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Automating Sales Quoting: CPQ to the Rescue!

Posted by Dick Wooden

Complex Selling Made More Effective with an integrated Configure, Price and Quote system with Infor CRM

Modern day Business to Business selling often includes increasingly complex goods and services to the market. With contemporary configure / price / quote solution baked into your CRM based sales workflow, companies are empowering their sellers and channel partners with significant advantages over their CPQ-less competitors.

Recent Aberdeen Research indicated that a companyusing CPQ has significant benefits in reduction in contract/proposal generation error rates, increases in customer renewal rates and increases in Lead conversion rates compared to those companies not using a CPQ solution..

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Topics: Employee engagement, Business Growth Enabler, Make your business work smarter, Sales Productivity Improvements, Sales process, Business Drivers for CRM, Selling Smarter, CPQ:Configure-price-quote, Manufacturing use of CRM, Sales Enablement with CRM, Infor CRM

4 Ways to Transform Your Business Processes & Reduce Crazy Busy

Posted by Dick Wooden

In our Crazy busy world it is extremely helpful to take a step back and consider your business processes- the ways you do work.  Now is the time to consider the use of new technology to help automate your world and your business. Our clients have found it very helpful, to being transformative using the Business Process Automation and Management tools now available.

Real Business Scenario.....

Let's say you have multiple sales reps obtaining lead lists from a quality resource and you want to have those companies and contact information to be imported in Infor CRM by the reps.  But instead of coming in as leads into Infor CRM they will be a 'Prospects' type of accounts and contacts.  Also you need more intelligent duplicate checking and updating of related fields if the match is found. If the company account already exists or the contact person already exists then just add a note to the matched indicating a link to the lead source.  Maybe link the contact to a marketing campaign. When done send a summary of the new or updated accounts and contacts to the sales rep.  This is all possible with Orbis TaskCentre.

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Topics: Reimagine the way you work, CRM Automation, Make your business work smarter, Business Transformation, Getting Things Done, Workflow Improvements, Business traction, TaskCentre, BPM-Business process management, Infor CRM, Crazy Busy Solutions

Getting started with Xbar - Infor CRM inside Outlook

Posted by Dick Wooden

Getting Started with Xbar-  Help is always available and ready!

In Microsoft Outlook, click an email. A Member card for everyone listed on that email appears in the Xbar pane. A Member is anyone in the To, From, or CC fields in a Microsoft Outlook email. If a Member is not already in the CRM database as a User, Contact, or Lead, only their name and email address appears in the Member card.

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Topics: Productivity Tips, CRM user adoption, Outlook Integration, Saleslogix Tips, Saleslogix Xbar for Outlook, Infor CRM, Infor CRM Updates, Infor CRM Education

Win Sales Faster with Buyer Focused Sales Process

Posted by Dick Wooden

Need a better way to Guide a Sale

Have you made a huge investment in CRM but are totally frustrated with low sales rep adoption rates and inaccurate sales forecasting results?  As a sales manager is it too difficult to coach salespeople effectively? It may be because off a flawed, outdated CRM funnel structure...  

Selling has dramatically changed and the 'process' focus needs to change from using a sales process about how you internally operate a sale to how the buyer really buys.  I have seen too many organizations with a sales process with steps that describe what their company expects a sales rep to do, not what it wants prospective customers to be doing.  In the old way, an opportunity can appear to be progressing quite nicely because the salesperson is doing everything the funnel describes.  

But what happens when the prospective customer's environment is different - they move much more slowly in their buying process?  Your old selling process did not take their buying steps into account, mistakes are made and forecast accuracy goes down the drain. Neither the sale rep nor the manager is measuring the success of each step by tracking buying behavior.


Identify Customer Buying Process and Next Step

Develop a sales funnel with meaningful stages that identify specific actions that customers take when they are moving forward in their buying steps.  Track in your CRM a sales process that a prospective customer has:

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Topics: CRM user adoption, Make your business work smarter, Business success with CRM, Sales Productivity Improvements, Sales process, Business Drivers for CRM, Sales Improvement Areas, Selling Smarter, Sales Conversation Improvement, Buying process, Buyers Journey

Satisfying the Need to Look and Sound Professional with CRM

Posted by Dick Wooden

Looks may be superficial but sometimes they are baked in. 

Strong seed genetics create the foundation to generate great looking crops. Likewise a well-used CRM has to have a strong foundation that shows through.  Purpose-built CRM like Infor CRM has both the adaptability and good looks baked in.  An engaging user interface is normally not ugly and definitely has some essence of beauty by design.  Apple has taught all of us that beauty in design will increase engagement and positive experiences that people talk about.  Make sure your CRM solution has the foundation to be adaptable and will be able to grow on those who use it.

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Topics: CRM user adoption, Tailor made CRM, Saleslogix success, Appreciating Asset, Adaptable CRM, Building Stronger Relationships, Business Growth Enabler, Insight Knowledge, Business Drivers for CRM, Acquire-Retain-Develop, Empower CRM Success, Infor CRM, Well Used CRM, Purpose Build CRM

Newest Act! v17.1 Contact system improvements

Posted by Julie Cooper

Act! v17.1, the newest and most intelligent version of the #1 best-selling contact and customer manager.

With enhancements to integration and automation, it's easier than ever to turn your marketing efforts into successful sales.

Finally, sales process meets nurture marketing.

Key Highlights of Act! v17.1

  • Enhanced Call List functionality enables users to take actions directly from the Call List - like scheduling follow-ups, and creating Histories and Lookups.

  • Additional customization options give users a more personalized experience - including customized big buttons, Act! Notifications, and default History options.

  • Automation & Productivity Enhancements help streamline activities like import and duplicate checking (on Windows and Web!), Global web Info preference management, and additional options for URL links in Documents.

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Topics: ACT! Web, eMarketing Effectiveness, Marketing Effectiveness, ACT! Friday Fun Tips, ACT! Tips and Tricks, ACT! Success, Well Used CRM, ACT 2015

6 Best Practices of the Top Sales Producers

Posted by Dick Wooden

Sustainable Improvement comes with a "Perfect Salesforce"

Your company's sales are far too important to leave to today's seemingly hit-or-miss approach to building a salesforce. The perfect sales force is a return to people - the different types of people who excel very naturally in different types of sales jobs.

The best sales teams share 6 simple but critical practices states Derek Gatehouse. Three of these are about how to hire the best talent. Best practices focus on how to assess your type of sale and how to identify the specific qualities and characteristics required for success. The framework is based on 10 selling talents: 6 hard wired and 4 depend on the type of sale. Use the book on how to find these people and manage them effectively. 

Key Findings include:

  • Sales talent cannot be trained. It must be hired.
  • Top Performing Salespeople excel only at certain types of sales
  • Environment and Conditions are more important than training.
  • The World's Best Sales Managers Police Results, not Activities
  • Top Teams Train Existing Strengths rather than trying to train a weakness

Our business clients have also found that a well-used CRM System enhances and builds upon the specific talents of sales professionals.  

CRM has the processes for lead conversion, prospect nurture marketing, lead qualification, sales opportunity matching of solutions to business needs, tracking people interactions with digital communications, follow up conversation planning, and so forth.  Thus a well-used, adaptable CRM will enhance the environment top producers best use their talents for.


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Topics: Productivity Tips, CRM Guide to Success, Adaptable CRM, Building Stronger Relationships, Make your business work smarter, Sales Productivity Improvements, Sales process, Sales Improvement Areas, strengths revolution, Selling Smarter, Sales Mgmt Improvement, Well Used CRM

Answering the Why of CRM to Gaining Business Success with CRM

Posted by Dick Wooden

Start with Why in Everything You do

As entrepreneurs, business people and trusted advisors we are continually seeking improvements.  Are they better ways to get to our desired outcomes?  Understanding your Why has been insightfully covered by professionals such as Simon Sinek.  Simon suggests "Start with Why in everything you do."  Do you know your Why?  The purposes, cause, or belief that inspires you to do what you do?



Answer Why's to Attain Full Engagement for a Well-Used CRM

Truly understanding the why's people don't do what they're supposed to do and what to do about it has been a key challenge by human resource  professionals.

Ferdinand F. Fournies provides useful insights in his book "Why Employees Don't do what they're supposed to do and what to do about it." Read more here...  Ferdinand's book identifies 16 reasons why people do not do what they are supposed to do at work.  #1 is that they don't know why they should do it.  

The why has to mean something to the person's purpose, cause or belief that inspires them to action.  

A deeper review of Fournies' list describes fittingly many of the reasons people do not support CRM initiatives. Sometimes people do not see pass their own priorities, needs, or inter-departmental agendas, regardless of whether they are doing so because they want to isolate themselves or because they don't know any better.  

Too many times I have found where businesses think that everyone will support CRM or will simply get behind the effort because a senior executive mandates it is a dangerous assumption.  

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Topics: CRM user adoption, CRM Guide to Success, Employee engagement, Strategic Business development, Growing Your Stronger Business, Business Drivers for CRM, Trusted Advisor, Our Why, Empower CRM Success, Business traction, People first CRM, Well Used CRM, Accountability

Top 10 Reasons a Winter Blizzard is like Bad CRM

Posted by Dick Wooden

Bad CRM and Winter Blizzard Experiences....

For those of you with past experiences from a Winter snow blizzard you might find similar characteristics in a badly implemented and non-used CRM.

Top 10 reasons a Winter blizzard is like Bad CRM, in no particular order since each of us have different experiences...

    1. Both a blizzard and bad CRM never come at the right time.  You have places to go and a business to run.  Who has time to get stuck or stranded?
    2. You can't get a good vision of where you are at.  Well-used CRM will have helpful information to guide a business and make smarter decisions.  Just like a blizzard you can get blind-sided, rear-ended and effectively NOT knowing where your business stands with poor CRM.
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Topics: Customer Experience Improvement, Business Drivers for CRM, CRM understanding, Critical Mistakes with CRM, Infor CRM

Infor CRM ION-enabled Integration with Infor ERP Goes Live

Posted by Dick Wooden

How can you get 1 + 1 to equal 3?

As the famous Greek Philosopher once said "The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts"

The recent Aderdeen Group report "Customer-Centric ERP: Integrated Systems for Customer Satisfaction" also came to a similar conclusion 2350 years later:

  • Better Interactions with more useful and current information will increase sales. Businesses integrating disparate systems enjoy an 88% greater year-over-year increase in annual revenue compared to "others".
  • Better Customer Service drives bigger profits. Customer care costs are reduced by 12.1% annually


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Topics: Appreciating Asset, Make your business work smarter, Growing Your Stronger Business, Integrated Business, Business Drivers for CRM, Customer Service Improvement, Strategy Improvement, Sales Conversation Improvement, Business traction, Sales Enablement with CRM, Infor CRM, Infor CRM Updates

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Office: 269-445-3001 

Headquartered in Southwest Michigan, we serve clients across the US and Canada.

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