Andrew Sinclair, Founder of Lane Four, an account-based sales and marketing application, joins me on this episode.
Andrew says the biggest challenge facing sales reps is the time it takes reps to do administrative tasks instead of selling, to meet management’s need to track field activity.
Terms like ‘track,’ ‘report,’ and ‘measure’ indicate that CRM is not meant to facilitate the job of the reps, but to control their activity. Andrew prefers enabling end-of-job tasks, such as using the sales order to enter activity data.
Lane Four, for ABM, came from Andrew’s consulting company, which is focused on supporting funded startups. Four years ago they started building tools to make Salesforce easier for marketers. This led to account-based services.
Bolting apps onto Salesforce can lead to data in separate sets. Lane Four is a native app integrated into Salesforce, minimizing data lag.
Andrew explains how lead assignment and follow up — the first of the prototypical processes of Lane Four — is facilitated. Tracking is done automatically, measured in business hours between activities.
Account creation is the second main process in Lane Four. Andrew talks about understanding organization and industry factors, leading to good account decisions.
Opportunity creation is the next process Lane Four addresses. Andrew discusses forecasting models and various aspects of this process.
The meaning of opportunity depends on what you want to measure, how long the sales cycle is, and how many meetings it involves. There is a lot of tracking involved.
The longer the sales cycle is, the fuzzier the stages are, and the harder it is to track time. Andrew talks about the need for weekly sales meetings as a separate channel for tracking.
Andrew notes adoption curves. Not everyone enters data at the right point and time. Predictive tools are only as good as the data entered.
Humans are hugely unpredictable. Even large data sets can measure the wrong data and come up with the wrong forecast. Use regular sales meetings to verify engagement data. SDR data tools help measure sales engagement.
There has been no widespread A/B testing on the use of SDR tools. People keep going for the shiny object. People on different tools are not being tracked similarly. Operational models need to be consistent, so as to track them consistently.