5 ways to get organised and increase sales


Improving the productivity of existing sales representatives is considered the most crucial step towards achieving revenue goals, reports Docurated. Despite this, only one-third of a sales rep’s time is actually spent selling to customers – the rest, lost to admin tasks and research. So, it stands to reason that the best way to increase sales, and thereby drive revenue, is to enable sales staff with the right tools to maximise selling time.

In this article, we’ll provide five simple tips to help sales reps get organised and increase sales.

1. Spend less time on admin

Reporting is an important part of effective sales. Good reporting means reps can easily see areas for improvement or accounts needing attention. So it’s expected sales staff should spend some time on reporting, but that doesn’t mean it should eclipse similarly valuable sales time.

This is where a customer relationship management (CRM) system like Rhino comes in. Rhino includes a number of off-the-shelf reports enabling fast, automated reporting so your team can get access to information with ease.

That said, the aforementioned Docurated report also indicated that CRM was a common cause for time loss among sales people. With that in mind, it’s crucial to find a system that’s easy to use, so it supports your sales team without getting in their way. Read our article “7 reasons to adopt a user-friendly CRM system” for more information about the importance of simple, effective CRM.

Spend less time on admin and reporting with simple CRM features.Spend less time on admin and reporting with simple CRM features.

2. Plan your calls effectively

Research by Pace Productivity shows sales people spend, on average, 6.6 hours per week on the road. That’s about 16.5 per cent of a 40 hour work week. When asked, sales people claimed this was an activity they’d like to spend much less time on – ideally only 3 hours per week.

There’s only so much that can be done to reduce travel times, of course – no one can dictate how far away a client is based, or what traffic may be like on any given day. But it is possible to strategise for less travel distances in any given day by ensuring trips are organised smartly. Journey Planning is a core feature of the Rhino CRM, helping sales people plan which accounts to call on in similar areas to maximise time better spent selling. With an emphasis on usability, Rhino is designed to make Journey Planning quick, painless and effective.

3. Stop trying to multitask

Multitasking is an enticing idea. If you can do two things at once, that could hardly be a bad thing, right?

Think again. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests that multi-tasking can cost as much as 40 per cent of someone’s productive time. This is because the mental process of repeatedly switching contexts can quickly become overwhelming, producing mental blocks and making it harder to complete any task to as high as standard as you might otherwise. Giving your brain only one task to focus on at a time means you’re less likely to struggle with mental blocks and more likely to work to a higher standard.

With CRM handling reporting, journey planning and call planning, you just need to focus on the task at hand.Constantly interrupted? Blocking out dedicated inbox-time can reduce the urge to multitask.

4. Say no to email traps

Along the same lines, we’ve all been in a situation where one email can destroy hours of focus.

A poorly timed email notification can have a similar effect to multi-tasking, pulling your brain into a different context and thereby interrupting valuable flow. One solution to this is to eliminate the possibility of distraction with regular, appointed email time blocks. Turn off email notifications and establish blocks of time in the day – half an hour in the morning and again in the afternoon, for example.

In these time blocks, start by addressing any emails you can take immediate action on – for example, items you know you can simply delete or forward. This immediately removes clutter and helps you understand how much time you can afford to give to each email that needs your attention.

Of course, it’s important to be available to your clients, so it’s a good idea to use an automated response to let them know when they can expect or response, or how to contact you if the matter is urgent.

5. Keep everything in one place

Finally, stop wasting time scrambling for information.

CRM is focused on making every point of contact with a client meaningful. When a sales rep demonstrates a deeper understanding of a client’s business and it’s pain points, it strengthens relationships and improves trust. To do this, a sales person needs access to up-to-date information including transactions and call notes quickly and easily.

Keeping valuable customer data across disparate spreadsheets creates silos and negatively impacts any sales rep’s ability to prepare for calls quickly and effectively. Instead, a user-friendly CRM system like Rhino can create a centralised repository of customer information so sales staff always have the data they need at hand.

Getting organised is simple with the right technology on your side. To learn just what Rhino can do for your team’s productivity, request a free demo today.

Customer relationship management just got simpler.

Improving customer communication through technology

Communication is everything today.

It's the little interactions with your customers in every moment, whether directly with your sales people or via social media, that establish trust and meaningful relationships. In turn, these drive revenue and invaluable word-of-mouth marketing. If your organisation can master communications, growing your business will be that much easier.

Fortunately, improving customer communication is simple with the right technology on your side. A powerful customer relationship management (CRM) system should underpin your communication strategy to enable better results from your sales team. Let's take a look at how that works.

Upgrading your meeting scheduling

A great CRM system helps your sales people plan their calls efficiently.

Maintaining consistent, positive communications with your customers is vital. Keeping your existing relationships healthy is all about being available when your customers need you. It's for this reason that sales people strive to keep up a regular call cycle with their customers. They want to ensure that they're not far away when a customer is in need.

A key factor in making this happen is effective call planning and time management. For your sales people, this means organising a call cycle that has them moving about their territory intelligently. An effective call cycle will never place your sales people too far from a given customer's area. A great CRM system helps your sales people plan their visits according to location so that they can spend as much time in front of customers as possible.

Call planning is straight forward with a great CRM system.Call planning is straight forward with a great CRM system.

Gaining insight to communication gaps

Even with a call cycle in place, gaps can form in your communications when customers are unavailable or postponing calls. When these gaps grow, customers can become distant and it can be difficult to know if they're facing any issues. To stay on top of communications, you need oversight across every account's health and sales activity.

A CRM system like Rhino by Forte IS includes a number of valuable sales reporting features which provide valuable insight into your customer relationships. A Gap Analysis report highlights opportunities for a greater level of contact with your customers as well as detailing reasons communications may have been lacking – such as unresponsive contacts, competitors gaining ground, or rocky relationships.

Armed with intelligent reporting, you can improve communication strategies, turn customer relationships around and identify underperformance as necessary.

Keeping your sales people informed

As your business ramps up, your sales team will take on more and more customers. Sometimes it's simply not practical to expect a single sales person to remember every detail about each customer – particularly those who require minimal contact. As such, a record of every customer interaction is vital so your staff can refresh themselves ahead of every call, or even make quick references during the call.

This is where the customer data repository of a CRM system becomes priceless. Your sales team may currently store client information across disparate spreadsheets, making it difficult and time-consuming to catch-up on call history or transactions. With all of this data in a single, central location, reviewing recent activity is quick and easy.

As a result, your sales people can enter calls with complete confidence they have the most up-to-date information possible about your customers and can thereby answer any question or problems they might face.

With your client information in a central database, your sales people can catch up on everything they need to know - anywhere.With your client information in a central database, your sales people can catch up on everything they need to know – anywhere.

Handing over customer accounts

For whatever reason, there will come a time you need to induct new sales people to your organisation. Whether you're expanding the team to handle more customers or one of your sales people is moving on from the company, accounts will need to be handed over to new staff.

This can be a tricky process. Even when your organisation stays otherwise unchanged, a new sales person can make a customer feel as though the relationship has to be started completely anew. Naturally, this is a trying time for your customer relationship that must be navigated with sensitivity and care to keep everything running smoothly.

Your CRM's customer information repository equips your new team with a thorough history of sales activity, account contacts and call history, helping them rekindle and foster highly valuable relationships.

Empower your customer relationships with Rhino

CRM has always been clouded with complications and technical nonsense. Consequently, many sales people have struggled to tap into the great communication benefits of their CRM systems. Finally, a solution that places simplicity and power at the top of the list is here.

Rhino by Forte IS is an Australian-owned CRM system that emphasises user-friendliness and results, made by sales people, for sales people. To find out more about what Rhino can bring to your business, request a free demo today.

5 ways spreadsheets are holding your business back


So, you’re ready to grow your business. As far as you know, your sales team are ticking all the boxes and the wheels are in motion. But what lies beneath the surface of the countless spreadsheets holding your business together?

Creating a scalable, sustainable business requires more than just spreadsheets. Your business cannot grow safely and smoothly without great visibility into your sales performance and revenue, and flexibility in your systems to accommodate a growing customer database.

Let’s examine the many disadvantages of a spreadsheet-based customer relationship management system and how you can better equip your business for growth.

Remember: no customer wants to work with a salesperson who’s losing to their processes.

1. Spreadsheets waste your sales team’s time

First and foremost, the work of your sales team should be unhindered by manual processes, clunky systems or disparate data if you want to help them thrive. Storing your customer data across numerous spreadsheets and Google docs may seem like a low-cost, functional process, however the cost in human time required to access and operate these documents can be significant.

When staff are working against slow, hefty spreadsheets, they’re forced to create new worksheets and spread customer data and call cycles across countless documents. With your business growing, this can quickly create silos, impede your sales team and negatively impact your customer experience.

Remember: no customer wants to work with a salesperson who’s losing to their processes.

Held back by spreadsheets, your sales people lose valuable time.Held back by spreadsheets, your sales people lose valuable time.

2. Spreadsheets open your processes to great risk of error

Almost 90 per cent of all spreadsheets contain at least one error, according to a literature review from the University of Hawaii.

A spreadsheet can quickly become the work of a sole salesperson – particularly after a long time with certain customers. When that salesperson eventually leaves, it’s possible their spreadsheets will become a single point of failure for your business systems. The spreadsheet may not be up to date, or the salesperson may have left without explaining their individual processes.

Similarly, even with numerous integrated spreadsheets, a single break in the chain can influence countless datasets and require a lot of manual hours to find the source of the problem.

3. Spreadsheet integrations aren’t a long-term solution

On the note of integration, it’s important to remember that these often are not scalable, long-term solutions. Rather, integrating your spreadsheets with third-party plug-ins is more often a point solution that ignores the wider needs of your business.

Integrated spreadsheets, even on cloud-based systems like Google docs, risk duplication of data entry, process and functionality and can quickly lead to a tangled mess of applications and plug-ins that are costly, poorly implemented or relatively unsupported by developers.

Freedom from spreadsheets means you salespeople can focus on meeting quotas.Freedom from spreadsheets means your salespeople can focus on meeting quotas.

4. Spreadsheets don’t provide a clear picture of your revenue and sales performance

Visibility is a crucial issue when growing your business. In order to create accurate forecasts for your business, you need to understand what’s happening out in the field and be able to identify processes that are holding you back.

With all your customer data and sales team activities scattered over numerous spreadsheets, it becomes increasingly difficult as your business grows to know how you’re tracking. Even with reporting applications tied to your spreadsheets, unless you can be certain at all times that your data is up-to-date, correct and in the right places, your performance reports can be dangerously lacking.

5. Spreadsheets put your customer data at risk

Finally, as you welcome more customers on board, the value of your database grows. You’re collecting potentially sensitive information about your customers, whether that’s billing details, communications or sales notes. Holding all of this within spreadsheets increases your risk of data breach, whether through human error or malicious intent.

Without a secure repository for your customer data, it can be much easier for spreadsheets to be misplaced, misfired or otherwise improperly accessed.

Start having better sales meetings with CRM.Start having better sales meetings with CRM.

Prepare for business growth with Rhino

Where spreadsheets represent isolated, disordered data sets, Rhino stands for consolidation, clarity and simplicity.

As a single repository for your customer data, Rhino gives you and your sales team immediate insight into customer needs and sales performance. Updating customer data is straightforward and efficient, with a secure cloud-based platform and both online and offline functionality. Without the burden of manual data management, your sales team are freed up to easily organise an efficient call cycle and keep your customers satisfied.

Additionally, built-in smart reporting systems and supported integration with existing enterprise resource planning software ensures presenting and manipulating data to forecast your business growth is intuitive and easy.

To learn more about how Rhino can save your business from the sluggish drain of spreadsheets, request a free demo today.

Customer relationship management just got simpler.

Why you need sales reporting to seize the right opportunities

Your sales team are bringing in sales and your customers are happy – but are you seizing every opportunity to help your business grow?

Becoming complacent about how and when your business is growing is a surefire way to get left in the dust of your competitors, so it's important to find insights into areas for potential improvement. This is where sales reporting comes in. Equipped with a powerful and easy-to-use CRM, you can easily see where performance is excelling or lacking and adjust your efforts accordingly.

Let's discuss the purpose of sales reports and the many benefits they can bring to your business.

The purpose of sales reporting

Basing your performance analysis on revenue alone is a bit like skipping straight to the end of a book.

First of all, why do you need sales reporting? Your revenue at the end of the week, month or quarter may seem like a fairly solid indicator of your sales performance. However, basing your performance analysis on this figure alone is a bit like skipping straight to the end of a book. You've reached a conclusion without any context or understanding of how you got there.

Sales reporting, as powered by a great CRM system, allows you to look at every step of the sales and account management process. This means you can see where customers are losing interest, if any accounts are being neglected or if particular reps are bringing in more upsells than others.

There's more to growing your business than just the number of sales made – you need to see the whole story behind that number to really make the most of your efforts.

With this in mind, what reports are most useful in tracking your sales performance? Rhino, the CRM from the team at ForteIS comes prepackaged with a number of off-the-shelf reports to generate quick insights, as well as allowing for individual data manipulation.

Simple sales reporting lets you see the journey behind your end-of-period figures.Simple sales reporting lets you see the journey behind your end-of-period figures.

Salesperson performance insights

Rhino's Rep Overview reports allow you to isolate the data according to the salespeople who entered it. This lets you see exactly how well salespeople are performing in terms of call performance and spot any opportunities for improvement or recognition.

Your Rep Overview reports will be vital for individual performance reviews, but also for identifying larger trends across the business. If customer calls are dropping across the board, it could prompt introspection into the structure of your sales process, for example.

Account management benefits

Rhino comes equipped with a number of reports that grant a quick look into the health of your customer accounts.

See which accounts are lacking attention with the Call Frequency by Account report. From there, the Account Overview report provides easy access to all account information, including contacts, call notes and sales activity. This lets you see the bigger picture behind why an account may not be receiving regular calls – such as unresponsive contacts, rocky customer relationships or otherwise.

Similarly, Gap Analysis reports allow you identify opportunities to maximise your customer relationships, highlighting accounts in need of a call, lacking distribution or who are in need of attention through customised surveys relevant to the insights you want your team to capture.

Data manipulation

The above reports are just scratching the surface of the power of Rhino. Develop custom reports or export data in .csv format for further manipulation and reporting as required. Manage data behind marketing campaigns and events, and build unique surveys to capture quantitative and qualitative data about your customers and activity in every call.

With every business operating in their own unique way, it's vital your CRM is capable of adapting to how you and your salespeople work. Reap the benefits of simple sales reporting – reach out to ForteIS for a free demo of Rhino today.

Find out how Rhino charges through the nonsense of CRM.