We covered, in a previous article, the fact that sales today lacks any real theory and has become an entirely mechanical field. Technology exists simply to turn salespeople into workers without responsibility and self-determination.
In a totally opposite approach, Pipeliner CRM is deeply rooted in the theory of the Austrian School of Economics. It says that sales must have a human approach. Therefore our technology exists to support the human approach to sales, because the Austrian School emphasizes that sales—formerly just trade—has a peacekeeping component. Let’s now examine that approach in further detail, and learn why we have taken it.
Revolution of the UserUserUser means a person who uses or consumes a product or a service, usually a digital device or an online service.
Within most CRM systems, certain types of dataDataData is a set of quantitative and qualitative facts that can be used as reference or inputs for computations, analyses, descriptions, predictions, reasoning and planning. are excluded from users, and are only visible to managers. For example, one of our competitors states that their application “gives sales managers and leaders behind-the-scenes tools to guide their team to success.” Pipeliner rejects this approach, making the same data visible to everyone because we believe users should be empowered. Of course managers need the data, but users will also need the same data to adequately perform their roles and take action.
In actual fact, Pipeliner is creating a revolution in the CRM world. We’ve taken the approach away from the “top-down” management of traditional CRM applications and turned the focus to the user. These former solutions were used to enforce quotas on users—“You haven’t made your 100 calls today!” Such a system was more for achieving the goals of management than the individual. Our system utilizes what I call the “bottom-up” approach by empowering and democratizing users, and no other CRM solutionSolutionSolution is a combination of ideas, strategies, processes, technologies and services that effectively helps an organization achieve its goals or hurdle its challenges. is doing so. We’re shifting the responsibility from management to the user. Every detail of our concept is concentrated in this direction.
We’ve always taken the view that salespeople very much resemble entrepreneurs—in reality they are “entrepreneurs within the enterpriseEnterpriseEnterprise (in the context of sales) is a relatively large organization typically composed of multiple levels, locations, and departments which need multi-layer software systems that support collaboration across a large corporate environment..” I even created a term for this: “Salespreneurs.” We encourage the entrepreneurial qualities within salespeople—and in doing so we are progressively setting them free to achieve greater and greater success. The flexibility we provide turns the user into the creator, organizer and designer of the approach to their work. They are motivated by Pipeliner’s features.
We’re not saying that the manager should now do nothing—but they can now take on the role they perform best: coaching. And Pipeliner empowers that role, too.
Let’s now examine the functionality of Pipeliner CRM more closely, and see how it empowers the sales force.
A Framework is Needed
You’ll find that a framework is required for any undertaking. In a simple example, most people have one or more pictures on their desk of their spouse and children. A picture doesn’t stand by itself—it requires a frame to hold it. The frame makes it possible for the viewer to concentrate fully on the picture.
A frame centers the viewer’s vision so it is focused on importances. We have applied this concept to Pipeliner CRM with our frame-like navigation. We’re the only CRM application with a top and bottom navigation, which exists throughout the entire application—and it allows users to focus on what is important.
All people are different, and therefore possess differing viewing preferences. For that reason, a user can choose from multiple views within leads, contacts, accounts, reports and all other CRM elements. It could be that a person prefers knowing where all accounts are geographically. Another, because of their experience with Excel, prefers a List View. Others prefer to have a fast overview of everything going on with a particular record—we call that the Compact View. Yet others might prefer our traditional PipelinePipelineSales pipelineis a visual representation of the stage prospects are in the sales process. View, showing opportunities and where they reside in the sales processSales ProcessSales Process is a series of strategic steps or a set of activities aimed at driving sales growth through the alignment of personnel, market insight, methodologies, relevant business units, and technology..
Management of Views With Power Panel
Management of these different views is accomplished through our Power Panel.
As we stated above, users possess the human characteristic of having different preferences. We’re the only CRM application in the world to provide the Power Panel, a unique navigation system. This system allows the user to modify their current view of Pipeliner CRM data, as they wish to see it.
By filtering with the Power Panel, users can include or exclude factors to or from their view. Views can be modified by accountAccountAccount refers to a record of primary and background information about an individual or corporate customer, including contact data, preferred services, and transactions with your company. owner—the user or others. The type of target can be selected to show different approaches to sales goals. Profiles can be created and shared within the Power Panel, so that the user have a private view, or have a common view with other individuals or groups. The Power Panel can be utilized with opportunities, accounts, contacts, leads, activities, and reports.
In that data is constantly undergoing change, we have provided this crucial element of Instant Dynamic Visualization.
The framework, views and Power Panel all tie together to comprise our totally unique aesthetic visualization.
Since users must view our application for hours on end, we have gone well out of our way to make Pipeliner aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Along with this, we have made the application visually and powerfully simple, because we believe that simplification leads to efficiency. Steve Jobs said, “Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.” We utilize icons that everyone understands, so that a user will automatically know which function they want to use. We took this idea from the kinds of icons that are universally used, such as those in any airport in the world, no matter the language.
The Awesome Archive
It could be said that we as humans learn a great deal from bad experiences, and in fact negative events inspire much of the change people are willing to engage in. For example, one of our staff who had been a heavy smoker had a heart attack, and quit smoking as a result. Today he is healthy.
How does this relate to a corporate sales scenario? A great deal of learning happens when examining lost deals. We are the only CRM vendor that has created a real archive, where failed leads and opportunities can be saved along with all pertinent information, including which sales process stage the leadLeadLead refers to a prospect or potential customer (who can be an individual or organization) that exhibits interest in your service or product; or any additional information about such entity. or opportunity was lost, for later analysis. The archive is the flipside of the opportunity coin, and utilizes the same exact visualization and Power Panel as the current live pipeline. Utilizing this information allows sales teams to learn how to become better at selling, and provides a training tool for rep improvement.
Within the Archive, Power Panel filtering can be used to isolate particular leads and opportunities, as well as opportunities or leads lost by specific individuals or teams.
Rich data can be obtained by analysis through the archive, such as in which sales process stage most deals are lost, which competitor features are causing the most lost deals, how the sales process might be corrected or improved.
It often happens that a lead or opportunity comes back to life, and is ready to be worked again. When this occurs, the deal can be restored instantly from the Archive to the live pipeline. All information about the lead or opportunity will be restored along with it, including emails, calls and documents.
It is no longer necessary for companies to hide or ignore lost deal information. With the Archive, such data can be used to improve the overall scene. Even individuals can look over their lost deals and improve themselves.
A Matter of MetricsMetricsMetrics are quantities that are measured and used to:
Because we know that people all have different approaches and views, we provide several different approaches to support. Part of the reason for this is that we are totally transparent, and provide an incredible amount of contentContentContent refers to a material or document released in various forms (such as text, image, audio, and video) and created to inform, engage or influence specific audiences. about our platform so that anyone can know anything about it—more insight into the application than any other CRM system.
A user can take the traditional route, instantly creating a support ticket to be addressed by our support team—but because of the other resources we provide, we generally have very few support tickets. The user can investigate on their own, through our highly comprehensive knowledge base. They can, if they wish, interact with other users in the user community for an answer.
Other support resources include the Pipeliner bullhorn which leads to Pipeliner new features announcements, and release notes. There is also an overall introduction for all of Pipeliner’s main features.
We’re constantly refining Pipeliner for the best possible user experience, which also equates to a reduced need for support interaction.
Another result of our transparent approach is extended learning.
We are further differentiated from any other CRM application by our content platform SalesPOP!, embedded within Pipeliner and also available online. SalesPOP! is supported by almost 3,000 expert contributors worldwide. Instead of spending billions on sales and marketingMarketingMarketing is the field, set of actions, or practice of making a product or service desirable to a target consumer segment, with the ultimate aim of effecting a purchase. as our competitors, we have created this incredible tool not only for our users, but for anyone seeking knowledge. SalesPOP contributors provide written and video content, on a daily basis, on sales, lead management, pipeline management, sales management, leadership, and many other vital topics.
SalesPOP allows users to access plentiful information about any topic they wish to know about whenever needed.
Theory Underlying Pipeliner
All of what we have described is the part of Pipeliner that is visible. It’s rather like an iceberg. What the users see is the upper part, above the water. But the important part is the theory, the much bigger part of the iceberg, unseen under the water.
Cybernetic principles have been utilized to design our system flexibility and Instant Dynamic Visualization. Cybernetics is the science of simplicity, and therefore our approach is through powerful simplicity—which makes Pipeliner an extremely unique selling power system.
Part of our theory states that learning and adopting are well within the capabilities of the individual. Adopting sets free a salesperson’s entrepreneurial qualities, due to Pipeliner’s democratic approach.
While just about everyone desires freedom, most hesitate to take responsibility. We provide flexibility to each person, because if each individual is going to have freedom, they must plan and control their own activities. According to Thomas Mann, responsibility is the other side of the freedom coin.
Because they can control their actions, users are secure within the Pipeliner system. They are responsible for their activities. They are responsible for their own forecasts, and all else in their role. This responsibility gives the user the freedom to be self-determined, because only self-determined people are competent.
Security and freedom, throughout the recent quarantine, were highly reduced. It made for the loss of creativity and development for many. At Pipeliner, we directly oppose this loss, holding high the banner of freedom and security for the individual.
With the right motivation, we strengthen the individual so they can freely make decisions. This makes it possible for the individual to freely enjoy what they’re doing. When that enjoyment is available, the person becomes committed to their own responsibility and will be productive.
Encouragement of entrepreneurial motivation and thinking is our goal. We won’t believe that motivation should come from outside the person, but from inside, from where it motivates responsibility. This inner motivation turns the salesperson into their own creator, designer and organizationOrganizationOrganization is a cohesive group of people working together and formally bound by a shared identity (e.g., one team, company, club, etc.) and a common purpose (e.g., business growth, athletic victory, etc.).. They are self-determined in creating their own future. This is real sales force empowerment.
It is the freeing of individual motivation that brings about productivity.