perform all the activities that a sales exec can- but does not carry targets or have account ownership. Their job is to help a sales executive or a sales team (reporting to a manager) sell. So, they can create quotes, deals etc. But, the ownership, rewards, targets are all those of the account owners- sales exec or his manager.

Like the user in marketing role, a sales co-ordinator only sees the customer data for the team to which she/ he is assigned (the manager she reports to).
I hope this clarifies. The executive team in your organization are the people who can decide the teams and roles of users.

As you know, if you are a sales manager, you can drill down to a lower level in the hierarchy to filter the data to only the level of the executive or the manager below you. This applies to all the lists, reports and dashboards.

The Saleswah Sales CRM dashboard now loads 10-100X faster

Ever since we migrated the Saleswah CRM to the newer platform, it is winning plaudits and applause from our customers for functionality and visual appeal.

We are making upto the minute metrics relevant for sales available on your desktop. This helps ensure sales reviews with your team are conducted on the basis of same data. There is a catch though.
Every time you log in to the CRM or come back to the dashboard many real time calculations are performed. Large number of queries are fired at the database and the results are aggregated, pivoted, and otherwise “massaged” to show up on your own personalized dashboard.

Mercifully you are unaware of all the complexity at the backend- and that’s how it will remain. Suffice it to say that we discovered recently that the dashboard was literally crawling under the weight of the queries. It was taking a long time to load if the data size for any of the items: open leads, deals, tasks or appointments became large.

We fixed it today. Hope you see a difference.

What is the Sales CRM dashboard telling you?

When you login the default view is that of the current month and current Financial Year. The focus is on giving you a close look at the things that matter to you – the tasks and appointments, the forecasts, the pending or overdue commitments etc.

You can shift the calendar month to go back in time or forward to see what the next month (s) look like. And, you can obviously navigate to the item of interest from the dashboard.

If you want to drill down to the level of a junior, do that. All data on this page and others will get filtered automatically to her level.

Saleswah on your windows desktop and Office 365

The latest update of the our app on the Microsoft store- the Saleswah Lite CRM- was our 32nd!

We did it as a bit of a lark years back. And followed it up with an app for the Windows Phone as well. Which of course is another story. Suffice it to say, the app is still alive but where are the Windows Phones?

We may be die-hard Windows fanboys, but even we have given up on them.

But, we have a lot of good feelings for the desktop app. It is probably due for a re-design. But it still delivers great value for the user who is desk-bound and uses the app to perform updates for the most part.

And we keep adding features to it. The latest we did was to allow sync of Office 365 contacts and calendar with Saleswah through the app. It requires you to have a Enterprise class Office 365 account. Hope we are able to allow you to sync with your Office 365 Home and personal accounts as well, soon.

Have you checked out Saleswah recently? On the web or on the desktop? How was your experience?