Anna Washenko

Anna Washenko is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer for Base. Connect with her on Google+. She writes about social media for business, tech, and computing news. She is a New Yorker by address, but a Chicagoan at heart.

Articles by Anna:

    Productivity vs. Effectiveness: A Sales Conundrum

    Productivity vs. Effectiveness

    Success in sales is all about getting results. While that’s a simple enough fact, the path to getting those results is not so clear. A great rep needs to get a lot done, but that work also needs to offer value to the company. In other words, sales professionals need to be both productive and effective. Despite the similarities, those two concepts don’t mean the same thing.

    To get a clearer idea of what sales teams need to know about productivity and effectiveness, we spoke with three expert executives to get their insights. Mike Solow is CEO of Idea Harvest and Wojciech Gryc is CEO of Canopy Labs. Colleen Stanley is founder and president of SalesLeadership, Inc. These leaders in the field not only defined the two concepts, but offered tips for how to best train your team and what tools to use for success.

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    How To Grow Your Business With CRM

    How to grow your business with CRM

    Growth is the goal for any company, to start as a seedling and blossom a little brighter each year. Just as gardeners have their own set of tools to cultivate their flowers, a sales team needs tools to achieve business growth. One of the most useful is a system for customer relationship management.

    CRM is like the plant food for your business. It supercharges the raw materials in your team and helps them to achieve their best. Here’s how a CRM can help your company grow.

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    Why You Need A CRM That Isn’t The Filing Cabinet

    As a business, you have to make every dollar do double- and triple-duty. With budget cuts and push backs, any purchase has to be an investment that will yield a big reward in the long run.

    This requisite frugal attitude means that many businesses – small business in particular – use filing cabinets, notebooks and pens, and a few Excel spreadsheets to track all their clients, deals, and sales. These companies may think they can’t afford a CRM, or that their current system is “working fine”. But in today’s environment where one bad customer or client review can rock your business, they can’t afford not to have one!

    If you want to take your business to the next level, you may find that a CRM is a much-needed step up for your team. Here are a few ways that the right software is an important investment that your company shouldn’t go without.
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    10 Warning Signs That You Need To Switch CRM Systems

    10 Warning Signs That You Need To Switch CRM Systems

    Ignoring red flags when they appear will only cause trouble down the road.

    Breaking up is hard to do. So hard, in fact, that some people stay in a relationship that’s not making them happy and not meeting their needs. They hope that maybe those little annoyances will go away and their partner will change for the better.

    Your business tools are no different. Your company may be stuck in a relationship with your customer relationship management system that just isn’t sparking like it should. Don’t let your business settle. You deserve a tool that makes your sales team more efficient, that keeps your entire company on track, that gives you the success you want.

    If you start to notice some of these warning signs across your team, then it might be time to end the relationship.

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    Stop Losing Deals! 5 Ways To Enhance Your Sales Performance

    Don't let business wither in your inbox
    The old adage says that the unexamined life is not worth living. This philosophy is at the heart of being great in the world of sales. Top reps are always analyzing and assessing their performance, looking for ways to improve. It would take a superhuman sales rep to close every single deal, but that doesn’t mean we can’t come really close to it.

    To take an honest look at your sales performance, it’s important to understand some of the ways a deal might fall through. Obviously, there are always some factors that are outside of a pro’s control. But this is not about making or finding excuses. This is about seeing steps that you can take in your day-to-day sales work that will help you get even closer to that 100 percent success rate. Here are five effective ways that you can stop losing deals.

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    5 Essential Sales Forecasting Techniques

    sales-forecasting-metrics

    Tom Cruise as Jerry Maguire made movie magic shouting “Show me the money!” and that quote has been bantered about in the sales world ever since. You’ve probably said it once or twice to your sales reps and managers. It’s at the heart of sales forecasting: you need to see where the money’s going to come from and when.

    To get that information, you need to have the right method for sales forecasting. Here are five techniques that will help you and your company to know where the money is.

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    The Ultimate Guide To Defining Your Sales Process

    A question we get asked all the time, is “How should I define the sales process for my business?” Given that sales stages in Base are customizable, we’ve consulted with a lot of companies on this topic. Typically, executives and sales managers just need a little coaching to arrive at the stages that are right for their business. By defining an optimal sales process, you’ll make sure your entire sales team is speaking the same language – and that your reports will be accurate so you’ll know what your team has to work on in the future.

    The ideal sales process gives reps a series of regular steps to follow, while allowing them enough space to get creative (and close the deal!) when the time is right.

    Not only does a set sales tracking blueprint give your reps a repeatable path to success, but it also means consistency for your company. When your pipeline is predictable, you’ll be in a better position to forecast the health of the bottom line and prepare for the future.

    In addition, a formal process gives you clear-cut comparisons for your reps. It will be clear which ones are excelling and which are struggling. On the flip side, a clearly defined set of stages will ease the burden of training the new additions to your team. They’ll have a framework to point them toward success rather than learning everything by trial and error.
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