Site navigationThe marketplace
Articles & resources
Network with others
Get £50 for inviting others
|Company:||Vecta Sales Solutions Ltd|
|Position:||Senior Sales Consultant|
|Website:||Click to view|
|Expertise:||Sales Intelligence Software|
I am a sales professional of 18 years experience.
I am 34 and married with twins, a boy and a girl "first time lucky" and I am proud to be a salesman.
Although I am English I spent most of my childhood in Spain and enjoy regular visits.
I have worked in several industries predominantly Retail or Sales: Jewellery,Telecommunications, Software and Travel.
I now work for a company called edp Plc and I specialise in the Vecta Sales Intelligence product.
VECTA Sales Intelligence is an out-of-the-box operational business intelligence application that your team will be able to use from day one.
VECTA proactively delivers real insight into your customers' buying patterns and your sales team will immediately see the benefits. Increasing the value of every sale, and therefore their own results, it's a tool they will actively seek to use. By providing total visibility of the sales issues and opportunities, it arms your entire sales team with the tools it needs to improve its effectiveness, and beat its targets.
As well as being invaluable to the sales team, VECTA is an integrated solution for the entire sales and marketing function of your operation. It provides both management and executives with access to the information they need to be more successful. And unlike CRM and traditional BI tools, implementing and supporting VECTA is simple and will not burden your IT resources. VECTA is easy to use, and your entire company will be up and running within days.
For more information please contact me direct or visit the website at http://www.vecta.net
A CRM Solution Isn't Going to Help Salespeople Sell
All companies rely on sales for their business on one level or another and are having to come to terms with the fact that buying is changing. The main reason for this is the web: The vast amount of information available within just a few mouse clicks means the roles traditionally assumed by salespeople and customers are changing. The sales process is no longer dominated by the presentation of facts and figures about a product, and there's no point in claiming to offer the best price on the market when the competition's web site is contradicting you in the next window.
Because modern IT has brought about changes to buying--and attitudes to buying--software developers have been addressing the part of the bargain that a commercial organization really ought to have some control over: selling. This has led to the formation of a growing industry built loosely around customer relationship management software (CRM). But relying on CRM is fundamentally the wrong approach if what you really want to do is achieve more sales.
What's CRM for?
The trouble with using CRM to boost sales is that it's not really what it's designed for. What CRM essentially boils down to, instead, is making the buying process easier. Automation is introduced at every possible stage, from the moment the customer logs on, or picks up the phone, to the credit card transaction and the delivery of the goods; databases are configured to give sales staff up-to-date, relevant information about customers' account histories; direct mail campaigns are intelligently designed to hit the right doormats more of the time. All of these are valid contributions to the marketing mix, but none has a substantial bearing on sales performance.
Too many companies have implemented CRM in response to a tougher selling climate, but effectively they're focusing on automated buying rather than investing in improving their existing sales process. That's fine if you're sure your customers will be calling you but not much use if you need to go out and generate opportunities. Small wonder, then, that CRM companies struggle to demonstrate a genuine ROI and talk instead of fundamental changes in attitude and healthier, customer-focused business practices. If it's a boost in sales you want, CRM is not enough.
The fact is that, although buying has undeniably changed, people do still need--perhaps even like--to be sold to. You can bolt on a CRM "solution" to help you make sense of your other enterprise applications, but it's not going to help you close a deal. For this, there is no substitute for good old-fashioned sales techniques.
A role for technology
so does that mean that IT has no part to play? On the contrary: technology is an inescapable part of today's sales process--what salespeople could live without their mobile phones, for instance? Technology, though, needs to be used appropriately. No amount of technology is going to turn a poor salesperson into a great one. But there are ways of using IT to turn an ordinary salesperson into a player.
Consider the following scenario. You run a successful stationery distribution company. You have a product book of some 20,000 lines and a customer base numbering around 3,000. You have an outbound sales team of six representatives. The success of your company depends on the performance of these half-dozen individuals, but how do you know that they are reaching their full potential?
To succeed, your sales force must not only have an in-depth knowledge of their product lines, they must also be fully aware of the opportunities and threats within their existing and potential customer base. The jargon for this is "product and situational fluency," and it's a lot to grasp for one individual. The very best sales performers succeed because they can achieve this dual fluency, but for the majority it's a struggle, and there are inevitably compromises.
One route is to become a product specialist, adept at identifying cross selling opportunities but with a tendency to focus on a narrow selection of favorite customers and to miss the bigger picture. At the other end of the scale are those who devote themselves to knowing the market inside out and can tell you exactly who's buying what from whom but, through lack of sufficient product expertise, may miss subtle sales opportunities when they're actually sitting down in front of the customer.
For most this choice is simply the inevitable consequence of having to deal with a huge volume of data. But managing data is what computers are so good at, so it makes sense to look for a way to use IT to improve the working life of the salesperson by removing this need to compromise.
Successful sales depend on identifying the right opportunities and delivering the right package. All the information needed to find these opportunities and make the right deals is somewhere within your company's databases. A sales intelligence solution will automate the extraction of this knowledge and deliver it to the sales troops.
Sales intelligence software monitors and analyzes the buying patterns of customers by drawing data from existing accounts and enterprise software. Irregularities, and other trends in customer spending, trigger alerts that translate into sales leads delivered straight to the relevant sales representatives. The result is an increased share of customer spend, higher profitability, improved customer retention and increased marketing response. Companies that have implemented sales intelligence solutions regularly report a return on investment of 20 to 30 percent. What CRM vendor can boast that?
Looking at what IT can do for sales is not "rocket science" and it does not involve re-engineering your business. It's simply a question of promoting situational fluency and providing salespeople with the tools they need to venture beyond their normal boundaries and become high achievers.
The late American newspaper columnist Ann Landers once said, "Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them." Sales intelligence software will unmask sales opportunities so the sales person can concentrate on simply closing the deals.