Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
June 29, 2017

#497. Is Your CRM Designed for Managers or to Help Salespeople Build Relationships with Buyers? With Andy Fowler.

Andy Fowler, Co-Founder and CTO of Nutshell CRM, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[1:41] Marketing and sales have a proliferation of tools in their stacks. On the sales side, so many tools over-promise, but deliver little utility. Many reps spend more time typing and tracking than they do relating with people.

[3:01] Nutshell CRM reminds reps what they know about the person on the other end of the phone line. It is a good memory device. Steve Jobs described computers as bicycles for the mind. They help us move faster to get things done.

[4:59] The other promise of CRM is a tool to command and control reps. That’s the easier promise to deliver. But what’s best for the business is a CRM that helps the rep in building relationships. Nutshell launched in 2010 to help reps.

[6:34] Andy has learned you need to understand the goal of the person using your product. Who is using the CRM, reps or managers? He also learned the importance of tool integration. Nutshell was the first CRM to integrate with Google Apps.

[8:20] Andy moved into the CRM market to address three specific areas: product UI design, API access, and mobile (both on iOS and Android). In 2010, mobile was a wide-open space. The Nutshell ICP is small outbound sales business.

[14:42] There are different ways to determine ROI of CRM, but more emphasis needs to be placed on the human relationship. The process should exist to make the interaction higher-value and more impactful.

[17:00] Nutshell refers to the CRM as where you put things, in a nutshell. The name preceded the product.

[18:38] Nutshell is more than a notebook for sales. Andy uses it on every phone call, and it shows all conversations of all team members with that customer, in a single timeline, sort of like a Facebook newsfeed.

[20:08] Andy builds a relationship with the prospect, usually the owner of the business, who is adept and expert at the work they do. Andy educates them on how software can help them keep track of their customers better.

[21:50] Most new Nutshell clients are either not on a CRM, or they are on a competitor, and don’t like how it works.

[23:19] Salesforce may be great for companies of 100-1,000 sales reps, but companies should find the tool that works for their team now. Nutshell offers a 14-day free trial. People usually understand right away if it fits their style of working.

[28:00] Andy suggests directions for the future of CRM. Some are going to data science and AI/machine learning. Andy sees more competition from products that really understand the human relationships you build, more than being data-centric.

May 25, 2017

#467. How to Use CRM to Nudge Sales Forward and Get Things Done. With Michael FitzGerald.

Michael FitzGerald, CEO at OnePageCRM, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[2:42] Michael is also the product person at the company, and he asks clients to contact him by email with product issues.

[3:24] Michael follows David Allen’s GTD task management philosophy. OnePageCRM focuses on getting things done on time. Sales is a sequential set of tasks, and OnePageCRM organizes the tasks proactively in order. Tasks rise as needed.

[6:48] You should always know the very next action to take with your prospects. So, right after you take an action, you input the next action, while the encounter is fresh, and you have good insight for what is needed, and when.

[9:13] Each message of value to the prospect should have an expected response, and the response should be followed by a planned new message of value to the prospect. With OnePageCRM, you readily anticipate the prospect’s needs.

[10:38] Michael designed OnePageCRM for the salesperson, and built it out to meet management reporting needs without burdening the salesperson. It is meant to be as easy as email, and to approach zero admin. Add a contact with one button.

[17:37] Michael works to reduce the number of questions in people’s heads, both in sales, and for salespeople using the app. Just as the prospect should have a clear buying path, the salesperson should use the CRM easily, without challenges.

[20:09] The business owner seller is not the intended user of the OnePageCRM; it is most valuable for small sales teams, selling to companies with multiple stakeholders. As its name indicates, it is an interactive list page you work from all day.

[23:22] Only relevant actions show up on the page. Each sequence is a perpetual loop that continues to the next action and date you have specified, until the sale is complete.

[26:32] OnePageCRM focuses attention on the one thing to be done, so nothing happens late, or out of sequence.

[28:27] As Michael learned sales, he kept finding the message, “To increase sales, increase sales actions.” He took this to mean increase calls, mailings, appointments, and other small consistent interactions to build trust. He calls these nudges.

April 20, 2017

#437. Use Small Data to Compress Sales Cycles and Increase Conversions. With Mark Ripley.

Mark Ripley, VP of Sales for Insightly, a CRM and project management system, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[:41] Mark sold retail car stereos in college, and fell in love with sales. He got an early start in technology in San Diego. He is now at Insightly, where the goal is to bring CRM to medium and small businesses around the world.

[2:06] In three years, CRMs have grown from 60 to 250, today. Insightly captures market share with its ease of use and simplicity. Insightly is the number one CRM globally for G Suite users, with almost half the market.

[4:40] The CRM market is not saturated. There are many large and small companies not using CRM. What is the big fear many companies have about CRM?

[6:23] Some of Insightly’s best features are the UI, and its integration into other extremely common tools, such as Gmail. Many Insightly activities are accessible through Gmail and Office 365. Ease of use makes adoption simple.

[8:15] Mark notes three values for SMB pain points: sales productivity; organizing all activities for a world-class red carpet customer experience; and data visibility for managing larger sales teams.

[10:33] Insightly CRM can help sales reps get a larger Return on Time (ROT). Automation manages drip campaigns and email logs. They are launching a call transcription feature this year.

[14:15] Performance and productivity vary per market and industry. Activity and skills drive productivity. If you keep effectiveness the same, increasing activity increases productivity, in theory.

[21:30] Mark sees through a customer lens and a salesperson lens. A good CRM provides pre-sale and post-sale service to grow the customer relationship through personal attention.

[25:30] Mark uses the term small data. The smart use of data should yield tangible, digestible, and actionable results in a time-compressed fashion.

[28:44] Accurate forecasting through the CRM is the next ambitious step for Insightly. CRMs will get better at putting more accurate forecasting at the fingertips of managers.

[30:50] Present forecasting methods are tied to the stage of the client along the funnel, which ignores competitors. “You can’t measure probability with a yardstick.” Mark looks at history to predict outcomes.

[33:28] Mark questions the wisdom in incenting forecasting. What problem does Mark see? It’s a very common thing to assume everyone on the team is forecasting the same way, but it is not necessarily so.

March 28, 2017

How to Achieve Your Goals with Passion, a Plan and a Purpose. With Jon Ferrara. #417

Joining me once again on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Jon Ferrara, Founder and CEO of Nimble.


[1:49] Jon describes a pathway to achieve your passion, plan, and purpose in life — ideally by serving others.

[4:09] What is Dunbar’s limit of the relationships humans can maintain? What relationship stage takes the most effort?

[6:20] Jon discusses CRM, or, as he calls it, ‘Customer Reporting Management.’ What percentage of businesses use CRM?

[7:43] Jon describes how CRMs operate, and why he created GoldMine 30 years ago.

[10:57] Nimble unifies Office 365 or Google contacts, email, and calendar, and integrates them with your CRM.

[13:11] Nimble is a Microsoft launch partner for a Dynamics app exchange. Nimble can operate as a system on its own, or within whatever social sales and marketing system you use.

[16:53] Names put into Nimble are enriched with data, and a history of email, calendar, and social actions. You can build a manual cadence. A package for Q1 ‘17 automates cadences.

[19:08] Jon suggests how CRM will evolve. Salespeople want to manage relationships, not tools. Nimble’s CRM idea is to make the rep most effective as they engage with the customer.

[21:39] Simpler, smarter unifications of social, mobile, and big data will become the next generation of tools to help you achieve your passion, plan, and purpose.

[25:01] When the tools start to work for reps, in email, social, and mobile, then reps will use them to engage their contacts.

[26:38] Jon tells of his own experience preparing for a Microsoft 2015 conference using Nimble, and how it helped him win two bundling deals with Microsoft.

[30:55] Having automation doesn’t mean you should start spraying emails. Make the content count with added value, relevant to the prospects, even at scale.


February 2, 2017

How to Get Your Sales Team to Adopt Your CRM Tool. With Timo Rein. #371

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Timo Rein, Co-Founder of Pipedrive, which is one of the leading CRM systems for SMB (Small and Midsized Business).


[2:19] After about a decade in sales consultancy, Timo Rein co-founded Pipedrive in 2010, to help salespeople around the world to manage complex sales processes.
[2:52] Timo grew up in the Soviet Union, which collapsed when he was a teen. The fall was hard on his grandparents and parents, whose pensions were lost. Timo was excited to be part of the nation of Estonia, independent again in 1991.

[6:21] Timo looked at the sales management tools available in 2000, and after a costly implementation for a business, found his sales people were still using sticky notes, instead of the CRM.

[7:34] Customers asked him about putting analog-style tracking tools into software, and that started them on the path to creating Pipedrive, as a tool to benefit salespeople.

[11:59] Pipedrive’s model is self-serve SaaS, so anyone in a company can use it. In some cases, management sees this usage, and makes it an enterprise purchase.

[13:12] The look and feel of Pipedrive is unique. It attempts to strike the balance between functionality and simplicity. It is a daily sales productivity tool, not just a reporting tool.

[15:23] What management wants, at the end of the day, is to sell in such a way that the focus is in the right place, most of the time. Pipedrive helps salespeople focus on the right opportunities — more on sales, than on engagements.

[18:15] The intent of Pipedrive is to close deals by the process of moving a contact from prospect to customer, helping you control your activities, to become more successful in sales.

[21:02] You can look at sales productivity mathematically. Performance is measured against results for a given period. Tools are productive if they move you towards results.

[26:10] Instead of focusing on the average sales cycle length (a result), if management saw the sales hours going into the cycle, they could focus on sales hours and actions, (controlled factors), to reduce the sales cycle length.

[27:43] Simplicity of use of the tool is important to getting the salespeople to use it. If it is not being used, it is not helping. If used, it helps performance, but the next step is helping real sales productivity.

[29:20] Business software was once considered difficult and clunky, but is now becoming consumerized. Categories of tools are blending. The more functions one interface can address simply, the better chances it has for adoption.


November 10, 2016

How to Accelerate the Growth of Your Sales Through Automation. With Craig Klein. #302

My guest on this episode of Accelerate! is Craig Klein, Founder and CEO of SalesNexus, an integrated CRM and Email Marketing Automation platform, generating leads for small and medium sized businesses. Some of the key topics that  Craig and I discuss in this episode are the development of online and mobile CRM, why CRM implementations fail, and Craig’s suggestions on how to get started with integrated marketing automation and CRM.

April 17, 2016

The Best of Accelerate! The 5 “E’s” of Social Business Success. With Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble.

In his unique high-energy style, Jon Ferrara, founder and CEO of Nimble, and one of the early pioneers of the entire sales force automation industry, shares his “5 E’s” of Social Business Success. You’ll have to listen if you want learn these essential keys to becoming a trusted advisor to your customers, to creating lasting value-based relationships and to building a community that produces a steady stream of referrals. If you’re in sales, service, management or leadership, then you will definitely want to invest some time to listen to this episode!

March 23, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 118 with Nikolaus Kimla. The Future of the CRM System.

Nikolaus Kimla is the founder and CEO of Pipeliner CRM.  In today’s episode, among the topics Nikolaus and I talk about are:

  • The future of CRM systems and how they will evolve.
  • Whether companies will still need CRM systems.
  • The reasons why most salespeople are slow to embrace the use of a CRM system.
  • How Pipeliner is addressing the shortage of true sales solutions for sales reps.
February 24, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 98 with John Golden. CRM Systems Should Work For Sales Reps; Not The Other Way Around.

In this episode, John Golden, Chief Strategy Officer at Pipeliner CRM, discusses how next gen CRM systems are evolving away from management platforms into tools that help sales reps close business. Among the many topics we discuss in this episode are:

  • Why every sales organization needs a CRM system
  • How the increased velocity of business in general demands more process and structure in sales
  • How CRM systems need to evolve from being “command and control” systems into tools that help sales reps close more deals.
  • Are CRM systems, in the form we work with today, in danger of becoming obsolete? And what could replace them?
  • The essential criteria business leaders should use to evaluate and purchase a CRM system

If you’re a sales leader, sales manager, or sales rep, this episode is definitely worth the investment of your time to listen.