PGi White Paper Accelerating+Sales+Process V05


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PGi White Paper Accelerating+Sales+Process V05

  1. 1. Collaboration Strategies to Accelerate Your Sales Cycles How to increase revenue and reduce costs through innovative communications ENERGIZE YOUR CONNECTIONS™
  2. 2. Collaboration Strategies to Accelerate Your Sales Cycle Table of Contents >> Contents...................................................................................................... 2 >> Virtual Meetings.......................................................................................... 3 >> Improve Internal Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing. ........................... 4 . >> Close Business More Quickly and Easily...................................................... 5 >> Enhance Customer Support and Build Customers for Life........................... 6 The information contained in this document represents the current view of Premiere Global Services, Inc (PGI) on the issues discussed as of the date of publication. Because PGI must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of PGI, and PGI cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented after the date of publication. This White Paper is for informational purposes only. PREMIERE GLOBAL SERVICES MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT. Complying with all applicable copyright laws is the responsibility of the user. Without limiting the rights under copyright, no part of this document may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), or for any purpose, without the express written permission of Premiere Global Services. Premiere Global Services may have patents, patent applications, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property rights covering subject matter in this document. Except as expressly provided in any written license agreement from Premiere Global Services, the furnishing of this document does not give you any license to these patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property. © 2010 Premiere Global Services, Inc. All rights reserved. 2
  3. 3. Collaboration Strategies to Accelerate Your Sales CycleIt’s safe to say that there has never been a company departments, and with their prospects andcompletely satisfied with its sales process. No customers. Closing business and answeringmatter how good your people are, no matter prospects’ questions is dependent on clearhow successful your efforts, there are always channels of communications. Building customerdemands for “just a little more.” Sales leaders loyalty through ongoing dialogs keeps customersface questions from management, investors, informed, enthusiastic and receptive.board members and associates:>> Could we find ways to bring more sales leads Virtual Meetings into the cycle? Hosting audio and web conferences for sales>> Could we use our sales teams’ time more discussions, from smaller team events (such as effectively? sales planning calls or product demos) to large>> Could we reduce costs while bringing in more events (such as product launches and customer revenue? training sessions) is an effective way to conve->> Could we speed up the time it takes to niently and quickly to communicate. This white convert a prospect to a customer? paper will focus on how meeting technologies>> Could we make it easier for people to do can help accelerate the sales cycle. We will look business with us? at four key areas:>> Could we make our existing customers happier, so they would act as references, recommend us to colleagues, and be receptive to follow-on offers? 1 Improving internal collaboration and shared knowledge 2 Closing businessIn a very direct way, efficient and effective com-munications are key to each of these concerns. 3 Supporting customers and building loyaltyBringing sales leads into the system starts withreaching and communicating with your targetaudience. Sales teams need to communicate In each stage of the sales process, we will look atwith each other, with management, with other conventional approaches to accomplishing key tasks and investigate how they can be accelerated and improved with always on collaboration tools. 3
  4. 4. Collaboration Strategies to Accelerate Your Sales CycleImprove Internal Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing KEY QUESTIONS: >> Are team meetings eating into your sales group’s budgets and time in the field? >> Do salespeople get information easily and clearly communicated from product teams and upper management? >> Can your field sales members work with other groups in the company to collaborate on customer documents, even when away from a computer and printer? >> Do sales teams know when new corporate information or policies are announced?Companies often overlook the importance of the frequency of sales meetings and training, events such as product training sessionsinternal collaboration as a part of the sales but this leads to gaps in up to date knowledge delivered to the entire field sales force at once.process. Sales teams regularly schedule meetings and a reduced sense of team cohesiveness. The ability to archive meetings for on-demandwith regional and departmental management Salespeople in the field may have a difficult playback makes the information available forto discuss progress, territories, incentives, and time working with electronic documents on later review and reference, as well as providingstrategies. Salespeople need to get training on ever-shrinking mobile devices that act as their a fallback for team members whose schedulesnew and upgraded products. Work on RFI or main communications technology when away do not permit attendance at the live event. WebRFP submissions for prospects typically require from their office computers. Conferencing helps collaboration allows everyone to see the sameinput and collaboration with individuals in to bring people into contact, but requires them visual materials at once, and let a presenter high-other departments. to coordinate versions of documents locally and light items of interest or draw the audience’s atten- can make it difficult to reference details that are tion to a specific detail on the screen or the page.Conventional approach: best expressed visually. Working on collaborative documents such asTraining and departmental meetings have tradi- RFI’s and RFP’s is made easier by the ability totionally been arranged as in-person gatherings. Advanced thinking: scan documents and convert them to electronicTravel costs are just one downside to bringing The PGiCOS platform allows remote teams to meet images that can be emailed, annotated, and ar-sales teams together on a frequent basis. Time without traveling, share valuable information, chived. Salespeople in the field can use any localaway from prospects and customers in their own and transmit documents to and from any fax machine as their personal computer printerterritories reduces the effectiveness of the sales location. Premiere Global’s Conferencing and to get a hardcopy of the latest document version.relationship and impacts the potential for reve- Collaboration solutions can be used for collab-nue and customer goodwill. Companies may try orative team meetings such as weekly regionalto minimize these negative effects by reducing update sessions, as well as for larger structured 4
  5. 5. Collaboration Strategies to Accelerate Your Sales CycleClose Business More Quickly and Easily KEY QUESTIONS: >> Are customer signoffs often delayed while multiple decision makers are brought up to speed? >> Do your salespeople spend too much time making multiple trips to customer locations? >> When prospects ask detailed questions, is there a delay in getting answers from your product experts, slowing down the closing process? >> Is it difficult for traveling salespeople to stay involved in legal contract negotiations with their customers?Turning a prospect into a customer is the core from upper management and legal teams at Because sales teams do not have to travel tofunction of the salesperson and the lifeblood both companies. Documents are typically faxed customer sites repeated times, they can contactof your revenue stream. Complex customer back and forth between legal departments, more influencers and more prospects duringapproval processes and signoffs from multiple leaving the salesperson out of the loop and each work day. They no longer have to groupdepartments lengthen the sales process and unable to keep the sale moving forward. If a customer visits according to travel convenience,make it more difficult to gain consensus from salesperson is on the road without a printer, but can work with them based on their stagethe proper decision makers. Once the customer important documentation may have to wait of the buying cycle. Expert resources at yourhas made a decision to purchase, there may be until it can be produced in hardcopy format. company who are in demand by multiple salesmultiple rounds of negotiation on pricing, terms, teams can more easily get involved in the closeand contract details that involve management and Advanced thinking: process, since they don’t need to travel andlegal professionals from your company and theirs. PGiCOS makes it easier to communicate with they can hear the customer’s questions directly, all parties involved in the closing process. Sales rather than getting a condensed and restatedConventional approach: teams can set up web conferences that bring version from the salesperson.under revision,Sales teams need to meet several times with together the decision makers at the prospect’s and reduce organizational costs and lost time.different stakeholders. Each meeting requires company no matter where they may be physicallytravel and repetition of key sales points and located. Product experts and upper managementbenefits. Specialized questions about product from your company can also attend, ensuringdetails, integration and installation, or usage that all questions are answered immediatelyterms may force the salesperson to communicate and removing barriers to a fast decision.with an expert at your company and get back tothe prospect at a later time. Multiple revisionsof legal documents require edits and approvals 5
  6. 6. Collaboration Strategies to Accelerate Your Sales CycleEnhance Customer Support and Build Customers for Life KEY QUESTIONS: >> How often do you communicate with your customers about new products and services? >> Are your sales representatives always aware of problems in their customer accounts? >> How can existing customers help you grow revenues through additional sales? >> Is it easy for your customers to get informtion from you and provide input and feedback to you?Closing a sale with a new customer is a wonderful company. An annual user meeting that requires When customers feel that they are a respectedfeeling, but it needs to be the start of an ongoing paid registration, travel costs, and time away and informed part of your business operations,relationship. Satisfied, informed customers act from the office for your customers is not the same they become key allies in finding new channelsas positive sales references for other accounts as keeping an open ongoing dialog with them. to increase your revenue.and present opportunities for potential up-sellingand cross-selling in the future. Obviously you Advanced thinking: Case Study:don’t want to risk losing your existing custom- PGi’s suite of applied communication technolo- OneCoast is a national wholesaler that marketsers to your competitors, but more than that, gies lets your company be proactive in your and sells more than 300 product lines to a wideyou want to become a strategic vendor for your ongoing communications with your customers. variety of retailers in the home décor, gift andcustomers going forward. Product development teams can work with bookstore industries. With a team of nearly 400 marketing to send out data sheets, product geographically-dispersed sales executives,Conventional approach: brochures, and other materials through PGi’s OneCoast uses Premiere Global’s ConferencingCustomer support is all too often left as a eMarketing solution. Customers can always be and Collaboration solutions for employee training,reactive function, dealing with complaints up to date on the latest offerings and advances in management business reviews, in customerand product questions as they come in from in your product set. presentations, and to keep its sales force energized.each customer. Salespeople may go for long You can use PGi’s Conferencing and Collabora- This highly successful company has integratedperiods without contacting a customer until tion solutions to bring together large communi- web conferencing so completely into theirthey need reference help for a new sale. At this ties of customers without regard to physical corporate culture that, on an average day,time they may find that they have a dissatisfied location. You may wish to schedule chats with OneCoast may have as many as 20 web meetingsaccount, frustrated with slow response from product managers, to make customers feel scheduled. “It’s definitely a part of the culture ata technical support department that doesn’t actively involved in the development and direc- OneCoast,” says CEO Ted Teele, “At one point, Isee them as a priority. tion of product enhancements. You might offer told my management team not to have a meetingUp-selling and cross-selling is easier when your advanced training to your customers so they can unless they were using web conferencing.”customers are informed, engaged, and enthusiastic make more extensive use of your products andabout developments in your products and your apply them to new applications. 6
  7. 7. Learn More PGiVisit us today at View customer The Terminus Buildingvideos, product demonstrations, and get the 3280 Peachtree Road NWdetails on all of our global meetings and Suite 1000communications solutions. Atlanta, GA 30305 pgi.comAbout UsThe world collaborates with PGi.Our advanced meeting, conferencing andcollaboration solutions energize people andorganizations to connect more meaningfullyand work together more productively. PGi isheadquartered in Atlanta, Georgia withoperations in 24 countries worldwide. ENERGIZE YOUR CONNECTIONS™ 7