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April 28, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline

In my original blog in this series “Best Practices for B-2-B Sales,  I outlined five categories of best practices: The previous five blogs in this series, reviewed the best practices related to data.  The next three categories, Sales Process, Opportunity Management and Pipeline Analytics all are driven off of the sales pipeline. This blog introduces 6 different best practices related to the sales pipeline.  These best practices cut across all  three areas. ...

Sales Pipelines, Sales Process, Sales Tools, sales best practices, Sales Pipeline Visibility

February 25, 2020

Tactical Best Practices for B2B Sales - Data Access-Sales Interactions

The typical situation we found many of our sales prospects in when they were considering our solution is: Sales reps don’t timely update their sales force automation platform Sales reps don’t have sufficient, timely and accurate information about their sales opportunities Sales Managers don’t have the data they needed to accurately forecast sales for the quarter or coach their direct reports on specific opportunities The end-of-quarter is a mad scramble and there is no visibility into the deals to focus on Forecast accuracy suffered ...

CRM, Sales Tools, AI for Sales, sales best practices

December 13, 2019

Sales Superpowers Need 'In-Context' for Sales Engagement

  SiriusDecisions outlines “One Solution for Sales Superpowers”.  [Spoiler alert] - it is sales engagement.   If it is “the one solution” to supercharge your revenue engine, why isn’t it widely used?   Why isn’t it the most popular application in the “sales world”?  We will get back to that, but first lets make sure we are on the same page. Sales Engagement Defined  Sales engagement is defined as interactions that take place between the buyer and seller.  Sales engagement includes four core functions based on SiriusDecisions definition:  calling/dialing, email, calendarizing and reporting. ...

Sales Operations, Sales Tools, Sales Pipeline Management, Strategic Partnerships

November 25, 2019

Strengthening the CFO-CRO Relationship Through the Sales Forecast

  The sales forecast is the linchpin of a company’s future.  If it is right and can be trusted the companies’ operations run smoother and its financial stability is more secure.  Typically this isn't easy.  The sales forecasting process is shared by the Chief Revenue Officer[CRO] and the Chief Financial Officer[CFO].  The challenge is both have different motivations on its accuracy and neither have a complete vision of its drivers or its accuracy.   When the forecasting process is trusted and transparent it relieves stress on both the CRO and the CFO.  This blog reviews how this can be accomplished.  ...

Sales Operations, Sales Tools, Sales Pipeline Management, Strategic Partnerships

October 23, 2019

Where 1 + 1 = 3 in the Sales Application Stack - Sales Enablement

  In my previous blog I outlined 21 different sales technology categories for the Sales Application Stack .  These categories were consolidated from various industry analysts research. That blog highlighted the difference between data integration and application embedding and highlighted the benefits of application embedding and selecting software vendors who have strategic partnerships with other software providers in the CRM application space.   The concepts of application embedding needs to be expanded with the concept of “application in context”.  “Applications in context” is applications working “in context” with applications to solve a series of problems in a consistent and cohesive manner without derailing the users thought process. ...

Sales Operations, Sales Tools, Sales Pipeline Management, Strategic Partnerships

September 20, 2019

The Emperor [CRM] is Naked

  One of the things I like to track are stories I heard in kindergarten that persist through life.  The Emperor’s New Clothes is one of them.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in meetings, listening to what is being discussed and ideas explored and wanted to yell out, “THE EMPEROR IS NAKED”. ...

Sales Operations, Sales Tools, Sales Pipeline Management, Strategic Partnerships

August 16, 2019

AI For Sales - Business Examples

  The last seven blogs provide a business-case approach to infusing AI through the entire sales process.  One of the purposes of this blog series was to demystify AI by using AI for Sales as an  example.  Media tends to portray AI as a magic bullet.  Actual implementations show the less “black box” an AI solution is and the more “glass box” approach, the more utility it provides to the user.  The utility is created by uncovering the key drivers of an outcome and managing those drivers to increase results. ...

Sales Operations, Sales Tools, Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales

February 27, 2019

AI for Sales - Enhanced Data Collection

  An accurate sales forecast requires a crystal clean sales pipeline.  A crystal clean sales pipeline requires a deep history on most buyer/seller interactions for each opportunity.  By having a deep history of these interactions you can apply AI to identify buyer patterns and better guide the sales process.   Unfortunately most sales organizations do not have enough information about each opportunity to apply AI to assist in the sales process. ...

Sales Automation, Sales Tools, AI, Artificial Intelligence, AI for Sales

January 25, 2019

AI for Sales - In the Marketing Funnel

  The topic of artificial intelligence [AI] for Marketing covers many different areas including content delivery, content generation, social media, personalizing emails, attribution, and optimizing lead gen, just to name a few.  This blog focuses on applying AI in the marketing funnel for optimizing lead gen and marketing attribution[MTA].  ...

Sales Tools, AI, Artificial Intelligence, Marketing Funnel, AI for Sales

January 9, 2019

AI for Sales - AI/Machine Learning Primer for Sales

  I had planned my blog “AI for Sales - In the Marketing Funnel” to be posted  before now.  It was a challenge writing it because I had to include terminology and background in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Advanced Analytics, to set the right perspective. This blog takes on the task of trying to level set around terms and characteristics of Artificial Intelligence(AI) and Machine Learning(ML).  My next blog, [in two weeks] will discuss the AI for the marketing funnel. ...

Sales Tools, AI, Artificial Intelligence, AI for Sales

December 31, 2015

Gluing Together the Sales Process

Today, there’s a tool for everything. Technology is helping us find deals faster, and expediting necessary steps of the sales process so they close quicker. Most of them integrate into your CRM where you can access the information. Even still, you may need to be a Salesforce guru in order to piece it all together and there is no way everyone feels 100% confident that all the technology ties together seamlessly. Sales Stack Glue ...

Sales Representatives, Sales Executives, Blogs & guidebooks, Sales Operations, Sales Tools, TopOPPS Users

December 3, 2015

How To Validate Close Dates

Internally, you are familiar with the Expected Close Date (sometimes simply referred to as Close Date) that sales reps keep updated. Sometimes a sales team can have difficulty keeping these dates accurate; perhaps simply because of the volume of deals occurring, or because predicting the future is hard! ...

Sales Representatives, Sales Executives, Sales Operations, Sales Tools, TopOPPS Users

November 30, 2015

TopOPPS Forecast Methodologies

TopOPPS' forecasting methodology has a singular, core belief: People are different, and there is no one-size fits all.  We can stop flying blind through the quarter if our forecasts worked for each rep.  ...

Sales Representatives, Sales Executives, Blogs & guidebooks, Sales Operations, Sales Tools, TopOPPS Users

October 2, 2015

Predictive Analytics For A Consistent Sales Process And Consistent Sales Growth

A modern approach to consistency in the sales process. A sure-fire method to extend the sales cycle, add confusion to the forecast, and lose more deals is to have an inconsistent sales process. ...

Sales Representatives, Sales Executives, Blogs & guidebooks, Sales Operations, Sales Tools, TopOPPS Users

August 31, 2015

TopOPPS' Integration with Yesware

Yesware is an excellent tool that allows a sales rep to track email sends, replies, and opens automatically within Salesforce. ...

Sales Tools

August 31, 2015

TopOPPS Dashboard

The TopOPPS Dashboard tells the complete story of your current pipeline. Will I hit my number? The dashboard is used to show if we are going to hit our number - and if not, options to fill the gap. ...

Sales Tools

February 25, 2015

Make Your Data Work

  I may be biased but as the relationship between sales and technology continues to grow stronger, companies with tools like TopOPPS will have a significant competitive advantage. Today, it’s not just about getting the information into the system more efficiently, it’s also about what we do with that information once it’s there. CRMs are like relationships, you only get out what you put in. Unfortunately, CRMs are infamous for being  “junk in junk out” machines. So how can we trust the data? Better yet, how can we make the process of entering crucial data into the CRM quick and painless while still maximizing the amount of impactful information decision makers receive in return? ...

Sales Tools

February 20, 2015

What is a Sales Process?

This may seem like a silly question - everyone knows what a sales process is, right? ...

Management, Sales, Sales Forecasts, CRM, Sales Executives, Blogs & guidebooks, Sales Process, Sales Tools

December 22, 2014

Sales Forecasting Is More Than Pretty Dashboards

Inaccurate sales forecasts are a great way to kill the board’s confidence in you.  So, let me tell you a personal narrative having to do with that. Right after getting out of a board meeting once, I found out that my sales forecast was way off.  A few of my bigger deals fell out that really changed the outlook.  It was one of my first board meetings with this particular group of investors, and I was hoping to gain a lot of confidence out of the gate. This did not help. ...

Sales, Sales Forecasts, Sales Predicability, TopOPPS, Sales Process, Sales Tools

August 20, 2014

Correcting Inefficiencies Within Your SalesForce

The evolution of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems has had a major impact on sales forces across the world. It’s given companies a place to store knowledge, which in turn gives them the opportunity to deepen customer understanding, grow revenue and improve internal communications. These are the benefits of CRM. ...

Sales Tools

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