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It’s A Data Driven Age

Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past… T.S. Eliot

Is it possible to see the future?  Yes, if you take a look at the past.  Time has proven again and again that history repeats itself.  The repetition isn’t in a literal sense, it’s more conceptual.  Mark Twain refined it.  He said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”  When considering the past as a forecaster for business decisions look for patterns, similarities and end results as the best indicators of what you might expect to experience again.  With a firm hand on data collection there is the option to either repeat the past, or improve it.

MIT’s Weigh-In on the Purpose of Data Collection

Three years ago the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) did a study on “Data Driven Decision Making” (DDD).  They reported, “Using detailed survey data on the business practices and information technology investments of 179 large publicly traded firms, we find that firms that adopt DDD have output and productivity that is 5-6% higher than what would be expected given their other investments and information technology usage.” 

Since the MIT study, technology has continued its upward climb and today the tools at the fingertips of business are even more efficient. Today there is software available that will literally measure everything and anything, and without a doubt your competition is utilizing such to measure not only dollars and cents, but the performance of their workforce.

Measuring Statistics

When home computers first became available there were many people who thought that the machine magically knew everything.  It took a little stumbling around for people to understand that the machine only knew what it was 1091846_54296080taught.  The bottom line is that you can’t get out what you don’t put in, and guesswork is costly in this highly competitive age.

Your Data

Does your CRM track the actual data that you need to make informed decisions?  Do you have the ability to make tracking adjustments that make the collection more relevant?  Do you need to consider an add-on to enhance the process and make it more seamless?

User-Friendly?

Is documenting sales activity in your CRM a user-friendly process, or is it complex and distracting?  Is it all in one place, or is it spread across different pages?  Is it intuitive enough to help fill in such details as dates and times?  Does it recommend your next step?

Hit or Miss?

Is sales activity habitually documented or is it often skipped because reps find it too time consuming?  Are reps so busy having to scramble to make the desired number of calls that they see stopping to document their activity as a deterrent?

Incite2, an ultra efficient Salesforce add-on offered by ShadeTree Technology has taken the sting out of activity documentation.  Consider a demo to see for yourself how beautifully the documenting process has been simplified. Incite2 not only makes tracking your history effortless; it also dramatically increases the number of calls that can be made.

You can’t know where to go, unless you know where you’ve been.  Accurate data collection will open the door toward improving upon history.

 

3 Critical Elements for Successful CRM Adoption

By estimate, there will be approximately 70,000 people at this week’s spectacular Dreamforce event, Salesforce.com’s annual conference and expo being held in San Francisco. Its impressive agenda is all about how the social revolution is changing the way we do business. The event will impact and illustrate how business trends are adjusting to and dictating emerging technologies. There can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that an astounding number of companies use Salesforce. Although the company will not reveal its sales figures or its total customer tally, industry estimates have put the number of clients in the neighborhood of 132,000 organizations and over 4.5M subscribers. Without the risk of overstating the obvious, that is a remarkable amount of customers. Read more

Revenue Pipeline Optimization: Take your Follow-up from Good, to Better, to Best

Would you like your sales pipeline to be optimized, or to operate in a more streamlined fashion? I am not referring to the number of prospects currently in the funnel, or even the number of deals being worked. I am asking whether you would like to guarantee that every prospect and every deal is moving swiftly through the pipeline in the smartest, most efficient, and most effective manner. If you are nodding “yes”, then you are my kind of manager – forward-thinking, and motivated toward finding a practical and sustainable solution.

Optimizing the pipeline is the essential key to unlocking productivity. In the dynamic and constantly evolving world of sales, that is the equivalent to finding “the holy grail” is it not?

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So how can you begin to approach the strategy of optimizing your pipeline? I suggest laser-focusing on the all-important follow-up process. That is because consistent,persistent, and expedient follow-up is what actually moves deals through the pipeline. This means no hesitations, no hindrances, and no hurdles.  In a recent post, I described follow-up as the single most important element of sales for those precise reasons. In today’s post, I will reveal the steps you can take to transition from good to better, and eventually, from better to best. Read more