Lauren Licata

Lauren Licata is a Product Marketing Manager at Chicago-based Belly. She’s spent her career in various marketing roles and has significant experience in cross functional project management, content marketing, email automation, digital marketing, product positioning and product launches. She’s spoken at Apple and Social Media Week, Chicago and was recently awarded “Most Improved Editorial, Gold” and “Best Use of Marketing Automation, Silver” for her work at Palo Alto based, Base, where she served as Content Marketing Manager from 2013 – 2014. She serves on the Associate Council of Ms. Tech. Follow Lauren on Twitter @LaurenLicata.

Articles by Lauren:

    Outside vs. Inside Sales: Business and Individual Perspectives

    The sales team is a vital component of any successful company, and having top-notch personnel in this department can make or break a company. Though the lines are increasingly blurred, sales roles are typically divided into two types, inside sales and outside sales. Someone who is well suited to an inside sales role may not like outside sales at all, and vice versa. Companies who hire inside and outside salespeople should make sure their applicants know the difference, and place new hires in roles that suit their skills. Companies should also know which sales style works better for their company so they can hire and train salespeople accordingly.

    Let’s start with some basic definitions, even though most these definitions will likely be mixed or downright muddied in many real world sales roles.

    Outside Sales: According to the Department of Labor, an employee is considered an outside salesperson if their primary duty is to make sales and they spend most of their work time away from the company’s place of business. Anyone who travels most of the time to meet up with clients and make sales face-to-face is likely qualified as an outside salesperson.

    Inside Sales: Inside sales once happened mostly over the phone. Now they might happen over Skype, email, or other online communication services as well, but the principle is the same: inside salespeople work at a desk. Their main channel for making sales is through telecommunications.

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    How To Build and Optimize Sales Forecasting Templates

    Sales forecasting is a critical business function for every company, but sales forecasting templates and tools most definitely aren’t one-size-fits-all. The key to successful sales forecasting is to continually improve the methods you use so that the forecasting model evolves to fit the unique needs of your business.

    Using an evolving sales forecasting models doesn’t mean starting from scratch, though. There are some excellent free sales forecasting templates available online for businesses just starting to build their model. A few basic elements need to be in place for a forecasting model to even get off the ground, and even businesses with an established forecasting process should take time to regularly review and improve their processes.

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    How to Motivate a Sluggish Sales Team

    How To Motivate A Sluggish Sales Team

    Sales is a high-pressure field, and maintaining motivation, energy, and drive is incredibly important for success. It is normal to feel discouraged when a deal doesn’t work out, but the ability to stay upbeat and productive when the going gets tough is what sets apart truly great salespeople. Sales team leaders and managers have a responsibility to help their teams stay motivated even during difficult pushes and slow seasons.

    Psychologists who study motivation speak in terms of two general categories of motivation that influence everyone: intrinsic motivation, and extrinsic motivation. Career analyst Dan Pink does a great job explaining how these affect business in his TED Talk, “The Puzzle of Motivation.” Understanding these motivation types can be a great tool for sales leaders.

    1. Intrinsic Motivation is driven by a desire to learn, grow, and master skills, and by the belief that by pursuing an activity, it is possible to reach personal goals.

    2. Extrinsic Motivation comes into play when money, social acceptance, or negative consequences like punishment are the main drivers behind a given activity.

    Everything from a pat on the back to a structured financial reward system can be used to increase both the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors for a sales team. The best sales leaders should always be learning more about what motivates every individual on their team, but there are a few basics that tend to be consistent across sales teams in every industry.

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    Snap a Photo of a Business Card Directly into Base CRM

    Full Contact Card Reader

    *This is a contributed post from Brad McCarty over at FullContact. Thanks for sharing this tip with our readers, Brad!

    Anything that stands between you and closing a deal is just another obstacle. So with that in mind, chances are pretty good that you have a stack of business cards sitting around, waiting to be entered into Base. But here’s a quick way to get those cards into Base, and all you have to do is take a picture with your phone.

    There are two tools that you need: FullContact Card Reader, and an account on Zapier. If you caught our blog post a couple of weeks ago, you likely already have a Zapier account set up and doing work for you.

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    5 Indispensable Tools That Complement Base CRM

    No sales professional is an island. Maintaining a competitive edge and developing strong customer relationships requires the right combination of tools at your back. There’s never been more options available for reps, but to make the most of the plethora of new resources, you need to have tools that work together in harmony.

    Part of what makes Base CRM such a useful system for sales teams is how well it works with other top business tools. It’s common for active sales reps to use a suite of programs and devices to stay at the top of their game. What’s uncommon is for a CRM to complement and integrate with so many of them.

    Here are just some of the tools that Base can amp up for your sales team.

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    10+ Zapier Integrations For Base CRM

    Base CRM and Zapier

    Zapier + Base CRM Gives You Internet Superpowers

    We understand that you use a variety of apps and software to run your business. Besides our built in integrations, which you can see on our tour page, our customers can integrate their Base CRM account with hundreds of other web apps to automate tasks through a service called Zapier.

    For those of you unfamiliar, Zapier lets you easily connect the apps you use to get your work done. Here’s how it works. A “zap”, or connection between two apps,  automates tasks between Base CRM and other popular apps you might use. In this post, we’re showcasing 10 popular zaps some of our customers use. For a complete list of all Zapier and Base CRM integrations, you can click here.

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    5 Free Ebooks For Sales Managers

    At Base, our mission is to make you and your team 10x more productive. To support that, we’re constantly adding new resources on Base adoption, CRM in general as well as sales management best practices. In this post, we’re highlighting our 5 favorite ebooks written specifically for sales managers.

    They’re all available for download now right here. If you have a sales management topic we haven’t covered yet, but would like to see added to our library, please let us know in the comment section below.

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    Why Sales People Hate Their CRM (And What We’re Doing To Fix It)

    Anyone who has spent time in a sales department has heard groaning over a company’s CRM. In fact, between 25 and 60% of CRM projects fail to meet expectations according to a variety of studies conducted over the past decade. Even with these large numbers of dissatisfied customers though, rarely does a CRM roll-out go so poorly it makes international news. Unfortunately for Avon Canada they earned headlines a’plenty after their bungled CRM initiative. The company is eating a $125 million dollar loss after herds of their salespeople left the company because they released an overly complicated CRM.

    While Avon Canada stands alone in CRM infamy, it points to an important problem and a lesson we all need to learn: shoddy CRMs hurt sales and a bad CRM will cause you to lose good people too. Salespeople, like the ones who bailed on Avon Canada, hate their CRM for common and predictable reasons and in this post we’ll take a closer looks at those pain points and look at options for alleviating them.

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    [Interview] The Future of Sales Technology With Jim Benton of ClearSlide

    Jim Benton is the COO at ClearSlide, a leading sales technology company that improves customer-facing interactions by providing real-time visibility and analytics for both salespeople and managers.  Base CEO, Uzi Shmilovici met Jim at a 2013 Techweek event in Chicago. Since launching The Forecast Club earlier this year, we thought Jim would be the perfect guest for our first San Francisco event. The two share a passion for helping sales organizations be effective and productive.

    During the fireside chat, part 1 of which we’re publishing here today, Shmilovici and Benton chat about a wide range of topics including how to use technology effectively in sales organizations, and how ClearSlide built their sales team from the ground up.

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    Sales Experts Answer Your Toughest Outside Sales Questions

    We asked 3 sales experts to answer 9 of the most puzzling questions in outside sales. Here’s what they said.

    There’s a mystique about outside sales. It can seem like rockstar reps are able to close deals like magic, like they never make a misstep. Because of this, many business leaders have questions about outside sales and how to succeed in that field.

    Wonder no more, because Base has asked three sales experts to help explain the facts behind how the best of the best maintain that excellence. Geoffrey James is an author and blogger specializing in sales who’s new book “Business Without The Bullsh*t” is available on preorder. Wendy Weiss is president of ColdCallingResults.com, as well as a sales trainer and coach. Elinor Stutz is also a sales trainer and author, and she is CEO of Smooth Sale. Here are their answers to some of the most puzzling, toughest outside sales questions.

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