This post is about who this blog is for and how we discovered our audience
Our first week out of Tufts, we moved into our new office, subletting from the New England Friends of Bosnia and Herzegovina with enough money from our efforts in school to last for two months. A week later, we made the hard decision to discontinue our product from school. And thus began the three month process of finding a new product, starting from nothing.
It was clear to us that sales teams struggled with big challenges – but we couldn’t quite nail down what those challenges were. We spent the next three months interviewing the best sales teams we could find, and at first the feedback seemed to be fragmented. We would hear what sounded like symptoms to a larger problem: Sales felt overwhelmed, fearing that things were slipping through the cracks. Marketing felt like they were generating all this data – only for it to disappear into a black hole. And sales leaders found themselves micromanaging their team, despite their best efforts.
As we progressed through the summer we realized that most challenges faced by the sales team could be linked to one major problem. In plain english: companies are doing more and even winning sales teams are not well equipped to handle the influx of information.
The best reps had built their own systems to manage this flood of data and tasks – but it generally took the form of an unruly 10 tab, color coded excel spreadsheet that lived outside of the CRM and had to be painstakingly updated every time something changed. Even though these reps may have cobbled a solution together for themselves – others on their team still had no access to their work.
The common refrain is that everything should go in the CRM and there will be no problems. This is based on a the assumption that you will then be able to get it out in a meaningful way. But, account management is not formulaic – it’s a creative, human process. CRM is an important place to store information, but without an intelligent way to prioritize and retrieve the data out of the CRM, reps are wasting time. At best, they waste valuable sales time digging through data to find what they need. At worst, they just avoid the system all together. Reps can’t get the information they need to talk to the right customers at the right time.
We started with a simple solution to this problem – every week we would create a manageable list of leads and distribute them via email. These lists would be specifically tailored to each users, and bring in the context of everything happening in an organization. A weekly list could include current customers, sales prospects, as well as unknown people.
We couldn’t have anticipated the response. Our users felt happier and more efficient everyone on the team could spend more time focusing on strategic issues, rather than obsessing over the small details.
To say we send a list of good leads every week is not wrong – but misses the point. We’re simply allowing the best teams – reps and leadership – to do what they do best, rather than sweating the details. Those teams are who our blog is for. Teams that are always going out of their way to improve, looking for the next best thing. This blog is written for the salesperson who manages their own spreadsheet because there is no better way to excel at their job and everyone else on the team that wants to align towards a common goal. In short, this blog is teams that win.
I look forward to the journey ahead working with amazing people and amazing customers selling cool stuff that makes the world work.