How to Increase Sales Productivity in a Tough Economy

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How to Increase Sales Productivity in a Tough Economy
The moment the economy softened, an end was made to several years of a long “rising tide floating all boats” period. I’m pretty sure your current strategy includes:

* getting closer to your customers
* focusing on your most profitable segments
* curtailing non-performing or not yet performing pieces of your business
* delaying or canceling new programs
* holding on to cash wherever and whenever possible

What I’d like to talk about is adding “increased productiveness” to your list of strategic elements.

We speak with customers every day who are looking for ways to increase productivity at the individual contributor level. Customers appear to fall into two groups in this regard. One group is looking for fast and proven ways to help them and their people do more than they had been doing before. The other is looking for ways to do more than before, but with less expense and resources. Both are seeking quick productivity results.

CRM Needs BPM

Sure, there are customized workflows that can be added to a CRM to help increase productivity; however, if it’s not native to the application it can be somewhat complex. I’ve used, marketed and sold CRM-related technology for a considerable number of years, so I know all about throwing technology at a problem to see what sticks and what it can hopefully fix. Having a CRM that doesn’t incorporate the ability to solve your real business problems with Business Process Management (BPM) will make you less effective with your technology.

We can all agree that employing technology alone without applying proven best practice methods will limit any long-term productivity improvements. The value isn’t in the technology alone, but how you use it to improve your business processes.

SaaS Delivered Enterprise 2.0 CRM

This business principle, if you will, became clearer to me earlier this year when I first heard the phrase “Technology with Methodology” used by a colleague to describe a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) delivered Enterprise 2.0 CRM solution that helps every single person in small to mid-sized organizations be more productive. Not just the sales department.

The term is now a common reference to PlanPlus™ Online, which touts an xRM™ (Dynamic Relationship Management) technology foundation and FranklinCovey’s world-renown productivity methodology. We know FranklinCovey as the global training organization of Fortune 500 companies for the past 20 years.

Here’s the point, you will always be asked to do more. No matter what position you hold. You will be asked to improve, to increase and to generate more; whether it is to increase quotas, brand better, generate more leads faster, or improve collections. It’s just part of doing business in any economy, it’s just more important than ever right now! So, the challenge is to quickly become far more effective in your personal life or business, and therefore become as productive as possible.

We Need Technology with Methodology

I know for certain, a proven methodology approach with robust technology can increase your productivity with daily, weekly and long-term processes.

FranklinCovey’s “Focus” and “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” methodology is central to managing time and priorities and can be applied to managing contacts, campaigns, and to streamline processes. The way the FranklinCovey methodology is combined with technology in PlanPlus Online makes for a potent combination that you need to thrive and not just survive in a tough economy and beyond.

Technology with Methodology℠ is PlanPlus Online. Check it out. It was conceived, designed and built with an increased focus on productivity, generating results at its core. How have you improved productivity in the past? To survive, you must increase productivity in today’s tough economy…you need to do it now more than ever.

- Bob

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