Blog

Webinar: 5 Reasons Your CRM Strategy is Failing and What to Do About It

Jennifer Preston By on October 16, 2019

Date : November 07, 2019
Time : 01:00 pm - 01:30 pm EDT

You’ve spent thousands of dollars on technology to help your business run, track reporting and make your sales reps’ days easier. Yet, after all these years the MarTech stack strategy and cloud-tool adoption are still relevant (and possibly extremely annoying if broken) topics. So how can you tell what’s broken in your CRM strategy and what can you do about?


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How many Contacts are you missing out on that you could be Marketing to?

Jennifer Preston By on September 3, 2019

Sales & Marketing is a numbers game. Marketing is definitely a volume sport. Marketing's job is to provide general awareness to your prospects, do branding and in the best of all worlds drive inbound red hot leads. Good marketers know their personas and target that audience with relevant content and ads to remind the prospect that you exist. How do you get the top of funnel lists so you can effectively market? You can generate them by asking for signups for

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Do you know if any of your Contacts have left their Companies?

Jennifer Preston By on August 28, 2019

Well now you do. SalesDirector.ai is now tracking hard email bounces and will make this information available to you on various screens such as on the Contact Page Or on the Relationship Plan Page Or if you want to export all these emails you can navigate to Setup > Exception Reports > Bounce Report and you can export them all to csv to potentially exclude these people from future marketing emails etc... This has the side benefit of

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How to Monitor New Product Launches within your Sales Team

Jennifer Preston By on August 12, 2019

Sales folks are quite predictable. They will go where the lowest hanging fruit is, and will pursue opportunities where their incentives are aligned with their customers. Makes total sense. Launching new Products is exciting, but if you have ever done it, it takes quite a bit to get the New Product flywheel going. You need marketing, announcements, product collateral, website changes, sales training, sales incentives/spiffs, etc... to have a shot at making new product launch a success.

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Why Marketing Attribution is Broken, and How to Fix It!

Jennifer Preston By on August 12, 2019

There are many Marketing Attribution platforms and systems out there. Yet true B2B Marketing Attribution is still elusive. Can you really quantifiable and accurately tie Marketing spend to Deals & Revenue? If you can, you are way ahead of the pack! We strongly believe without access to WHO is involved in the Deals and Opportunities this is not possible. Let me explain: Here is the Happy Path of a Lead: Here we have a Prospect who clicks

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Are you Maximizing your Account Territory?

Jennifer Preston By on July 31, 2019

Case Study Setup: We are a Fast Growing Cloud Company which has a ton of "Self Service" customers who need to educated and upgraded to "Enterprise". We all know its easier to sell to existing customers who already know you than to a net new logo where you need find the right stakeholders, figure out if they have the pain that you can solve, and ultimately build credibility so you can sell to them. You setup territory plans, and assign

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Who owns your Customer Relationships?

Jennifer Preston By on July 31, 2019

Case Study Setup: We are a fast growing Company selling into the Construction Sector. We are hiring seasoned Outside Account Executives from this Industry with existing relationships, to reduce ramp up time and in this vertical relationships is the name of the game. Most of our Account Executives are on the road doing lots of in person meetings and have not been used to using CRM systems. Their tools are mostly phone, email, and text messaging.

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Stranger Things – What Happened to my MQLs?

Jennifer Preston By on July 31, 2019

Businesses often find themselves failing to capitalize on marketing leads, even when marketing produces excellent leads upfront. Beyond wasted efforts and dollars, this phenomena leads to decreased sales productivity and can severely hinder growth. If your company is in this category, read on... Imagine you hired a bunch of subject matter experts, wrote highly engaging content, created landing pages, did a bunch of AB testing, spent money on distribution, and finally the fruits of all that labor are your highly coveted

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Are you Engaged at the Right Level?

Arnulf Hsu By on July 31, 2019

You are running a deal. Deal moves along but it's not closing. Many reasons for this, but one of the most common reasons is the Rep is engaged with the wrong people or isn't high enough in the Organization. As a Manager its tough to always know about all the deals and all the contacts engaged. But using Revenue Intelligence you can be. Quickly at a glance you can see if we are

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Real Time Scorecards

Arnulf Hsu By on July 23, 2019

Do you manage to a Sales Scorecard? Track certain KPIs or Metrics that aren't just about Deals closed? Examples of these KPIs might include: - Meetings Scheduled vs Completed - Certain Types of Meetings such as (Demo's, initial Meetings, etc...) - Number of Calls Made - Pipeline Coverage Ratios etc... Many Sales Managers and Ops Managers are still using manual processes and Excel to do this. This is time consuming, not real time (usually at best weekly numbers), and in many cases not totally accurate as in

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What Meetings Are We Having Every Month?

Arnulf Hsu By on July 17, 2019

Are we meeting with our Channel Partners? Are we doing Demos? First Meetings? Are my field reps spending time in the Field? Answers to these questions are all early indicators around future Deal Flow and Revenue. If we don't do enough Demos or First Meetings, how can we expect revenue next month (assuming we typically close deals in 2 months)? Tracking this stuff has historically been a real pain. Not anymore. As you know SalesDirector.ai already connects to Calendars to pulls Events to

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AI for Sales – 2019 Sales Mastery Report

Babar Batla By on July 10, 2019

Jim Dickie is known to many. He is a founder of CSO Insights (now part of Miller Heiman Group) and runs Sales Mastery Group. Jim is the author of The Chief Sales Officer's Guide to CRM and Insights into High Tech Sales and Marketing, and he co-authored The Sales and Marketing Excellence Challenge and The Information Technology Challenge. Suffice it to say Jim knows a thing or two about Sales, Sales Strategy, Methodologies, and also how to apply

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Alexa, what’s my Forecast?

Arnulf Hsu By on June 29, 2019

SalesDirector.ai is an AI based Forecasting Platform. Here we try to explain how we derive your Worst Case, Most Likely and Best Case Scenarios. SalesDirector.ai builds highly advanced Dynamic AI Models based on your historical data and applies them to your existing Deals. Read more in depth here. Each Model contains Sales Stages, duration and win rates based on a whole bunch of criteria (activity, personas engaged, sales cycle attributes such as MEDDIC or other fields, etc...). First, we forecast by a Period,

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What Happened to the Deals?

Arnulf Hsu By on June 19, 2019

Want to know how those Committed or Upside deals actually performed? Where did they go? Did we close those Committed Deals? Or did they get Downgraded or Lost? This new Pipeline Flow report shows you the answers to these questions. We have always had Pipeline Waterfall reports which show you new deals, upgrade, downgrades, pushes, etc... but you didn't really have visibility into how deals moved WITHIN the Forecast (Uncommitted > Upside > Committed) To view, go to Reports > Pipeline > Flow Click

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Listen to Call Recordings in the Activity Log

Arnulf Hsu By on June 5, 2019

If you are using call recording software such as Gong, Chorus.ai, or other Call Recording software you can now listen to these calls right in the context of SalesDirector.ai This should be live and working in your instance now. What do you think? Love to hear your feedback at

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What is My Forecast Accuracy?

Arnulf Hsu By on May 22, 2019

Want to understand how good you are at predicting your Forecast? No better way than to look at previous Month or Quarter. Where did the deals tell you were going to land mid Quarter? SalesDirector.ai tracks on a daily basis the state of Deals, their Stages and where the "AI"/system believes those deals are. We plot these over time. There is a very simple report that gives you this information. Let's break it down:

  • The Purple line is the Sales Target or

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Campaign Insights

Arnulf Hsu By on May 7, 2019

If you are a Marketer there is nothing more frustrating than to not know what is going on with your Leads. The company spent $20k to go to a trade show and came back with 250 leads. That's $80/lead. You load that into a Campaign in your CRM, perhaps send some automated email follow ups via Hubspot or Marketo, but what really is going to move the needle is Sales Reps doing follow ups, emails, calls, etc... Since typically none of the

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5 Forecasting Tactics that Separate Great CFOs From the Rest

Babar Batla By on February 11, 2019

As a Chief Financial Officer (CFO), you know your role is a pivotal part of the board of directors for a company. Although you are ultimately responsible for reporting the numbers — especially the revenue forecast or projections — you often know the least about the accuracy of those numbers. You have to rely on your sales leads to give you the story. And it’s not always the real story. To get that real story,

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Understand the Opportunity Journey

Arnulf Hsu By on January 31, 2019

It's important to understand the timeline and touchpoints an Opportunity goes through from all aspects. As a learning organization, you can observe if one could have accelerated the deal, who became involved when, and where things went well or reversed direction for deals that didn't close. Do you know the journey your Opportunities go through? Now you can, with the new Opportunity Timeline view within SalesDirector.ai. See all the Opportunity interactions for all Sales & Marketing activities, including Opportunity Stage Changes,

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Marketing Attribution – The Missing Link

Arnulf Hsu By on January 22, 2019

In this world where everything is tracked, and privacy is becoming harder and harder to come by, one of the most difficult things to do is end-to-end Marketing attribution. How can you determine if that Banner Ad you ran on LinkedIn or Facebook influenced someone to look at your product or service? Hard to say for sure, but we yearn for this information to not just pat ourselves on the back, but also to do more of what works and

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Multi Quota or Multiple Incentives

Arnulf Hsu By on January 11, 2019

Sales is a performance sport. Quotas and performance goals are constant. Simple goals are always better than more complex ones. However, we don't always live in a simple world. In those situations where you need to assign multiple quotas to your sales organization, SalesDirector.ai can now support you. Let's take some concrete examples:

  • What if you make more margin on Services vs. Product Sales? Or vice versa and a single top line number doesn't cut it?
  • Or you want to incent your

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2018 Year in Review

Babar Batla By on January 1, 2019

Software companies are all about constant learning. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, the market shifts, customers speak or the platform evolves. When I look back on 2018 and reflect on our relentless desire to provide our customers with *real* value - some key learnings stood out that I want to share with you. The Power of Simplicity: The sales tools and sales enablement market is very crowded and it is important for us to clearly differentiate

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Your 2019 Pre-Flight Sales Planning Checklist

Babar Batla By on December 26, 2018

If you’ve been leading a sales team for any amount of time, you know the value of having an action plan to keep your sales organization airborne and on the right course. Especially at the beginning of the new fiscal year. When you have a solid plan from the beginning, you can make adjustments as you go. But when you haven’t taken the time to do your yearly planning, making adjustments every three

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Deal Update

Arnulf Hsu By on December 4, 2018

As a Sales Leader you are constantly trying to understand what the status of deals are, are they on track or not, and what can be done to move them up or out. SalesDirector.ai provides many tools around this including the Chat Assistant for Reps via SMS or Slack as well as Opportunity Management within the system itself. But, what about when you need to get an update on a deal that is stalled? You notice the Account Executive hasn't engaged

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The Secret to Getting Meaningful Next Steps Into CRM

Virinchi Duvvuri By on November 28, 2018

Next Steps in CRM are meant to give sales leaders visibility into any deal at a glance. But a one sentence Next Step isn't going to give you the answers you need. How much insight can you really gather from:

  • Next touchpoint with J on 1/1/19.
  • Met with AB. Deal looks positive.
  • Scheduling POC.
It’s always the same. No matter what size or how mature the organization, Next Steps always look like this.

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Understand your Competition

Arnulf Hsu By on October 31, 2018

High performing organizations understand their strengths and weaknesses. Do you know how you stack up to your competition? Does your sales organization have the skills and collateral to win against your competitors? Do you know why you are winning or losing deals? Now you can easily understand and drill into deals where your Competitors are also playing. With SalesDirector.ai's competitor reports, you can quickly understand your Win/Loss stats by competitor, and proactively pursue existing deals in your pipe with the proper playbook. To activate

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Leads vs Contacts

Arnulf Hsu By on September 8, 2018

As you probably know, SalesDirector.ai automatically creates new Contacts for you in your CRM when we encounter new people within your mailboxes. And as you probably also know Leads and Contacts in your CRM are different. Both of them represent a Person, but they are actually different databases that aren't linked together unless you "Convert" a Lead to a Contact. So, what happens when you already have a "Lead" in CRM with that email address, but it does not

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Reinforced Sales Coaching

Arnulf Hsu By on September 4, 2018

So you train your reps on MEDDIC, Challenger, Sandler, BANT, etc... that's great. We take them out of the field for a day or two, take them to an offsite, or do virtual sessions. That's very good. But what happens? After 30 days, unfortunately, we all fall back to our old habits, and most likely only a small fraction of that training is retained and reused. As you know, SalesDirector.ai

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Be in the Know

Arnulf Hsu By on August 21, 2018

Are you always asking your Reps about what is going on with some deal? Who did you talk to? What are the next steps? As of this week we are instantly pushing Next Step updates directly to others on the Pursuit Team, Followers of the Opp (Your Favorites via the Star Mechanism) and their Immediate managers (via Role Hierarchy). You will get something like this in your Email Inbox: Further, you can globally configure which types of Opportunities you want

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How to Create Healthy Competition Among Your Reps

Mike Battaglia By on August 16, 2018

This is a guest post from Mike Battaglia, Vice President, Sales within the Global Automotive Division at J.D. Power. He is responsible for growing J.D. Power’s book of business with automakers operating in the U.S. and other global markets. Mike manages a team of sales reps and sales operations personnel tasked with supporting automakers across the portfolio of J.D. Power products and services. Great salespeople are competitive by nature. This competitiveness not only fuels their motivation

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The Daily Brief

Arnulf Hsu By on August 9, 2018

SalesDirector.ai will send you Reminders every morning via your Daily Brief. Such as:

  • Close Date Expired or In the Past
  • Next Step Due Date coming up or Due
  • Upcoming Meetings and which Talking points you should incorporate into your Talk Track with your Customer
  • Upcoming Opportunity Renewals
etc.... Look out for your Daily Brief in your Inbox. What do you think? Have feedback? Let us know at feedback salesdirector.ai. Happy

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Back to the Basics: Do You Have Budget for This?

Virinchi Duvvuri By on August 8, 2018

How many of you have “asked for budget” in your sales process? It’s ok... you’re not alone :). Now you may all know this, or at least that’s what I thought, until I started running into prospects that had this question in their qualification process. So, for those who still don’t believe that this is a bad idea, here’s the issue: What savvy buyer, who you are still building a relationship with, is going to give up their leverage by telling

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Who’s Using?

Arnulf Hsu By on August 7, 2018

While SalesDirector.ai does a TON of work in the background (Creating and Enhancing Contacts into CRM, Logging Activities into CRM, Sending Push Notifications over Email/SMS, etc...) we still want our Account Executives, Salesreps and Sales Managers using the Product. Doesnt matter if its via SMS, Slack, Salesforce, Dynamics, their Mobile Phone, or within the SalesDirector.ai stand alone SaaS Application. Well, now you can. As a Administrator of SalesDirector.ai you can navigate to Setup -> Usage Reports and:

  1. See a

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sales managers process

How Top Sales Managers Manage Against Process

Babar Batla By on July 18, 2018

As an individual contributor, you were probably allergic to process. You knew what you were doing and didn’t need all the checks and balances. But as a sales manager, your success is now tied to others. You need to make sure your sales team is doing the right things at the right time — and process is now your best friend. Think about it. We’re no longer living in the ‘80s, when employees aspired to have long term employment at

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How long does it take You or Your Prospect to Reply to a Mail?

Arnulf Hsu By on June 11, 2018

In this hyper-competitive world where everyone is looking for instant gratification, being prompt in your email replies is important, ESPECIALLY when you are the vendor and are trying to ultimately sell something. Your customer's response time also is a good indication of how important this certain initiative is for them. While I wouldn't KPI on this, it's another data point that should help in understanding how you compare amongst your top performers. Is there a correlation between the

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Company Insights

Arnulf Hsu By on June 4, 2018

As an Account Executive you are always trying to make yourself relevant to your Prospects. SalesDirector.ai has added a Company News section to the Account and Opportunity Screens to help you stay aware of what is going on with your Prospects and Customers. To access this information simply navigate to your Account or Opportunity and click on the News Tab. That's It! There is obviously a lot more we can do with this information and we will.

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We have AI

Virinchi Duvvuri By on May 16, 2018

How many times have you heard a legacy company tell you that they have AI and it will change the world? In all my discussions, every product in the market is now professing to have AI and it will change your life! Unfortunately, AI by itself does very little. It needs your experience and learns just like a child learns how to read and write. Now, the reason why a child learns so quickly is that they are

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How much did that meeting cost me?

Virinchi Duvvuri By on May 9, 2018

Do you know if your reps are being inundated with useless meetings? Do they have enough time to sell after you take out time for updating CRM, meeting on new internal initiatives, training and a slew of other time-sucking items? Did you know that updating CRM is 70% of what they do during the selling time? I thought the same...and tried all kinds of things to get reps more time to sell! At Microsoft, I would always wonder if everyone

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Slack

Arnulf Hsu By on May 8, 2018

Use Slack in your Sales Organization? This is a quick follow up to a previous release. Did you read our CRM by Texting Release? If not we suggest you do for this to make sense. Now you can get an even richer experience in Slack via our SalesDirector.ai Slackbot. To enable your org for Slack, simply go to Setup > Slack > and Sign in with Slack to connect your Organization. And if

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Stop Doing Busywork

Arnulf Hsu By on April 23, 2018

Do more High-Value Work! Still setting up Manual Tasks in your CRM or some task system to remind you to Follow up? Based on all the conversations we have had, we see a low percentage of Reps using CRM tasks, and the ones that do don't do it consistently. If you are a Sales Leader and are asking your reps to enter follow up tasks we would strongly encourage you to stop and have the reps spend more time

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Recommendations for Pursuit Team Members

Arnulf Hsu By on April 18, 2018

Most B2B solution selling is done in teams. Sometimes it's just the AE (Account Executive), but many times its the AE and the SE (Sales Engineer), or perhaps the organization has teams or pods they sell in. We already support features such as Account Teams or Opportunity Teams sync from Salesforce. But now we are also making recommendations as to which other members of the organization perhaps should be added to the pursuit team based

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GDPR for Sales

Arnulf Hsu By on April 16, 2018

May 25th is fast approaching, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) deadline. If you are located OR do business with European Customers this legislation applies to you. We want to make complying with this regulation easier for you. In short GDPR seeks openness, honesty and transparency from how you interact, collect and store data on your prospects and customers. It gives rights to your prospects and customers to understand what you have collected on them,

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CRM by Texting

Arnulf Hsu By on April 12, 2018

You text with your friends, your parents, your brother, your sister, your boss, your co-workers, your Uber driver, your prospects/customers, and yes, now your CRM... We also know, Sales reps generally dislike process, updating systems and anything that gets in their way of working on a deal. We get it. So here is what we have done:

  • After a Prospect or Customer meeting has occurred (which we figure out from your Calendar) we will send you a text asking

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I need an 8th day!

Virinchi Duvvuri By on March 14, 2018

How many times have you said this to yourself? Based on the 950+ sales leaders I have spoken to….ALOT of times! Personally, I am always fighting for time! As the CRO of a startup that is growing like crazy, I have to always prioritize my time between eating and speaking to prospects. Which one do I do? Of course, at this point, I do what most of my peers do, I look for a new gadget or

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ClearSlide Integration

Arnulf Hsu By on March 13, 2018

ClearSlide is a SaaS-based Sales Engagement platform that lets users share content and sales materials via email links or do real time presentations to their prospects. Unlike simple tracking tools, it tracks deep engagement metrics such as how long a user spend looking at a certain slide, were they paying attention when you did a live screen share or presentation to them, etc... If you are a ClearSlide customer you can now connect your ClearSlide account

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Google Hangout Support

Arnulf Hsu By on March 8, 2018

Ever converse with your prospects over Google Hangout/Chat? SalesDirector.ai now supports Google Hangouts and your Chat messages will automatically be logged and analyzed as part of your Opportunity communication and interactions. You don't need to do anything for this be enabled. As long as you have your Google account connected to your profile these chats will automatically be associated and used as part of our analysis. As usual, if you have feedback please let us

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Multi Currency Support

Arnulf Hsu By on March 6, 2018

The world is global. SalesDirector.ai now supports Multiple Currencies. How it works:

  • By default, your Instance is set to a Base Currency.
  • Each Opportunity also has a Base Currency, the default Opportunity Currency is your Instance Base Currency.
  • Each User also has a Preferred Currency.
This works nicely with Salesforce or other CRM's where multi-currency features are enabled. If an Opportunity is in a certain currency (let's say EURO), the Opportunity will be displayed in that Currency and you will see

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Revenue Recognition vs Bookings

Arnulf Hsu By on February 26, 2018

Do you compensate your Reps on Bookings? or Revenue (GAAP)? If you answered the latter, Revenue, then this feature is for you. You can now quota and measure your reps on Recognized Revenue rather than the typical Bookings Target. To put your instance into "Revenue" mode simply go to Setup > General and enable Revenue Scheduling. Next you will need to adjust your quotas or target to be Revenue based. This mode

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Reports 2.0

Arnulf Hsu By on February 21, 2018

Most likely Salesforce or Dynamics is your CRM system of record, and its good at that, but quite frankly generating meaningful reports from CRM is painful. And if you try to do "historical" reporting, iow how things changed over time, it is even less likely to give you the answers you are looking for. This is why we have introduced a variety of reports that give you true insight into how your pipeline, win rates, push rates, and cycle times

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Slow Down, Get Smart, Get Rich

Virinchi Duvvuri By on February 20, 2018

We want to "shorten the cycle", to close deals faster and with fewer headaches. We'd like to find the Decision Makers on our first call, and get them to say "Yes!" as quickly as possible. We want more and bigger deals, no discounts, no committee reviews, no procurement backlogs. No reasons for the customer to delay. What we don't realize is that sometimes the long road is actually worth it. The journey of Discovery, that journey of a

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Why We Post the Sales Numbers to the Organization

Nelson Greenwood By on February 1, 2018

Competitors love to be recognized for their success and hate it when they miss their goals. Sales is one of the purest forms of competition. There's no judging panel that gives you points for wearing a nice suit. You are judged on one thing, hitting your sales goals. Sure, we award points for effort and activity for new hires, but after the on-boarding period is up, it's the numbers that count. Announcing the sales numbers on a consistent basis lets

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Tiger is playing at Torrey Pines!

Virinchi Duvvuri By on January 30, 2018

“So I walked this very pro-am last year, in similarly chilly conditions, and he was so stiff I legit thought he was gonna snap in half. This year? Speed. So. Much. Speed.” - @GCTigerTracker This is a perfect example of coming back from major surgery (AKA: bad year in sales) with no data to support a comeback, but using sheer determination and hard work to get the “feel” back into his game. The competition didn’t want this.

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Sales is like playing golf…

Virinchi Duvvuri By on January 25, 2018

Golf...I love the game. It is humbling and VERY rewarding. It's the one game where hitting it hard is not always a good thing, especially if you have a nasty hook :). Playing a round of golf is sure to make you humble and wish you never took up the game. You warm up at the practice range and hit the ball so flush that you feel you will have your best round. You take this confidence

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Hey Alexa!

Virinchi Duvvuri By on January 16, 2018

That’s all I heard the day after Christmas :). My daughters had so much fun asking her to turn on the lights, play some music and even set an alarm for them to get ready for bed. Suffice it to say, AI is here to stay and is already starting to become a VERY important part of our lives. Our children are already adapting to this new technology to the point where they know HOW to use

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2017 Year in Review

Babar Batla By on December 28, 2017

As the SalesDirector.ai goes through its first holiday season, we are humbled and excited with all that we have achieved. The most exciting part of all was the number of companies, finance leaders, sales leaders and sales reps we helped improve their pipeline management and selling maturity. To all our team members, partners and investors that have helped us move the B2B sales discipline forward, Thank You! We leave 2017 with the following under our belt and

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Ask for a number and you get a story!

Virinchi Duvvuri By on December 25, 2017

Winter brings back so many memories. Hot chocolate, Christmas, presents….and let me not forget the dreaded account planning for the coming year. This is the time of year that we (salespeople) become great storytellers since everyone wants to know “our call” and we need to give a good story on what is going to happen (as though we have a crystal ball). The reason why we can’t give a concrete number is that we don’t have verifiable

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SalesDirector.ai for Outlook

Arnulf Hsu By on December 19, 2017

Use Outlook or Office365? Install the Outlook AddOn to send email templates directly to your customers. Setup Email Templates by going to Setup > Email Templates and load up your favorite Email Templates. (Note: You must be an Administrator to setup Email Templates) Then install the Outlook AddOn, create a new email, enter the TO email address, then click on the SD button and select a Template. Modify the template to add any custom/deal

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Why Veteran Sales Reps Still Need Coaching

Nelson Greenwood By on December 19, 2017

As sales leaders, we’ve all heard the following from our experienced sales reps when we ask them to enter their daily activity into CRM or to follow our preferred sales process, “Don’t worry, I’ve got this covered” or “I’m a professional; this isn’t my first rodeo you know.” What these reps are really saying is that they don’t want a sales manager looking over their shoulder and following their every move. Since they have been successful in the past, they

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You Need A Personal Sales Assistant

Virinchi Duvvuri By on December 4, 2017

Help!  I need an assistant! Here at SalesDirector.ai we eat our own dog food - meaning - we use our own tools on a daily basis to manage our own deal flow and forecasting.  Today, I’d like to run you through how I use SalesDirector.ai as my personal assistant…..everyday. How many times have you run from one meeting to the next with little to no time for “updating” all the activities and people you’ve spoken to or met during your customer interactions? What’s

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Sales Quotas vs “The Plan”

Arnulf Hsu By on December 4, 2017

Most companies have a Yearly Budget or "Plan". CFO's often refers to this as a Pro Forma, and basically represents both the Top Line (Booking or Revenue) number as well as the Expenses to get there. Most Finance or Sales Executives will over Quota assuming the not all the Reps will hit their number. So if you need to hit $10M in bookings for this quarter, the sum of the Quotas assigned to the Reps might

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SalesDirector.ai Inside Salesforce.com

Arnulf Hsu By on November 28, 2017

Hot on the heals of the initial SalesDirector.ai Salesforce release, we are releasing the next iteration! This version presents the SalesDirector.ai Interface within Salesforce. Available both in Classic or Lightning. Some folks love the Salesforce User Interface, others not so much. You pick where you want to consume SalesDirector.ai Insights. Now, Its up to you.



Classic: with Classic you get:
  • Single Sign On to SalesDirector.ai from within Salesforce
  • a SalesDirector.ai Panel within the Opportunity Screen including the Smart

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Who To Blame When Sales Are Failing?

Babar Batla By on November 28, 2017

The Blame Game There are many reasons why a sales team isn't successful. Perhaps you are trying to sell your product prematurely - before you've achieved product/market fit. Perhaps you are selling your product to the wrong target buyer (you are convinced that your product should be bought by CFO but she won't take your calls and isn't interested). This is also a version of not having product/market fit. Or perhaps your product is too buggy and you can't convert trials and POCs (proof

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Reps hate CRM but love to make money…how do you keep them happy?

Virinchi Duvvuri By on November 20, 2017

There are few absolutes in life.   Death and taxes are the common ones.   I would postulate that there are two more specifically for your reps:  

  1. Reps HATE to update CRM
  2. Reps are LASER FOCUSED on hitting their accelerators
If these two truths are correct, why do we bog down our sales reps with updating a system that only values the leadership?

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Really Good Digests

Arnulf Hsu By on November 20, 2017

Starting this week we will be sending out Weekly Email Digests to Salesreps and Managers. For Reps:

  • They will make predictions to where they are expected to land against Quota
  • Remind them about Opps that have been perhaps neglected, to make sure they have the right cadence with their Opportunities
  • Remind them about Opps where the Close Date has passed or where there is not sufficient time to close the Deal (with One Click Updates to fix the Close Date)
For Managers:
  • The predicted

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Demystifying the AI “BlackBox”

Arnulf Hsu By on November 16, 2017

We use a lot of math at SalesDirector.ai.  We use a lot of math to crunch historical data, analyze current data to predict the future outcome of Deals. To many, AI seems like a black box - elusive, mysterious, complex and unknown.  But in spite of the sophisticated and intimidating math that is used in AI, at its core, it is actually surprisingly simple and logical.  AI does a lot of the same things that you would normally do "manually" such

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Now available on Salesforce AppExchange

Arnulf Hsu By on November 6, 2017

SalesDirector.ai is now available inside Salesforce.com Get it Now This initial version provides for: - Real Time Sync between SalesDirector.ai and Salesforce (without the AppExchange AddIn there is up to a 2 hour delay in Opportunity Data Sync) - Effortless navigation between the 2 systems - Works on both Salesforce Classic and Lightning The next version which is due to be released in the next couple of weeks will make some of the SalesDirector.ai Insights and Content visible in the

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Scotch, Coffee, Martini or Water? Let’s Meet At Dreamforce!

Babar Batla By on October 25, 2017

I will be attending Dreamforce 2017 this year and have a ton of meetings lined up.  I plan on checking out the sales enablement technology at the event, getting inspired by Marc Benioff and meeting lots of new folks.

I wanted to make sure I left plenty of time to meet with YOU.

I'm interested in meeting you to learn more about you and your business.  If we've spoken on the phone before - it is always

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SalesDirector.ai

SalesDirector.ai To Host Roundtable Discussion on Artificial Intelligence in Sales

Babar Batla By on October 16, 2017

October 25-28, 2017, Dallas, TX

Colleen Ellison, VP Sales Digital Map Products

Babar Batla, CEO & Co-Founder, SalesDirector.ai

Virinchi Duvvuri, CRO & Co-Founder, SalesDirector.ai

Join us at the Experience Sales Enablement Society 2017 Conference in Dallas, TX this coming October 25-28, 2017. We've invited Colleen Ellison, VP Sales from Digital Map Products (a SalesDirector.ai customer) to

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You’re Fired

Virinchi Duvvuri By on October 11, 2017

You're Fired Most sales organizations are plagued with high sales rep churn / attrition. Sales organizations are so used to expecting high rep churn that they build it into their models. The guilty parties go beyond the Sales Leader, though! The CFO, the CEO and the Board are equally complicit in supporting and perpetuating the accepted myth that "you'll lose 30-40% of your new sales hires - so be sure to hire in large groups." To meet

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sales team

The Case for Sales During Product Development

Babar Batla By on October 9, 2017

The Case for Sales During Product Development In the early days of your product development you are not only trying to understand how customers will use your product but you need to understand how to sell your product. Your company believes that they have a product that customers want but no one has sold one copy/item yet. For early stage startups this can be a deadly experience as perhaps the founders spent months writing software without any real customer

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Rich Text Templates and Gmail

Arnulf Hsu By on October 9, 2017

Today we announce the availability of Rich Text Templates/Milestones in SalesDirector.ai along with our new Gmail AddIn. If you are running in Level 3 mode, which introduces Customer Verifyable Outcomes or Milestones to the Selling Process, you can now include formatting, bullets, links, images, etc... intro your Templates. Our previous version only had plain text support. To take advantage of this you can go to Setup -> Milestones and Add/Edit any of these Milestones. Note: the Rich

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Multi Language Support

Arnulf Hsu By on October 4, 2017

As you probably know, we do Sentiment Analysis on communications (mostly email and notes) between you and the Prospect or Customer. This sentiment is used as an input to the risk score of the Opportunity and determines if your Buyer is a Promoter or Detractor. For our customers who do business internationally and have Sales Offices in places such as Europe, South or Central America its critical we cover that communication in the same manner as the English language.

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The Artificial Intelligence Sales Maturity Model

Arnulf Hsu By on September 27, 2017

The Artificial Intelligence Sales Maturity Model If you are in the Sales world you are not new to the concept of a Sales Maturity Model. Comparing your sales team and your sales process to a Sales Maturity Model can be helpful in assessing “where you are at” and “what needs to be done” to improve your sales processes. Most of the Maturity Models are based on scientific states of energy for some reason: Chaotic, Organized, Coordinated, Collaborative, Optimized and Predictive. These are

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Sales 3.0 Conference Wrap-up

Babar Batla By on September 25, 2017

I just got back from Sales 3.0 put together by Gerhard Gschwandter and Selling Power team. Sales 3.0 conference had a line up of influencers sharing their thoughts on the latest sales trends, challenges and where we are heading with customer engagement. What I appreciated most about the conference was how it kickstarted the conversation around AI (Cognitive Era) and its place in Sales. We had a variety of speakers, experts and vendors at the conference who were all focused on

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Customer Verifiable Outcomes and Your Sales Pipeline

Virinchi Duvvuri By on September 18, 2017

Customer Verifiable Outcomes and Your Sales Pipeline Every sales process is comprised of a series of steps. A good sales process displays the map for the rep and shows the progression of an opportunity through the sales pipeline. Ideally, the sales process is simple, clear and understandable to all of the sales reps (and the marketing team!). But are a series of steps "good enough?" Most companies have a process that equates the likelihood of an opportunity closing with the

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You Can’t Forecast A Great Conversation

Virinchi Duvvuri By on September 14, 2017

Great Conversations Don't Belong In Your Sales Forecast How many times have you been in your weekly sales meeting and someone asks, "How is the Fisher Account coming along?" .....and the answer is, "We had a GREAT CONVERSATION." Or someone asks, "How'd the demo go? Did you close 'em?" .....and the response is, "No, but we had a GREAT CONVERSATION!" The dreaded Great Conversation. Don't worry - it happens to all of us but it's something that we need

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The Value of Found Time (A Lesson from Hurricane Harvey)

Babar Batla By on September 11, 2017

The Value of Found Time (A Lesson from Hurricane Harvey) The most valuable asset in our lives is our time. How you manage your time and what you do with your time has a direct correlation, particularly in sales, to success and to your impact on the world. What would you do with your time if you had an extra hour every day? What would your sales reps do if they had an extra hour every day? Some folks might goof off,

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Automatic Contact Enhancement

Arnulf Hsu By on September 7, 2017

SalesDirector.ai prides itself on the guiding principal of "No Data Entry". Today we capture Contacts automatically based on your communications with those prospects or leads and associated them with the right Opportunities. What we typically automatically capture is Name and Email, but what about things like Title, Office Phone, Mobile Phone, etc... These things are typically available in their Email Signature, and since we are already analyzing the emails why not extract that as well.

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It’s the data stupid.

Babar Batla By on September 6, 2017

It’s the data stupid. When a little known governor from Arkansas, Bill Clinton, put together a campaign to unseat the incumbent President George H. Bush, the Clinton campaign strategists tried to come up with a simple, clear message that would resonate with the American public. As a team, they came up with three core messages….but history only remembers one……"It’s the economy, stupid.” And, it worked - Bill Clinton went on to win the 1992 election and unseated

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Zendesk, Custom Data, and more…

Arnulf Hsu By on September 5, 2017

Lots of improvements across the board here for the balance of August. Including:

  • Service Desk Data Integration (Zendesk and others)
  • Custom Risk Scoring for Customers with additional data feeds and points
  • Bidirectional Sync of Opportunity Contact Roles and Personas with Salesforce
  • UI Enhancements for Contacts


Service Desk Data Integration For those companies who provide a service both pre sales (free trials perhaps) and post sales (renewals/upsells) understanding the interaction with your support personel and leveraging Service/Support Desk data to predict risk is a a

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Be Prepared.

Virinchi Duvvuri By on September 4, 2017

Be Prepared. The regular cadence of a performing sales team includes the dreaded one-on-one deal review. This meeting is usually a weekly meeting set by the Sales Manager to discuss and review the progress (or lack thereof) of the rep’s pipeline. This experience is often a very personal experience for the rep and most reps are quick to come up with any excuse in the book to avoid or skip the weekly one-on-one. Here are some of the most popular excuses

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The Leads Are Weak!

Virinchi Duvvuri By on August 30, 2017

The Leads Are Weak! One pervasive battle in any company is the ownership of "Leads." What we mean by this is that there are two camps that are often PRAISED or BLAMED for the quality of the Leads. Depending on the company, Leads might be owned by Marketing and are often measured by "# of MQLs or SQLs Created / Converted." If you are in the Sales world you've heard or read the quotes

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How To Close a Deal Over Text

Virinchi Duvvuri By on August 28, 2017

How To Close a Deal Over Text The Answer is you can't and you shouldn't. But…... In today's world of immediate gratification and second-by-second updates that come directly to the phones in our pockets - it is tempting to accelerate the sales process with your prospects and try to close the deal as fast as possible - over text. The reality is that it takes time to build a relationship with your prospects and your customers. To begin with, you might

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You Have A New Sales Process……Now What? Hire a Robot.

Babar Batla By on August 23, 2017

You Have A New Sales Process……Now What?  Hire a Robot. At least once a year most companies do some sort of “sales process review” to evaluate whether or not their current sales process is working or not. This might have been instigated by your manager, your executive team or even your Board of directors if your forecasts have been historically inaccurate. This evaluation might occur at an offsite or informally in a conference room over the course of an afternoon.  During the

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Stop The Salesforce Madness

Babar Batla By on August 21, 2017

Stop The Salesforce Madness We get it. You finally hired that Salesforce guru who tricked out your Salesforce deployment. She customized, hybridized and electrified your CRM with every aspect of your sales process. You've got an application object for every phase of your sales cycle with field validation and triggers and workflow....all that feeds into your precious dashboard that looks like a science fiction cockpit full of dials, measurements, alerts, flashing lights and graphs. Like us, you spent days in

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What Are Sales Reps For?

Babar Batla By on August 16, 2017

What Are Sales Reps For? A popular meme in the software world today is to wear a proud badge of honor and exclaim: “We Don't Have Any Sales Reps at our company!” This mantra has even permeated the automobile industry where companies are offering “no-haggle” pricing in an attempt to eliminate or reduce the “used-car salesman” effect that turns off buyers. Many blog posts, articles and talks have been given on the topic of “

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Your Sales Forecast is Driving You Insane

Babar Batla By on August 9, 2017

Your Sales Forecast is Driving You Insane For years, you've done the same thing every day, every week, every month and every quarter. You've relied on the same tools with the same process hoping that one of these days, your sales forecast will magically be accurate. Instead, you miss the quarter, sometimes by a mile, sometimes just by a little – but you missed. Or, if you are lucky, you beat the quarter because of that one bluebird deal that came in

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Release Notes for August 8th, 2017

Arnulf Hsu By on August 8, 2017

Another solid week behind us. Below is a snapshot of the latest product improvements. Cycle Time Report Improvements

  • Want to see the underlying data for the Cycle Time Report? You can now download the Raw Data by clicking on the Download button to receive a CSV export.
  • Additional filters have been added to allow you to drill down such as Opportunity Type, Date Range, etc…
  • Also Deal Count numbers have been added so you can tell if a grouping of

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What’s Wrong With Your Sales Forecast

Babar Batla By on August 7, 2017

What's Wrong With Your Sales Forecast? We know how most sales forecast meetings go. The manager sits in a conference room with the team and opens up the CRM. One by one – painstakingly slow – the manager proceeds to interrogate each of the reps about each deal in their pipeline. “Is this really gonna close next week?” “When was the last time you spoke to them?” “Have you heard back from their legal team yet?” “You are telling me that your contact has been on

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Pick your Sales Maturity

Arnulf Hsu By on August 2, 2017

SalesDirector introduces 3 different levels of Sales Maturity the platform can run on. Level 1 The basic level of sales engagement. It answers the questions such as: Are my reps engaging with the prospects? How recent? How frequent? How many people are we engaged with? What is the Sentiment of these Relationships? Is my relationship Balanced or is this a One way Conversation? Is the deal following my “normal” deal cycle? Level 2 Gets you everything you see in Level 1,

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Welcome to SalesDirector.ai

Babar Batla By on August 2, 2017

Welcome to SalesDirector.ai, we invite you to join us on our journey to improve sales teams all around the world. SalesDirector.ai was founded with the simple desire to improve the daily lives of sales teams and to help them develop a consistent and accurate forecast. We know that there are a myriad of tools that sales teams use on a daily basis - but in spite of the technology - they still can’t seem to get an accurate sales forecast.

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Release Notes for July 17th, 2017

Arnulf Hsu By on July 17, 2017

CSV Automation For those of you who aren’t able to connect your CRM directly to SalesDirector.ai, perhaps because you are on a non supported CRM or for any other reason. You can now automate your CSV uploads via Dropbox or Google Drive. Navigate to Setup -> Import CSV and you will see a couple of different automation options including Dropbox and Google Drive. Additionally, we also support Google Sheets as a replacement to CSV. Meaning

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