Last week we held the launch webinar for our ExchangeDefender partners and existing Shockey Monkey clients. If you’d like to take a look at it the recording is here. If I had to sum it up, SM3 is above and beyond what you need to manage an SMB company. Not just an IT business but any business – which is a huge area of opportunity for our IT partners – you can now sell the entire business system complete with the cloud services, management platform and your IT solution management under your brand, your price, your model and deliver a true end-to-end experience. I think that is something that will separate IT businesses that will survive from those that do not as they chase one fad after another and eventually get consumerized. But enough of my babbling, let me introduce you to some features. Yesterday I talked about Marketing, today it’s Sales.
Brief Reality About Sales
There are tons of books about sales. Most of them try to teach people how to be real human beings and how to guide a conversation in a way that will lead the prospect to hand over the money. They do nothing in terms of sales personnel accountability, focus areas, bonus structures, incentives and so on – to a sales person those items are secondary and to poor & mediocre sales people in SMB (99.92% of them) there is seemingly 0 connection between getting the deal and seeing the deal deliver value to the client.
Sales directive is “Get them to sign on the line which is dotted, collect commission” and small business owners quickly get disillusioned by this attitude because they care about the company, quality of service, etc.
Shockey Monkey sales components were written with two objectives in mind:
1. Keep sales personnel accountable.
2. Turn everyone into an effective sales person.
SMB sales methodology is different from employment in big business, namely: We all sell. All the time. Every client interaction can lead to a sale (or loss of future business) and the better we serve our clients, the more responsive we are to their demands, the more they will look to do business with us. It’s just common sense, just hard to execute… until Shockey Monkey.
Shockey Monkey Opportunities
Shockey Monkey opportunities are the first step in the sales process – Someone wants something from us, let’s figure out how to track the interaction. Think of it like a support request for the business side of the house. We’ve made is both simple and quick to register an opportunity, yet powerful enough to break down further information that will give the management better insight into where money is potentially coming from and sales folks an idea of how much they could make. Let’s focus on the speed first:
It’s hard to tell from the screenshot but this interface flows with the use. Our goal was to have the opportunity documented in less than 60 seconds from logging into Shockey Monkey. New > Opportunity > Company (if it’s already in the system it prefills all their data) and then just fill in the details if you want to – but remember it’s optional.
Why? Why let people halfass it? I will explain this in greater detail later based on all the interviews we made during the SM3 development in 2012 but the goal of the opportunity is to get the ball rolling. It can be revised, adjusted, tweaked, managed and adjusted. Opportunity is the start of the sales process in SMB.
But if you have the time, why not enter a lot more? Well, you’re going to have to eventually. Same story as before – no clutter, no endless tabs, no cockpit navigational control complexity. Just provide the info – all of which is customizable for your own business!
The idea here is to see how much is this opportunity worth it to me – so it a pile of orders come in at the same time we act the fastest on the most profitable ones (or not, depending on your strategy, circumstances, etc)
After it’s in the system, working the opportunity is just a part of the job. And it’s easy and it’s tracked:
You can instantly tell as a manager what is going to cover the next payroll run – it’s all just a matter of tracking what you do!
I hate to keep on saying “quickly and easily” but in all my years in business I’ve never been able to get people to do anything unless I made it more convenient for them to do it my way – regardless of bonuses, incentives, promotions on the table, if it’s not easy it doesn’t get done consistently.
Whenever we talk to people about Sales it’s the same story – Oh, we don’t use that – and rightfully so. If it’s too complex, too convoluted, too time consuming and you don’t see the point you shouldn’t use it. You should spend the time on the phone or with clients which is what you get paid to do, not to do data entry. But make it easy and seamless as a part of the conversation and soon you have the level of accountability from your sales that you have from your technicians. It’s all about insight.
Why is it valuable? Because part of the Opportunity naturally leads to a Quote – which is dead simple:
That’s what it looks like blank. But if you choose to create a Quote from the open Opportunity, all the data is prefilled. Just Add products and services and hit create quote. You’ll know when the client views it and they’ll have the option to approve it right there in the web browser. When they do it creates agreements, support tickets, projects, etc.
Most importantly, it connects all of your personnel. It tells you who is dropping the ball. If there are tons of opportunities but no proposals, we’re not doing our best are we? What about it taking days to get a Quote out? If the same person isn’t doing both tasks, you won’t have to count on them both to “connect” – the software will alert them when they need to do something and if you incentivize them to get their job done you’ll see both sales, quotes, support and project people talking together without your “managing” because they are linked together (and it’s very easy to see when someone isn’t doing their job… and best of all, you won’t have to say it – the software will say it to them for you.. SHOCKEY monkey)
Again, unlinked and processless sales CRM sucks, and it shows clearly when it seems like it was just thrown together one project manager after another. With Shockey Monkey you get the system that was designed from the ground up to be simple and connected. Here is what it looks like blank:
Not effective, huh? But imagine this prefilled from your Quote that was automatically generated when the client viewed and accepted the Quote on the web. All you have to do is Create the Agreement.
Half of small business management is figuring out who isn’t doing their job and the other half is constantly repeating how you expect people to do their job. Use the right solution and provide fair reporting and integration among the components and you won’t have to do a thing – employees will keep each other accountable and if their incentives are based on what’s in the system they will enter the data – trust me!
Think about it.
There are many, many, many CRM packages out there. All of which we’ve used at one point or another, all of which suck and don’t apply to our business or are too complex or or or. Eventually I had my come to Jesus talk and realized that sales people are just like all the other employees – they don’t want to be blamed for stuff that goes wrong and they want all the credit for everything that goes right. So we sat down with all the people that weren’t using their tools to their fullest potential and we realized that we all share the common pain – sales guys are not often logically connected to the rest of the team. Small business cannot survive with fragmented responsibilities, we all get paid when we all do a good job. Sales guys aren’t training wheels as the company starts driving from one man shops to the midmarket, they are a part of the team and they need to understand their responsibilities in the context of the team that fulfills all their promises which are based on the market-tested marketing message the management puts forward.
We don’t want you to be more successful by putting in more effort, we want you to be more effective at managing your business by simply enjoying your job.
Note: Shockey Monkey 3 will be automatically rolled out to all existing Shockey Monkey portals on Thursday, December 20th, 2012.