Do you remember your first time? I do. How could I forget? I was in love. The anticipation of being alone, just the two of us, was something I had been thinking about for weeks. When we all met our new team member, it was like every sales rep in the company was distracted. I couldn’t get any one-on-one time. Finally a holiday approached and I planned to be in the office, long after everyone had left. We would be alone.
The egg-nog was gone, the lights were dim and the office was empty. I opened up my browser and we were alone. Just the two of us: me and my salesforce.com
The first thing I noticed, my new love was unhappy. We had transferred all our data from a old Siebel CRM. My beautiful Salesforce was full of non-standard data and tons of duplicates.
So I took action. Here are the steps I took:
1. Develop a Normalization Plan.
(In the past I’ve called it a Data Plan), but the phrase has evolved. A Normalization Plan is a set of standards for your data. For example: for job titles, do you want them list verbose, such as “Vice President of Sales” or compact like “VP Sales”? Removing extraneous spaces and punctuation is also something to decide upon. Do you always go with “Incorporated” or “Inc”?
2. Normalize your CRM
Don’t even think about deduping your data before normalizing. This is a mistake of the uniformed. If a consultant wants to dive right in and dedupe, they are not skilled in the art of loving their CRM.
Dedupe without normalizing first is akin to putting underwear over your pants.
3. Pick your dupe matching rules
It’s got to be the right time and you must do some testing to make sure you’ve got it right. Use one of the tools from RingLead that provides customizable dedupe logic to match your business requirements. RingLead is a pro at removing Salesforce Duplicates.
It’s not the first step, it’s the last. When you really love your CRM you take care of everything else first. At this point, you’ll have a plan, you’ll know about all the little nuances and dedupe will be natural and successful.
One Pen : One Year
Dreamforce is on my mind. The RingLead team is cooking up some interesting (and fun) initiatives for the biggest tech show in the universe. What will Marc Benioff launch this year? Every year the industry leadership of Salesforce has stood out. I’m excited to be going.
What’s with the pen? First, it is a compact Fisher Space Pen. It is awesome and I have not used another single pen for an entire year. It was a personal challenge to myself. I keep it on my keychain and always have it with me. It writes upside down and does not stop working like 98% of the pens you typically get from tradeshows.
I just walked around my entire office asking for a bunch of pens (to take a picture) and no one had any from tradeshows. The sales reps had collected a bunch of them; I knew this. When asked, it was simple: “I threw them out Donato. They stopped working”.
Tradeshows, Dreamforce and advice to vendors:
Dont’ give away crappy cheap, pens
When I get back with a low quality pen that does not work. Guess what? I associate that with YOUR company. I have never had a pen from a trade show last. Really ask yourself… have you?
We are teaching our children to recycle and not to waste, to have a better world. I paid around $20 for my space pen and I regularly give them as gifts. After a year it is more cost effective, process efficient and cutter free way of using a writing instrument. Think long term, think quality. My appeal:
It’s doesn’t have to be a space pen, but here is a picture of mine.
Sales outreach is on my mind. We are launching a new product, Capture! and today, two of our junior reps reached out to me for advice. Why? I am a phone animal. I break call accounting systems, wear out wireless headsets and I’d blow the curve for the average rep. I have fun on my calls and have learned, failed, explored and developed techniques to get 9 out of 10 call backs.
At this point in my life it is not a set of techniques, but a way of thinking. It is now part of me. However, I wasn’t always this way. It took years to cultivate the skills, to act with intuition, to do without thinking, to blink. Back to speaking of new people…
Working from home today, I got a call from Chris, a new sales representative at RingLead (for those who know me, I recently accepted the position of Acting CEO @ RingLead). RingLead is a specialist in helping to Dedupe Salesforce. Chris was on speaker phone and he had another “Chris” with him. They wanted to bounce ideas off me. They developed a call plus email campaign.
New campaigns are not simple to execute. You must A/B test and adjust as you work through the initial campaign. We did a great job in recruiting and these guys were prepared. After bouncing a few ideas around, they were ready to go. Why is a CEO spending time doing this? In this case, I just built and delivered a new product where I am the subject matter expert (Capture!).
The knowledge needed to be transferred throughout the organization. Besides, I am good at it and I enjoy doing it. Eight minutes (yes I timed it) of time spent coaching these new reps in the right direction can have tens of thousands of dollars of impact in the long run. The ROI is there.
This is an important distinction that most organizations miss. The manager is not necessarily the trainer, nor the coach. I am not the manager, nor the trainer, but a few minutes of high-impact training can make huge impact if used strategically. Write this down.
Back to my new sales guys. Now they are ready. In fact I can see they are making calls now. Not 30 second calls, but four, five, eight and twenty minute calls. This means they are engaging. Capture is going to be big! What 5 bits of advice did I give them?
- Sales is a numbers game. ok duh, Donato, no big secret there. Everyone talks about this.
- Every call counts. This is less talked about. Some dismiss this, yet they are dead wrong.
- Every call affects your attitude Even less talked about. This is where the leader exceeds the manager. Managers rarely talk about this, leaders do.
- Attitude is everything. No, really. This is where the coach exceeds the typical leader.
- Put a marble on your keyboard What the heck?
It is simple. If sales is a numbers game, every call counts and affects your attitude (and attitude is everything), then you must control your attitude. You do that by putting a marble on your keyboard. Get it? Blog over, fat lady sings and I now I get to press “Publish” If I lost you, watch my video (I’ll explain it).
In addition to my video if you are facing reluctance in picking up the phone, my friend Connie Kadansky is the “Call Reluctance Coach”. Her material is top quality and can be seen at: http://exceptionalsales.com
What do data mining and Doctor Who have in common?
Start with data mining. Some companies sell different versions of a database or subscription service, based on your location. They determine your location based on your computer’s IP address. For example, if you live in the UK and you want full access the UK version of the database, then you pay full price, but if you want to add other locations, you can get it at a fraction of the cost. In other cases, due to licensing restrictions, if you have an IP address outside a specific country, you simply can’t access the website.
It is the same for Doctor Who. If you live inside the UK, you can watch Doctor Who live and streaming via the BBC. However, if you try to access from the United States, you get this message.
Basically, you can’t view it without having an IP address in the UK.
But you really want to access a particular website and crunch all that data… or you want to really watch Doctor Who live, the day it comes out. What do you do?
Simple: Sign up for a VPN service.
Not all VPN options are the same. Some have point to point utility. For example: from your laptop you can securely connect to your company’s office router. This is what most telecommuters are used to. This is not the type of VPN I am talking about. The VPN I am talking about is a location select-able VPN. How it works: I buy access to the service. Next I can browse the Internet, securely, appearing as if I am in San Francisco, Dallas, Amsterdam or London (London is in the UK).
So go out and get your private VPN. It will take a few minutes to install the VPN client on your Mac or PC. Next, data mine or watch Doctor Who to your heart’s content.
Some VPN services: