Month: January 2012

More Leads = More Sales?

Does Generating More Leads Help With Better Sales Revenue?

With the economy being so tough and buyers taking too long for making purchasing decisions, most businesses are becoming too concerned about selling products and services. And as per the generic approach, “More Leads = More Opportunities” people are busy populating the pipelines with leads, in a hope that some will turn into sales. But is it really worth? Let’s see…

What is the Logic?

The logic says that if you are flooding sales representatives with more of leads and above all they are of low quality, then situations may go worse. But in point of fact, companies are just wasting whole lot of cash on marketing and high volume lead generation practices. Moreover, the leads generated this way are of a very poor quality and fail to offer ROI.

On the contrary, sales representatives working with fewer leads, but of high quality results in better output in terms of focusing on probable buyers. This not only increases efficiency and pulls in fewer resources, but also funnels the best prospects for the company. But in most scenarios, businesses look for short term leads in order to get immediate results and sometimes, this result in a probability to lose a promising lead. So, when prospects tend to stretch the buy cycle and make purchasing decisions in a time-consuming fashion, developing long term leads can prove very helpful.

How To Find Higher Value Prospects

Most of the companies segment leads according to verticals, annual revenue, employee headcount and similar features, which can be then tested to have the highest responders. Further segmentation can be done for short term and long term prospects as soon as the contacts are introduced and therefore, it is important to note that “I am not interested” means “I am not interested at this point of time, may be later.”

Additionally, touching prospects repeatedly overtime is very crucial. So, some mixture of media, voice mail messages, quality outbound calls or may be direct mails can facilitate in increasing the chances of reaching promising leads. Creating an impact on decision makers can be done through multi-touch multimedia campaigns, as they build familiarity and target these decision makers at time when they actually need solutions.

But with the changing business climate and difficulties getting even harder while hitting sales numbers, companies need to focus on their strategic practices, because working smarter is the only key to success.

This is where CRM Applications help a lot. A right CRM, customized to your sales processes will do a world of good in terms of filtering out noise and identifying high value leads and to spend your time in an efficient manner, resulting in more closures, irrespective of how big or small your original lead count is.

Charu Mehta, CRMIT

Oracle Fusion CRM : A Boom For Sales Performance Management

Oracle Fusion Customer Relationship Management (CRM), is boom for sales performance management, because of these main reasons:

  • Sales planning, prospecting and productivity are the key challenges for a sales rep to increase their sales performance. Oracle Fusion CRM delivers these three areas for better results and revenues
  • Sales information is configured on Role-based user experience viz., sales executives, sales managers and a sales rep, helps to extract information when they need it
  • With Oracle Fusion CRM Sales reps can easily design, modify and execute sales plans using the integrated territory management, quota management and incentive compensation solution
  • Oracle Fusion CRM analysis the existing customers purchasing patterns to generate high quality lead and better prospecting
  • Sale reps can create their own personalised sales campaigns based on their each prospects using the inbuilt Campaign Management, thus reducing dependence on Marketing
  • Embedded Social collaborations, integration with Mobile and Microsoft Outlook reduces the reporting and increase productivity
– Chippada Chittibabu, CRM Sales Consultant, CRMIT


Sugar CRM conducts a conference called SugarCon and they are promoting it heavily through various channels. Today I got an Email about this conference and found a curious announcement there:

To be frank, there is nothing new in this scheme:

  1. All major conferences invite experts to present sessions
  2. It is quite common to ask them to present their topics / ideas online
  3. With the emerging Social Web, participants vote and decide which topics should be presented in a conference

Now, Sugar CRM has combined this #1, #2 and #3 to a powerful Email Campaign, whereby it asks general public to submit their ideas and present them, if those ideas get enough votes. Smart, But nothing great.

But, look at it from the Social CRM perspective, you will understand how Sugar CRM has scored many big wins here:

  • By making this sound like a contest, they are inviting clicks, whether people submit ideas or not, they will come to the website and read all about it
  • They have opened this ‘Submit your ideas’ to everybody, not just experts, a perfect Social Web Scenario (More participation, better conversations, better relationships)
  • By adding a prize (Free pass to SugarCon) element, they have made this more attractive, BUT it is not going to cost them anything, in fact having a speaker for free saves them money!
  • But, what if many people jump at the opportunity and submit stupid ideas, just to get a free pass to the conference?
  • No problem, introduce votes, Only if your topic gets high number of votes, you will win your pass
  • This actually means, Sugar CRM needn’t appoint anybody to moderate / filter out junk topics, they are filtered by the real users, for free!
  • OKay, What if I ask my friends and coworkers to vote for me?
  • Again, No Problem, When you do that, you are indirectly selling my product (conference) to others, getting me new leads, again for free. So let me go and encourage you to do it (Notice the place where Sugar CRM actually asks you to spread the message, for your own sake of course 😉 )
  • They haven’t announced how many such ‘public’ sessions will be presented in Sugar Con, Means they can control what is the ‘minimum number of votes’ you need to win the pass, and this can be used to eliminate all those ‘stupid, yet popular’ topics
  • Best part is, they are making the CRM community think of innovative topics to be presented in SugarCon, that way it will be driven by real users, not just few experts / thought leaders, Priceless!
– Naga Chokkanathan, Direct (Innovation), CRMIT

How Oracle Fusion CRM Handles Multilingual Implementations

Oracle Fusion CRM comes with an interesting architecture for handling multi language implementations. This means, during the initial deployment phase itself, number of languages can be configured so that the user can choose their preference during login.

In fact, Fusion CRM Provides two language choices when any user logs in:

  1. Default Application Language
  2. Current Session Language

Once these two are setup, whenever the same user logs in again, they would only see the Oracle Fusion CRM interfaces in “Default Application Language”, They can change it to a different language in “Current Session Language” temporarily, But it is not a permanent change, until “Default Application Language” is changed.

As far as the support for multiple languages go, Oracle Fusion CRM Provides a user friendly interface for translating labels and other text from one language to another. This goes through an approval cycle before it is shown to the end users. Any corrections / rework can be done at this stage.

Technically speaking, all these language specific texts are stored in a Strings Repository. It has three tables:

  1. Base Table (English)
  2. Translation Table (All installed languages)
  3. Languages Table

If you have 100 labels in your Fusion CRM application, and 5 languages installed (Including English), “Base Table” will have 100 labels and “Translation Table” will have 400.

Similar to this, Fusion CRM also supports multiple currencies, number / date / time formats, Territory preferences and many more. Truly a global CRM application!

Social Media Q & A posted some interesting questions regarding usage of Social Media in today’s enterprises. I have tried to address them based on our experience in handling Social Media / Social CRM Projects. Please share your thoughts too:

What companies are using social media internally?

Almost all companies need to adopt this sooner or later. But as the first wave, B2C companies seem to be doing this more than their B2B counterparts, If you want to drilldown further, FMCG companies, Telecom, Media, Banks followed by Retail is my order.

How are they using social media with their employees? And how is it helping?

This is still a ‘guess’, but it is very clear that your Social Media strategy *should* include an internal collaboration strategy too, Because it gives you immediate visibility and ROI, before even you attempt at speaking to people external to you.

I feel the value add is in the areas of searching for past experiences and finding the right resources to close a new business or a client problem faster. Other aspects could be knowledge sharing, Groups etc.,

Do employees get more work done when they can utilize social media tools? Why or why not?

People argue both ways. One school of thought says that Social Media tools improve productivity, while others feel it is a distraction. As of now many companies are keeping them separate (Social Media Team) until it becomes clear what is effective and why

If you ask my personal opinion, I am from the “Yes, Social Media Tools help me **work** better” group. But that is only because I am confident about my discipline and ability to make best use of it, Can’t say the same about everybody else, even my closest colleagues 🙂

Will younger workers want to work at an organization that doesn’t embrace real-time, collaborative tools?

A big fat No 🙂 They may still work, but the *want* part will certainly be missing. For the web 2.0 generation, social tools are a way of life, not an optional thingy

– Naga Chokkanathan, Director (Innovation), CRMIT

(Originally written at :

Law Of Non Resistance : How It Works?

Whenever we refuse to accept a situation, we actually put in more power to it and this makes it even harder to solve. The moment we decide to resist it, we direct negative energy to that object or situation and this makes the problem appear even bigger. We start losing hopes, feel dis-empowered and ultimately lose the energy to overcome it. This is called violation of Law of Non Resistance.

The saying goes like this “what you resist always persists” and struggling with any situation is a clear sign that you are moving against the flow. But believe me, you can change this direction anytime you want. To actually make this Law of Non Resistance work for you, the easiest way is to recognize the problem and view every aspect related to it.

As you start acknowledging it, you start giving positive energy to it and this helps your action to target the problem appropriately. And giving out positive energy allows you to receive positive energy, as well. This is how the law works for you and pushes you to move in the correct direction.

If in case, you are not able to find a solution for the problem, you can leave it for a while and wait for sometime until you get some ideas to resolve it. But in this case, you got to leave the problem peacefully and need not think about it for the rest of the day. So remember, whenever you start facing your problems, you head towards your life’s purpose and when you do not, you actually invite lot of struggle and suffering in your life.

– Charu Mehta

Visual Navigation Of Customer Support Calls

Today I noticed an interesting question in Quora ( about Visual Navigation of Customer Support Calls

How long will it be until I can navigate automated customer service calls visually?
My phone has a screen on it. I don’t want to listen carefully to your menu options, even if they have recently changed.

Very interesting scenario. I responded with an answer like this. What are your thoughts?

Ah, super practical question, Why not?

But technically, I think there are HUGE challenges, Even with sophisticated Computer Telephony Integrations in place, Voice based calls and kept separate from data transfer, hence using a smart phone to handle both voice and data (choices for you to choose from) is difficult, at least as of today.

So, the immediate options seem to be:

1. Pure voice (Current system which you described)
2. Pure data (Use a Website / PC to log your tickets)
3. Voice and data (iPhone / Android / Blackberry app where calls can be made and menu options can be ‘download’ed on the fly so that you can choose from there, instead of listening, use Voice only for talking, not for hearing / choosing)

Future option:

Make a voice call : get the menu options as a data back to your phone : Dynamic display : Choose : Speak / Act

On second thoughts, there are few phone apps which do this already, isn’t it? For example, the app used to query for balance in a prepaid account? If Phone companies can extend it to call centers too, it will be a good start!

Once the telephony system is there to support this, CRM systems can provide a much better navigation for phone users, depending on which device they are using

Naga Chokkanathan, Director (Innovation), CRMIT

Finding Time For Yourself

Some simple tricks for finding time for yourself:

1. De-clutter your schedule

  • Look at your timesheet for time wasters
  • Analyze timesheet to find tasks you spend most of your time with least results/ satisfaction
  • Try and be more efficient in selected activities
  • Drop / reduce time for few activities which may not make serious sense

2. Learn to delegate

  • Identify & delegate to others tasks which they can do better, not important to you or need early completion
  • Coach/ train/ mentor people to handle tasks which you may want to delegate

3. Learn to say ‘no’

  • Typical tasks which you may want to say NO to could be: Tasks not adding to your Goals/ KRA, Paucity of time/ preoccupation, You do not have the skills/ confidence to do, Not interested/ motivated to do the task
– Bhasker Rao, Director (HR), CRMIT

Twitter’s Self Service Advertising Platform & What it means for Social CRM

Buzz is that Twitter has launched a Self Service Advertising Platform for certain markets. We can expect it to go mainstream soon.

For quite sometime, Twitter uses promoted tweets, promoted trends etc., to make money. But they were not as self-service as Google Ads or few other alternatives. Having a system where people can manage their own Twitter Ads (& use them as per their budget) is going to add lot of value. And improve user adoption too.

Social CRM will jump into the bandwagon too, Soon we can expect features such as create a Twitter Ad from your CRM, Track effectiveness of a Twitter Ad, Track responses to a particular Ad, End to end campaign effectiveness reports etc., Exciting!

Do you use Twitter Ads? Are you planning to integrate them to your CRM? If yes, how? Who will benefit most from a platform / integration of this sort? Share your thoughts.