Great Opportunity Plan

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11 Things a Great Opportunity Plan Must Include

Planning is critical to winning and an opportunity plan is the tool that allows a sales team to do exactly that.  Contrary to the beliefs of many though, opportunity plans don’t have to be time consuming or difficult to create or maintain, and have the added benefit of providing continuity during account transitions.  They provide the new account team a history of customer interactions, opportunity and customer insights and a plan to win.

  1. Strategy to Win

A clearly defined strategy to win ensures the entire team is moving in unison towards winning the deal. To that end, the entire team must be involved in the strategy creation.

In this example the strategy is heavily tied to the initial customer meeting and their requirements.

Our strategy is to use a frontal attack since we have a superior solution based on the initial customer meeting and their stated requirements.  We will leverage the following:

We are an ideal fit based on the following customer requirements:

  • 100% integration with Salesforce
  • Ability to map to their current sales methodology
  • Mobile access from any device via native Salesforce products
  • Mobile access from iPad using Meeting Mapper mobile
  • Meeting Planning and Execution
  • Opportunity Planning – Playbook
  • Account Planning – Playbook
  • Robust Business Intelligence
  • No extensive or expensive training
  • Limited or no professional services required 
  1. Tactics to Support the Strategy

Once you have your strategy to win, you must have tactics to support the strategy. Tactics can change over the life cycle of the opportunity as new information is gathered, requirements change and the competitive landscape is identified or changes.

Example:

  • Leverage current ‘What’s Hot’ from customer meetings
  • Review Sales Empowerment Dashboards
  • Leverage relationships within accounts
  • Exploit/Highlight
    • Crawl, Walk, Run deployment method 
    • Meeting templates
    • Opportunity Mapper templates
    • One click dynamic Opportunity Playbook
    • Account Mapper templates
    • One click dynamic Account Playbook
    • One click Business Intelligence Report/Brief (BIRB)
    • No professional services required
    • No extensive expensive training required
    • Actionable Intelligence
    • Data points gathered by Meeting Mapper (KPIs)
  • Ease of installation and configuration (up and running the same day)
  • 5 Star rating on Salesforce Appexchange
  • Leverage Reference customers
  1. Value Proposition

What value do your products, solutions and/or services bring to the customer? What sets you apart from all the competitors? Can you and your team clearly articulate this value?

Example:

Strategy Mapper is the most cost effective, powerful, configurable, comprehensive and easy to use Strategic Selling solution for Salesforce! Strategy Mapper provides sales leadership unparalleled visibility and access on the progress of Accounts and Opportunities, to ensure revenue goals are met and exceeded.

Strategy Mapper is redefining how sales organizations sell by using robust and accurate information to efficiently drive revenue. Customer meetings are at the heart of the sale cycle but are the least documented in an organization’s CRM. Strategy Mapper gathers customer intelligence and turns this information and data into the building blocks or “DNA” of Account Strategy and Opportunity Planning and does it in real-time as each sales cycle progresses.

  1. Defined Customer Buying Process

Normally the customer buying process is defined at the account level in the Account Plan. Every opportunity has to include it. This will ensure your selling process is aligned with the customer’s buying process.

Example:

  1. Identify the Problem
  2. Review Options
  3. Bring in Top 3 Vendors
  4. Pilot/Trail Selected Vendor(s)
  5. Sign Contracts
  1. Customer Requirements

Knowing the customer requirements and having them in the opportunity plan is critical for winning.  This ensures the entire team understands them and how your products, solutions or services meet them resulting in a “solution score”.  An important point to make is, if your solution score is low the opportunity might be unwinnable.

  1. Stages of the opportunity

Quickly knowing what stage the opportunity is in and what meetings have been conducted in each stage ensures your opportunity is moving to closure.  As a sales leader you can easily see if the opportunity is stuck in a certain stage.  For example, there have been 3 meetings in the stage, “Identify the Decision Makers”.  To me this could indicate two possibilities:

  1. The rep is engaged with the account but not at the right level to identify the decision makers and may need assistance.
  2. The customer is resistant to identifying and having us meet with the decision makers meaning this may not be a real opportunity. So we’ll need to facilitate this identification and meeting or walk away from the deal.
  1. Competitors

Identifying competitors and knowing their strengths and weaknesses may be a key to winning. If you don’t know who you are fighting, you can’t effectively position your solution to the customer and develop the appropriate tactics on this opportunity.

  1. Meetings

As part of the opportunity plan, customer meetings with the appropriate subject matter must be scheduled, executed and documented.  As the meetings progress the customer intelligence that is gathered will be leverage to dynamically adjust the plan.

  1. Customer Team

Identifying and documenting the players in the opportunity may seem like a no-brainer, but in many cases this doesn’t get done effectively.  By documenting this aspect of the plan the entire team can see the players and their stance relative to the deal.  This can flag potential issues.  Take for example an opportunity where there are two decision makers, the CIO and an IT director.  The CIO’s stance is against the deal, while the IT director is for it.  This obviously raises a flag that must be dealt with. In this case you may alter your tactics to have an executive sponsor directly contact the CIO help drive the deal to closure.  This also provides visibility to the entire team and may lead to leveraging relationships that would otherwise be unknown.

  1. Account Team

The make-up of the account team can be very important to some opportunities so identifying and collaboration between the right account players is also very important to document in the opportunity plan.

  1. Playbook

Though a playbook is not technically part of the opportunity plan, it does play a vital role in the execution of the plan.  This is the summary of the plan, along with the current opportunity landscape and provides guidance for the plan’s execution.  Ideally it is easy to update so it stays relevant as the opportunity progresses.  Too many times a plan is created and documented, but never updated as the landscape changes resulting in a document that is of little value to the current opportunity and cannot be leveraged in future opportunities.

Example of an Opportunity Playbook

Though all of this can be done outside your CRM, it’s so much easier and beneficial if it’s integrated.  What I mean is the plan should reside in and leverage your CRM.   This type of integration allows you to quickly and easily build and maintain your plans with all of the data your CRM contain

 

Your New Sales Professional 9 things they must have under their belts before meeting Customers

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A speedy ramp-up of a new sales professional is critical to their ability to hit the ground running and quickly generate revenue. Having been a new sales professional as an individual contributor and sales leader, I’ve learned over the past 20 years there are 9 Things Every New Sales Professional must know and do before meeting customers.

1. Know the hot industries for your products or solutions – Knowing the hot industries in your space will allow them to plan their efforts and efficiently spend their time driving revenue.

2. Know the customer pain points and challenges based on each industry – Once hot industries have been identified, knowing the pain points and challenges of each industry will allow the sales professional to effectively plan their strategy, tactics and pitches for each customer.

3. Know the customers objections to your product or solutions – After knowing the standard customer objections will allow the sales professional to refine their sales pitch by clearly identifying mitigating responses to each of these objections.

4. Know the customers’ Obstacles – First of all it’s important to know the intentions of obstacles. They are meant to slow you down, stop you, funnel you in a certain direction or even ambush you. Knowing and understanding the obstacles allows your new hires to create a plan to mitigate them when presented.

5. Know Competitor’s Strengths and Weaknesses – These should be known and, analyzed with ready responses for each. This information is key to winning deals.

6. Your own Strengths and Weaknesses – Matching your strengths and weakness against your competitors allow the new hire to modify their tactics and discussion with the customer. They’ll know what to talk about and what to stay away from.

7. Know what is and what is not Resonating with customers – When this information is known, new hires know what aspects of your solution(s) to highlight with your customers and which they needn’t.

8. Opportunity Reports\Meeting Recap – This information allows new hires to see an opportunity (won and lost) from creation to completion. It’s more than opportunity notes, it’s the Business Intelligence gathered in all of the customer meetings for each opportunity. Understanding the actions and decisions coming out of these meetings will quickly allow them to anticipate various scenarios and adjust their tactics to win deals.

9. Review current and closed Opportunity Plans – Reviewing Opportunity Plans allows the new hire to see the winning strategies, tactics and value props your most successful teams are employing to win deals.

Here at Point N Time Software we’ve created a New Hire Sales Kit. It’s comprised of:

• Salesforce reports and dashboards of business intelligence gathered in customer meetings.
• Strategy Mapper – Salesforce integrated dynamic opportunity plans.

Since we collect this information natively in Salesforce via Meeting Mapper and Strategy Mapper, it’s quick and easy to present this information to our new hires. This allows them to see up-to-date Customer Intelligence across the entire organization and ultimately allows us to ramp a new sales professional in weeks, not the typical ramp time of 6 months. We all know the faster you can ramp a new hire, the faster they’ll make plan.

Meeting Mapper and Sales Methodology

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Meeting Mapper and Sales Methodology

 

Meeting Mapper was designed and built to be one of the primary tools in your arsenal in effectively implementing your sales Methodology. So much of the data and information that is needed to effectively implement and execute a sale methodology comes from customer interactions. Meeting Mapper gives you the ability to easily capture, organize, track and report on this strategic information. The list below gives the high-level benefits of Meeting Mapper in each of these key Sales Methodology areas

  • Opportunity Management: All sales reps take notes in their customer meetings, and these notes contain the strategic information needed to qualify and win opportunities. Meeting Mapper allows your sales teams to easily and consistently capture this information.   The strategic information is automatically stored as structure data so it can be used as the basis of meaningful reports. Information like:
    • Customer Roles (do we have the decision makers attending the meetings?)
    • Customer Stances (are the right roles in favor of what we’re selling?)
    • Competition (who are we up against in this opportunity and how do we compare?)
  • Sales Process: There are key data points that need to be captured to move through the sales process and Meeting Mapper captures this data. Data like determining the buying signs. Meeting Mapper not only allows you to easily capture this data, but also allows you to consistently implement your selling process through “Meeting Templates” that can guide your sales teams through the processing while allowing Sales leadership to assess the opportunity and process.
  • Account Management: Meeting Mapper is also a key tool in your Account Management efforts. Using Meeting Mapper, you can map out key areas of your Account.   You’ll be able to track each of the opportunities in your accounts so you can identify white space, overall customer goals, political maps and much more so you can effectively implement your Account Management process.
  • Sales Performance: Meeting Mapper captures the data you need to be able to manage your sales team’s performance. You’ll have out-of-the-box reporting on key information like:
    • Meetings per Rep
    • Meetings per Account
    • Meetings per Opportunity
    • Customer roles in each Meeting
    • Customer stance in each Meeting
    • Meetings per Opportunity Stage
    • And so much more

This is a very high-level view of how Meeting Mapper can help you ensure your Sales Methodology is consistently implemented across your sales teams and allow you to evaluate the effectiveness of your methodology.

AA-ISP Leadership Summit 2015

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Please join Point N Time software at AA-ISP Leadership Summit 2015, in beautiful Chicago.

The 7th Annual AA-ISP Inside Sales Leadership Summit will be held on April 21st and 22nd at the beautiful Hyatt Regency O’Hare, just minutes from O’Hare International Airport. The 2015 Summit will feature all new presentations from over 40 of the today’s most recognized Inside Sales Experts. Learn the latest tips, technologies, and proven best practices for solving today’s toughest challenges and issues.

Sign up today: AA-ISP Leadership Summit 2015

Point N Time Software has been shortlisted based on merit to be part of 20 Most Promising SalesForce Solutions 2014

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October 21, 2014–Point N Time Software, a Allen, TX -based Salesforce partner, has been shortlisted for the CIO Review Top 20 Most Promising Salesforce Solutions 2014.

“We are extremely excited to be included in this select group of companies,” says Travis Davis, Point N Time Software, Co-Founder and CEO. “As Point N Time Software has grown over the past 36 months.  With over 42k users world wide of our mobile and cloud based solutions, it’s been an honor to work with our customers who are using Meeting Mapper daily to drive increased revenue and ensure customer success.”

As part of the decision process, a CIO Review panel will analyze the shortlisted companies’ offerings, client testimonials, milestones, and other recognitions. The final Top 20 will be announced in CIO Review’s December special edition.

About Point N Time Software

Point N Time Software is a global provider and leader of mobile and cloud solutions that improve planning, execution and follow-up of critical business meetings. The industry leading Meeting Mapper application brings easy and affordable meeting management tools to business professionals. Powerful and easy to use, the solutions provide easy customization to utilize your sales and project methodology at an incredibly inexpensive price point.

 
Our Mission is simple and unobstructed
Gather, organize and share ‘Actionable Intelligence’ from your sales, project and internal meetings and interactions, making it accessible to your entire organization to drive business goals and objectives. Founded in 2012, Point N Time Software, has been committed to delivering superior products and solutions used to ensure you have effective meetings in order to drive sales and projects to successful competition.

Relief for the 7 Pain Points of Salesforce

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Is your adoption and usage of Salesforce what was expected? Are your sales teams putting important selling meeting information into Salesforce? Are your sales meetings driving opportunities to successful closure and driving sales? Are you able to see what went wrong or what went right in the sales meetings, in Salesforce? The biggest question is:

Are you getting the most from your Salesforce implementation?

At Point N Time Software, we talk to a lot of Salesforce users at all levels within an organization, admin to c-level. What we have found is there are seven main pain points with Salesforce.

Register today for our webinar.

Free Webinar – Point N Time Software and utribo team up ‘Capturing Customer Conversations in Salesforce’

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Are your sales calls translating into actual sales? Are you able to see what went wrong or what went right on a sales call? Are you getting the most from your sales call process? At utribo, we believe that the sales call is the heart of the sales process, and our friends at PointNTime agree. That’s why we’ve teamed up to share essential tools and best practices to help you get the most out of your next sales call.

Please join utribo and PointNTime for a timely webinar to learn how technology can be used to optimize the sales call, boost efficiency, and most importantly, increase your revenue right in Salesforce.

During this session we will discuss how to increase revenue by:

  • collecting actionable sales intelligence about the conversations you have in customer meetings.
  • using that intelligence to become more productive in future meetings.
  • creating a culture of constant improvement with each customer conversation.

Join Us Register Now

 

Sales Enablement and Effective and Efficient Meetings

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About Fergal Glynn

FergalFergal Glynn leads Docurated’s Marketing team. Docurated is a Productivity Solution that enables Sales Organizations in companies such as DigitasLBi and Havas surface and leverage the best Marketing content for higher quality pitches and faster Go To Market. Prior to Docurated, Veracode was an early employee at Veracode. At Veracode Fergal was responsible for lead generation activities including content marketing, blogging, search engine optimization, social media, and sales operations. Earlier in his career Fergal was a technical founder of BlueNote Networks and a developer at Fidelity Investments and Oracle.

One of the biggest issues that sales and marketing face today is the inability to efficiently surface and re-use the most effective content to close more business. Only 20-30% of sales time is spent in front of customers while 70-80% is spent on discovery, looking for information, and other administrative tasks. If companies can reduce this time spent away from customers the potential rewards can be quite significant.

Sales Enablement

By focusing on sales enablement, companies can create meaningful efficiencies across their sales organization meaning more time can be spent in front of customers. Sales enablement is a relatively new business function that is primarily concerned with equipping sales teams with the most relevant content whenever and wherever they need it.

Improved sales enablement can reduce time spent away from the customer by reducing time spent searching for documents and other administrative tasks. By arming sales reps with winning content when they most need it, improved sales enablement can also lead to better meetings which in turn lead to increased efficiency and effectiveness as well as lower cost of sales and higher revenue per rep.

Docurated

 

 

 

Improve Sales Enablement across the Company

The instigation of successful sales enablement at a company can not be achieved purely through software adoption. Sales enablement is a function of business that is comprised of activities, systems, processes, and information. These elements must be aligned cohesively into an overarching process that maximizes the organization’s selling potential.

Companies must follow a number of steps to sales enablement success:

  • Evaluate current sales enablement processes
  • Make sales enablement a priority
  • Carefully introduce sales enablement software
  • Align the entire company behind the sales organization
  • Establish a set of shared sales enablement metrics

Effective sales enablement will not merely see an increase in revenue but can act as the framework on which future revenue growth can be built.

 Sales Enablement for Better Meetings

 With an effective structure provided by improved sales enablement, companies can make the most out of their meetings with customers. The best sales enablement software ensures sales reps are always equipped with the best content. At present, many sales reps have difficulty locating the best sales collateral.

Companies are storing content in shared drives, cloud storage services, CRM systems, and even email inboxes. Retrieving content has become a nightmare. Sales reps are spending up to 6.5 hours searching for content each week. Worse still, many reps are settling for the sales content that is most easily accessed instead of the most suitable to present at a customer meeting. Effective sales enablement software eliminates this inefficiency creating more time for meetings as well as improved sales rep performance.

 Sales Rep Mobility

Sales reps are becoming increasingly mobilized and now require 24/7 access to the most relevant company content. Each customer meeting will be different. What worked at the last meeting may not work next time around. As a result, sales reps have to be more flexible than ever before. Reps might even have to mesh up different pieces of sales content to create a specifically tailored piece of content on the move to their next meeting.

Customers needs have evolved significantly over the past number of years. To get the most out of customer meetings sales reps need to be better prepared than ever. Companies with effective sales enablement functions are best prepared to meet the challenges posed by customer meetings.