Apr 17

Does your sales process freeze out marketing?

Chris Van Loben Sels

Marketers often complain they get no data from sales –  carefully nurtured leads just drop into the “black hole of field sales.”

It’s easy to blame “lazy salespeople.”

But have you looked at your sales process – and your CRM?  

Is your sales process freezing out marketing?
I was told there would be funnel data . . .

Too often, the sales process and CRM implementation conspire to silence feedback from sales. While management is saying “give us accurate data,” the CRM system adds, “and you’ll be punished for it.”

This chasm costs enterprises dearly. Without feedback, marketing wastes money on bad lead sources. Sales then wastes precious sales capacity chasing down the bad leads. This mess weighs down revenue, sales productivity, and margins.

How does this happen?

Here’s a list of some common ways that the sales process and CRM actively suppress feedback from sales.

  • It’s not your fault, so we’ll blame you anyway. Often, salespeople are aware that their managers look at won/loss percentage reports. So if a salesperson creates an opportunity, then figures out it’s a bad lead after the first meeting, it makes his loss percentage go up.
  • Instant interrogation. When the salesperson marks the bad lead as a “lost” opportunity, the CRM system emails the whole management chain. Everyone then calls her up to ask if the lead was really bad, or did she forget to try some new sales angle?
  • Let’s play 20 questions. Too often, when a salesperson hits certain triggers, tons of fields suddenly become required – many of which don’t really apply when a deal is revealed as a dud after the first meeting.

The lesson is unmistakable: It’s not worth creating opportunity records for bad leads, better to only create opportunities late in the cycle, when you know the deal is “real.”


Bridging the chasm between marketing and sales. We're all on the same team, you go first.

So marketing gets no feedback on the bad leads – exactly the opposite of what marketing and sales leaders need.

How can you tell if you have this problem? You can take our Sales Visibility Assessment – an automated assessment of your salesforce.com data.  But you can also look for these signs:

  • Do you have 10 percent or more of your opportunity records post-dated?
  • Is a large percentage of your opportunity records created at a late stage in the sales process (like at RFP)?
  • Do your salespeople log meetings on early opportunities (or on any opportunities) – allowing marketing to really tell the duds from the real opportunities?

The fact is that neither the sales process nor CRM are at fault. Your sales process doesn’t have to be annoying to be effective.

And, more importantly, your CRM doesn’t have to be a time sink to capture quality sales intelligence.

With great mobile sales apps, your salespeople can give you more feedback with a handful of finger swipes than by sitting down at a desk for 10 minutes.

Mobile can build a bridge across the marketing-sales chasm – and lift the effectiveness of the whole company.


Chris van Loben Sels
director, business development & marketing


Contact us to learn more about the innovative teams pioneering ways to turn their sales process – and CRM – into competitive weapons, not an administrative drag. Or click here for a free Sales Visibility Assessment of your salesforce.com data.



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Topics: salesforce, Mobile CRM, CRM, mobile salesforce, sales productivity, sales process, marketing, marketing automation

Apr 15

Three signs your sales process is killing your sales process.

Chris Van Loben Sels

CRM and your sales process are supposed to be like chocolate and peanut butter – perfect when mixed together.

But too often, they're like matter and anti-matter – the sales process and CRM system blow each other up.

Just as long as there are no mixed messages . . .

There are tons of benefits to be had – we’re told – from building the sales process into your CRM. It will guide your salespeople, help your managers coach, even develop new customer insights.

But our data show that this just isn’t happening in the real world. Our analysis of CRM data has found:

Over 75 percent of opportunity records have no sales process data in them, beyond the simplest field, Stage. And only have enough updates that you can actually see the sales process at work.

So what’s happening? Why aren’t we all in CRM-enabled sales process nirvana?

 Usually, it’s (way) too much of a good thing.

I think we can fit a few more fields on the Opportunity page, don't you?
I think we can fit a few more fields on the Opportunity page, don't you?

Adding too much sales process to CRM makes it much harder to use – and slowly it just becomes, well, not used. Way too many sales process questions weigh down your CRM pages. Questions asking for long essays are just too time consuming.

With all this gunk in the CRM system, the team slowly starts filling them in less and less. The only way the manager knows what’s going on is by phone and status meeting. All the high hopes for the CRM system and the sales process fall by the wayside.

Is this happening to you? Check for these three signs.

  1. Your sales process fields are mostly empty. This might be tough to take, but try it. Build a custom report in Salesforce to see how many opportunities have your custom fields blank. (To do this, add a filter, pick your field, then leave the criterion field blank and press ok.)Report2
  2. Your sales process fields require lots of text and typing. Some companies try to turn salespeople into novelists, asking them to write elaborate answers to mutli-part questions. Even if the salespeople are filling them out (which our data would show is rare), the grind of doing this work will cost more selling time than the results are worth.
  3. Your CRM is only the agenda for your status meeting. Do you just look at the forecast to run you status meeting? Or do you get most of what you need by reading what's in the opportunity records? If you just use CRM as the forecast agenda, that’s another sign there’s not much useful intelligence in your CRM. (If your CRM is full of useful information, then your team should get annoyed when you ask them what’s going on in a deal. They’ll just say, "that’s already in CRM, take a look.")

So what can you do to revitalize your CRM and sales process?

You need to make tracking the sales process much faster for salespeople – ditch the twenty questions, drop the essay questions, and focus on what is really important.

At Selligy, we’re using mobile to enable salespeople to answer the most important questions about deals with just a few finger swipes. Our mobile app automatically fills in meeting attendees and details from the salesperson's calendar, so they don't have to waste time entering them manually. Our customers are seeing 5 times more activities logged, while the salespeople are spending less time entering data in CRM. 

More importantly, Selligy is helping these teams make their sales process and CRM about selling again. Because selling is the whole point.


Chris van Loben Sels
director, business development & marketing


Contact us to learn more about the innovative teams pioneering ways to turn their sales process – and CRM – into competitive weapons, not an administrative drag. Or click here for a free Sales Visibility Assessment of your salesforce.com data.



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Topics: salesforce, sales, Mobile CRM, CRM, mobile salesforce, sales tools, sales process

Apr 04

Selligy's been named a Gartner Cool Vendor for CRM Sales

Chris Van Loben Sels

Gartner names Selligy a Cool Vendor in CRM Sales!

Everything the modern sales team needs in their pockets

In their annual cool vendor report, Gartner has picked three companies to watch for sales leaders looking to use innovations to lift sales performance:

We couldn’t be prouder to be recognized for making salespeople's lives more productive -- and sales teams more connected.

The report says that sales users have struggled with their CRM solutions since Gartner first studied user adoption in CRM – in 1993. The report goes on to say that Selligy has “fundamentally changed” the way salespeople leverage and update [CRM] through “an optimized user interface focused on the task at hand.”

And as proud as we are, we’re prouder that this recognition was earned through our customers’ success. At our customers:

  • Salespeople spend less time entering data into CRM. (You can see all of the ways Selligy saves salespeople time here.)
  • Sales managers find out what happening in deals sooner, allowing them to step in to keep deals from getting stuck and pushing the key opportunities over the finish line. (Click here for a live demo.)
  • Sales leaders have more confidence in their forecasts and can start tracking sales effectiveness and productivity – to bring the whole team’s performance to the next level. (You can get recommendations for increasing your sales visibility with our Sales Visibility Assessment.)

No wonder Gartner thinks we’re cool!


Chris van Loben Sels
director, business development & marketing

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Topics: Mobile CRM, CRM, sales productivity, salesforce mobile, sales tools

Mar 27

Breaking Through: Selligy's Next Stage – The FitBit for Sales

Nilay Patel


FitBit for Sales · 750 Sales Teams · Gartner Cool Vendor in CRM Sales

It is an exciting day at Selligy, for three reasons. First and foremost, Selligy just got a lot more powerful – contact us for a demo and you’ll see – powered by the insights we have found from working with our fantastic customers. Second, close behind that, Selligy is now helping salespeople in more than 750 sales teams. And, last but not least, Gartner just named us in the “Cool Vendors in CRM Sales, 2014” report.

Like I said, very exciting!

Selligy: The FitBit for sales

We couldn’t be more excited to get the newest version of Selligy out to the world today.

Selligy has become a FitBit for sales – a mobile companion that seamlessly captures what the salesperson and her team care about, with a minimum of effort and interruption.

And then Selligy gives you and your team the intelligence you need to bring your performance up to the next level.

Selligy connects your iPhone calendar and contacts to all of your Salesforce data, linking your customer meetings to the opportunities and accounts you are working – even adding contact photos, suggested location information, and customer logos. Here are some of the features we’re proudest of:


Log Meetings and Calls Fast Selligy allows you to capture everything that just happened with a meeting, opportunity, or contact with just a few finger swipes -- saving your updates in all the right places in Salesforce.com. With a Selligy Corporate Account, you can also update your forecast, pipeline, and other fields right from your phone!
See Your Team’s Selling Activities Today, sales leaders find out what’s been happening in their team after the fact, in their status meetings. With Selligy, sales leaders can catch big updates as they happen, to offer coaching in time to save or expand the deal. And, by giving a better view into selling activities, sales managers get more confidence in their forecasts.
See Your Opportunity Timeline Track your deal progress on an easy to access activity timeline. Since Selligy makes it easy to record what happened at customer meetings, you and your team will have a far better picture of the history of your deals.
Add Contacts to Salesforce with a Couple of Swipes Create Salesforce contacts from meeting attendees with just two finger taps. Selligy automatically adds the Contacts to the right Account and even links them to the correct Opportunity.
Update your Forecast in Seconds Come out of a meeting and update your forecast and pipeline data before you’ve even left the elevator. No more staying up late to update your forecast at the end of the week!
Custom Fields – Ask What You What to Know Selligy allows you to create custom questions for your sales team, helping you focus their efforts and sales process on what’s important.

750 sales teams and climbing.

There are a lot of things you know you don’t know when you found a company. One of the most important tasks is surrounding yourself with the best people to learn from.

And there’s no better teacher than our customers.

Through our entire product journey, we’ve asked salespeople and sales leaders one question:

“How do we help you do your job – and make your number?”

We started with helping salespeople manage their flow of customer meetings, using mobile context and advanced algorithms to bring the salesperson what they needed without them having to search for it.

Now, under the guidance of our growing base of customers, that’s evolved into a full-fledged sales activity management system – slashing the time it takes for salespeople to get data into and out of salesforce.com.

We couldn’t be more humbled or excited than to know that Selligy is in the pockets of salespeople in over 750 sales teams.  It’s exciting to help them be better at their jobs, because they are helping us be better at ours.

Gartner Cool Vendor in CRM Sales

Speaking of being humbled and honored, we’re also excited to announce that Gartner has named Selligy in Cool Vendors in CRM Sales, 2014.

Since the beginning of CRM, Gartner analysts Ed Thompson and Rob DeSisto have worked with CRM leaders. In the report, they note that Gartner has seen enterprises struggle with CRM user adoption since 1993. More recently, we’ve seen Rob write compellingly about how incredibly fast an app must be for a salesperson to use it.

We’ve seen both of these phenomenon at our customers. There’s nothing better than having someone who gets it say that you get it too.

Breaking through.

Gartner recognition. 750 Customers. Huge expansion in functionality. All these signs point to a space poised to grow by leaps and bounds.

Powered by our customers, we’re breaking through.


Nilay Patel, Co-founder and CEO


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Jan 29

Top Sales Apps: Four critical app categories

Nilay Patel


Not to knock the food selfie – but salespeople are the most impactful mobile professionals, so maybe great sales tools are the highest value use of the smartphone.

Looking at what sales teams actually do — find customers, connect with them, meet and persuade them — and who they connect with, we can see the four categories of sales applications that make the greatest impact.

The four critical sales app categories are:

  1. Connect with customer data (Selligy, CardMunch, Salesforce1)
  2. General customer intelligence (LinkedIn, InsideView)
  3. Connect with corporate systems (Box, Expensify)
  4. Travel (HotelTonight, TripIt)

Connecting with customer data

  • Selligy – Our goal is to slash the time it takes for salespeople to get value from – and put data back into salesforce. Turn updating deal data from a 15 min. required chore into 2 minutes of finger swipes that actually capture what the salesperson cares about. And yes, this is a shameless plug. (See a demo,)
  • LinkedIn CardMunch – better than typing it in on the seat tray in front of you.
  • Salesforce1 – Sure, our goal is to get everything the field salesperson needs into Selligy. But there’s always more, and it’s probably in Salesforce1.

General customer intelligence

  • LinkedIn – it’s the gold standard, particularly for the folks who you know the folks they know.
  • InsideView – and what about the folks you don’t know? InsideView preps you with the news about the company, and good info about the folks you’re about to meet.

Connect with corporate systems

  • Box – “I’ll send you the follow-up information you asked for” goes from “something I might remember in the hotel at the end of the day” to “something I can get done in the back of a cab.
  • Expensify – Will travel, will have expenses.


  • HotelTonight – lots of travel – especially with the recent storms – means lots of surprise travel arrangements. When you’re stuck, it’s always a nice consolation to stay in a great place, at a price that no one can argue with was a deal.
  • TripIt – Keep everyone posted with your travel plans – including yourself!

Having lots of tools isn’t always as good as having the right tools.

It’s all about sales productivity

It’s easy to lose time when you’re out on the road. All of these tools aim to save the salesperson non-selling time, make them smarter for when they are selling, or both. It’s all about sales productivity.


Chris van Löben Sels
director, business development & marketing

Drop us a line for a demo and to discuss a pilot project to better connect your team!

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Topics: sales, Mobile CRM, Salesforce.com, sales productivity

Jan 23

Get Past Tesla vs. Edison, Just Don’t Forget Kettering (or, why sometimes it’s the invisible inventions that count)

Chris Van Loben Sels

Set aside the Tesla vs. Edison debate and don’t forget Kettering, whose greatest achievement was making his invention invisible. Indeed, his ability to hack electric motors revolutionized the automobile.

Okay, so he’s not reading in a room
full of artificial lightning, but trust me,
Kettering is still very cool.

It’s no surprise that the likes of Nicola Tesla and Thomas Edison inspire a league of tech entrepreneurs. These breakthrough inventors propelled a whole new shape of the world. At the end of the 19th and the start of the 20th century, they sparked the creation of new infrastructure, new ways of working, new industries.

But there are other, lesser known, but inspiring figures from the second half of the 20th Century.

One that I spend a lot of time thinking about is Charles Kettering.

Who? Why?

Kettering – now probably best known as the second name in the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center – invented the electric starter for the automobile (and led the development of the two-stroke diesel engine, the first aerial missile, and the first colored paint for mass produced cars, to name a few more.)

Consider that before Kettering:

  • Cars had to be started with that huge crank.
  • Cars had multiple starting controls, like “choke” and “coil,” that you had to adjust to get the car to start.
  • And these controls were not only complex, but important – if you forgot to set the Coil on Retard before starting, the crank could kick, whip around and seriously injure, even kill, the person trying to start the car.
  • Women didn’t drive cars by themselves very much, since they were thought as not being strong enough to start one.
  • The industry’s conventional engineering wisdom was unanimous: there was no way you could use an electric motor to start the car because any electric motor powerful enough to turn the engine over would be too heavy to put in the car.

But Kettering came from outside the industry – from, of all places, National Cash Register, where he had learned quite a bit about small electric motors. He saw that a small motor, supplied with more current and voltage than it could handle in continuous operation, could produce enough force to turn over the motor in a few seconds.

(In today’s terms, we would call overclocking an electric motor one heck of a hack.)

By turning the conventional wisdom on its head, Kettering made cars safer, simpler to use, and doubling the number of potential drivers.

Spark and fuel settings for the Model T.
Once you’ve memorized these settings,
there are five more to remember …

And here’s the seeming paradox – and where the parallel to today’s technology comes in:

Kettering made cars much more complex (on the inside) and much simpler to use (on the outside). And that’s where today’s enterprise applications need to go.

As Kettering’s ‘self-starter’ cars became more advanced, more and more of that complexity became hidden behind a simpler and simpler interface. Today’s cars, with electronic fuel injection adjust the engine’s settings based on air pressure, oxygen level, ambient temperature, and more.

But now we just have an On/Off switch.

Somewhat simpler.

And that’s where we are going with today’s technology – using innovation to hide complexity from the user. Nothing makes this more critical than mobile.

It used to be great that business applications actually let you feel where the underlying data tables were. By navigating up and down the levels of data, the user learned what was really going on. And it made it much easier to do things like build your own reports and queries.

But this is kind of like saying that it was a lot cooler to have to manually adjust the engine timing so the car doesn’t stall up hills. Sure, it makes you more attuned to the car, but that’s not really why you’re driving.

Now is the time to add complexity inside applications, to make the outside simpler. Yes, this requires turning some industry conventional wisdom on its head. And yes, hiding complexity requires a lot of intelligence and sensors behind the scenes. You need to build algorithms that do what everyone used to say “you can’t do that.”

Consider one problem we work on here at Selligy: a salesperson on the road just finished a meeting. Now she wants to rate how the meeting went in her CRM system, add a couple of people on the meeting invite to the system, record who came to the meeting, mark who the buyer is, update the revenue forecast for the deal, and maybe fill in a couple of custom fields about the attendees and on the opportunity.

This task requires the salesperson to touch as many as 20 records, do as many as ten searches/lookups, post a half dozen separate saves, do a few cut-and-pastes. It’s a fairly big job that gets left to the end of the day – and then just the minimum gets done, if it gets done at all.

While this level of complexity been around in CRM for years, the advent of mobile means something has to change. Hide the complexity and you get more data into CRM, while salespeople spend less time entering it – you can hear the conventional wisdom say ‘you can’t do that!’ (With Selligy, we now have all this down to just a handful of taps and finger swipes. Our goal is to let the salesperson do it on their iPhone, while walking to the next meeting.)

We have to do this. The complexity belongs where Kettering would put it — under the hood, not on the dashboard.


Chris van Löben Sels

director, business development & marketing

Drop us a line and see the demo! Then let’s do a pilot project to save your team some complexity!

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Topics: Mobile CRM, Salesforce.com, CRM, tesla, mobile salesforce, edison, nicola tesla, tesla vs. edison, sales productivity

Jan 21

You Can’t Coach What You Cant See: Mobile CRM and Sales Productivity

Nilay Patel

Is that safety out of position? Then again, are the safeties on the field?

What are sports coaches doing most of the time? Watching their players play. Without watching carefully, how could the coach spot the pattern, assess the skill, give the right feedback at the right time, or call the right play?

How can you coach what you can’t see?

If you want to know the answer, talk to any sales coach.

Football coaches watch every play, but no sales manager can go to every meeting of every team member.

Rather than watch every play, sales coaches have to sit down and ask their team what’s going on. Hence the long tradition of the “status meeting” where most of the time is spent simply exchanging basic information on the state of play in each deal.

You would think that CRM systems would be a big help here. With every deal in CRM, the sales manager should have up-to-the-minute information about how everything is going, able to hop in with the right suggestion at the right time.

But most CRM systems simply serve as an agenda for the status meeting. Every deal is there, so the manager and the rep can go down the list of deals. But most field sales people don’t add even the most basic information – which is a shame, since it’s a pain for the sales person to have to recite a play-by-play to their manager.

Mobile CRM can help.

Slash the amount of time it takes to get data back into CRM, and, sure enough, sales people will put more data back into CRM – especially if the mobile app is tailored to what the rep and manager actually care about, real coaching and deal strategy questions.

In fact, one of Selligy’s customers saw a five-fold increase in the number of meetings logged in Salesforce.com after rolling out Selligy. Compare that to our study showing that, an the average company, 75 percent of opportunity records have no detailed information at all, beyond the standard forecast fields.

Here’s an example of how mobile can help: One Selligy customer faced a classic challenge in a growing market: precious sales capacity wasted on window shoppers, where the actual buyer wasn’t engaged.

Selligy helped this customer coach their reps on where to spend their time. The sales leadership team added a simple field to each contact: Is this person the buyer? Selligy made it easy to answer the question after each sales meeting – automatically adding the meeting and all of the attendees to Salesforce with a simple finger swipe.

In fact, mobile CRM can become part of sales coaching – managers can configure meeting reports to ask their good reps the questions that the great reps are keeping track of. This transforms CRM from a babysitter and bookkeeper into a helpful reminder and assistant coach.

All in all, it’s no surprise. Mobile CRM is about keeping field salespeople better connected.

And how can you coach without connecting?


Chris van Löben Sels

director, business development & marketing

Drop us a line for a demo and to discuss a pilot project to better connect your team!

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Nov 13

Houston. Selligy. Roll program!

Nilay Patel

We have cleared the tower …

When a NASA rocket clears the tower, the radio call is “Houston, Roll Program.” At that point control is handed over from Launch Control to Mission Control. The work of getting off the ground is done.

The focus on getting launched is replaced with achieving the mission: run through the thousands of steps to get from 100 mph to 20,000 mph as quickly and safely as possible.

This is what just happened to Selligy.

Getting to space takes fuel (and a guidance system)

We are ecstatic to announce that we have closed our Series A financing, a $2.8 million round. Even more exciting than the fuel is the guidance system — a great team to help us navigate the path ahead.

The round was led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and managing partner Josh Stein has been appointed to the Selligy Board of Directors. Josh has deep experience in enterprise and SaaS business models - being first investor in Box and SugarCRM. His other enterprise investments include Yammer and Twilio. More importantly, Josh has already been a great guidance system for me and the team.

Also in the round are the Alchemist Accelerator and salesforce.com. Ravi Belani, the force behind the Alchemist, has been a guide for almost a year now. And, of course, the salesforce.com team needs no introduction. It’s fantastic to have the backing of the platform our customers rely on to run their business.

While getting the fuel is critical, what’s more important is the progress we’re making on the actual mission.

The Mission:
Build great mobile tools for sales.

Our vision for Selligy is simple: to make both salespeople and sales teams more effective. How? By building mobile tools that help salespeople with their selling activities, and as a result, giving their companies rich data on how those activities push deals forward.”

CRM is a $18 billion industry, but there’s still so much more to do to connect people and teams with the data they need. Our analysis of CRM data found that salespeople just fill out the most basic fields 75 percent of the time.

As a result, sales teams don’t have data beyond the most basic forecast. They don’t have any data on key questions like: Who are the competitors? What products were pitched, but not pursued? Did the actual buyer attend the first meetings?

And it’s not surprising that mobile salespeople aren’t getting this data into any system — right now no app is focused on helping them sell. As a result, salespeople are wasting tons of time digging data out of email, spreadsheets, and multiple apps.

Until there’s an app that helps salespeople manage their actual day-to-day activities, there won’t be much data in enterprise systems about how those activites help push deals forward.

And so we give you Selligy Enterprise.

Firing on all engines …

Introducing Selligy Enterprise:
Starting a pilot at a company near you

Selligy is a mobile service that helps salespeople manage their flow of customer meetings, connecting them to critical data and to their enterprise systems.

Selligy Enterprise, released today, uses a salesperson’s mobile context – where they are, who they are meeting, what is available to the on-phone calendar and contacts – to intuit the precise data they need from Salesforce, social media profiles, and other systems.

By intelligently matching context to data, Selligy Enterprise reduces time spent navigating applications for key information, and makes it seamless to provide updates to critical systems. For example, Selligy Enterprise automatically detects when a meeting concludes and sends a notification reminding the salesperson to record the meeting results. When the notification is tapped, Selligy Enterprise presents a customized mobile meeting report, cutting out the manual steps of updating many different records to enable easy and near real-time capturing of deal status.

Selligy Enterprise also allows our customers to easily create custom meeting reports, asking key questions after each meeting — giving the salesperson better notes than they usually take today, and taking less time doing it.

And the impact on sales teams is profound, allowing sales leaders to build dashboards that better gauge deal qualification, competitive tactics, forecast accuracy, and even use the questions to reinforce the selling from the best reps across the team.

With Selligy, salespeople can use their iPhones to:

  • Update opportunities and forecasts
  • Answer customizable deal questions
  • Add meeting attendees to Salesforce
  • Set follow-up activities
  • See Salesforce and social media contact data
  • Dial conference calls with a single tap
  • See when to leave for their next meeting

Selligy’s launch involved fewer ties.

We couldn’t be more excited about all of this progress. But the most exciting progress is seeing Selligy Enterprise in customer hands, making salespeople and teams happier. It’s going to be a great rocket ride. Join us!


Nilay Patel, Co-founder and CEO

Drop us a line for a demo and to discuss a pilot project for your team! Or come visit us at Dreamforce 2013 next week.

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Aug 26

The 3 Biggest CRM Stories of the Last Week

Nilay Patel

And now, from the CRM news desk …

SugarCRM’s $40 million:
A new leader on the horizon?

Goldman Sachs invested $40 million in SugarCRM, a company on the edge of breaking out of Gartner’s ‘Visonary’ quadrant in SFA. The financing should enable the team to lift their ‘ability to execute’ the short distance required to get SugarCRM into the ‘Leader’ box. Meanwhile, Salesforce’s focus remains on building out its cloud platform and marketing suite (see our predictions about this, which, ahem, we can’t help pointing out, came true). SugarCRM leaping up to the next level would introduce new competition in the core CRM market, something that could significantly re-shape the category. (Coverage from The Register, VentureBeat, ZDNet.)

Evolution CRM Conference 2013:
Mobile, Social, Customer Experience

The Evolution CRM conference brought a ton of attention to Social, Customer Experience Management, and Mobile CRM. There’s a great collection of CRM wisdom quotes from Maria Minsker here. And a social CRM wrap-up here.

Bye bye, Ballmer, bye bye.

Few stories have as broad a potential impact. Ballmer’s successor will have a huge foundation, from consumer to enterprise, platform to apps, internet to entertainment. But, ever since the death of the Longhorn Windows release, the question has been, what is the next thing to build on that foundation?

Most interesting is the possibility that Satya Nadella, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group, could be a successor. He was previously president of the Server and Tools group, and is now head of the group for both the CloudOS and the Dynamics product line. Nadella at the top would bring a technologist with direct experience in enterprise applications — not just platforms — to the CEO post. Many of Microsoft’s enterprise offerings seem to have much unrealized potential — will Ballmer’s successor find a way to unleash them?


Chris van Löben Sels

We’re not gunning for Ballmer’s job, we’re just trying to unleash the power of mobile CRM to make sales teams more productive — and CRM more valuable — by making it possible to update Salesforce with just a few finger swipes. If you’re a visionary sales leader, drop us a line for a demo and to discuss a pilot!

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Aug 21

The CRM Graveyard: Mobile CRM, Sales Operations, and Saving Dead Custom Fields

Nilay Patel

Hey, is that guy taking our data?

There is no CRM worth its salt that doesn’t promise great customizability. Every business is different. Every year brings new challenges. Who wouldn’t want to adapt their CRM to gather the information that will power those critical insights you need?

Which competitors are the big problem? Which deals have the most strategic product? Did the deal result from our new positioning? Who is the most influential contact in the account? Who wouldn’t want to know these answers?

Well, sadly, CRM experience teaches that this hope isn’t always fulfilled. “The guys in HQ” add a bunch of great custom fields, and wait for the data to roll in, and the insights to flow.

And wait … and wait … and wait.

Ultimately, the fields never get filled in. They slide into the CRM graveyard of dead, empty fields. And when data doesn’t flow, you get a different insight: It’s hard to use CRM to get the data you want.

Why is it hard to get great data?

Because it’s hard to input the data.

It’s amazing to see how buried “that really strategic field” is in most CRM implementations. The Opportunity record often has over 150 fields – sometimes twice that – a number that hasn’t changed much in the last ten years.

Worse yet, it’s even harder to enter the data that salespeople actually need to sell well; tasks like: tracking which of contacts attended the last meeting, keeping notes of who is an ally or an obstacle in an account, or recording the best customer qualifying questions.

Salespeople commonly find it’s ten times faster to use Excel than CRM for this kind of actual selling information.

Common reaction from
the sales field when HQ
tells them to fill out more
CRM fields.

And on top of that, the salesperson must – to keep his or her job – keep their forecast up-to-date. So all of the time a salesperson has for mucking about with CRM is already taken up by this mandatory task. Hence, the salesperson leaves the custom fields empty – because they’re always less important than the forecast (no matter how much ‘the guy in HQ’ insists otherwise).

Back from the dead.

So is it time to give custom fields up for dead? Hardly.

We’ve found that mobile CRM can get the data flowing again. But it’s not as easy as it looks – there are many mobile CRM apps out there that have slid into the graveyard themselves.

Here are the principles that have made a difference for our customers so far – and we’re still learning …

If you want salespeople to help you, help them sell. Selligy focuses first on giving the salesperson useful data – and helping them record data they really care about – when they are out in the field, not back at a desk.

Incremental is not enough, it takes a fundamental change in usability. At Selligy, we aim for 5 to 10x improvement in the time it takes to interact with a system; it’s a high bar, but until you hit it, you won’t see a significant change in user habits.

Context is king. The Selligy app focuses on the salesperson’s daily flow of tasks – preparing for meetings, going to meetings, following up and planning next steps.

But wait there’s more …

Great sales operations folks are one of the key factors to bringing CRM back from the dead.

Great sales leaders know the questions that CRM should be asking salespeople. They’re the questions that good sales managers are asking their teams. They’re the fields that will actually help salespeople prioritize their efforts. Picking these questions – and making them easy to answer using mobile CRM – is key.

And that will help bring CRM – and new sales insights – back to life!


Chris van Löben Sels

If you’re a visionary sales leader, drop us a line for a demo and to discuss a pilot!

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Topics: Mobile CRM, salesforce crm, salesoperations