When you’re a kid the thing you want most in the world is to be a grown up, so birthdays are a big deal. Presents are fun, but the thing that I looked forward to the most was the birthday card from my grandmother. She always tucked a crisp, clean, brand new one dollar bill in it. Over the years it never changed. It was always a one dollar bill. Her rule, a dollar every birthday until year eighteen, and then that’s it, and it was. Long after my beloved grandmother passed, one day, just out of curiosity I asked my mother – why always just a dollar? My mother replied, “Your grandmother probably still has the first nickel she ever made.”
My grandmother wasn’t the first penny pincher, nor was she the last. People who watch every dime aren’t just those who struggle to make ends meet; even billionaires do it. For instance, Warren Buffet; net worth nearly 60 Billion; IKEA founder, Ingvar Kamprad; News Corp. Chairman, Rupert Murdoch, and Australia’s retail king Gerry Harvey are all worth billions, but they are known to take thrifty to the extreme.
We may laugh at some of the penny pincher’s antics; we may see them as eccentric and odd, but it’s a little hard not to covet their ability to manage their money better than the rest of us. Most people comparison shop for the big ticket items and feel a rush of happy when a good deal is had. The same people probably use coupons at the grocery store. The same people run businesses in less than cost effective ways because they tend to count their profit as just the dollars in the door, and ignore the dollars saved by doing things in time-saving/money-saving ways.
A Penny Saved…
- Piggyback Advertising: Advertise on everything. Put your company logo on items you can give away – pencils, Post-it notes, calendars, business cards, newsletters, and every email you send – even personal.
- Collaborative Marketing: It’s the electronic age, use the technology. Trade advertising links with other companies. Include “partner coupons codes” in email marketing or on your company website for like offers to give your partner’s customers. Share media space in print. Pick a partner and share the cost in newspaper ads.
- Testimonials: Let your happy customers tell others what you’ve done for them. Refresh the testimonials on your website every couple of months.
- Electronic Invoices: Convenient for the customer, cost effective for you.
- Online Meetings: Cut travel costs and save time with online business meetings. There are several sites on the Internet like GoToMeeting and WebEx that offer this service. Meetings can be held on desktops, laptops, tablets, cell phones – anything that can connect to the Internet. That means you can squeeze meetings in no matter where you are.
- Form Partnerships: Find other companies that you can trade goods or services with at no cost. It is a financial boon for both.
Saving Time is Saving Money
Stay abreast of the different types of software being offered that automate your selling process. Over 100,000 of the world’s most innovative companies of all sizes use Salesforce to close bigger deals faster. It only stands to reason that if you can speed up what Salesforce does, that you will make more money by virtue of the time you save. ShadeTree Technology’s Incite2 does just that. It is a Salesforce add-on that gathers the information that is spread across the Salesforce site and puts it all on one page. Your sales team can save a mountain of time by having everything they need to know about a prospect, scripted call prompts, emails and voicemail, as well as an active time line that easily documents every step taken, on one convenient screen. Time is saved that allows more calls to be made. Imagine the dollars you can add to your bank account.
Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) was our country’s first “Efficiency Expert.” He was born to a wealthy Quaker family in Germantown, Pennsylvania. His passion was “time study,” which is literally using a stopwatch and doing continuous observation of tasks, in an effort to find the shortest, most efficient method of accomplishing those tasks. For Winslow, it was a cold-hearted, dehumanizing, cut and dry numbers game that was controversial, but no one could dispute the fact that his methods worked. Over time the term “efficiency expert” became synonymous with people losing their jobs because in years past, efficiency meant more work done, with a smaller workforce.
Today’s high-tech way of doing business has already stream-lined the workforce. Now instead of efficiency translating to layoffs, it instead means driving profits higher. Consider the situation from a Sales point of view. For the salesperson, a more efficient process simply means more calls, more conversations, more new business relationships, and more closed deals.
Everyone knows you get more bang for the buck when you buy concentrated products and energy-efficient appliances. So what happens when you increase human efficiency by concentrating effort? Power Hour is born.
Hang up the “Do Not Disturb” sign, ignore inbound emails, and don’t answer any incoming calls. Schedule a few hours a week where you are simply unavailable. Next step – use Salesforce’s list building capabilities. Build lists based on status – remembering to add a status field to your contact’s page that is typical of the one you have for your leads. Export the lists into ShadeTree Technology’s Incite2 – and because everything you need is on one page, you get to experience calling momentum at its finest. It’s next to impossible to not triple your call volume. More calls, more conversations, more sales.
It’s time to appreciate the wonders of the technological age by embracing the efficiency it naturally makes possible. Make Power Hours a new Best Practice.
Speaking strictly from a scientific point of view, when the creation of life as we know it happened, many believe that it did so with a very precise, exacting set of circumstances. There is great debate in the scientific community about whether any variation of events would have obliterated all possibility of life or if there was a little fine-tuning wiggle room in it. Scientist Stephen Hawking sees things as pretty well fixed. He has estimated that if the rate of the universe’s expansion one second after the Big Bang had been less by the smallest amount imaginable, that everything would have collapsed into a fiery ball, and life would not have happened.
Thankfully when it comes to humankind there seems to be purposeful wiggle-room. Religion and science may disagree on the creation of life – but they will both agree that humans aren’t perfect. By virtue of our very humanity, there is always room for improvement.
A – Allow a critical eye. Step back and look at the whole picture. Are you content with the number of calls being made, the new business relationships you’ve started, the established relationships that you’ve shored up with quality follow-up, and the dollars that have come in? Question the overall efficiency in all of your processes – and look for the weak spots. Where do you fall short – research, organization, call scripts, mailed messages, or activity documentation? How accurate are your analytics?
B – Buy into new possibilities. There is an old saying, “Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.” Do you know how your competition operates? Do they have tools that you don’t’? Do they have any methods that nets them greater results than you’re getting? What kind of feedback are you getting from social networking/social media? Is there new software out there that can make your process stronger?
C – Congratulate yourself for having the wisdom to fine tune the process. More often than not life is about a leap of faith. If you’ve taken an introspective look at the way you do business and stepped out on the ledge of a new possibility that improved your sales efforts, congratulate yourself, and then go back to A.
There are an infinite number of possibilities when it comes to products that can make your sales life easier, more efficient, and more profitable, but Incite2 offered by ShadeTree Technology is a Saleforce add-on that should be on your list of considerations. It efficiently collects the various pages in Saleforce and puts them all one page – which by itself is a time/money saving factor. Building call lists is the heart of the increased success rate that is a given with the product. Do put a view of their demo on your exploration into new possibilities.
All of us had all-knowing mothers who spouted tidbits of wisdom that we all swore we’d never say to our own kids. My mom would say, “Who did it?” I would say, “I don’t know.” She’d say, “No one named ‘I Don’t Know’ lives here.” I would roll my eyes, when I said, “I wish…” and she’d reply, “If wishes were horses we’d all go for a ride.” I was sure she was nuts every time she told me, “I walked to and from school, and it was uphill both directions.” Okay most of the funny things we remember mom saying we now look back on with a conservative fondness – and laugh when we hear ourselves repeating them to our own kids. There was one piece of wisdom that I’m happy to repeat – because mom was right. No matter the task, she’d say, “Before you get started, get all of your ducks in a row.”
Tailor your content to the leads and roles of your prospects. When your content is relevant to the prospect, it lets them know that you’ve done your homework, and that you’ve listened to what they had to say. When you can send content that gives your prospects resources they may have not uncovered themselves, it will show that you’re both on the same team, strengthen your business relationship, and shorten the sales cycle.
Finding the right person to call can be done with a systematic approach. Ideally the companies in your data base have quality leads with desirable job titles. If that is the case, you can build a call list based on status in Salesforce – by adding a “Status” field to your Contacts page with the same options that you have for Leads. If you are lacking in appropriate leads with desirable job titles, a quick search at LinkedIn using the advance search option can net you multiple fresh leads. InsideView is also a great source for new leads. Often times the right person comes your way via a referral.
Initial conversations can, and do, happen every day at random hours, but a study done a few years ago by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that research across the Internet still supports today, concluded that there are both days and hours that are richer for cold calling success. The study looked at six different companies over a three year period and determined that gold was struck more often on Wednesdays and Thursdays with Thursdays being the best – at 49% better than the worst day, Tuesday. The study also found that the hours with the highest rate of calling success were between 8 & 9 a.m. before business hours, and between 6 & 7 p.m. at the end of the day. The study is not meant to imply that the cited days and times are the only times to call. It is just meant as a leg up when you add the information to your own observations. Ultimately you will find your personal pattern. The Lead Response Management Study Overview
There is a multitude of ways to send your messages out. It’s important to realize that the medium that resonates with one person may not be effective with another. While your best bet is an actual conversation, you can reach prospects in many other ways. Short videos, slideshows, emails, and postcards will be effective with visual receivers. Well crafted conversations, voicemails, and videos will click with auditory receivers. Delivering your information in multiple mediums is a way to cover all bases and address the various ways that your prospects most comfortably process information.
A little organization goes a long way. If your ducks are in a row, the rate of success is driven up. Give your list building more power by using Incite2 the ultra efficient Salesforce add-on offered by ShadeTree Technology. It collects information from multiple Salesforce screens and presents it all on one efficient page.