The Future of CRM

CRM. The mere mention of the word usually brings horror and groans of, do we have to.

Associated with being a management tool to run pointless reports about activity, or lack of by the seller. Contact data that is wrong and out of date, or none whatsoever.

I ran a poll on LinkedIn which led to a response from one person that CRM does not help towards revenue generation, they are after the fact and, as far as they were concerned, an utter waste of time. 

It is still running and the majority of the votes said adoption was the biggest issue in their view. 

I have always defended CRM systems. When people tell me they are a waste of time. They are if you are not thinking about what sort of MI and data you want out of them to help you move a client relationship forward, understand the current state of play and more.

I believe they do contribute towards revenue generation and are having a renaissance in how they are now being deployed and adopted.

I would like to welcome Matt Woodford from Microsoft. Matt is the Portfolio Lead, Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement, Western Europe. He has been on the Dynamics 365 side of things since 2014. So he knows a bit about CRM and the marketplace.

In this episode we cover off :

Why does CRM get such bad press?

How has CRM evolved?

With all this other technology we have to choose from such in the sales tech landscape, is CRM still relevant?

Matt gives us insight into the vision Microsoft has and the role Dynamics 365 plays in their entire ecosystem.

We chat about the Cloud, Automation & AI

Where is it all going?

Thank you to Matt for being so candid, whilst this is through a Microsoft lense, all that he says translates to CRMs in general, albeit some may not have as much capability as Dynamics 365, or the power of Azure, the fundamentals in my opinion remain true.

Follow Matt here https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewwoodford/

Learn more about Dynamics 365 and Digital Selling here https://dynamics.microsoft.com/en-gb/sales/overview/

 

As ever, thank you for taking the time to tune in and listen, please feel free to share with your networks.

If you would like to be a guest, find me on LinkedIn and send me a message. If there is someone you would like to recommend, do the same thing.

Until next time.

 

 

Indeed, what is it - This phrase, in fact, put most words in front of Transformation have been talked about for aeons. 

Now businesses have been forced into action, or they say they are.

In this episode, I am joined by the brilliant Chris Hood. Chris is Business Innovation and Strategy at Google Cloud, as well as the host of the That Digital Show podcast. 

Chris' foray into sales, started out as "What once started as selling popcorn in a local movie theater and a film student, I found my love for cinema. This included receiving multiple industry awards for theatre marketing campaigns, including the National Association of Theater Owners coveted customer service award and Hollywood Reporter's grand prize showmanship award three years in a row for Jurassic Park (1993), Wyatt Earp (1994), and Apollo 13 (1995)."

He then came to a crossroads, produce movies or stay in sales. He chose the latter, which then led him to more of a technology play, as you will hear. And boy am I glad he did, as, over the next 45 mins, you will hear it straight. 

We tackle, well, I say we, I ask Chris some questions and he drops some brilliant insight on :

What is Transformation in the round?

What is Digital Transformation?

How does this play into Sales Transformation?

Why Sales Transformation doesn't even get off the ground. Even though everyone is talking about it.

Everyone you serve is a Customer. And why Blockbuster got it wrong (and it's not what you think).

Creating digital experiences.

Why B2B needs to start focussing on its sales & marketing data. 

How AI can play its part.

And yes, how and why B2B should strive to behave like a B2C. 

We end on, you're not selling a technology solution to the CTO (or any other job title for that matter). And why.

Huge thanks to Chris for his time and insight. You can learn more about his thinking and podcast here www.chrishood.com

Follow Chris here on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrishood/

Follow Chris here on Twitter https://twitter.com/ChrisHood1

And, if you were triggered by his comments about sales processes, well, he gave you his email, so you know what to do. 

As ever, my thanks to you, my listeners.

You can find me all over social - https://linktr.ee/alexanderlow

 

 

 

In this episode, I am joined by the brilliant Chris Allen AKA Chief of Sales and Memes. Yes, memes. 

If you don't know what a meme is :

1 - an element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means.

2 - an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by internet users, often with slight variations.
 
So, there you have it. How then does one become a Chief of Memes, and how, or why would it be relevant in B2B sales, especially on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is not Facebook, I hear your inner voice saying. 
 
I have followed Chris on LinkedIn for what felt like forever. We connected back in Feb 2018. Chris caught my attention by his Yellow Hat in his LinkedIn profile; more importantly how he has cleverly and subtly built his personal brand around this. 
 
Chris is certainly pushing the boundaries on LinkedIn on how he is bringing, what one might describe as, the sub-culture of Memes onto LinkedIn. He was certainly an early adopter of this, which 18 plus months ago, was a risky strategy; the risk of the ire of the "Facebook" police on LinkedIn, as well as the employer brand.
 
In this episode, Chris shares his journey into sales from an IT / Technical background.
 
How he does not shy away from his passion of Gaming, and how he brings some of this into his B2B sales play on LinkedIn and social. 
 
Breaks down his first post on LinkedIn that generated his first sale, and how from here, this led him to where he is today. 
 
We chat about the balance of creating a personal brand under the corporate banner of the company you work for.  What comes first, your brand or the company? As you will hear, Chris has a robust view on this.
 
He admits that he has pushed the boundaries too far on the odd occasion. 
 
I challenge Chris on how some of his audience reacts to his content, especially his buyers.
 
Chris flips this to how he also leverages his sales audience as a proxy to his intended audience.
 
We debate the evolution of content on LinkedIn and how this has transformed during the last 18months and what the future may hold - I unfairly put Chris on the spot on this one!
 
Whilst I recognise that Chris' approach is not for everyone, and nor should it be. Chris is an example of what can be achieved with humour, thought and intention. 
 
 
Learn more about Licenseware - https://www.linkedin.com/company/licenseware/
 
As ever, thank you to Chris for his time and insight.
 
Thank you to you, my audience for your continued support, if you would like to be a guest, or if you know anyone who you think would be a great guest, feel free to reach out to me. 
 
 

In this week's episode, I am joined by Jakob. He is 18.

Jakob connected with me over the summer on LinkedIn. I was intrigued as to why an 18-year-old would want to connect, hence, before accepting, I asked him.

He said he had found my videos on YouTube useful in helping him build out his LinkedIn profile, and he wanted to connect. I also learned that he hosted his own podcast, which I have been on. 

I am not one for labelling profiles, as in my experience they do not hold true, however, Jakob is a Gen Z, therefore is growing up in a very different world to the one I did. I was interested to explore this further.

We talk about the impact the last 18 months or so has had on him and his peers.

What he and his friend did with their newly found spare time in early 2020? Which he described as, what any teenager with time on their hands would do, which is set up an Amazon FBA business. Very different to what I did, or could do as a teenager with time on their hands. 

We chat about the importance of exams, grades, the impact this has had on some of his peer's mental health - with this "perceived" pressure that it is all about the grades to succeed in life - any Gary Vee fans out there will know his view on this.

Jakob talks about how social media is almost a 24/7 thing for his generation. I talk about the potential impact this has on being able to network in person, how this might impact any roles in a business where day to day conversation is required, especially in a sales role. 

Jakob shares why he decided to defer University for a year, turn down an apprenticeship offer from a major firm and join a tech business.  He also talks about how he got the role, and didn't need a CV to do this - and why he believes CVs are a somewhat antiquated way to gauge someone's ability. 

I ask him about the expectations from an employer and their use of technology in the workplace as well as allowing employees to have a voice on social media. I challenge the social media side of things, to look at the perspective that we now seem to be in a world where everything has to be documented online, and the potential impact this could have on an employer brand, and ones career opportunity. 

I hope you enjoy this one, I felt we only scratched the surface, however, it's great to see such confidence and get up and go with Jakob. If there are more like him, both young Men & Women, we are going to be in good hands.

Connect with Jakob here https://www.linkedin.com/in/jakobheptinstall/

Subscribe to his podcast here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNkpW9V6gAWkNiuAeNGUVwA

 

As ever, thank you for listening, please do subscribe and share with your network!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shane Mahi, CEO & Co-Founder of SalesDRIIVN believes so.

In this episode, we break down what was wrong with the antiquated outsourced models and how Shane, along with this co-founder Antoine saw what they thought was a gap in the market.

Shane started his business in March 2020, and they now have won a number of clients whom they work with. 

As you learn, this goes beyond the assumed, just setting appointments.

Shane and the team at SalesDRIIVN support their clients across 4 aspects of pipeline creation, or Hyper-Growth as they call it :

Business Intelligence :
Make better business decisions with real actionable intelligence.

Human Intelligence :

Leading specialists in the creation of opportunities.

Artificial Intelligence :

Empowering your sales and marketing teams to achieve more with AI.

Growth Intelligence :

Actionable insights and intelligence to grow your business.

Shane breaks down the 4 areas they focus on and what that means for their clients

We chat about the challenges faced by SDRs & AEs today, and what this means for the roles in the future.

Where outsourcing your sales makes sense versus where maybe it might not. 

I share my experiences of working with an outsourced sales business in the past, and challenge Shane on "Is he not just dressing up appointment setting"

I put Shane on the spot and ask for his take on are we relying too much on automation in sales, and by doing so, losing the art of selling?

To learn more about what Shane and the team can do to help you get better meeting with better prospects, head on over to www.salesdriivn.com or

Connect with Shane on LinkedIn, mention this podcast - https://www.linkedin.com/in/shanemahi/

Don't forget to subscribe if you are not already, and please do share with you networks.

As ever, thank you for listening.

 

 

 

In this weeks episode, I am joined by the brilliant Mary Shea PhD.

Mary is the Global Innovation Evangelist at Outreach, prior to this she was a Principal Analyst at Forrester. She also has a PhD in Musicology & Ethnomusicology, which, as you will hear, is a word I am unable to pronounce. 

What is a Revenue Innovator? Well, if you visit Mary's profile on LinkedIn, you will see this :

"Revenue Innovators : noun - a new cohort of revenue leaders who put buyers at the center of their strategies, who arm their sellers with the most innovative sales technologies, and who over-index on data, rather than intuition, to inform their business decisions. "

Quite a statement, I am sure you will agree. 

In this podcast, Mary takes us through what this means. 

She shares her fascinating background from playing in orchestra's around the world to her PhD to where she is now at Outreach.

Sales Engagement technology vs Engagement & Intelligence technology

Is Revenue Intelligence just Sales Enablement with a different name, or are we creating a new category?

CRM was never designed for sellers, so where are we now and what is its role for the 21st Century?

Point solutions becoming platforms of the future, what does this mean?

Are we creating a challenge for sellers by relying too much on automation?

How does this play into the "buyer first" and "buyer safety" and the discrepancy between seller & buyer?

Crafting buyer-centric strategies.

Do we need to re-brand how we refer to buyers?

The rise of the buying group, what does the mean?

Compensation plans focussed on quantitative metrics and why this is now a problem.

The "we have always done it this way" syndrome.

Sales & Marketing are still not aligned.

Is there a skills gap in Sales & Marketing to operate in a revenue intelligence-led world?

Are we really heading into a world where AI will make all the decisions for sellers?

The science vs the art of sales.

What does "in-person" mean today?

Can more traditional markets such as Professional Services, Financial Services and Insurance have Revenue Innovators and supporting technology platforms, such as Outreach?

 

Connect with Mary on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/feed/

Follow Mary on Twitter https://twitter.com/sheaoutr

Subscribe to her podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/revenue-innovators/id1573980851

Learn more about Outreach https://www.outreach.io/ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Failure to plan, practice, rehearse, capture lessons and debrief is an act of gross misconduct on their part of the salesperson and the part of their manager. It should result in a minimum of a written warning and repetition should result in dismissal.
Harsh words? Not at all. Consider the cost of getting one opportunity into the top of the funnel."

Welcome to the world, and more importantly, thinking, of Marcus Cauchi. This is taken from one of his brilliant blogs on Medium, https://procustomer.medium.com/ 

Marcus' about section on LinkedIn reads thus :

"Marcus met the Devil at the crossroads on Route 66 and he sold him a short-term lease on very favourable terms" - testimonial from my accountant

I work with CEOs, VPs of Sales & Marketing & Channel Chiefs of technology vendors who recognise that success is not a function of having hundreds of salespeople or dozens of channel partners who occasionally uncover a piece of business, but rather it’s a function of having a handful of select salespeople & partners who share a common vision, have common goals, and can be counted on to work collaboratively to effectively, efficiently, and consistently uncover new opportunities."

I wish I had a Marcus in my life in my early sales career, and thankful that I have met him now. 

He doesn't hold back, calls it as he sees it, calls out the BS we see and know to be true, but maybe won't look in the mirror. 

If you are serious about upping your sales performance as an individual, or that of your team, the next 40mins will be an education. 

Then you need to connect with Marcus and learn more about what he can do for you and your team.

Marcus is also the host of TheInquisitor Podcast, with over 300 hours of amazing guests and resources.

#TheInquisitor podcast can be found at:

Podbean: https://lnkd.in/dEpJ76v
Apple: https://lnkd.in/gMXwNtP
Spotify: https://lnkd.in/dVBytnY

Marcus is a beacon of light in the sales world.

You can also follow Marcus on Twitter https://twitter.com/The_Inquisitor 

The Sales Rapper

Meet Ding Zheng, 14 years in Rap, 4 years in SaaS sales, then he combined the 2 to create the Sales Rapper which he describes as : "Sonic branding for products and services.  Source material dry? Supercharge your content strategy with a Sales Rap!"

Ding goes on to say :

How do you stand out when everybody's speaking and nobody's listening?

You need to BE AWESOME and get a CULT FOLLOWING. But how? B2B is so boring...

Let me RAP ABOUT YOUR B2B/B2C product so you can truly GO VIRAL in your space.

The content gets the eyeballs, and the message gets the inbounds.

__________

🎤 raps to promote your product/service
🤝 sales professional
📈 marketing enthusiast

It’s hard to succeed with content. It’s HARDER to make truly engaging content when many might find the source material dry. Let me help.

After failing as a rapper then finding success in tech sales, I realized my musical talents can help b2b, b2c, and dtc stand out.
__________

"You should call yourself 'THE SALES RAPPER'" -astounded Zoomer following a 10/10 freestyle from yours truly

So...how did a recovering struggle rapper end up in B2B sales? Well, as an independent musician, I've always had to sell. 

This is his amazing story.

Follow on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/dingzheng25/

Follow on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/dingzheng25

Follow on TikTok @salesrapper

Tom is my first-ever returning guest!

I have followed Tom's journey at SalesLoft for well over a year. He is an SDR there before more recently moving into an entirely new role, created for him.

Welcome to the era of the social sales evangelist.

What is that you may ask?

Well, that's exactly what I thought when I saw him update his profile, so, I messaged him and asked if he would be happy to come back on and talk through his path to this new role.

 

We chat about :

How he uses social to build the brand that is Tom - and why this is important for everyone in a sales role to think about their brand.

How he uses video to prospect, what the structure of the video is, optimum length and why being honest and paying a compliment works best.

We chat about the importance of having a supportive leadership team, which he has in abundance at SalesLoft.

Does it really work?

Tom goes on to share how his new role came about, and what this means for him and SalesLoft moving forward.

If you missed my first podcast with Tom - and his first-ever podcast! , you can listen here : https://alexanderlow.podbean.com/e/being-memorable-the-sales-tech-stack-your-favourite-biscuit/

Follow Tom on :

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/tom-boston/

Twitter https://twitter.com/TomBoston

You can also find him hanging out on TikTok too tom_boston 

Learn more about SalesLoft : www.salesloft.com 

As always, thank you for listening, don't forget to follow and subscribe!

And share with your network too. 

Thank you.

 

 

In this episode, I am joined by Joe Barron, content manager at Cognism 

Joe caught my attention after I read one of his blogs titled - "Cognism's recipe for creating content worth $88,270 in annual revenue"

This is the perrenial challenge of any content marketing role for sales, prove to me this is working.

In Joe's blog, he builds on these themes :

"Proving that content is not only worthy of being a powerful lead gen machine in its own right, but also delivers strong ROI.

Budgets are tight, teams are small, and there’s the pressure to generate results - in a B2B marketing discipline that often takes time to bear fruit.

So, how do you do it?

Start by tracking the important things.

Things like: 

  • Unique blog views.
  • Google rankings.
  • Content SQOs.
  • Content closed-won deals.

Then you’ll be able to show how content is a key player in the sales, marketing, and wider business function."

Joe takes us through his journey thus far with Cognism, from when he first joined to where the team is today.

Key points we discuss :

  • Marketing carrying a revenue quota, how does that work?
  • How, he and his marketing colleagues join his sales colleagues for a day of cold calling, why?
  • How you can build your content strategy towards one major piece of lead-generating content.
  • The importance of data, which data and how to track and use the data.

Joe's full blog can be found here

You can learn more about Cognism here

Follow Joe on LinkedIn

As always, thank you for tuning in and listening, don't forget to subscribe and follow!

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