Working on a sales team can be draining. The hours can be long, the stress can be high, and knowing that your take-home pay depends on your success can lead to some sleepless nights. Your success often hinges on managing relationships with a variety of current and potential customers — there’s a lot to keep track of, and it’s not easy to keep it all straight.
On top of that, sales reps tend to be independent. Goal-oriented. Energetic. And incredibly driven. They’re not interested in being herded into a one-size-fits-all system — especially if they’re lone wolves. So any sales pipeline management system that really works should be streamlined, private, and flexible — and it should integrate with other commonly used apps as well.
If you’ve got Salesforce or another heavy-duty CRM to help you stay organized, you’re in luck — well, up to a point. Salesforce is incredibly powerful, but it’s that same power that can make it challenging or expensive to customize.
So often you’re reduced to covering your desk with Post-it note reminders, clicking back and forth between tabs in Salesforce, marking emails as “unread” or “important,” or worst of all, just trying to remember miscellaneous to-do’s.
In this post, you’ll see exactly how easy it can be to set up a personal lightweight CRM using Redbooth. You’ll hear from a Redbooth account executive who built his own manageable process in under two minutes and find out why it makes his life so much easier. And finally, you’ll discover how you can set your own up with just a few clicks.
Salesforce Is Ridiculously Powerful…
…but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Eric Povero is a Corporate Account Executive and a top performer at Redbooth. He values Salesforce — and he understands its limits, too.
“For me, I’m more of a visual person, and it can be difficult for me to organize Salesforce in a way that presents information how I would want,” he said. “Salesforce is tremendously customizable, but in certain situations you need granted permissions, a significant amount of tech know-how, and on the whole it’s not incredibly agile.”
This gets tricky when you know your deal stages well, as Eric does, but you’re not able to create an easy way to see where all of your leads and customers are at once.
What he really needed was a way to come in on a Monday morning and scroll through a single workspace — and really get a picture of where the accounts that he’s supporting are in the sales cycle.
And that’s what inspired him to create his own lightweight CRM right inside of Redbooth, the application that he was demoing up to 7 times a day already.
How Eric Created His Own Lightweight CRM
“I started doing it on a whim, really,” Eric said. “I started thinking, ‘How can I improve my own process?’ I’ve been helping so many other people focus on improving theirs, so why not mine too? So one day I just built a workspace around my typical processes and found that it was unbelievably helpful. I saw a huge jump in my conversion rate of the accounts evaluating Redbooth, which to me shows that the impact was mutually beneficial to the customers as well.”
It took Eric less than two minutes to build the Redbooth workspace he christened “Support Pipeline” that houses his CRM. He already had a clear understanding of the different stages of his sales cycle, which gave him a powerful head start.
“Every salesperson knows their process, and the stages of the sales cycle that are unique and important to them and their product. In general, we all have the same couple core groups: Discovery, Presentation, Closing, Won, Lost, and so on,” Eric said.
“And for me, I have a couple more that are unique to my process, that I have come to recognize as being important to converting prospects into long-term customers.
Once he had created the workspace, adding and updating new customers and leads was simple.
“I’ll create a task and title it with the name of the account in trial, and from there I’m able to click and drag the account between different stages of my sales cycle,” Eric said. “So as a prospect moves forward through the pipeline, this is paralleled in Redbooth visually; I can simply click and drag the task from, say, discovery to demo, from demo to one-week post-demo follow-up and so on.”
He also includes a link to the record in Salesforce, so that he can maintain continuity and update records to keep VP of Sales Jeff Koll and his colleagues in the loop.
“Salesforce is still a great repository to house all of your sales information. It’s not like I’m trying to replace Salesforce. It’s great to know, ‘These are the accounts that are in my territory, these are the opportunities that I have, this is the big picture revenue-wise.’ It keeps your pipeline totals in check and it’s a good way to share that kind of information with your team and with your team leader,” Eric said.
I built a @RedboothHQ workspace around my typical processes. Unbelievably helpful. — @EricPovero Click To Tweet
Independent Spaces Are a Fit for Sales Reps
Even while he continues to link to individual Salesforce records in Redbooth, Eric values the opportunity to work in a space that’s dedicated to helping him personally stay focused.
“Any salesperson, when they’re in Salesforce, they’re entering the notes the way that their sales managers want them to structure it,” he explained.
“They start putting in the things that they want their sales managers to see and they might be excluding details that are helpful to them. Managing my pipeline in a Redbooth workspace is important to me, because I can take freehand notes, input things that will trigger specific memories, and ensure that I know what’s going on when I come back at a later date.”
It’s a reminder that even on the most collaborative team, it’s essential to have spaces where an employee can work independently as well.
“I can write in shorthand, I can make notes the way that I want,” Eric said. “I don’t have to follow a specific guideline of how to update the notes. It’s much easier for me to follow.”
Plus, having the combination of independence and reliability is a fit for the independent personality types who tend to choose a career in sales where their fate is in their own hands.
“With salespeople, you’re going to find a lot more people with lone wolf and challenger-style personalities than you would in other departments,” Eric said. “Many of the best ones tend to be independent thinkers and not afraid to do their own thing or ask a customer to step back and think critically about their processes and how they can improve upon them.”
Regardless of personality type, most salespeople tend to have an independent streak. “Any salesperson will tell you that they don’t want to be micromanaged. By managing my pipeline in Redbooth, nobody falls through the cracks, and my support processes stay tight. Every day when I come into the office, I know it’s been X amount of days since I last talked to somebody. There’s a sense of comfort in knowing that I can trust the process.”
Any salesperson will tell you that they don't want to be micromanaged. — @EricPovero Click To Tweet
Set Up Your Own Sales Pipeline in Redbooth
For users who are brand-new to Redbooth, the CRM Light workflow template is a ready-made Redbooth workspace that can be launched into a Redbooth account with just a few clicks (check out the template).
“I think using the template is a great idea,” Eric said, “especially for someone who’s exploring Redbooth for the first time and wants to get a head start.”
Whether you build your own pipeline workspace in Redbooth or launch the CRM Light template, you can look forward to one thing above all: the ability to free up mental bandwidth to focus on creating outstanding experiences for leads and customers.
“I started using this just because I had the resources at my fingertips,” Eric said. “But now after doing this for a couple of months, I can’t imagine going back to a process without it.”
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