Point N Time is proud be to in this great article, Smart Selling Tools SalesTech Landscape. There are alot of solutions to choose from but Strategy Mapper is the only solution that combines Account Planning, Opportunity Planning and Meeting Planning and Execution in a 100% native Salesforce application.
It’s not often a product makes a Forbes Top Ten list. It’s almost impossible for a company to have two products in the list. Well we did the impossible, we made the list and our products Meeting Mapper and Strategy Mapper have the 1st and 2nd position. Besides our apps there are some great ones on this list.
Strategy Mapper makes the Top 50 Sales Management Tools on the AppExchange!
When it comes to sales software and CRM platforms, Salesforce is the undisputed leader. That’s why organizations and sales managers look to the Salesforce AppExchange when they need tools to help their sales teams increase their productivity and performance. The only problem is the AppExchange is growing larger every day, and executives and sales managers don’t have the time to sift through and find the cream of the crop.
That’s why we created this list of 50 top sales management tools available on the Salesforce AppExchange. With an eye toward closing more deals, reducing inefficiency, and increasing sales effectiveness, we have organized the apps in key categories that make managing sales a more streamlined process. While we have listed our picks for the top 50 sales management tools on the AppExchange here in no particular order, we have included a table of contents to help you easily access the tools best suited to your team’s needs.
Join Point N Time Software at the world’s largest gathering of Inside Sales professionals at the 9th Annual AA-ISP Leadership Summit in downtown Chicago (18th – 20th of April). Hosted at The Sheraton Grand, we’ll be just steps away from the famous Magnificent Mile and the Chicago River. Please stop by our booth and say hi. We are a Bronze sponsor, use our code when you register and receive a $200.00 off the registration (JoinPointNTime200).
When registering please sign up for a one-on-one meeting with the Point N Time team.
Creating Sales Opportunity Plans don’t have to be time consuming or difficult. However, they are critical for winning. Here are the 10 things every plan needs and the questions to ask yourself and your team members. As a best practice, I like to have my plans reviewed by someone not connected with the opportunity. This allows for a very subjective review and great feedback. I didn’t rank them, however Customer Requirements is listed 1 for a reason. In the event, you don’t meet their requirements, focus on an opportunity where you meet and exceed customer requirements.
1. Customer Requirements
Why is the customer even talking to you?
How do your products or solutions match up against the customer requirements?
Do you even know the requirements?
Is this a winnable opportunity?
2. Partner Involvement
Who are the partners and what is the value they bring to the opportunity?
It is professional services, relationships within the opportunity or channel pricing?
3. Your Strategy Win
What is the overall team strategy to win the opportunity?
Does your strategy ensure the customer will be successful?
After all, if they are not successful, you will never win the opportunity.
Do the tactics support your strategy to win?
Does every team member know, agree and understand the tactics?
5. Value Proposition
What is your value proposition to the customer?
Can every member of your team clearly articulate it?
What sets you apart from your competition?
6. Sales Coaching
Are you leveraging the knowledge of your ‘A-Players’ in every opportunity?
Are you providing ‘Best Practices’ in the opportunity?
Are you providing critical guidance without being present?
7. Customer Selection Process
What is the process the customer will go through to make a decision?
Who at the customer is responsible for each process?
Is your selling stage matching up with the customer selection process, are you in sync?
8. Red Flags
What can go wrong in this opportunity?
Have you mapped out all possible potential issues to winning the opportunity?
Do you have a mitigation plan for each Red Flag?
9. Opportunity Milestones
What are the milestones that must be accomplished and by what date to keep the opportunity on track?
Who on your team is responsible for a particular milestone?
Are there milestones that are more important than others (a Gate)?
What if a gate is not completed, do you continue?
10. Key Players
Who is your Champion?
Who is/are the Buyer(s) and what is each ones Stance?
Who are Decision Makers and what is each ones Stance?
Who are Evaluator(s) and what is each ones Stance?
Do you have any relationships in the customer?
Has anyone on the customer team ever used our products or solutions?
I hope these 10 things and the questions assist you in building and maintaining your sales opportunity plan. Good selling!
Once people find out I was in the Army, I always get the same question what did I do in the Army and how did it prepare me for business. My response is, I was a Scout. So what exactly is a Scout? I explain, that Scouts are the eyes and ears of a unit; the information Scouts gather is sent up the chain of command so commanders can make tactical and strategic decisions. For many years I was stationed in Amberg and Schweinfurt, Germany and our mission was to patrol the East/West German border. The observations and information we gathered allowed commanders to understand what was happening in almost real-time and create or modify plans. Best job ever!
So as you can see, being a Scout really does not have any civilian related jobs. However, it did prepare me for business/corporate life.
At the ripe old age of 17, as I arrived at Boot Camp in Fort Knox, KY I learned some valuable lessons that have rang true throughout my entire life. I learned a few things quickly and these traits are how I still conduct myself and why I have been successful in my life and business career.
1. Respect Everyone
Treat everyone how you wanted to be treated. The private you’re giving orders to now, may be your Platoon Leader in a few short years. When you treat people regardless of where they come from and their background, good things will happen. Saying ‘Yes Sir’, ‘Yes Mam’, ‘No Sir’ and ‘No Mam’, these simple phrases will get you further than anything.
2. Be on Time
Trust me, being a Scout and being too early or too late to a designated location can get you and your team in a very bad situation, very quickly. As trivial as this sounds, being on time not only demonstrates you’re ready, but you are respecting the people you are meeting with. Being late shows either you’re not dependable, you don’t know how to manage your time, or your planning process might be flawed. My rule is be at least 10 minutes early, so I can ensure I set everything up and ready to go.
3. Pay Attention and Listen
Spend more time listening and less time talking. When you’re talking, you miss the conversations around you. I want to understand their challenges, pain points and what they need in order to be successful. After all, when they are successful, you will be successful.
4. Be Observant
Know your surroundings and pay attention to things that either look out of place or different, since the last time you were there. If something doesn’t feel right, 9 times out of 10 it’s not right and you may need to regroup and reevaluate your plans.
5. Make Decisions and be able to Delegate
Being able to make decisions is key in the Army and in business. Ask anyone that knows me, I will make a decision, I don’t over analyze, but I do understand the consequences of my decisions. If I make a bad decision, I admit to it and try to fix it. Delegating is also very important. You can’t be everywhere at once, you have to rely on your team to make decisions in your absence. If they make a bad or wrong decision, you don’t have to come down on them like a hammer. If you do, they will never make another decision or just quit. Use it as a teaching point, which is what leaders do. Don’t make the same mistake twice.
6. Plan for Everything Possible
I like to plan for every possible outcome and have for each a contingency plan in place. I don’t like surprises. I look at every opportunity as a rehearsal for the next opportunity and learn from each and every one. For example, if I have a meeting with a customer, I have met with before; I always review any notes or other information we have gathered in the previous meetings.
I hope after reading these 6 Traits, you can see how they can assist you in your day-to-day business and your professional career.
So in closing, it all comes down to treating people with respect, don’t be late, stop talking and pay attention, make a decision, be observant and plan for all possible outcomes.
Point N Time Software Launches PardotLinks
Turn Customer Meetings into Actionable Intelligence to Fuel Sales
Allen, TX: Today Point N Time Software, a leader in account and opportunity planning, and meeting management in the Salesforce.com ecosystem, announced the release of PardotLinks for Pardot. PardotLinks provides Strategy Mapper and Pardot customers the ability to use Actionable Intelligence gathered from customer meetings across their entire organization to build and maintain marketing automation rules and campaigns created in Pardot. The ability to nurture leads and contacts based on customer initiatives, pain points or product strengths combined with the power and ease of use of Pardot will fill sales funnels with more and better qualified leads. This unique approach to capitalize on customer meetings information is an industry first.
More specifically, PardotLinks takes the Actionable Intelligence only once available to the individual sales rep that gathered it, aggregates it and makes it available across the entire organization in the form of highly targeted leads for marketing campaigns and targeted sales efforts.
On the release of PardotLinks, Point N Time Software President and CEO said, “We are taking customer meetings to the next level by utilizing the Actionable Intelligence gathered in them to drive marketing automation. Gone are the days where sales rely solely on marketing to build and drive their pipeline. We have put it in the hands of the Account Executives and sales teams to build and maintain by simply having customer meetings, because we all know winning starts in the first conversation.”
The solution looks to assist organizations in three key areas. First, provide the ability to leverage information from customer meetings to fuel sales pipelines. Second, to bridge the gap between sales and marketing in lead nurturing and generation. Finally, it provides organizations greater returns on their Salesforce and Pardot investments.
About Point N Time Software, Inc.
Founded in 2011, Point N Time Software’s Strategy MapperTM is a native Salesforce.com application that is the natural convergence of account, opportunity and meeting planning. Its intuitive interface allows your organization to easily and consistently build, maintain and communicate Account and Opportunity Plans, manage customer meetings, and capture customer intelligence all while reducing the administrative overhead of maintaining accounts and opportunities in Salesforce.com. For more information see www.pointntime.com
Pardot, B2B marketing automation by Salesforce, offers a marketing automation solution that allows marketing and sales departments to create, deploy, and manage online marketing campaigns from one central platform. Together, Pardot and Salesforce empower every rep to act in the moment of engagement, and every marketer to drive greater results from campaigns. For more information see http://www.pardot.com/
Ever since starting Point N Time Software, we’ve been selling mainly to sales executives and to the C-Level. These are the buyers of Strategy Mapper and in time become our Champions. So over the course of several years we have learned 6 lessons when selling to them.
1. They want to tell you about their business. Listen carefully.
Normally the conversations start with let me tell you about my company and what we do. Sales Executives and C-Level management love to talk about their company and their products because they want you to determine if your solution will benefit them, but I also think in the back of their minds they’re also selling their solution to you. It’s in their DNA. This introduction lays the ground work for how you can position and sell your solution.
2. They can clearly articulate their pain points. Listen carefully.
These folks lead extremely busy lives, so if you’ve gotten to the point where they’re giving you 30 minutes or more for your pitch, they’re typically going to be very clear about what they’re trying to solve. This provides more information and direction for your sales effort.
3. They want to know about your business and how you operate.
They are interested in your business and how you operate and want to know:
a. Who are your targeted customers?
b. Do you have customers similar to us?
c. What successes have your customers realized with your product?
d. How did you come up with Strategy Mapper?
During the course of this conversation, you’ll want to tailor your answers based on the careful listening you did earlier.
4. They want a demonstration on how your product or solution will address their pain points. They don’t want a presentation.
When we initially started Point N Time Software, we would always start with a presentation, but we learned very quickly a demo was much more effective. The first screen they see in a web conference is Salesforce.com. The main reasons we’ve found this effective are:
a. It provides a familiar starting point for the conversation.
b. They quickly see our solution.
c. It brings the meeting attendees into the conversation very quickly.
d. It helps to all the meeting attendees to drive the conversation and demo.
5. Pricing is always discussed in the initial meeting.
Price may not be an issue, but you’ll have no idea unless it’s discussed. If it is a potential issue, you can start working on it quickly or choose to move on. Either way, it needs to be discussed as early as possible in the opportunity.
6. They will let you know very quickly their timeline and if they intend to move forward.
I always hear, “We’re both in sales so I want to be up front on next steps”. Honestly, this is so refreshing and typically streamlines the opportunity.
Some may be uncomfortable selling to these roles, but I find it refreshing to sell to Sales Executives and C-Level management. They know what they need to accomplish and if you can show the value of your solution and how it will solve their problems, there will always be a next step. I hope the 6 lessons I have learned will help you close more business and give you a framework to prepare for your next meeting.
Strategic Account Meetings (SAM), are not the same as sales meetings. They are not geared toward closing short term business, but rather to identify future revenue and ensure customer success.
Key benefits of the SAM:
- Building pipeline and identifying cross-sell and up-sell opportunities
- Ensuring customer success and building customer loyalty
- Ensuring a complete understanding of the customer’s long term goals and objectives
- Giving executive management insightful visibility into the account
- Verifying your short and long term strategies are in-line with the customer’s strategy and overall business plan
Here are some items I require my sales teams to verify, discuss, identify and document in every SAM. All of this must be stored and available in Salesforce.com and are part of every “Account Playbook”.
6 Month Plan and 12 Month Plan
Is your 6 and 12 Month Plan in-line with the customer’s business goals and objectives? Are meetings scheduled to complete any events/tasks in the plans? Is your customer champion signing off on your plans? Do they share your vision?
6 Month Plan
- Determine if your solution meets or has met their current and long term goals and objectives.
- Review the current state of your solution.
- Verify they are a reference customer and who’s the point of contact.
- Review 6 and12 month roadmaps and get their feedback.
- Identify any new players.
- Verify the customer’s buying process.
- Review customer initiatives.
- Review any existing support tickets.
12 Month Plan
- Review any possible renewals.
- Review the current state of your solution.
- Review 12 and 18 month roadmaps and get their feedback.
- Identify any new players.
- Verify the customer’s buying process.
- Review customer initiatives (12 - 24 months).
- Review customer’s earnings statements.
- Schedule executive briefing
Can you articulate your value proposition of your solution(s) relative to your customer? Do they agree with you and see the long term value?
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.
Verify and Identify
What is the customer’s buying process? Once identified, their process can be used in every opportunity within this account. This helps to ensure your selling process is aligned with their buying process. Even in opportunities where the account owner is not the opportunity owner, the documented buying process will be known and will ensure the buyers and sellers are aligned.
- Identify the Problem
- Review Options
- Bring in top 3-4 vendors
- Pilot/Trial product(s)/solution(s)
- Select product(s)/solutions(s)
- Contracting - Legal
- Deploy product(s)/solution(s)
Identifying their initiatives and time-frames is the easiest and fastest way to grow and build your pipeline (cross-sell and up-sell). This also allows you to discuss any new products, identify new features and create an environment for future discussions. You can also create opportunities from initiatives as placeholders and/or milestones.
Deploy End-Point Security solution – Current FY – Q3 – Opportunity Created
Deploy Sales Empowerment solution – Current FY – Q4 – Opportunity Created
Account Milestones (Cadence)
What are key milestones that must be completed and who is responsible for each one to ensure success? Milestones can also be used to schedule marketing or business development activities and assign them to the proper resource.
Schedule Executive Briefing – Sept 2016 – Bill Shorter
Schedule 12 Roadmap Briefing – Oct 2016 – Jane Clayton
Create a new opportunity – Nov 2016 – Tarzan Clayton
What are the challenges that can be encountered in closing business in this account? As with their buying process, this information can be leveraged in every opportunity linked to the account.
Their legal process normally takes 30 – 45 days
Difficult to meet with Decision Makers
Verify, Identify and Discuss
Key Players in Account
During each SAM verify all key players have been identified and their current role and stance (opinion) regarding your solutions has been documented. Know who is with you and who is against you. Verify their roles and current organizational structure.
By gathering the above information, you will ensure your customers are successful and you are driving revenue. You’ll also be ensuring that account team transitions go smoothly because all critical account information is readily available to the new team! Think of this as Disaster Recovery for Sales (DRS). To see how we use Strategy Mapper to gather this and much more critical information and data, email us at email@example.com or schedule a demo today.
Over the course of many years and many meetings, I narrowed it down to 6 Must-Haves for a Great Sales Meeting. My team and I use these in every meeting, no matter how big or small the opportunity is. By gathering this information, other members of the team can leverage it to close business faster and generate greater revenue
1. Set and Agree on Goal and Objectives
Clearly define the overall Goal of the meeting
Complete Successful Trial
State the Objectives to support the Goal.
Determine trial users
Set begin date and complete date
Determine success criteria
Notify all meeting attendees of the Goal and Objectives
Agree on Goal and Objectives
2. Identify Role and Stance (opinion) of all meeting attendees
Invite the right people to the meeting to ensure your Goal and Objectives can be met
Why is this person a Champion
During the meeting determine Stance (Opinion) of everyone
For – Why
Against – Why
What role(s) do they play in meeting your Goal and Objectives
3. Document the meeting
What was discussed
Ask the tough questions
Is there budget
What happens if you don’t do anything
What Actions will happen after the meeting
What has been decided on
Identify trial users
Take traditional notes
4. Gather Actionable Intelligence (outside of traditional notes)
What are the Business Drivers
What are the Technical Requirements
Current Pain Points/Challenges
Up to date Organizational Chart and Political Map
5. Assign Tasks or Schedule Events
Ensure all tasks are assigned
Based on Actions
Based on Decisions
Schedule any events and assign to the right person
Send out email to individuals assigned tasks or events
Agree on what was discussed and agreed to
Send out a meeting report within 10 minutes of the meeting ending
6. Update Salesforce.com (CRM) with Customer Intelligence
If it’s not in Salesforce.com, it didn’t happen
Update Opportunity, Account and Contact
These 6 Must-Haves have allowed me and my team to grow Point N Time Software, to over 300% revenue growth, 45,000+ downloads and numerous customers using Salesforce all over the world.
Bottom line is don’t have a meeting to have one, ensure all meetings are productive and lead to either closing the deal or walking away. These 6 Must-Haves will ensure all meetings are productive.
I would be more than happy to share the type of information and data we gather in every meeting email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.