Sales Tracking Software is Essential

Jim Whitehurst: 20th century companies are already hiring 21st century employees

For the 21st Century Salesperson

Trying to keep track of leads, prospects and sales is a huge challenge for any sales professional, and requires great organizational skills. Keeping several files and applications, databases and spreadsheets, which require regular updates, can take up precious time and allow sales to slip away. This is why having  CRM software is needed to efficiently track sales in an organization.

The benefits of a unified database where all client information is readily available, is a necessity for any sales person in the 21st century. Having one CRM software package that allows you to log every detail involving your accounts and contacts is necessary when talking about customer relationship management and tracking sales and their progress. Having one system which also offers reminders and to do lists and even integrates with your email and calendar to prompt you with reminders, will give you an edge over your competitors, particularly in your customers’ eyes.

Technology is no longer a luxury investment for today’s salesperson; it is a necessity.  Having a CRM system that streamlines the front office business processes is a great tool. What is even greater, for sales people on the move, is mobile access to that system, a great asset when meeting clients out of the office or working from home. When meeting a customer or a prospective client you need as much information as possible at your fingertips in order to close the sale.

Sales professionals need more than just contact information to manage a complex sales process, but the key is having this information in one place, rather than spread across emails, spread sheets and several documents. Having one software package to overlook your entire sales process means you can manage the entire sales cycle, keep a record of every interaction to manage and track customer relationships, manage and track pipeline opportunities and generate reports to accurately forecast and analyze your sales.

Having sales tracking software means you will achieve more with your customers in less time, drive more business and close more deals. Not only are you improving your own sales process, you are improving your customer’s buying experience also.  The most important factor when closing a sale is your customer’s satisfaction. Customers want to feel valued, and a CRM system will help you make them feel remembered and appreciated.

Image “Jim Whitehurst: 20th century companies are already hiring 21st century employees” by opensource.com on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

CRM Software Developer and Consultant in Aruba

Employment opportunity for CRM software developer in the Caribbean.

crm-work-aruba

Job Description

  • Analysis of client’s and/or prospect’s business processes and translating them into cost efficient, user friendly solutions, often using Commence CRM software as a platform.
  • Responsible for design and development of new Applications, Integration with other Applications, Data Migration or Data Conversion etc.
  • Taking care of the whole project cycle, from initial contact with the client, design, programming until end user training and post implementation support.

Desired Technical Skills & Experience

  • Strong knowledge/experience with CRM / HRM
  • Experience with Commence software and architecture
  • Must have strong MS-SQL and VB scripting skills
  • Good knowledge of ASP.net, C #, SQL Server, Visual Basic , HTML
  • Strong programming and web development expertise in .NET
  • Experience in full project life cycle – including post delivery support
  • Understanding of software development methodologies
  • Good database skills

Desired Personal Skills & Experience

  • A general understanding of business areas
  • Ability to map business requirements to functionality of software
  • Maturity and ability to handle stress and demanding business requirements
  • Self driven, persistent, action oriented and goal driven
  • Integrity and professionalism in work
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills.
  • Solid verbal and written communication skills.
  • Must be a Team Player.
  • An overall strong personality with good communication and interpersonal skills.

About VCC International N.V.:

VCC International N.V. is a small ICT company based on the tropical island of Aruba. We sell and implement standard administrative software, like accounting software, payroll software, but also complete ERP packages. Furthermore, we also develop additional software for our clients, either as new stand-alone solutions or as add-ons to and interfacing with existing standard software solutions. During software development we often use the software of Commence as a vehicle. Our client base can be found all over the islands of the Caribbean, but with the majority on the islands Of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.

If you would like to apply, please go to http://lnkd.in/ystZbc for more information.

4 Biggest Time Wasters for Sales People

Thinking about Sales…

By Dave Kahle

Good time management for sales people has been an obsession of mine for more than 30 years.  In the last decade, I’ve been involved in helping tens of thousands of sales people improve their results through more effective use of their time.  Over the years, I’ve seen some regularly occurring patterns develop – tendencies on the part of sales people to do things that detract from their effective use of time.

Here are the four most common time-wasters I’ve observed.  See if any apply to you or your sales people.

1. Allure of the urgent/trivial.

Changed priorities aheadSales people love to be busy and active.  We have visions of ourselves as people who can get things done.  No idle dreamers, we’re out there making things happen!

A big portion of our sense of worth and our personal identity is dependent on being busy.  At some level in our self image, being busy means that we really are important.  One of the worst things that can happen to us is to have nothing to do, nowhere to go, and nothing going on.  So, we latch onto every task that comes our way, regardless of the importance.

For example, one of our customers calls with a back order problem.  “Oh good!” we think, “Something to do!  We are needed!  We can fix it!”  So, we drop everything and spend two hours expediting the backorder.

In retrospect, couldn’t someone in purchasing or customer service have done that?  And couldn’t they have done it better than you?  And didn’t you just allow something that was a little urgent but trivial prevent you from making some sales calls?  And wouldn’t those potential sales calls be a whole lot better use of your time?

Or, one of our customers hands us a very involved “Request for Quote.”  “Better schedule a half-day at the office,” we think.  “Need to look up specifications, calculate prices, compile literature, etc.”  We become immediately involved with this task, working on this project for our customer.  In retrospect, couldn’t we have given the project to an inside sales person or customer service rep to do the leg work?  Couldn’t we have just communicated the guidelines to someone and then reviewed the finished proposal?

Once again, we succumbed to the lure of the present task.  That prevented us from making sales calls and siphoned our energy away from the important to the seemingly urgent.

I could go on for pages with examples, but you have the idea.  We are so enamored with being busy and feeling needed that we often grab at any task that comes our way, regardless of how unimportant.  And each time we do that, we compromise our ability to invest our sales times more effectively.

2.  The comfort of the status quo.

BusyA lot of sales people have evolved to the point where they have a comfortable routine.  They make enough money and they have established routines and habits that are comfortable.  They really don’t want to expend the energy it takes to do things in a better way, or to become more successful or effective.

This can be good.  Some of the habits and routines that we follow work well for us.  However, our rapidly changing world constantly demands new methods, techniques, habits and routines.  Just because something has been effective for a few years doesn’t mean that it continues to be so.  This problem develops when sales people are so content with the way things are, they have not changed anything in years.

If you haven’t changed or challenged some habit or routine in the last few years, chances are you are not as effective as you could be.

For example, you could still be writing phone messages down on little slips of paper, when entering them into your contact manager would be more effective.  This is a simple example of a principle that can extend towards the most important things that we do.  Are we using the same routines for organizing our work week, for determining who to call on, for understanding our customers, for collecting information, etc.?  There is no practical end to the list.

Contentment with the status quo almost always means sales people who are not as effective as they could be.

My book, 10 Secrets of Time Management for Salespeople, discusses the use of the “more” mindset as an alternative to the status quo.

3.  Lack of trust in other people in the organization.

Mi primer cartel motivacionalSales people have a natural tendency to work alone.  After all, we spend most of the day by ourselves.  We decide where to go by ourselves, we decide what to do by ourselves, and we are pretty much on our own all day long.  It’s no wonder then that we just naturally want to do everything by ourselves.

That’s generally a positive personality trait for a sales person. Unfortunately, when it extends to those tasks that could be done better by other people in our organization it turns into a real negative.

Instead of soliciting aid from others in the organization, and thereby making much better use of our time, many sales people insist on doing it themselves, no matter how redundant and time-consuming is the task.  The world is full of sales people who don’t trust their own colleagues to write an order, to source a product, to enter an order in the system, to follow up on a back order, to deliver some sample or literature, to research a quote, to deliver a proposal, etc.  Again, the list could go on and on.

The point is that many of these tasks can be done better or cheaper by someone else in the organization.  The sales people don’t release the tasks to them because they, the sales people, don’t trust them to do it.  Too bad.  It’s a tremendous waste of good selling time and talent.  Chapter 10 of my book “10 Secrets” describes a system to nurture helpful relationships.

4.  Lack of tough-minded thoughtfulness.

A bit of blue sky thinking Project 365(4) Day 9Ultimately, time management begins with thoughtfulness.  That means a sufficient quantity of good quality thought-energy invested in the process.  I like to say that good time management is a result of “thinking about it before you do it.”

Good time managers invest sufficiently in this process.  They set aside time each year to create annual goals, they invest planning time every quarter and every month to create plans for those times, they plan every week and every sales call.  Poor sales time managers don’t dedicate sufficient time to the “thinking about it” phase of their job.

Not only do good sales time managers invest a sufficient quantity of time, but they also are disciplined and tough-minded about how they think.  They ask themselves good questions, and answer them with as much objectivity as they can muster.

“What do I really want to accomplish in this account?”

“Why aren’t they buying from me?”

“Who is the key decision maker in this account?”

“Am I spending too much time in this account, or not enough in that one?”

“How can I change what I am doing in order to become more effective?”

These are just a few of the tough questions that good sales time managers consider on a regular basis.  They don’t allow their emotions or personal comfort zones to dictate the plans.  They go where it is smart to go, do what is smart to do.  They do these things because they have spent the quantity and quality of thought-time necessary.

Of course, there are hundreds of other time-wasting habits.  These four, however, are the most common.  Correct them, and you’ll be well on your way to dramatically improved results.

By the way, you’ll find this kind of insight into dozens of sales issues in our Sales Resource Center. It houses 435 training programs to help every one live more successfully and sell better.  All delivered over the internet, 24/7, for one low monthly fee.

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Image “Changed priorities ahead” by Peter Reed on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

Image “Busy” by AJ Cann on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

Image “Mi primer cartel motivacional” by Oscar on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

Image “A bit of blue sky thinking Project 365(4) Day 9” by Keith Williamson on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

About the Author:

Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales educators. He’s written nine books, presented in 47 states and eight countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations.  Sign up for his free weekly Ezine. A great source of specific tools to help you with time management is his classic book, 10 Secrets of Time Management for Sales People.

Copyright MMXII by Dave Kahle

All Rights Reserved.

Reference Selling is the Key to Higher Close Ratios

CRM Software Can Help

social_networkEvery sales representative dreams about that phone call when they hear a prospect say “I was referred to you by one of your customers.”  Want to know why? Statistics indicate that close ratios for new sales increase from 1% for cold calls to as high as 90% for those calls where a personal introduction has been made.  Despite this, sales people consistently neglect to ask their customers who they know or if they can make a personal introduction for them.

One of the ways sales representatives can improve the potential for personal introduction is through the use of Social CRM.   Social CRM sites such as LinkedIn provide a wealth of personal information about company management such as, where they work, their position within the firm, where they worked before and who they know.  By reviewing this information it’s quite possible that the prospect you are trying to reach may be somehow connected to someone you know.  Armed with this information you can perhaps get the personal introduction into an account that you would have had a great deal of difficulty getting into without it.  So how can CRM software help?

Social Networking with CRM

Social NetworkingMany CRM systems today have links to social CRM or what’s known as social media sites.  For example, Commence CRM offers a seamless connection to LinkedIn directly from the contact within the CRM system. This allows the sales representative to review a prospect’s information, determine how he or she might find a way to get that personal introduction through others they may know, and at the same time add additional contacts and important notes to the history file for future use.  The CRM system not only acts as a conduit to the prospect’s information, but as a centralized system for retaining notes and history as well.

Image “social_network” by Trebor Scholz on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

Image “Social Networking” by sman5612 on Flickr under Creative Commons license.