11 Jan 6 Ways That This Revolutionary CRM Solution Will Empower Your Sales Organization
As far as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and salesforce automation goes, I’m an old timer. I’ve been involved with CRM in one capacity or another since the mid 80s… so I’ve seen it all.
For those of you who are newer to this still growing software category, the history of CRM and technology for salespeople parallels the history of personal computing. In the early years there were DOS solutions, then Windows, followed by PC networked solutions, client-server and now the cloud, also known as Software as a Service (SaaS), along with their counterparts that run on mobile devices, from smartphones to touch-pads.
“Not only has salesforce automation technology evolved over the past several decades, the art of selling has changed radically as well.”
The growth and acceptance of the internet, mobile, social media, big data, predictive analytics together, has shifted the balance of power in the selling process to the buyer.
Although there has always been a continuous influx of new salesforce automation solutions riding on the wave of each new technology trend, after having the opportunity to try out a new solution, Salesbox CRM (Salesbox)…
“I believe that SalesBox CRM is one of the few vendors that is indeed offering something different, dare I say revolutionary.”
My analysis will discuss the following 6 areas that I believe will empower your sales organization and differentiates Salesbox from the many other salesforce automation solutions available today:
1. It Fully Exploits the Capabilities of Mobile Devices,
2. It Provides Proactive Guidance for Achieving Sales Goals,
3. Its Intelligent Insights & Analyses Keep Everyone on Target,
4. It Offers a Safe, Secure and Flexible Computing Environment,
5. It’ll Support a Worldwide Sales Organization, and
6. You’ll Get the Needed Implementation Assistance.
Mobile Optimized Design: First and foremost, back in 2014, Salesbox was initially designed and optimized specifically for use on Apple mobile phones and tablets. After releasing their mobile software they then reworked the design with a unique, elegant multi-panel display for use on a web browser. This is opposite to the approach taken by most of the vendors in the CRM marketplace. Most CRM solutions have been designed for use on a web browser and then re-designed (usually in a less than optimal way) for mobile.
Salesbox’s mobile-first development approach is important if you believe that the future of salesforce automation is mobile.
Over the years, it’s bothered me that so many mobile CRMs include only a subset of the functionality of the web version and don’t fully take advantage of the unique capabilities of the mobile devices that they run on. I’m happy to say that Salesbox is the exception.
Salesbox offers special editions for the iPhone and iPad (including support for the “Apple Pencil”), includes all of its CRM functionality in these mobile versions and in a move that is the opposite of most solutions, has come up with a web browser version that takes its design cues from the mobile version. Not only that, but the Salesbox designers understand that people may use their solution differently on different devices so they allow everyone to configure the menus and features separately/differently for each platform they run the software on.
In addition to the functionality found in most mobile CRM solutions for email, contact and calendar synchronization, Salesbox offers three more interesting features:
– The ability to track and log all your phone calls/dials automatically while also suggesting follow up activities when you hang up,
– With a single click you can get directions from where you are to your next destination with Apple and Google Map integration, and
– The ability to take photos with your mobile device, add notes to each, and then attach them to your Account, Contact or Opportunity records.
“As far as the design itself goes, I really like it. It takes a little getting used to, but everything seems to be just a click or swipe away.”
If like me, you believe that mobile technology is the way to go for outside salespeople, than you’ll appreciate the cool, modern, slick design of Salesbox CRM. It works beautifully on my Apple iPhone and works just as well on my 27” iMac.
Sales GPS: Throughout the history of automating sales professionals many CRM solution providers have considered automated sale processes the “Holy Grail” and answer to the Sales Director’s conundrum of: “How to make my entire salesforce as effective and efficient as my top performers.” But there’s a problem with the idea of automated sales processes; I’ve rarely met experienced salespeople who value this type of functionality. How many salespeople have you encountered that buy into the notion that if they just follow prescribed automated steps and to-dos that they will become more successful. Even more importantly, if you believe in a “social / web savvy” world where the customer is in charge of the buying process, than instead of sales processes what’s needed is a way to track and facilitate each prospect’s buying process; a process that can be different for every buyer.
Here’s the Salesbox difference: First of all, unlike virtually every other CRM solution, setting up processes is something that every salesperson can do (not just CRM Administrators), whenever they want (on any device). This means that salespeople can set up a unique process for a specific buyer, on the fly while talking with the prospect.
Process steps in Salesbox do not generate any to-dos or activities that clutter calendars or to-do lists. They are milestones along the customer buying journey like “define our problems,” “define approaches to solving our problems,” “research and uncover possible technology solutions,” “evaluate alternative technology solutions,” etc. In addition, each process step can have a detailed narrative to help provide additional guidance to others working on the sale.
For example, a buying process step of “define our problems” could offer the following guidance: “The prospect will be conducting an internal survey and will be interviewing several managers over the next 30 days. Look for opportunities to help the client interpret the results and build consensus around what their key problems are.”
“I love that Salesbox guides and nurtures rather than cluttering a sales person’s calendar with automated to-dos and activities to complete.”
Every Opportunity in Salesbox has an assigned process. Once assigned, Salesbox displays the next two process milestones that should be pursued on each deal. It leaves it to the salesperson to set up any to-dos and activities that they want to complete (for each prospect) for each process milestone.
This brings me to another important difference with Salesbox. Most CRM solutions calculate a deal’s forecast percentage (the likelihood of closing a particular deal) based on deal stages. For example, when the first selling stage is completed, then it is assumed that the deal has a 10% chance of closing, when the second stage is completed there is a 25% chance the deal will be closed, and so forth. This methodology implies a linear selling process where every step within a selling process stage is of equal importance; something that has been dispelled in today’s social, buyer controlled world. With Salesbox the forecast percentage is not increased linearly by selling stages; each process milestone has an assigned sales forecast/progress percentage, from 0 to 100%. As individual milestones are checked off as completed, (in any order), the deal’s forecast percentage is updated based on the progress percentage that’s been assigned to each particular milestone. To me, this approach makes more “real world” sense and will result in more accurate sales forecasts.
Now for the GPS part of the system. Salesbox stores a variety of individual and company-wide selling goals and targets, way more than most CRM solutions. It monitors these targets and your actions and makes intelligent recommendations based on your past performance. For example, it notified me how many more deals I needed in my pipeline in order to make my quota. It let me know when I was falling behind on hitting my sales process milestones for several deals.
“More impressively, Salesbox’s GPS is not static, it learns and automatically adapts its recommendations based on your (and the company’s overall) performance history and situation.”
Sales Insights: Most CRMs include an analytics dashboard and SalesBox is no exception. But what separates Salesbox from other solutions is again the breath and quality of its analytics. This is a direct result of SalesBox’s ability to compare actual results to preset goals. Even more impressively, SaleBox’s Account, Contact and Opportunity records are in themselves dashboards. Account and Contact data records show how you are doing versus your pre-set sales targets as well as account growth and engagement statistics while opportunity records visually show the progress made on each opportunity. Last, but not least, without leaving any data record, a salesperson can “slide open” a variety of sales, opportunity and workload performance graphs and statistics. So, between the main insight dashboard, the pre-defined reports and the information accessible from the data records, both individual salespeople and their managers are provided with more than ample feedback on their performance.
IBM SoftLayer Hosting: Because Salesbox is built on IBM’s SoftLayer cloud service, businesses have greater choice when it comes to choosing how to deploy the CRM solution. For small and mid-sized businesses, the standard SalesBox cloud solution offers a secure, reliable, low cost cloud infrastructure. Whereas, large enterprises can choose where their data is stored (Europe, North America, Asia, etc.) and can choose to deploy SalesBox CRM on a private server to facilitate integrating Salesbox with their in-house legacy systems.
International Ready: SalesBox was developed in Sweden with a vision of serving an international marketplace. Accordingly, Salesbox supports 14 languages and during 2016 will be adding automatic currency conversion.
Import, Training & Support: One of my beefs with most low cost cloud-based business services is that you, the customer, is pretty much left on your own when it comes to implementation.
I find it exemplary that Salesbox, which is a bargain at only $19.99/user/ month, includes free email support, free training and free import assistance.
Conclusion: I’ve only scratched the surface of what Salesbox CRM offers. But, suffice it to say, I am very impressed with this offering. If you value their mobile first, performance-based, sales guidance approach to salesforce automation, then I recommend that you add Salesbox to your short-list of CRM solutions to consider for your organization.