Monday, December 08, 2014 is an organization which is responsive to market needs and works to make that response in a timely manner.

By Jonathan Hopkins
At Dreamforce in October, we met with a broad range of successful and smart business people shared a range of different ideas.

Here’s the thing, we went to Dreamforce to talk about our passion for building great tools for organizations and their partners to maximise their sales opportunities by bringing in both intelligence and clear vision into the indirect sales process.

The delivery of intelligence and clarity to develop and close business opportunities was a subject which resonated with just about everyone we spoke. However, the burning questions on everyone’s lips was – “Don’t just tell us you can do these things with our indirect sales, we need them in our direct sales teams as well”
We were intrigued and since then have been researching the issue, talking to customers and partners, trying to in understand their real-world experience and see how we can help.

This is our thinking, CRM systems are fantastic at managing customers, and they also deal with the administration of selling, to the extent that the sales manager of old (we all know him, the guy who is first in the office in the morning, last out at night who operated on the principle that if he stares at Excel long enough the numbers are bound to come good) is redundant.

But to the actual business of tools to help you make a sale? The evidence points to a gap in the market. There are some people operating in this space, but they have not yet made the impact they should.  So what impact does this have on Should we change direction and put our focus into developing technology for Direct Sales teams? We think that would be short-sighted. 

The world is changing, organisations are coming to terms with new ways of doing things. The hard and fast edges that sit between direct and indirect sales are softening.  A new model of collaboration is developing where an opportunity may go through a number of owners on its journey through the sales process.   What is needed are technologies that offer both clear sight and guidance to all stakeholders in this increasing complex environment.

The sharing of information is beneficial to all parties, but to be of value it must be presented in a format that the user can assimilate and in a time-frame that is useful. This speaks to pervasive computing, the capacity to make both tools and information available when ever and where ever it’s needed.

IndirectSales is addressing this need by making a series of powerful, functional apps available, that contain technology focused on the needs of the business developer, when they are interacting with customers or partners, supporting timely decision making and paradigm shifting interventions.

This works well at the operational and field level, and delivers performance improvements, but what about the strategic decision makers, if we provide insight into what is happening in the narrow end of the sales funnel can we make a difference to them? The answer is yes, typically by the time an opportunity has been qualified, the enterprise has invested heavily, and the further progresses through the sales cycle the greater the investment becomes and the greater the impact that failure to win the bid, or to deliver on the promised margin will have on the forecasts and the potential plans of the enterprise.

Traditionally Senior Management has received information from spreadsheets and this information is often out of date, and of variable credibility, especially if it comes from partners. will give insight into what is going on with all the opportunities, and the greatest insight will be for those opportunities which are most critical. As an output of the process there will be a whole host of data, which strategic management can use to evaluate performance of process, people and products, To be able to understand with absolute clarity why deals are lost, to understand why deals are won, and replicate  the successful activities, and shape the business accordingly.
Analysis can be performed on a range of topics, performance of direct and indirect teams, products in certain markets, why certain strong products work in some markets and not in others, are there activities that sales people are missing at some particular stage in the sales process ?

The focus of the strategic meeting can change from the norm, which is trying to understand why things are not going to plan, because mature users of know that already, to how do we change the plan to deliver on our operational and strategic goals

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