by Rakesh Sharma
Published on 17 July 2013
This week, we will review a solution that helps you optimize sales funnels through the usability focus. This focus translates into quick response times for your leads.
In this SalesExec review, we will look at its features, interface, and see how it can be of use to you.
While the jury is still out on optimal sales lead times, research has shown that the quicker you follow through on a lead, the greater your chances of converting that lead into a paying customer.
Quick conversion, however, is function of several factors. These include lead details entry by your sales teams and follow up by call agents. The binding agent for these two teams is generally a CRM software.
However a CRM software can be complex and bloated. Sales lead tracking features are generally hidden in a vast and often confusing array of features promised by the solution. As a result, most salespersons rarely use those features.
"Realistically, how many times do you have to ask your sales team to manage their leads in a CRM?" asks Gabe Buck, chief executive officer at SalesExec. As a former sales manager himself, Buck knows what he is talking about. "Lead tracking is too important to be thrown in as an afterthought solution," he says.
Buck's previous experience provided him with a context into pain points for the Sales lead generation process. According to Buck, the statistics for companies that abandon CRM due to usability issues is staggering. "It's pretty easy to see why," he says.
Buck says simplicity is key to designing a SaaS solution. "There are very few CRM solutions in the enterprise space that have focused on making their solutions simple," he says. "It's like you have to have thought of everything and thrown it into your CRM to be considered a heavyweight."
In Buck's case, usability translated into a combination of choice, speed, and ease-of-use. "We don't care about anything other than sales agents closing deals from the leads they are given or that they create," says Buck. "Our system removes all of the noise and helps a salesperson do what they do best, close deals."
For example, SalesExec enables businesses to test and choose optimal sales workflow for their needs. The drag and drop editors make it easy for businesses to customize their workflow without technical knowledge or hiring of expensive technical resources. Similarly, the application has a simplified interface based on customer feedback. The clean interface enables salespersons to quickly categorize their leads and follow up accordingly. For example, they can immediately call hot leads and convert them into paying customers. Similarly, they can nurture potential customers through emails and phone calls.
"All of our features are aimed at helping sales agents in call centers and in sales teams maximize their output so that they win more deals," says Buck.
As I mentioned earlier, SalesExec is focused on simplicity. In feature terms, this focus translates into fewer menu options that display more information and allow you to multiple things at the same time. The solution uses role-based access to segregate between user options. This segregation results in tighter focus (and less distractions) for SalesExec users.
"What you won't get from us is a ton of features salespeople don't need to make their life difficult," says Buck. Thus, advanced customization features that enable workflow control, options for distribution of leads and customized permissions are available for managers but not for salespersons. Instead, salespersons are provided with a clean interface with just the required buttons and menu options that helps them focus on the task at hand.
In interface terms, however, the focus translates into options to upload, process, and close leads. In addition, you can generate a number of reports associated with your lead tracking efforts.
You can upload or enter leads into SalesExec. Each lead has an assigned status. The statuses correspond to actions as well as strategy for that lead. For example, there is a left message/callback status that informs salespersons that they need to call back their sales leads. The Dead/Nurture status informs them of sales deals that are, otherwise, dead and need to be revived or need nurturing.
Clicking particular leads/contact names displays an informational snapshot for that name. Thus, you can view number of emails sent to that lead, appointments, calls, and sales made to that lead. All of this comes together on the homepage for the solution, where you can view comprehensive information and statuses for each lead. Predefined and custom filters allow you to sort through displayed leads on the homepage.
Besides this, there are a number of options within the solution that enhance productivity and quicken the lead generation loop. The most important one is the power dialer, which allows call center agents to call leads without leaving the solution or having to manually dial.
A calendar within the solution enables you to lead generation records and times. Salespersons can add notes, compose emails, or attach custom templates to email potential customers from within the solution. You can also view important statistics related to lead generation from within the solution. For example, you can see the number of emails sent, appointment calls and sales, if any, made to that contact.
The activity log compares your activity to the average activity log for the day and, also, to the most productive team member or leader. Finally, SalesExec has a comprehensive reporting database that details numerous reports using information or data contained within the solution. Managers can customize permissions and edit layouts before generating analytics for their solution.
The biggest advantage of using SalesExec is its simplicity. The application is extremely simple and easy-to-use and can be used for a wide variety of sales techniques, including drip email marketing campaigns or complex campaigns with multiple feedback loops and long sales processes. I also liked the fact they have integrated with multiple third-party solutions, enabling a two-way flow of information. Finally, there is the productivity and cost-saving argument to recommend SalesExec. Because it is such a tightly focused and easy-to-use solution, it enhances productivity and leads to cost-savings.
There is scope for further simplicity, however. For example, although they have whittled down the number of menu options to just three, the team at SalesExec should consider further simplifying the sub-menu options. The elements and information displayed in these options are fairly similar and can be integrated into one screen. As an example, the Leads and Dead/Nurture menu options can be integrated into a single split screen with collapsible borders and custom filters. This will provide users with an instant comparison point for their efforts.
SalesExec has an extremely simple pricing structure. Besides the 14-day free trial, you can pay per agent seat. Each customer gets premium support and features for this price. A word here about their support, which is pretty impressive and goes beyond conventional support offered by software companies. SalesExec has a comprehensive knowledgebase and university that educates and informs customers about lead generation and the role of software in such efforts.
By separating lead management from other CRM activities, SalesExec has enabled greater focus and returns for this activity. SalesExec scores highly for its simple interface and sophisticated functionality. It might be interesting for businesses to try out the free trial and see if they get promised returns.
Ratings: ease of use 5/5, features 5/5, value 5/5 and ease of deployment 4/5