• 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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  • 3 Alternative Ways to Increase Productivity

    3 Unconventional Ways To Increase Productivity

    We should work smarter – not harder.

    Many jobs leave us feeling overwhelmed and behind the curve – even when we get there early, leave late and eat lunch at our desks. Then, we check email from home. Wouldn’t it be great to find ways to boost your productivity without logging even longer hours?

    Some tips you know for yourself. Is it good to sit outside for a bit to work? Do you crank it out when you crank up your favorite tunes? Need coffee? A donut? A brisk walk in the middle of the morning?

    Productivity boosts are personal. There’s workplace culture and human resource policies to consider. A piña colada might bring out your best work, but your manager might not appreciate it so much.

    Here are a few alternative ways I’ve found increase productivity for me – some for short bursts, and others for the long haul.

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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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  • How Should You Measure Sales Productivity?

    We asked 8 sales experts how they measure sales productivity. Here’s what they said.

    Measuring sales productivity has always been important for sales people, and now that businesses are more data-driven, it is crucial for every sales team to have good time and productivity tracking practices. Those who don’t are quickly being left in the dust.

    Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be hard to implement productivity tracking practices that can show you where you’re wasting time, and where you should put more energy to get the most out of every minute you spend selling. We talked to some experienced salespeople about how they track their own productivity, and which metrics are the most important for gauging your success. These sales pros track everything from their gross profits to the number of thank you notes they write, and all of this data helps them constantly improve their performance.

    We asked each of these accomplished pros how they measure their own success, and which metric they think every other top seller should be paying attention to. Here ’s what they said:

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  • Sales Productivity Tips, Hacks and Resources: Your Ultimate Guide

    Salespeople can be fanatics about productivity and efficiency. For each salesperson, finding the tools, habits, and hacks that really maximize efficiency is tough, but worthwhile. Many experts have shared their sales productivity tips in detail on the web, and we have collected a few – 25 to be exact – of the most excellent blog posts, ebooks, white papers, and general resources on the subject. We write a lot about the the subject at Base and have even created an entire resources hub for sales productivity tips.

    Time management best practices are important for every salesperson, but there are other areas where efficiency and productivity improvements can be made. Building good relationships with clients can lead to repeat business, which in turn can shorten your sales cycle and yield massive increases in productivity. Maximizing the capabilities of your CRM  is another great way to amp up your productivity. These hacks and sales productivity tips are perfect for salespeople in any industry who want to permanently move the needle on their productivity. Leave us a comment if we’re missing a great resource!

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  • 5 Tips and Tools To Combat Your Sales Slump

    It happens to everyone throughout his or her career. Opportunities that have been identified turn out to be dead ends. Or the number of leads to pursue simply is not enough to hit the sales quota for the year. Sales slumps are inevitable. How you act is up to you.

    Here are 5 tools and tips that can help you get out of your sales slump and hit your numbers by the end of the year.

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  • Outside Sales Lessons From America’s Top Companies

    Outside sales is a profession in flux. The growth of digital commerce has reimagined the ways reps can reach out to potential customers, as well as how those customers want to make their purchases. And sales as a whole has expanded to incorporate new approaches beyond the basic outside versus inside division. Yet in the face of all these changes, successful companies are preparing their reps in the field to deal with those issues.

    What businesses are excelling in this new marketplace? What steps lined their paths to success? We chatted with Paul McCord, president of sales training company McCord Training and Development, to get his insights about what makes these companies tick.

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  • 4 Ways To Identify And Correct The Bottleneck Effect In Sales

    Successful businesses are masters of productivity – if you want to mimic the masters you must identify the bottleneck effect that is standing in the way of your sales team’s productivity. And we aren’t talking about busy work “productivity.” We are referring to the kind of productivity you want to see from your sales team: closed deals and smart sales analysis.

    We’ve outlined four indicators of a jammed up bottleneck and laid out a plan for clearing it. Use this post to spot opportunities and clear the path for increased sales productivity – the kind of productivity that actually matters. Say goodbye to the bottleneck effect forever.

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  • 14 Easy Productivity Hacks For Salespeople

    Ask a sales trainer or a management consultant what’s needed to increase your sales productivity and you’ll get a pitch for a massive change in the way you do business.

    That’s fine (hey, they have to quota, too), but in most cases you can improve sales productivity by making minor tweaks in what you’re already doing. Here’s how:

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