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SalesPOP by Rusty Komori - 5h ago

Small Wins and Big Victories

Rusty Komori is a motivational speaker, author, TV host, leadership consultant, and tennis professional. The varsity high school tennis team he coached from 1994-2005 won 22 consecutive state championships – the longest high school streak in US history in all sports. His book, Beyond the Lines, teaches leaders how to create a superior culture of excellence. In this interview, Rusty shares some insights from the book on this and leadership in general.

This Sales Expert Interview covers:

Superior culture of excellence

  • Rusty talks about how he relates this idea to tennis which also explains the meaning behind the title of his book.

Repeatable success

  • It may be easy to win once but 22 times in a row is impressive. Rusty talks about how to sustain a culture of excellence.
  • Rusty talks about the 4 P’s he came up with when he became a head coach.
  • A lot of coaches and CEOs focus so much on winning and not enough on the things that make you win.
  • Share with your team the goal and work backward. Little things lead to big victories.

Managing adversity

  • Look for the challenges and be prepared for them. Know that you will become better from it. This mindset is better than thinking you won’t face adversity.

Integrating new faces

  • There’s always a danger that people slip in who don’t fit in with the culture of excellence. Rusty talks about how he communicated the culture to his team.
  • Strive for things just beyond your reach.

Communication

  • It’s better to be proactive about things that can and will happen. Rusty talks about the 4 “misses” in life he communicated with his team to reinforce the culture of excellence.
  • Challenge yourself to be better than you were yesterday.
Our Host

John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

The post Creating a Culture of Excellence appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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When Sherron Watkins spoke to Kenneth Lay about the faulty accounting practices being implemented at Enron and the subsequent crash of the company, insiders described the workplace environment as highly secretive and autocratic. Of course, that is not surprising, because when information this sensitive is leaked, all aspects of a company are then in turmoil.

By the very nature of how these scenarios typically play out, no one knows who leaked the information, what they said and, often times most troubling, what else they could say. When an employee brings nefarious dealings to the attention of others, the internal reactions can wreak havoc on the day to day environment as a whole, as well as overall company culture.

Employee-Employer Relationships After Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing naturally forces employers into a very defensive position. When serious information has been leaked to the public, the ramifications may range from public embarrassment to severe repercussions for the entire company, all the way up to organizational collapse.

The positive effects of whistleblowing typically initiate compliance and screening standards which weren’t present before, resulting in a better run organization.

Corporate espionage, even though it sounds like something out of a James Bond movie, is a major risk for many corporations. If competitors find out about a company’s long term organizational plans or any new products in development, it can severely hamper their business plans.

Front line managers typically become more intense about screening, micro-managing, and they plausibly won’t share more information than absolutely necessary with their employees because they simply can’t risk it. Ultimately, in this defensive posture, workers start chafing under these tight chains and often get severely dissatisfied. With this comes increased conflict, possibly resulting in mass resignations and general malaise within the company that has come under fire and whose culture has disintegrated into a less than pleasant environment in which to work.

Co-Worker Relations

In an ideal world, no one would bend any rules and we would all work with the highest levels of ethics as well as professionalism to get the job done. However, that’s hardly ever the case 100% of the time. The result of whistleblowing is that employees are put under substantially more pressure than ever before.

If jobs and livelihoods are at stake due to a sudden breach of trust by an anonymous source, who just might be the person sitting next to you, employees are naturally thrown into a defensive position as well. After someone blows the whistle, spontaneous conversations die out, the workplace is tense, and interpersonal relations in the workplace often dissolve. The workplace becomes more of a machine that keeps on churning out work robotically, often at the cost of personal pride in the work experience.

Managing the Ramifications

It is extremely important for companies that have experienced having someone within their organization shine the light on mismanagement, and potentially unethical or illegal conduct, to immediately address the situation, and deal with it head on.

Taking responsibility for the situation and vowing to make improvements goes a long way in remedying the damage. Arranging to have team building exercises, where professionals come in and work with the company as a whole, as well as different teams within the organization, can do wonders in restoring a pleasant work environment.

Having an employee share less than flattering information about the inner workings of a company is certainly not what any business owner or management team would desire. But by tackling the issues head on, and actively working to restore a sense of comradery and pride in what the company stands for, many companies have emerged from these types of situations stronger than ever.

The post The Effects of Whistleblowing on Employees and the Workplace appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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SalesPOP by Frank Somma - 2d ago

High Touch AND High Tech

Frank Somma is a lifelong salesperson who has used neuro-linguistic programming to develop his own approach to sales and selling in a high tech world. In this interview, Frank talks about how B2B sales should really be called P2P (person to person) and how to be high touch in a high tech world.

This Sales Expert Interview covers:

Pros and cons of technology

  • Frank talks about the upsides and downsides of selling in a high tech world.
  • Body language and tone are important in communication.

Doing things differently

  • When you enter into a sales interaction, you have to distance yourself from the negative perceptions of society.
  • Ask questions and listen! Always be engaged.
  • Pay attention to the little details when communicating because they matter. This can be a competitive advantage for salespeople.

The best of both worlds

  • Frank isn’t suggesting that selling in a high tech world but still being high touch means you never use email, LinkedIn, or other technology. Take the time to get to know how your clients prefer to communicate.
  • You make people feel good about themselves by listening and paying close attention.
  • You can still use technology to engage. Skype is a perfect example.
  • There are ways to prove you’re engaged on the phone with your own physicality.

Active listening

  • We have to train ourselves to really listen and understand what the other person is saying instead of thinking about what we’re going to say next when selling in a high tech world.
  • Frank uses a certain technique in his training that is uncomfortable but works.
  • Most buyers know a great deal about your product the first time they talk to you. It’s your job to shepherd them through the process and explain why your company is the best option.
Our Host

John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

The post Selling In A High Tech World appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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SalesPOP by Don Shapiro - 3d ago

What Does the Customer Value?

Don Shapiro is known as the eyes of the customer because of his ability to understand how customers think. Don helps businesses in over 34 industries boost sales by over 20% and has 33 years of research into customer value. He is currently working on a book called Stealth Value. In this interview, Don discusses the importance of digging deeper when discovering customer value. He talks about how it is a salesperson’s job to guide and lead the buyer who is typically so overwhelmed with their day-to-day tasks and information overload.

This Sales Expert Interview covers:

What is stealth value?

  • It’s about something that is hidden deep within the customer. Don talks about what he learned in his 33 years of research.
  • You think you have uncovered all the needs but you should go deeper. Don gives a hypothetical example.

Real meaning of value

  • What’s your definition of value? It might be an outdated one.
  • The customer assigns a value to everything. What are their priorities?
  • Salespeople are so focused on the sale and sometimes forget about the whole world surrounding the customer.

Consultative selling

  • The consultant has to come in without a preconceived notion.
  • You have to change the reality of the customer.
  • It may seem counterintuitive to bring more people into the selling process but you need to understand everything at play.
  • Don’t think you are in a subservient role in sales. You know things the buyer doesn’t know.
  • The buyer having more access to information today than ever before does not necessarily mean they are more informed.
Our Host

John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

The post Stealth Value appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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I hate to provide such a negative title for an article but I’m a big fan of being real, especially when it comes to selling, especially enterprise selling. We live in a task-driven world, highlighted by starts and stops, defined beginnings and defined endings. And we find comfort in the modularity of our lives, knowing when to enter and when to exit. It characterizes our days, our projects and even our lives from birth to death.

But what about selling and that iconic question – “When does the sale end?”. In simplest terms, Wikipedia tells us “When the desired outcome is achieved”, “When the signature has been gained” or “When the check is received”, to which many would add “….and cashed!”. And there’s certainly logic in these fundamental answers, especially in the transactional world of selling to small and medium-sized businesses. But we wouldn’t typically seek such critical guidance from Wikipedia, would we?

For such a game-changing question, we’d likely investigate published sales processes used by real selling organizations to discover how their programs conclude. We’d want to know all about their last stages. So, we’d Google the topic to find some interesting information that hypothetically provides the elusive answer to our question. What are some of those defined last steps in selling processes? How about “Close”, “Generate Referrals”, “Negotiate/Close”, “Deal”, “Book” and “Follow Up”? Interesting? Perhaps to some. And maybe this type of input, tactical and self-serving as it is, might be helpful as somewhat of a roadmap. But a very elementary roadmap for the world of transactional selling only. For in selling to and serving large enterprise accounts, ending with stages such as these would, no doubt, be the final step. The final step in a lost sale. Delete it from the CRM and move on.

I mentioned that, human nature being what it is, we find comfort in tidily wrapped tasks. Our comfort zones love defined beginnings and endings. But as the quote says, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place. But nothing ever grows there”.

So, what about enterprise selling and its complex world of long sales cycles, wide buyer networks and sophisticated competitors? Such a challenging environment tolerates no comfort zones. For it calls on selling teams to bring nothing but their very best to every account, every opportunity and every touchpoint. In truth, enterprise selling has no end. T.S. Eliot’s timeless quote sums it up well – “To make an end is to make a beginning. And the end is where you start”. How true. For the end of your first successful pursuit with a new enterprise account is actually the beginning. Because enterprise accounts are ecosystems unto themselves – teeming fields of rich, dark, moist soil awaiting the seeds of growth. And your win – the successful “end” of that first sale, opens the gates for the planting of those seeds and the “beginning” of a long-term, client-focused relationship.

Consider the Sandler Enterprise Selling program. It’s structured in six stages, not unlike the processes mentioned earlier. Stage Six – “Service Delivery”, doesn’t even begin until after the business is won and the account relationship has started. Service Delivery, then, is not the end at all. In fact, Sandler Enterprise Selling has no end. Why? Because enterprise relationships are based on a continuous process of selling and delivering through streams of transactions over time. That’s the enterprise world.

Sounds beautiful, right? But much can go wrong. There’s the dreaded handoff from sales to delivery. As part of a “detach with an ax” strategy, clumsy handoffs choke account growth and confuse clients. Then there are the inflexible sales and delivery siloes that often stifle communication and collaboration. Your sophisticated competitors, always lurking, will take advantage of organizational weaknesses like these, strategizing diligently to steal your business away. Be assured, enterprise selling is not for the faint of heart.

Practically speaking, how do you make it work? Effective selling organizations operationalize the continuous process not by promoting occasional communication between the sales and delivery teams but by integrating them into a single, collaborative, client-focused unit – the “account team”. Delivery is actively involved in sales pursuits, increasing the probability of winning through “delivering while selling”. And sales understands and engages in delivery initiatives, managing account relationships to maximize service successes and client satisfaction – “selling while delivering”. True partnering in the account team is the bedrock of true partnering with the account.

So, with enterprise accounts, when does the sale end? Never. No happy endings. No endings at all. But very happy futures for selling teams that base their account strategies on the long term. Even more importantly, for those that make it their mindset. Believe in the continuous process of selling and delivering and show it in your every action with the account. You’ll stay and you’ll grow as a result.

The post No Happy Storybook Endings in Enterprise Selling appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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SalesPOP by Scott Greenberg - 5d ago

Empowering Your Employees

For over two decades Scott Greenberg has energized audiences with his presentations and workshops on leadership and coaching skills as well as mindset. Some of his clients include Nike and Allstate. He was an owner of two Edible Arrangement franchises in Los Angeles for ten years and won “Best Customer Service” and “Manager of the Year” out of more than 1000 locations worldwide. He’s even beat cancer! In this interview Scott talks about his presentation called The Coaching Cure that focuses on coaching employees, retaining them, and keeping them engaged.

This Sales Expert Interview covers:

Leadership and coaching

  • In retail businesses, there is a high correlation between high sales, customer experience, and employee experience.
  • Scott talks about the real essence of coaching and what most people do wrong.
  • Leadership and coaching are ongoing and constant. Coaching and reviewing are two different things.

Making time

  • Busyness is the enemy of leadership.
  • Clarify your role and then start asking the right questions.

Emotional intelligence

  • People could be using the exact same systems but get different results. The primary difference is the ability to manage mindset and humanity.
  • Emotions drive consumer and employee behavior.

Letting go

  • You definitely don’t want to micromanage your employees but you need to feed their fire so they don’t burn out.

Getting to the bottom of issues

  • Scott developed a leadership and coaching model with a colleague to diagnose an employee’s skill set and mindset and then take action accordingly.
  • The model diagnoses if a problem is due to what an employee knows (or doesn’t) or how they feel.
Our Host

John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

The post Leadership and Coaching appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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SalesPOP by Merit Gest - 6d ago

Emotionally Intelligent Salespeople

Merit Gest, a stand-up comedian and business owner for over 20 years, works as a consultant and coach with companies large and small to improve their overall performance. She was previously the head of a sales training organization so she definitely knows how to develop sales skills and strategy. However, she created The Merit Method for Sales Mastery to emphasize the greater importance of the sales mindset which includes the things we say to ourselves as well as the things we say to others. She discusses the need to understand the relationship we have with ourselves first above anyone else to achieve sales mastery.

This Sales Expert Interview covers:

The Merit Method for Sales Mastery

  • It’s about being the type of sales professional that is deserving of the rewards of working with clients and earning.
  • One of the most important things about sales mastery is the sales mindset. Skills come second.
  • Salespeople need to understand the emotional mind specifically. Figure out your triggers because they can catch you off guard in situations.

Understanding the mind

  • People think all they need are sales skills and strategy for sales mastery but they need more.
  • Merit uses a few different assessment tools to help clients understand their internal, behavioral, and emotional mind.
  • When’s the last time you did an inventory of your beliefs? Get rid of or rewrite “hand me down” beliefs!
  • How we buy impacts how we sell – be careful what you project on your prospects and clients.
Our Host

John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

The post Method For Sales Mastery appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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Your chances to successfully achieve your IT career goals largely depend on your ability to showcase your skills and meet the current industry standards. An IT certification is an element that’ll help you stand out among your colleagues. There are plenty of vendors out there that claim to offer the best certification, but a true key to success is to choose the one that suits you perfectly. Today, we will talk about one of the most influential vendors in the IT field – VMware. We will also take a look at some of the most popular credentials issued by this company. Read on to learn more!

VMware Certifications

VMware offers products and services that have had a major influence on fields like banking, healthcare, government, telecommunications, examsnap.com manufacturing, and transportation over the past few decades. Apart from VMware professional services, its education and certification program have earned global recognition. The VMware certification family covers a broad list of specializations including data center virtualization, network virtualization, cloud management and automation, desktop and mobility, and digital business transformation. Some of its most popular certifications are:

  • VMware Certified Professional 6.5 – Data Center Virtualization
  • VMware Certified Professional – Data Center Virtualization 2019
  • VMware Certified Professional 2019 – Cloud management and Automation
  • VMware Certified Associate – Digital Business Transformation

Now, let’s focus on the first two popular certifications offered by VMware and their details.

VCP 6.5-DCV or VMware Certified Professional 6.5 – Data Center Virtualization Certification

If you have no prior VCP certification and want to attain one of the most sought-after VMware credentials, then VCP 6.5-DCV is for you. This certification validates your ability to install, manage, and troubleshoot the infrastructure of vSphere V6.5. In order to get certified, you have to successfully clear two certification stages:

1. Pass one of the foundation-level exams. Depending on the version of the product you are working with, you can choose between the following options:

  • 2V0-620 (vSphere 6, 65 questions, 115 minutes, $125)
  • 2V0-602 (vSphere 6.5, 70 questions, 105 minutes, $125)

2. Pass professional-level exam 2V0-622 (vSphere 6.5, 70 questions, 105 minutes, $250).

During the exams, you need to demonstrate your skills and knowledge related to VMware vSphere environments, ESXi, vCenter Server, vSphere Networking, vSphere Storage, Virtual Machines, vApps, resource management, and many more. With the VCP 6.5-DCV certification, you will acquire a status of VMware Professional, which will open numerous working opportunities for you.

Another popular VMware certification is called VMware Certified Professional – Data Center Virtualization. This credential is an assessment of your ability to install, configure, scale, and manage vSphere V6.7. To get certified, first you need to pass 2V0-620 or 2V0-602 or 2V0-01.19 foundation exams and then clear one of the professional-level tests, 2V0-622 or 2V0-21.19. For more information, visit the official VMware website.

Why VMware certification Is So Popular
  • VMware education services have reached a large international audience. Many professionals worldwide describe VMware credentials as high quality and beneficial for their career development.
  • VMware certifications cover a wide range of fields and several levels of expertise. So, you are able to move step by step towards your dream career by attaining appropriate certifications.
  • VMware offers world-class training programs. The company pays great attention to the aspects of practical training as well as a fundamental understanding of concepts. This ensures that a VMware certified professional is a valuable asset to the company.
  • As a VMware certified individual, you are exposed to an exclusive community of VMware engineers, project managers, etc. Through this, you will be able to obtain a wealth of insights and expert opinions.
  • VMware offers vendor-specific certifications. So, if you want to work with well-established VMware products and services such as vSphere, vCloud Suite, vSAN, NSX Cloud, etc., then a VMware certification is an excellent pick.
Exam preparation tips

1. VMware offers a wide range of resources such as live and online training, self-paced or classroom lectures. Some courses also give you the possibility to train in a lab environment. This can be great to put your knowledge into practice. You can also stay in touch with the latest IT news by accessing free webcasts published by VMware.

2. Refer to the official PDF exam guide for the test you are about to take. VMware exam guides include a detailed breakdown of the exam content and other specific information. Use this information to ensure that you cover all the essential topics during your training.

3. As with any competitive exam, practice always helps a great deal. Getting reliable practice material and productive tools is the way to go. You need to get some reliable and accurate practice questions to see whether you’ve missed anything important. Examsnap is a website recognized for its expert-tested questions and answers. Examsnap is an excellent source for verified VMware exam questions. What’s more, Examsnap offers practice questions in ETE format which allows you to simulate an actual exam environment. It’s invaluable for putting your strategies to test, analyzing strengths and weakness, and controlling anxiety during the exam.

4. Join online study groups and forums dedicated to VMware certification of your choice. These are communities built around certified experts and test takers, hence you’d be able to get in touch with leaders of the industry and peer professionals.

Top web resources for VMware certifications
  1. VMware Learning Zone – the best place to get subject-specific explanations. Here you can get a bunch of free videos and even more for paid subscriptions.
  2. VMware Technology Network – the official highly active forum dedicated to VMware products. Use it to stay updated on the latest changes and clear any doubts during the study.
Conclusion

A certification is a validation of your skills enabling you to grasp employment opportunities. VMware is a globally recognized vendor from which you can obtain certifications from various areas of expertise. From basic to expert level, VMware facilitates your journey to a successful career.

The post Your Exceptional Examsnap Guide to Popular VMware Certifications appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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One of the benefits of leading many different types of organizations over my 30+ year career was having a window to observe and study other leaders.

Let’s face it, honing your leadership skills is not a one-off event; it’s a process of learning new skills that are required in the role and practicing them day in and day out.

I found that looking across at how other leaders practiced their craft was an excellent source of learning material; I saw what worked and didn’t work and was able to pick and choose to enhance my own repertoire of skills accordingly.

Most of what I saw in others was quite pedantic. They typically followed the “leader book” prescribed by the experts in the field and by academics who wrote papers on the subject.

It was a rare occurrence to witness a truly different approach to what the crowd of other leaders was following.

But every once in a while I would see a leader who turned their back on traditional practices; someone who was non-compliant with what everyone believed to be a requisite for effective leadership.

They “loved” the frontline

And they were amazing.

What I saw was a leader who was always with their frontline employees — service reps, salespeople, receptionists and call center reps; the people who were on the organization’s line of execution dealing with customers.

A leader who valued the frontline more than any other group.

They stood out because very few leaders see people down deep in the organization as a priority demanding of their time.

Honoring the frontline provides these 5 benefits that enable leaders to perform head and shoulders above their peers.

Dumb rules and stupid stuff

They learn what is preventing flawless execution of the organization’s strategy; systems and process issues and other barriers that get in the way of achieving expected results.

Being face-to-face with those who have to work in the internal “laws” governing the customer transaction gives them the ability to identify the grunge and dumb rules that must be eliminated to make jobs easier and performance better.

In addition, this insight generally doesn’t readily come from direct reports who either don’t know what’s going on or who want to protect their turf.

Knowledge gained from skip level leader — frontline actions is invaluable and should be expected of any leader. But only the special ones get it.

Strategy flaws

They discover the flaws in the strategy; those elements of the strategic intent of the organization that aren’t working because there are barriers and practicalities that prevent it from being implemented in the precise way it was designed.

On paper, the strategy may have looked perfect but in the naked light of day where people are involved and competitors prey, it is not possible to stay the course.

The frontline is often brutally honest about your strategy; they don’t hesitate to tell you what won’t work and the challenge for leaders is to listen to their feedback.

Listen to them and tweak the strategy to reflect the realities of execution in the field.

Old school leaders have difficulty moving off the tabled strategy and they often live to regret it.

Competitive activity and secrets

They learn what the competition is doing in real time fashion, creating the ability to take whatever evasive action might be required and to spot and attack their weakness.

Most leaders rely on traditional methods to obtain competitive intelligence. Periodic studies are conducted, findings are analyzed and action taken as appropriate.

But the process takes time; there is a lag between when the intelligence is gained and when action is taken, often nullifying its effectiveness.

Being with the frontline gives the leader a continuous stream of information on what is going on in the moment. This ability yields faster action and better results; lag time is replaced with real-time response.

Movers and shakers

Leaders who are with the frontline constantly are able to identify people with high potential for future opportunities in the organization.

They get to see with their own eyes — as opposed to receiving reports from their direct managers or human resource folks — how certain individuals perform, their attitudes and their capabilities to offer further value.

They get to develop relationships with these people in the workplace and provide the mentoring so many need but don’t receive from leaders.

And the leader increases their personal currency and strengthens their brand as someone who is competent at spotting and developing high achievers for the benefit of the entire organization.

Employee engagement

By being “in the face” of the frontline, this leader is able to get a front-row seat on what is necessary to enhance employee commitment and engagement on the goals of the organization.

They don’t rely on, as their peers are forced to do, reports by specialists and other third parties in the field to advise them on what is needed to reach a higher level in employee buy-in. They learn first hand what is needed to capture the hearts and minds of those charged with delivering results; they see what is needed; they feel what works and what doesn’t.

And they learn what works to engage one employee doesn’t necessarily work to engage another. Every person is different; everyone responds differently to motivational methods.

This leader knows that personalized methods of engagement are required for each employee, not a shrink-wrapped corporate program applied to all.

The biggest mistake a leader can make is not commit themselves to the frontline where successful organizational performance is either created or destroyed.

To serve the frontline is to step out of the textbook leader herd and make an amazing contribution to their organization while those who choose to follow common leader doctrine are lost in the crowd.

The post The Most Colossal Mistake Leaders Make appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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When it comes to CRM implementation, I definitely know of what I speak. Pipeliner CRM implementation can be done in a fraction of the time of our competitors — without a consultant. Pipeliner can be fully implemented, including administrator and user training, within a week.

For any CRM, here are the fine points of implementation.

Roles

For CRM implementation, there are 4 basic roles:

Project Owner
System Administrator
Sales Manager
End User

Project Owner

Note that the “project owner” is the person who is overall responsible for CRM implementation. It could be a single individual charged with the project, or it could be someone who also has another job, such as the system administrator.

The project owner must define five basic areas:

  • User roles—meaning manager, member, or others as defined. Roles also include access privileges.
  • Sales units—defined by territory or other category such as inside and outside sales.
  • Pipeline process or processes.
  • Currency.
  • Forms—account form, lead form and others.

When it comes to Pipeliner, we have plentiful documentation and videos to assist the project owner in getting these areas defined.

Administrator

The administrator is the person who is continuously maintaining the system. With traditional CRM applications, admin training can weeks or even months. Once training is completed, administration is often a full-time job.

Pipeliner CRM drastically altered the pattern for this. To start with, administrator training for Pipeliner can be completed in 5 hours. Prerequisites? You have to be somewhat familiar with Microsoft products. You have to have an understanding of how a computer works. You have to know what a browser is. This means that almost anyone can learn to administrate Pipeliner CRM.

Once training is completed, Pipeliner administration is a very part-time job. It can be conducted in as little as 2 – 3 hours per month—if that is even necessary.

Sales Manager

Prior to learning CRM, a sales manager should understand pipeline management, activity management, and reporting. Learning the CRM would, of course, depend on the CRM. Some take weeks or months. For Pipeliner, it would take no more than 3 hours.

End User

The end user needs to finish up implementation of CRM for themselves personally. They need to learn how to operate the CRM from a user standpoint. The length of training time depends on the CRM being used–as mentioned, it can take weeks or months.

Except, of course, when it comes to Pipeliner, which requires a matter of a few hours. The user must learn about leads, contacts, opportunities, and accounts, and how one becomes the next. Training is, to some degree, ongoing, but we make it easy. With an upcoming release, the software itself shows you what’s new, using videos and graphics.

Facets of Implementation

There are three primary facets, or parts, of CRM implementation.

Data Import

The most critical portion, technically, of CRM implementation, is importing data into CRM.

Today, data importing isn’t the major issue it once was, thanks to the tools we now have at our disposal. The only vitally important point—and I cannot stress this enough—is that data migration must be completely thought through from the beginning. How do you want each type of data to correlate to others? You’ll have your accounts, contacts, leads, opportunities, notes, documents, activities and more. All of these, of course, must be correlated in the correct way. This is especially important to map out when the data being imported into CRM isn’t all in one place prior to being imported—some data might be in an old CRM, other data might be in another database, and even more might be in an accounting or an ERP system.

Problems arise when the people doing the planning within a company aren’t clear from the beginning on data requirements—which of course is no fault of technology. Today most systems can export data, and others can import it. But if it isn’t clear exactly where this data is going to end up, and what its relationships to other data will be, the end result could be a disaster.

From my experience (which is considerable) I think data should almost always be related by account—the leads, contacts, activities, opportunities, documents, and closed or lost deals related to each account.

Integration

Many people want everything done all at once. It never works. The most obvious example is the many years it takes to raise children—they’re born, they grow up, and then become adults. Another example is learning a language—have you ever known anyone to learn a language in a day?

The same is true with a CRM system. Of course, you want it all automated, integrated and running full-steam right at the outset—but it’s just not going to happen. While it’s possible to get a CRM up and running rapidly, integrating everything is done by steps, not overnight.

It actually boils down to precise definition of workflows. For example, what is the most efficient workflow between sales and marketing? Between sales and bookkeeping? Technology can accommodate these today, but they have to be defined. As with data export and import, this is a challenge and a vital step.

Automation

Building on workflows, we come to automation. A workflow is not necessarily automated, but it can certainly be automated. Therefore automation is the next level.

Automating processes is what we should all aim for, but it’s different for every company. There is no “standard.” Industries are different—manufacturing is drastically different than finance or insurance.

Summary

Especially in comparison to the CRM systems on the market today, our system addresses each of these points in such a way that they can be understood and easily applied. But for our system or anyone else’s, you have to precisely address each of these factors. You have to define the roles, and the project must have the approval and support of company ownership, C-level executives, the sales manager who will be seeing the project through—or all of the above.

You must address each of the facets of implementation: data import, integration, and automation.

The project must be made a priority, and you need transparent success milestones, small and large, that can be observed and experienced so everyone really knows progress is being made toward becoming totally digital.

The results mean lowered risk factors, leveraged opportunities, and ever-increasing transparency and visibility of business processes within your company, division, or group.

Through proper CRM implementation, your company progress is more predictable. And if anything is needed in business—besides revenue—it’s prediction.

The post The Crucial Points of CRM Implementation appeared first on SalesPOP!.

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