How to Enter Your Sales Deals into atQuota

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Mar 13, 2013, 3:41 PM

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For those of you that are new to atQuota or for those of you who are just coming around to wanting to manage your sales pipeline with us, lets get you started!

Managing your deals in atQuota is extremely easy and it won't take any time at all.  When logged into atQuota just look for the " Add deal or Import from Salesforce" button and select the option that you prefer and simply follow these steps below.

Your First Sales Hire Will Make or Break Your Company

Posted by Ryan Neu

Mar 12, 2013, 10:35 AM

You have a startup, some sort of Minimum Viable Product and maybe a few bucks in angel or seed fundingmark_roberge.

"You are ready to make your very first sales hire. Who should it be?"

Last week in Dublin, Ireland, I had the chance to hear HubSpot's Mark Roberge give a talk about how to build a predictive and scalable revenue model.

The Ideal Sales Hire: An Instinctive Workhorse

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Mar 6, 2013, 12:25 PM

There is a misconceived notion that good salespeople are born and not developed. I am a firm believer thatSales workhorse success in sales is a function of both skill and process. A salesperson without a concrete process will inevitably be lapped by the person staying true to their process each time. When hiring salespeople it is imperative to identify candidates who possess a combination of qualities that aid in development and lend to success in any organization.

How to Not Lose a Deal in 10 Days

Posted by Ryan Neu

Mar 4, 2013, 7:43 AM

Losing a deal is never fun. We've all lost deals for a variety of reasons. However, if you take a step back, you may notice certain trends that have led to Closed Lost. 

What Big Data Means for your Sales Pipeline

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Feb 20, 2013, 8:59 AM

 

Big data is a hot topic. In 2012 it was a $3.2 billion dollar industry and is set up for tremendous growth in the coming years. Big data refers to data sets that are typically too large to be processed by basic database management tools or traditional data processing applications.

The most dangerous word in sales

Posted by Ryan Neu

Feb 15, 2013, 7:51 AM

Game. Set. Match. In sales, the word 'yes' is incredibly dangerous. Some will argue that the word yes expresses affirmation, which in turn, leads to an eventual sale. Sales people always get caught up in the word yes and most often, it leads to nothing but Closed Lost. Here's why.

Prospect Personalities: Are you Speaking to a Deal Killer?

Posted by Chad Levitt

Feb 14, 2013, 1:56 PM

Sales reps beware. There are some types of prospect personalities that might never buy from you. Yes, that's right, sometimes the best thing you can do in sales is realize its best to move on. Focus your efforts on the sales opportunities that have a realistic chance of closing.

As sales reps, we've all been on calls with these two personalities - the raving fan and the miserable grump.  What do these prospect personalities have in common? They will rarely buy from you. No matter what you do or say, no matter how perfectly fit your offering is for their personal aspirations or company. The key is recognizing it early in the sales process, asking the tough questions, and moving on if need be. 

The acclaimed sales author Steve Martin (yes, same name as the actor, different guy though) notably points out in his excellent blog post: Understanding Why You Lose Deals

How to Find the Right Inside Sales Job

Posted by Ryan Neu

Feb 14, 2013, 7:48 AM

Sales is sales. Every day, month, quarter and year is a grind. All of your activities, including calls, voicemails, and emails, are tracked; you are held to a strict quota; and all of your numbers are transparent within your organization. Not everyone is cut out for sales.

What does Marketing Automation mean for Sales?

Posted by Ryan Neu

Feb 12, 2013, 5:10 PM

Marketing automation is the automated process of nurturing leads down the sales funnel until they become a Marketing Qualified Lead, or commonly referred to as "MQL". As its name implies, marketing automation is generally intiated and managed by a company's marketing department. However, when executed properly, marketing automation can be a huge asset for sales professionals. I've found a few ways to leverage marketing automation to help close more business.

Product Update: Custom Sales Pipeline Stages

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Feb 1, 2013, 12:51 PM

sales pipeline stages

End of the Month Hustle

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Jan 31, 2013, 3:31 PM

How to get Mark Cuban to Email You

Posted by Ryan Neu

Jan 30, 2013, 6:02 PM

There are a couple of valuable sales lessons that we can learn from leveraging effective emails. Let's set the bar very high. How would you get Mark Cuban to respond to your email? He receives thousands of emails every single month. What would make him open your email, pause, read it, and respond? The chances have to be slim-to-none, right? Absolutely not. 

Crush Quota and Make More Money

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Jan 29, 2013, 10:00 AM

Every salesperson out there wishes they had the magic potion that would allow them to close more
How to Crush Quota business. Being a good salesperson is a combination of good instincts and having a process that works. I’ve found that no matter what your experience level is, there are several activities that can help any salesperson close more business and make more commission. Take these three tips below into account with every deal you have that has a chance of closing. It will help you speed deals up and close more business.


1) Efficiently Manage Your Sales Pipeline:
In the past I’ve written about how organization is key. Staying organized will help you identify which deals to focus on closing. Spending your time with deals that will never buy, or that aren’t close to buying will be detrimental to you as a sales rep. Take time to organized your hot opportunities in a way that is easy to track progress and allows you to prioritize your time.


2) Use Sales Tools:
Marketing and sales collateral is your friend. People love case studies, ROI reports, videos about your product etc. These tools can be invaluable to help a prospect connect the dots on how your product/service will help solve their problem. Using these tools can also help you transform your influencers into internal champions who will sell for you in an organization. If your team doesn’t have some of the resources I mentioned, make it a priority. Empowering your sales teams with these tools will help them sell with confidence and will make your follow up more effective.


3) Leverage Life Lines:
Don’t be afraid to ask other people to get involved in your sale. A lot of sales reps make the mistake early on in their career of thinking they need to single handedly close business. Bringing other members in from the organization can be extremely valuable. If you have technical questions that need to be answers pull a sales engineer in and frame them as the “technical expert”. This will only help you build credibility; it’s not a bad thing to not know all the technical answers. Pull on your manager or director as well. Simply having another authoritative voice involved in the conversation can help make the buyer more comfortable.

Success in sales comes down to finding what works for you and making it part of your routine. Incorporating these activities in my everyday sales process has undoubtedly made me a better sales person. If you’re looking to crush quota and make more money make them part of yours too.

 

                                    

 

The Internal Champion is my Homeboy

Posted by Ryan Neu

Jan 28, 2013, 9:00 AM

An internal champion is the person within a company that absolutely loves your product or service and wants to make a purchase. They talk about you to all of their coworkers, they respond to your emails and answer your phone calls--however, they can't sign on the dotted line.

How to Import Salesforce.com deals into atQuota

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Jan 27, 2013, 11:26 AM

There are now two ways to import your deals into atQuota. You can either enter your deals manually or import them from Salesforce.com. Below are the step-by-step instructions in order to import deals from Salesforce. Keep in mind that deals may take a minute or two to sync from Salesforce to atQuota. 

Product Update - Deal Sorting, Deal Stages, and Watchlist

Posted by Ryan Neu

Jan 23, 2013, 12:24 PM

We have some pretty cool product updates this week. We launched 3 features to help you close more business. This week we are introducing the following: Deal Sorting, Deal Stages, and the Watchlist. 

The Future of Sales Software

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Jan 22, 2013, 2:00 PM

Future Sales Software

The sales software space is heating up. To date, sale software has been overwhelmingly identified with CRM solutions like Salesforce.com, reporting solutions like LeadLander, and plenty of add-ons, such as yesware. Salesforce undoubtedly changed the game when it comes to software built for sales and customer relationship. However, over the next few years we will most certainly experience a shift away from traditional CRM’s and a variety of apps and sales software solutions will be introduced into the market.  These software solutions will be built to help sales rep, managers and executives alike.


Look at what has happened in the marketing software space over the last 5 years. It’s a hot space that is becoming even more attractive to investors and large juggernauts like Oracle and SAP. We’ve written in the past about how the way people are shopping and learning today has shifted. As a result, marketing and sales are becoming more aligned. Marketing technology has changed to adapt and the sales software space is next. It took years for businesses to adapt to the idea of a web based software platform like a Salesforce.com. Now that the majority of organizations are more comfortable with SAAS platforms it’s only natural that we will continue to see an evolution in sales software solutions. Below are a few common trends we believe will become common place in the next few years and will also be essential components of successful solutions.

 1) Social 

Salesforce.com has already attempted to brand itself as the “Social CRM”. Their attempt at this has been integrating features like Chatter and work.com which are slow to be adopted by sales people and sales managers. The future of sales tools will offer salespeople more social features to connect with not only their colleagues, but also their prospects and customers.


2) Integrated
This is not a huge surprise. Many software solutions today are integrating with major CRM’s. More sales software going forward however, will be integrated across your marketing, social and email platforms. This will give salespeople intelligence and key insights into the behavior of their prospects .


3) Smart
One thing that traditional CRM’s are lacking today is smart analytics. You can easily enough build reports to measure sales team activity and performance. What is not currently built in is any sort of predictive analysis that can learn about an individual. For example, a major problem in today’s sales ecosystem is the inaccuracy of a sales forecast. Having smarter analytics on an individual level will allow sales organizations the ability to learn behaviors of effective/ineffective salespeople and coach their teams accordingly to improve performance.

Since buyer behavior has shifted it has changed the game for marketers. Since the way people are being marketed to has changed it changes the game for salespeople. Salespeople are engaging with prospects in a much different way today and will need these new tools to be more informed and organized. As a sales guy, I'm hopeful new technology will lead to a bigger sales pipeline, a more accurate forecast and ultimately, more closed deals. 

 

                                    

 

<a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/106710484458338021914?rel=author">Google</a>

What is a Pipeline CRM?

Posted by Ryan Neu

Jan 22, 2013, 10:38 AM

The CRM industry is pretty hot right now. I guess as hot as you can get for an enterprise application. As is common with hot industries, there are a lot of buzz words being thrown around right now in the CRM space. Social media platforms have continued to evolve and expand, and this has had a trickle-down-effect into the CRM space. This has led to the evolution of "Social CRMs". Social CRMs were created to help you follow and communicate with your customers across social platforms. For example, if your customer is mentioning your product on Twitter, you should track that interaction so that you can engage if necessary. 

How to Define Sales Pipeline Stages

Posted by Ryan Neu

Jan 21, 2013, 6:17 PM

We've talked about the importance of setting deal stages, now let's take a deep dive into the identification of specific deal stages. We will also uncover the purchase indicators which exist behind every deal stage.

Deal Stages and Sales Pipeline Management

Posted by Ryan Neu

Jan 21, 2013, 6:23 AM

Deal stages allow a sales rep to categorize their sales pipeline based on a defined set of criteria. When implemented properly, deal stages also help sales people prioritize their deal pipeline in order to nurture deals down the sales funnel. However, oftentimes, deal stages are set by a company's C-level team and the pre-defined stages do not resonate with the people on the front-line (ie: sales reps). 

Sales Pipeline Management: Close More Deals

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Jan 18, 2013, 4:12 PM

It’s important for many sales people to manage and organize their sales pipeline outside of their CRM. This term has come to be known as Sales Pipeline Management and we built atQuota to help you, the salesperson be better at it. Efficient Sales Pipeline Management can help in a number of ways and  alllow you to close more business. In sales, good time management, instincts and organization are key. Practicing Sales Pipeline Management can help you get to the next level. If you think there is room for improvement in your sales process, try to keep these three things in mind when managing your monthly/quarterly sales pipeline.


1) Try to move the needle each day:

If you’re one of those people (like me) that needs to have a visual reminder of their sales pipeline try to keep a list of your hot or closable deals for your month/quarter (or use atQuota). Having this visual reminder will help you know who to reach out to each day to try to move the deal along. One of the first things I will do every day is look at my sales pipeline and determine which hot deal I need to nurture that day.

2) Prioritization is key:

This kind of goes without saying, but when it comes to effective sales pipeline management prioritization is key. Use whatever tool you are using to help you prioritize where you should spend your time. I like prioritizing my sales pipeline by the projected close date of my deals and the % chance I feel it has of closing. Using those metrics and having an easy view of my pipeline helps me stay very organized.


3) Log Notes and Next Steps:

I always log notes and next steps whenever I get off a call with a prospect. I find the CRM I use always isn’t the quickest way to do this. Before building atQuota I’d use a spread sheet and had a “Next Steps” and “Notes” column. This way I had a quick visual reminder of my pipeline that was prioritized and I could easily look at the next steps needed to close.

Practicing efficient Sales Pipeline Management has really helped me become a better salesperson. Organization is key and if you can learn to efficiently manage your sales pipeline you will close more business!

Implementing User Feedback into Product

Posted by Ryan Neu

Jan 17, 2013, 12:15 PM

While building atQuota, we've decided to take one element very seriously: user feedback. And to be even more specific, early adopter and champion user feedback. 

How Inbound Marketing Helps Your Sales Pipeline

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Jan 16, 2013, 1:07 PM

Since the advent of the Internet the way people and businesses shop and learn today has fundamentally changed. Many organizations are shifting the way they think about sales and marketing to adapt to this change. In today’s digital age a salesperson has less control over the buying cycle. Buyers are more educated today about our products and services than they were 15 years ago. They have many more channels to learn about what you offer and as a result they are interacting with salespeople much later in the process.

Email Tips for Salespeople

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Jan 15, 2013, 12:54 PM

Like many salespeople, I live inside of my email client. I happen to use Gmail and over the years have implemented some practices that have helped me increase efficiency and stay more organized. These are two important skill sets for any successful salesperson so I thought I’d share some of my best practices. If you’re looking to improve in these areas try these easy tips below.

The 3 Most Common Mistakes Sales Professionals Make with Forecasting

Posted by David Shepherd

Jan 14, 2013, 12:09 PM

Below is a guest blog post by David Shepherd, Sales Manager at Inbound Marketing Company, HubSpot. You can follow David on twitter @DavidWShepherd.

Inside Sales Tips: Better Time Management

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Jan 11, 2013, 12:20 PM

It’s no secret that a defining quality of successful sales people is good time management. Particularly, if you’re in inside sales this can be a skill that can make or break you. In order for inside sales reps to make their quota they are constantly juggling a full calendar of calls, sending follow up emails and attempting to find time to prospect. If you’re one of those sales people that could use some improvement with your time management skills follow these easy tips below to help you organize your day.

My First Week Selling in EMEA

Posted by Ryan Neu

Jan 11, 2013, 8:38 AM

Today concludes my first official week living in Dublin, Ireland. It is also my first week selling to EMEA while living in EMEA, so I found it fitting to point out some things to consider when selling abroad.

Using Social Media for Sales

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Jan 10, 2013, 2:46 PM

In today’s day and age sales people have a lot of tools at their disposal. Smart sales people are using social media and the blogosphere now more than ever to gain actionable insight into their prospects. Many qualified prospects are now sharing invaluable behaviors and buying signals via these channels and sales people can use them to their advantage to close more business. Here are four channels that you can use to your advantage to do research on your prospects. If you can use these channels to your benefit it will hopefully lead to a larger sales pipeline for you and your team.

3 Steps to Effective Sales Negotiation

Posted by Ryan Neu

Jan 10, 2013, 9:56 AM

My favorite part about sales is the negotiation. You've gotten buy-in from your prospect and it's time to come to terms on cost. In my sales career, I’ve learned some simple yet effective techniques to help shorten the sales cycle. The most improtant factor in any negotiation is controlling the process.

 

5 Free Tools for Sales People in 2013

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Jan 9, 2013, 8:42 PM

There are some great free tools out there that we have been using over the past year that will also undoubtedly  help us in the year to come. These tools are all free (some follow a freemium model) and have actually helped us close business, so we'd thought we would share them with you. 

How do you Qualify a Lead?

Posted by Ryan Neu

Jan 9, 2013, 8:39 AM

I would argue that the qualification process in sales is one of the most challenging yet rewarding skills to possess as a sales professional. If you can qualify, then you are spending time with leads that have the highest chance of purchasing. Efficiency in sales has a high correlation with your wallet. Efficient reps make more money.

Creating a Champion In Your Sales Process

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Jan 8, 2013, 1:50 PM

As sales people we are always told to get to the decisions maker. In a perfect world we’d be able to speak with the decision maker every time. In the real world however, decision makers are empowering their colleagues to evaluate new solutions and putting them in charge of building a business case internally.


Speaking to the decision maker during your sales process is still very important. However, I think it is also very important to realize that if you are selling products that will be used by several people across the organization you will often times need the users buy-in to facilitate the sale. These individuals are your "influencers" and can be instrumental in speeding up a deal. If you can work with these influencers the correct way you can create a “champion” for your product or service. A champion is someone that will be an advocate withing the organization and can sell internally for you. In the case of not being able to get to the decision maker right away, champions are essential. Below you will find three areas you should explore with your influencers along with some questions to uncover a possible champion. 

                                 

1) Discover how your influencer is measured:

a. How are they evaluated by their boss?
b. What are the specific goals for their role?
c. When do they need to accomplish these goals by?

2) Find out what motivates them:

a. What does success look like to them?
b. What are their personal goals in the short term or long term?
c. What are the consequences (positive or negative) If they fail to meet or exceed their goals?

3) Coach them so they can sell for you:

a. Do not assume they know all the answers. Coach them!
b. Leverage sales collateral and customize it to their specific needs and goals.
c. Build presentation decks for them. Always assume they will be passing on or presenting the material you give them to the decision maker(s).

The main thing to remember here is to keep it about them! You want to empower your champion to make a compelling case internally (with your help). Never assume that they are going to do a good job. If I know an internal meeting is going to happen where an organization will be discussing my product , I always make it a point to schedule a quick call with the influencer(s) to learn about what they plan on presenting. I want to make sure that what they are going to present is in line with the value proposition that I am selling. If it is not, I use the methods above to gain a better understanding of how I can make the influencer look like a rock star and sell the product for me.

Let us know if you have any tried and true methods for building champions during your sales process. 

                  

How To Prioritize Your Sales Pipeline and Eliminate Spreadsheets

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Jan 8, 2013, 8:53 AM

A lot of sales reps and sales managers are asking the question: How is Sales Pipeline Management different from our CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. Most organizations use some form of CRM software to manage their leads, opportunities and even customers. While these solutions started out as tools meant to help organize the sales process, they have grown into a platform to be used across the organization.

How to Use atQuota

Posted by Ryan Neu

Jan 8, 2013, 8:16 AM

We built atQuota for ourselves (sales guys) because we were tired of maintaining our active deals in spreadsheets and notepads. We were also tired of having to update our managers, daily, regarding the status of a particular deal. Now we can manage our managers by allowing them to access our sales pipeline through atQuota.

Sales Pipeline Stages

Posted by Ryan Neu

Jan 7, 2013, 9:00 AM

Sales forecasting has historically been divided into pre-defined sales pipeline stages, set by a company's management team. It is set by management because they are attempting to eliminate subjectivity within a sales rep’s forecast. Below, we will cover some of the traditional sales pipeline stages,  from the early stages to the late. Collectively, these sales stages represent a sales funnel.

 

3 Bad Habits to Avoid Inaccurate Sales Forecasts

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Jan 5, 2013, 1:33 PM

It's no secret that in many organizations sales forecasting is broken. There tends be a lot of subjectivity in any given forecast and it creates a big problem at the executive level. What a lot of companies fail to address is that the accuracy of a forecast starts with the sales rep. Forecasting has traditionally been viewed as a managerial task. At atQuota we believe sales reps, managers and executives alike should start to address this issue from the source.

4 Prospecting Tips to Build Your Sales Pipeline

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Jan 3, 2013, 4:06 PM

I know, most sales people think prospecting is brutal. We all want to spend more time closing deals. However in many organizations sales prospecting is still an essential task and in those cases every sales rep needs to learn how to be the most efficient and effective prospecting machine as possible. Focusing on this one monotonous task and honing your skills is a sure way to ensure a full pipeline and sales forecast month over month. Whether you are a sales rep responsible for your own appointments or you’re a Business Development Rep setting up appointments for an Account Executive, here are 4 tips to help you become more effective at prospecting.

Sales Forecasting and the Importance of Frequency

Posted by Ryan Neu

Jan 3, 2013, 1:23 PM

How often do you update your sales forecast within your CRM? Once per day? Once per week? My guess is that you update your forecast after you get an email from your manager requesting the update.

Simple...Yet Effective Sales Advice

Posted by Matthew Fradette

Jan 2, 2013, 3:21 PM

If you’re like me, and you probably are if you’re reading this, you want to close business earlier and more often. So far in my career, I’ve had the privilege of working with many talented sales and marketing professionals that I’ve learned a lot from. Early in my career I learned a very simple piece of advice that has stuck with me and to this day was some of the best sales advice I have ever received.

4 Reasons to Manage Your Sales Pipeline

Posted by Ryan Neu

Jan 2, 2013, 1:38 PM

All sales reps, in one way or another, manage their deal pipeline. It does not matter whether you are an inside sales rep hitting the phones or an outside sales rep on the front line--keeping a close tally on your deals is critical for getting you to quota.

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