Monitoring sales related activities in the Saleswah CRM app

Sales related activities and tasks

How many of your sales peoples’ actions are related to sales? Oh I know, they only work on sales related activities, right? We tend to take a little less rosy view of life.

A client recently shared some data after using Saleswah for 3 months or so. He runs a team of about 15 sales people. By his reckoning, 71% of the Tasks logged in Saleswah by his team did not directly relate to a sales opportunity.

Let me explain, quickly, what he is getting at. Saleswah, as you know allows you to create and assign Tasks. The Tasks must be owned by an account executive (sales person) and the Task must also be related to a specific client contact; and, of course they have a target completion date. Optionally, you can add more information to a Task: it can relate to a Product. But the biggest way a Task in Saleswah differs from those in Outlook or Gmail is that Tasks can be related to a Deal as well.

Now, in our client’s case, he found after 3 months that his sales team have tagged only about 30% of the Tasks to a sales opportunity. Which is why he was fuming.

Saleswah Lite CRM Task Management
Task Management

His team should really be spending more than 70% of their time on sales related activities; he grumbled.

Saleswah groups Tasks by contacts, accounts, types etc. So, slicing and dicing this data was not a problem. However, we were able to show him that his team’s focus is actually quite good. We found there is a another way of looking at the same data.

We found that even though his team was working on only 30% sales related activities; about 80% of the balance activities were related to contacts who were involved in a purchase process.

Now, THAT does not sound too bad, does it?

Saleswah Lite Windows 8 CRM App vs Saleswah CRM

One or the other or both:

Saleswah Lite Windows 8 CRM App or Saleswah CRM

Frankly it is not a one or the other choice- if you ask us. Ever since we launched the Saleswah Lite CRM on Windows Store, we are getting this question.

The Saleswah Lite Windows 8 CRM App needs internet connection to work. For basic sales management – tracking an opportunity from inception to close- both Saleswah Lite and Saleswah CRM do a great job. If anything, Saleswah Lite’s user interface is even more intuitive. Staying on top of your opportunities, contacts and related tasks is a breeze.

The user interface is of the Saleswah Lite is meant for fast update and instant feedback. Update information to a deal and watch the “needle move”- quite literally- the green bars move fractionally to show how far you have progressed. Add a Task and relate it to a Contact who is a Decision Maker.

Saleswah Lite Windows 8 CRM App does not do everything that Saleswah CRM does. It is basically for busy sales people who want to stay on top of their contacts, opportunities and related tasks. We left out advanced features like marketing campaigns, preparing quotes etc from the Windows 8 CRM app, because we figure folks are likely to do all that on the move.

The Saleswah CRM (web based) does a lot more than the app. It sends quotes, literature, helps create PO acknowledgements, sales proposals. And, of course, it shows you reports. Saleswah Lite only has the dashboard- though to be fair, it does reveal the vital stats of your sales operations.

You can use both- the Saleswah Lite and CRM, the app and the web-hosted version, both. And you should. Both are intuitive, fast and easy to use and help you manage your sales funnel.

Sign up now, for a free 15 days trial – for as many of of your team as you want.

Why we built a CRM app for Windows 8

The Saleswah CRM app for Windows 8 coming soon!

For those who ask, why Windows 8, our answer is pretty simple. For all the flak that MS has been taking lately, we still think they make great software. And, we quite like Windows 8; if for nothing else than the fact that it boots up within a minute. Compare that with Windows 7, if you like. And, in the last few months that I and other in the office have used it, it has not crashed even once. That’s not bad at all for an OS which still hasn’t introduced its first revision.

And, we have been part of their BIzSpark program. It is a way for us to say thanks, for all the great free software.

And, of course, we think CRM is essentially an enterprise tool and Windows 8, for all the hoopla about its looks, will make its mark in the enterprise market; the recent hiccups notwithstanding. Of course, the initial reviews of Windows 8.1 are encouraging.

The migration to the Windows 8 in the enterprise market has been slow; but, this is only expected in a risk averse segment. Most enterprise customers are just now shifting to Win7 from XP. The enterpise adoption always lags. The lack of enterprise apps on the marketplace has been a factor too and that is where we expect Saleswah CRM app for Windows 8 to play a role.

Saleswah CRM app for Windows 8 Dashboard
Dashboard launches action: Saleswah CRM App for Windows 8

The fundamental shift: from the web to the app

Without giving too much of the game away, this is what you will see:

  • Live tiles on dashboard: The focus on the app is on business metrics, the to-dos, the important and the urgent, the tasks unfinished and of course the sales funnel. The dashboard becomes a springboard for action.
  • Flat menu structure: The menu gets simplified and the top menu makes an appearance. The left hand menu is for actions- create records; the top menu takes you to screens.
  • Multi-function screens: All screens have a context now. The individual contact is picked up from the the Contact list to the side and all the tasks and deals related to her shows up. The individual account, likewise, is picked up from a list and you get to see the Account Dashboard of the Tasks, Deals and other related information. Edit, update and create new Tasks, Contacts, Accounts and Deals.
  • Is my forecast justified? (Sanity check your opportunity assessments): One of the singular contributions you will see is in the way the deal is managed. We provide visual pointers to how realistic the forecast is by algorithmic ally grading each deal on the age-old Budget/ Authority/ Need/ Time scales. We also provide the stage of the deal – again through automatically calculating the value for each captured score. As a sales manager, it just makes your life a whole lot simpler- you know how seriously some of the forecasts need to be taken.

Cost/ Pricing?

Saleswah CRM app for Windows 8 is free with every license of Saleswah CRM.

Sales lead qualification – BANT still rules, okay!

Months back, we wrote a post on Sales lead qualification. It was called A meaningful Sales Forecast.

Our qualification process, what is employed by Saleswah, is still driven by BANT- the sales model that IBM introduced decades back. Several recent attempts aver that it is an outdated method, but, we continue to believe in it. We still believe that getting a proper answer to the Budget, Authority (Decision maker), Need and Time (time frame of decision making) questions are critical to proper forecasting.

Lead qualification using BANT
Saleswah CRM Windows 8 App: Coming soon!

Among all the attacks on BANT that you see on the web, there are two broad categories:

One notion is that BANT is an early stage lead qualification process. Further, the way it is employed is by somehow getting customers to fill up a form with several leading questions. (Are you planning to purchase in the next 3 months? What is your budget? Do you have approval to spend? And, so on). Customers are no more likely to answer those questions, truthfully than a terrorist answer the security related questions on the DS-160 form (“Are you a member of a terrorist organization?” LOL) ! The broad thrust is argued here, see below:

Fifteen years ago I worked for a B2B marketing agency that had an outbound call center focused on lead generation.  The goal for the majority of our programs was to have our telemarketers qualify names, gather some information and qualify these prospects by the famed BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeframe) criteria.  We were quite successful in developing these programs for our clients and the leads were graded based on the answer to the BANT questions.  That was then, this is now.   We are smack in the middle of marketing 2.0, a more “modern” way of marketing that makes BANT no longer effective for several reasons.
via Why BANT No Longer Applies for B2B Lead Qualification | ANNUITAS.

BANT was never, and should never have been employed as an early stage sales lead qualification process. It is lazy marketers with pretenses to understanding a sales process who introduced those “response cards” and “seminar feedback forms” with those leading questions. Leads qualified through those, have always found their way to the trash. For BANT to work for sales lead qualification, the revenue responsible sales person has to be responsible for qualification. It always was and it always will be. BANT is a B2B sales lead qualification process and it is NOT employed at early stage.

Having got that off my chest, let me tackle the other attack on BANT; which is: “it is outdated, and we have something better”. So, we have acronyms like FAINT.

This is – to my mind – the critical addition. It’s not enough for your prospect to agree that a need exists. They also need to acknowledge that not dealing with the issue will have a measurable impact on their organisation in terms of reduced revenues or increased costs. If you can’t get your prospect to calculate and agree the negative impact of doing nothing you would be well advised to try harder or qualify out.

–via Why the case for BANT qualification is getting FAINTer.

Now, it is quite a well written piece, the one above. And I do concede that your solution must have Impact (that is what the I stands for in FAINT) on the customer’s organization far more than its cost. But, I contend that big ticket salesmen anyway interpreted the Need question to include Impact- if no impact, the customer had no need for your solution anyway.

But, for most B2B sales, BANT still rules for sales lead qualification. Not enough case has been made for its abandonment.