Magazine article CRM Magazine

Putting the Pedal to the Metal with Sales: A Cloud-Based CRM Implementation Helps a Digital Sales Agency Drive Its Solutions into the Future

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Putting the Pedal to the Metal with Sales: A Cloud-Based CRM Implementation Helps a Digital Sales Agency Drive Its Solutions into the Future

Article excerpt

* Tell us about the company you founded, Sales Engine International (SEI). SEI is a Sales 2.0 digital agency. Our unique prospect engagement program integrates advanced CRM, Web video, outbound campaigns, social media, and Web analytics to create your own "sales engine." SEI clients enjoy more effective demand generation and faster sales cycles, and we help them:

1. Find prospects: They're shopping without you on the Web. If you don't find them before your competitor does, it may be too late.

2. Connect with prospects bombarded with marketing messages: You must deliver the right message at the right time in the right format.

3. Engage prospects: Unless your business has a one-call close, you must engage prospects over time to make the short list when they're ready to buy.

* You founded SEI after two decades at Ceridian. [See "Connecting the Disconnected," page 51.] What about Ceridian's culture stood out? An outstanding sales culture. Its distributed, direct-sales model was a breeding and developing ground for dozens of very successful sales leaders. They invested wisely in developing and equipping the sales teams to compete effectively.

* You spent your Ceridian career using installed CRM--what changes did you make when choosing a CRM for SEI? SEI is in the cloud and we have customers all over the United States, from departments within large companies to small and midsize businesses. We now have 30 customers, but are growing very rapidly. We use Salesforce.com--for ourselves, but also for our customers to run their campaigns. About two-thirds of businesses that use our services also use Salesforce.com. It's the runaway favorite right now. It's easier to not force people to change. We found there's a reason it's so popular.

In a way, it's a threat to [the] world where you used to need consultants to get a large-scale implementation up and running. With something that big, you had to. [Ceridian's consultants] helped me negotiate and knew where people landed on prices.

* How has CRM changed in the past decade? A lot of people are in their second and third versions of CRM. It keeps getting better. CRM was not a requirement 10 years ago--it certainly is now. Now, for even the smallest of companies, there's a price point where anybody can afford it. And it's easy. Having CRM was one thing. Now it's all about going way beyond CRM with additional applications and custom development delivered by platforms like [Salesforce.com's] Force.com.

I think CRM has come a long way. In the days of Pivotal it wasn't a Web application; it was a wide-area network. …

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