Tag Archives: Triage

How Do You Optimize Your Sales Organization? Seven Points

Situation: A company currently has inside and outside sales teams, and coordinates efforts with SalesForce.com software. Their strategic initiatives are to double inbound leads, create a triage approach to new leads and to lower the cost of sales. How do you optimize your sales organization?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • When outside sales claims that they have limited band width, it is necessary to find how they are spending their time.
    • If they are not spending most of their time developing and closing sales, adjust the system so that they are concentrating their efforts in these two areas.
  • Decide what the sales teams are selling – set up the organization so that it complements the sales goals and objectives. Below are alternatives used by others.
  • One company has evolved “product managers” who are like sales engineers but more experienced. They are highly paid and highly skilled. They are business oriented, with good communication skills, well rounded, and have successfully closed sales.
    • In contrast, the role of this company’s “salespeople” is to follow up. Lower level salespeople are tasked with generating leads for the product managers
  • Another CEO observed that what the company has done up until now all has worked well. The question now is how to mature their system?
    • This company’s solution has been to use outsourced Inside Sales Support (ISS) based abroad to find prospects.
    • ISS personnel are teamed with and managed by the company’s salespeople. Salespeople develop their own system. The ratio is  1/1, but outside personnel are ½ time for each salesperson.
    • This allows the company to reduce services quickly if they become overwhelmed.
  • A third company uses a 3-tier system:
    • Prospect development.
    • Inside sales for lead evaluation.
    • Outside sales – get hot leads from inside sales, develop, close.
  • Consider this alternative: instead of a shotgun approach, target three accounts – Elephants. One company did this with an intense 6-month focus. The President and CEO drive these sales. The result: they have closed one, one is pending, and a third is likely to close.
  • Another CEO observed that the essential issue appears to be an efficiency problem.
    • Too much of the outside sales time adds limited value to marketing or the company.
    • Redirect their efforts to hunting.
    • Once an account is closed, sales is out of the picture. The customer transitions to the customer service organization for additional sales and service.

How Do You Simplify Access to Knowledge? Five Factors

Interview with John Kogan, CEO, Proformative

Situation: An organization that provides an online network for senior financial executives has an immense amount of content on its web portal. To improve the user experience of their target audience, they want to simplify access to this knowledge. How do you simplify access to knowledge?

Advice from John Kogan:

  • We have a rich portal with an immense amount of content potentially valuable to senior corporate finance[K1]  executives. We have many ways to access this content – perhaps too many. Our objective is to get the highest quality answers in front of the user with the least effort on their part. Google has done a very good job of pulling the best content to the top given a million possibilities to each query. If we can do this, we become the Google of finance and accounting!
  • Most people know what they want when they come to a site. We have started by creating a clean user experience to allow them that good “line of sight” to what they want.
  • Our objective is to help the user identify the right content with the smallest number of queries. From the user perspective, exposing the wrong content is a waste of time. We want to show them high quality, compelling content which directly addresses their need.
  • To develop quality content, you must have an open mind. It’s not about what we want to say, but understanding the user’s needs and addressing these. You have to be guided by the data to tell you what’s happening on the site and what the user wants to see, and then provide them relevant information.
  • Achieving this means that we must find people who are smarter than us in these areas and gain their input. In the end, your company is no better than the ideas that you can either dream up or gather from others. We constantly seek fresh perspectives from investors, advisors, users and potential users.
  • Finally, you must take action on the data you gather. Too many companies suffer from information paralysis. The solution is Vision plus Will plus Doing it!

You can contact John Kogan at info@proformative.com

Category: Strategy, Technology

Key Words: Strategy, Technology, Content, Portal, Access, Simplify, Knowledge, Google, User, Experience, Triage, Sticky, Relevant, Ideas, Execute