Help New Reps Navigate Internal Sales Processes to Speed Time-to-Value

Posted on August 27, 2015 by Mark DiGirolamo

One of the most difficult parts of building a sales force is bringing new account executives up to speed on your company’s sales process.  As we mentioned in a prior post, having an established sales process is critical to your ability to measure your sales effectiveness and try new approaches.  A written sales process also allows you to efficiently and effectively transfer that knowledge rapidly to new reps.  Your team may possess raw sales talent, but if they’re not trained on your process, a lot of that talent may go to waste.

When a new sales rep is brought onboard, every company spends (or should spend) a considerable amount of time coaching and training on the product.  Naturally, this makes sense and will be crucial to unlocking the talent of the rep.  You shouldn’t anticipate closing many sales unless your reps have a firm understanding of the product, the customer’s pain points and the competition’s offerings.  Often overlooked in training though is the process your company has established to actually close a deal and recognize the revenue.

As almost all sales reps can attest to, their first few deals always progress slower than they should.  New reps inevitably struggle navigating all the hurdles put in place to actually recognize a deal.  Getting the customer onboard is just one aspect, understanding the batch of forms, approvals and other legal and finance-related steps is another.  While a new rep is selling the product, they also have to run a gauntlet of internal processes. Running a parallel process can be the difference between closing a deal by quarter-end and having it slip. As most have learned, time kills all deals.

What do I do now?

As a sales manager, even with naturally talented reps, this is the question that will continually arise during the first few sales cycles for all of your new reps.  If it’s not your time that is being requested, it will invariably be that of several other reps in your company that are taking time away from their selling to help navigate the process for the new hire.

Sales execution platforms like Shibumi can help tie all of this together and save your team a ton of time while tying everything back to your existing Salesforce.com data.  Further, you’ll be in a position to determine where bottlenecks or unncessary steps might be in your process that are hindering your reps’ ability to do their jobs effectively.  Yours deals should close more smoothly and your reps will be confident in the process.

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See how Shibumi can help you onboard faster and keep your new reps asking the question “Who do I close next” instead of “what do I do now?”  Try Shibumi’s built in sales templates or develop your own to keep your team focused on what matters most – closing the deal.

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Developing a Repeatable Sales Plan to Drive Revenue Growth

Posted on August 18, 2015 by Mark DiGirolamo

As any sales veteran will attest, having a repeatable sales process is a huge benefit. While many rely on natural skill, a sales plan honed from experience is the most effective way to win business. Bottling up what has worked and avoiding what hasn’t greatly increases the chances of winning more customers without wasting time or money.

Harvard Business Review article from earlier this year by Steve W. Martin highlighted a survey showing the techniques employed by high-performing sales team. Notably, among the high performers, was the presence of a structured sales process – which also tended to be absent from the underperformers.

Establishing a written sales plan turns a hunch into a highly repeatable and data driven process that can be refined and scaled to maximize your sales growth. Taking three easy steps that form the basis for Shibumi’s sales execution process can have you on your way to joining the ranks of the high performers.

1.  Create a Sales Plan Template

Whether you know it or not, you probably already have a sales plan. If you’re a small organization, it might be based on that hunch that has helped your first few reps sniff out deals and get them across the finish line. Don’t waste that knowledge! Putting down the concrete set of steps, actions and interactions that helped you win that first deal can be critical to winning more. It can also be critical to helping you clone your top performers and bringing new reps up to speed much more quickly as you scale to become a larger organization.

If you’re a large sales organization without an established process, congratulations – you’re one of the few. If you have one, however, there still may be room for refinement and improvement to tweak multiple approaches for different products and environments. Having a plan is the key to improving and leads us to step 2.

2.  Measure your Results Continuously

The adage that “you can’t improve what you can’t measure” rings as true in sales as it does in every other line of business. Now that you’ve established a solid plan based on some experience, it’s time to validate it. When used properly, Salesforce.com and other CRM solutions are incredible tools for collecting data on your prospects, opportunities, pipeline and sales cycle. Now is the time to put that to use.

Having the data at your fingertips to slice and dice based on changes in your approach is key to understanding the critical elements of your plan. For some organizations, increasing your closed won will be the only metric that matters and data will be easily available to report on. More complex metrics that involve multiple parties or roll-ups may require a little more digging. Fortunately, with many tools available to pull data directly from your CRM, the old days of manually running reports and running the calculations by hand are gone.

You may be surprised by the correlations or trends you’re starting to see. Do you close 70% of the deals where your reps got real world data from your customer (step X in your close plan) but only 20% when they don’t? This is incredible insight into how prospects see value in your product and how you may be able to nurture deals that will happen and cut loose the prospects that are just wasting your time.

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3.  Adapt your Approach

A diagnosis of what’s working (or sometimes more importantly – what’s not) is great to show you where you have room for improvement, but unless you adapt more of the good stuff you may not see your numbers growing as quickly as they can. As new reps join with ideas of their own or you launch new products or into new markets your plans and strategies will necessarily change. Having a plan with quantifiable data and key performance indicators (KPIs) backing it up allows you to experiment and expand on the parts that are working. Having the data that proves something is making a difference provides a tremendous opportunity for coaching your reps. That data also allows you to continuously assess and rework your plans to hit your revenue growth targets quarter after quarter.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Take a look at Shibumi today to see how we can kickstart your process into high gear!  See results instantly with our pre-designed sales plan templates or customize your own.  Shibumi will help you leverage your CRM data more effectively and drive the results you expect from your team.

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Shibumi Helps Sales Teams Reinvent Quarterly Business Reviews

Posted on April 1, 2015 by Mark DiGirolamo

Shibumi’s sales execution platform is transforming static QBR presentations into actionable plans for driving growth.

Shibumi, the cloud-based leader in business execution, introduced a new turn key sales execution app this week that leverages key sales data from the industry’s most widely-used sales tools. This new app gives sales and marketing leaders increased insight and tools to develop action plans that drive increased pipeline and revenue. Shibumi helps create a consistent approach to execute revenue growth initiatives as well as territory, account and opportunity plans that exceed objectives.

“Having run sales organizations for most of my career, we had success using used our CRM platform to store and manage account, opportunity and forecast information. However, I was always amazed that we were still relying on manual presentations, spreadsheets and documents to do Quarterly Business Reviews, Account Plans and Opportunity Close Plans,” said Bob Nahmias, CEO of Shibumi. “Sales teams are running at 110 percent, they don’t have time to waste. Shibumi automates the aggregation of Salesforce.com data into views relevant to Strategic Initiatives, QBRs, Account Plans and Opportunity Plans and gives sales teams a simple way to communicate a plan to grow pipeline, drive revenue and execute objectives for the current quarter and beyond.”

Salesforce is the world’s No. 1 CRM company and an integral technology for many sales teams. Shibumi’s integration with Salesforce empowers its customers to leverage their pipeline and forecast data on one of the most advanced and scalable platforms for business productivity.

Make QBRs actionable with dynamic plans that drive increased pipeline and revenue

Users of Shibumi are now able to view their sales and pipeline data side by side with dynamic action plans. This unique approach allows organizations to use real time performance insights to refine a plan of action that will improve results. “With Shibumi and Salesforce, I’m able to measure the effectiveness of our region and territory plans and analyze trends to see what is having the biggest impact on our pipeline and revenue. Our sales leaders use this insight to coach our reps on the best practices that will result in consistent performance,” said Chris Lynch, VP, Sales at Alfresco Software. “Our Region and Territory Plans are now active dashboards and action plans that we use to manage the business rather than our old static QBR decks which were quickly out of date and stuck in a folder.”

Increase your ROI on revenue growth initiatives

Every year organizations invest significant resources in key growth initiatives with the expectations of improved performance. Everyone from the executive team to marketing to product development needs to understand the objectives, metrics and action plans that will determine success. With the new integration with Salesforce, Shibumi can help teams across an organization collaborate, track status, automate reports and update plans around key corporate initiatives and teams can get instant feedback on the impact their efforts are having. “Shibumi has allowed us to communicate objectives, collaborate on action plans and measure performance of some of our most important growth initiatives. Prior to Shibumi our team wasted time managing and reporting initiatives in multiple spreadsheets and presentations. I now have more timely information on what’s working to drive sales and we can spend our time executing programs instead or reporting their progress,” said Sandra Moran, Chief Marketing Officer of INTTRA.

Shibumi finally provides a central location for executives, sales and marketing teams to collaborate and visualize the impact of their efforts on their organization’s top line without resorting to countless emails, status meetings and disjointed spreadsheets and presentations.

To learn more visit http://www.shibumi.com

About Shibumi

Founded in 2012, Shibumi is a cloud-based application that provides a secure, central location to manage initiatives and deliver better results. Shibumi reduces the need for time-consuming manual effort coordinating status, impact assessments and performance results and helps teams focus on their most important job – executing. Whether driving new sales opportunities, executing cost optimization or managing a change portfolio, Shibumi helps accelerate the actions that will produce measurable results. Headquartered in San Francisco, Shibumi is a privately-backed company. To learn more about Shibumi, visit www.shibumi.com.

Salesforce and others are trademarks of salesforce.com, inc.

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Shibumi selected for Phorum 2015 Demo Pit

Posted on March 18, 2015 by Mark DiGirolamo

 

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Bring on the cheesesteaks and pretzels! We’ll be in Philadelphia at Phorum 2015.

Shibumi has been selected as one of eight finalists to demo at Phorum 2015. Phorum is an annual technology strategy conference hosted by PACT. The conference features presentations and panel discussions by industry analysts, technology visionaries, and business executives that looks at how emerging technologies such as big data, mobility and cloud strategies factor into the integration of systems, technical support and global security policies.

This years theme, From Silos to Systems: Transforming the Enterprise through Emerging Technology, is exactly what we’ve been working towards since we started. Breaking down silos and fostering collaboration is at the heart of what we do. It’s an honor to be chosen as a finalist and we can’t wait to see what the other finalists have to offer.

Click here to view the full press release and read about the other demo pit finalists.

We can’t wait to meet everyone in Philadelphia April 14th!

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Strategy is nothing without execution

Posted on February 25, 2015 by Mark DiGirolamo

The difference between a wild success and a novel failure is the ability to execute against strategy. In many cases, even if the strategy is flawed, the organization that executes best, wins. I’ve read this so many times that it’s almost become a cliché.

The mechanics of strategic execution is what I’m interested in. And it turns out it’s not that complicated. Ultimately it consists of three simple concepts.

  1. Alignment
    This is where a solid strategy comes into play. If everyone is marching in different directions nothing gets accomplished. Set your goals and get everyone working towards them.
  2. Transparency
    People need to collaborate, stay informed and understand what others are working on. Without transparency you get waste, lots of duplicate effort and even more frustration.
  3. Accountability
    Everyone needs to know what’s expected of them. This means making sure they follow through on what they say, and they know how success will be measured.

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Putting it to practice

Taking these three concepts and putting them into practice should be simple and straightforward. For successful execution, everyone has to participate and feel empowered.

  1. Define and communicate the goals & objectives. Make sure they are clearly communicated and that teams and individuals can expand on them and make them their own.
  2. Capture and track the metrics & KPIs. Once the goals have been identified, use metrics to track progress and set your targets to determine success.
  3. Coordinate and manage all the business activity. Marry the goals and metrics to the action plans necessary to realize success.

As a summary, remember: Goals – Metrics – Action Plans

We’ve put this to practice at Shibumi and have done some pretty incredible things.

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Shibumi & Prolocity Consulting Announce Partnership

Posted on February 24, 2015 by Mark DiGirolamo

Actionable insight to how your BPM program should be defined, deployed, measured and monitored

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Shibumi.com and Prolocity Consulting announced a partnership to deliver a series of offerings that will enable business and IT to accelerate the adoption of Business Process Management (BPM) throughout the enterprise.  Combining the power of Shibumi’s cloud-based business execution platform with Prolocity’s knowledge and expertise for deploying the BPM management discipline, business and process professionals now have a single place to define, measure and manage the execution of BPM initiatives.

“We have observed that the majority of companies struggle to efficiently and effectively deploy their Enterprise BPM program as they progress throughout the plan year.  Timely communication, disciplined oversight and improved reaction time to key program indicators are the essential ingredients that allow our clients to understand why they are not meeting their program objectives and deployment targets,” said Tom Dwyer, Partner at Prolocity.  “It is for this reason we are excited to announce this powerful capability using our proven approach to practicing the BPM discipline, combined with the industry-leading business execution platform to enable our clients to achieve the objectives of their BPM adoption program.”  “Having a firm like Prolocity deploy its expertise in conjunction with Shibumi’s capabilities is a huge win for any organization serious about improving its processes and making sure the changes stick,” said Ken Pellegrino, Chief Strategy Officer of Shibumi.

Defining, Developing and Deploying Strategic BPM Initiatives

Throughout 2015 Prolocity Consulting will demonstrate their approach for introducing the many practice areas that comprise the BPM discipline.  Each practice is defined by clear objectives, critical performance targets and key indicators.  Those practice areas include:

  • Aligning Process Performance to Business Strategy
  • Defining an Enterprise Business Process Architecture
  • Strategic BPM Planning and Adoption
  • Process Discovery, Measurement, Assessment, and Improvement
  • Process Governance

To assist clients with the design, deployment and management of Prolocity’s BPM services, Prolocity and Shibumi will provide service elements within the Shibumi business platform.  For each BPM Service, these service elements consist of goals, objectives, initiatives and tasks with their associated performance targets.  Availability of the Shibumi support for each of these BPM Services will be the subject of future announcements in 2015.

Map key business processes to strategy. Easily communicate process improvement objectives. Define performance targets and initiatives.  Increase transparency and program accountability. Deeply cascade performance targets. Track progress and react to changes in your business and the market.  Gain command of your strategic goals and transform them into actionable components that can be measured and monitored.

 

Contact your Prolocity or Shibumi Sales representative today to find out how we can enable you to ensure success.

 

About Shibumi
Founded in 2012, Shibumi is a cloud-based application that provides a secure, central location to manage initiatives and deliver better results..  Shibumi allows enterprises to stay focused on achieving their goals, collaborate, measure impact and adapt plans as circumstances invariably change. Headquartered in San Francisco, Shibumi is a privately-backed company.  To learn more about Shibumi, visit www.shibumi.com.

About Prolocity Consulting

Prolocity Consulting provides business transformation services which align job activities, processes and organizations to enable innovative “process thinking”, operational improvements and alignment of process performance to corporate strategy.  Utilizing BPM as a management discipline, our approach improves company performance by improving the performance of the processes that run that company.  We help our clients meet expectations for a process from both the customer’s and the company’s point of view.  Prolocity Consulting has offices in Sacramento and Boston.  To learn more about our services please visit www.prolocityconsulting.com.

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Shibumi & Salient Process: Aligning Process Performance + Business Strategy + Measurement

Posted on December 18, 2014 by Mark DiGirolamo

Actionable insight to how your improvement projects should be defined, measured and monitored

 

Salient Process and Shibumi.com today announced the launch of an offering that enables business and IT to collaborate on alignment of business performance with business strategy. Combining the power of the Shibumi’s industry-leading business execution platform with Salient’s knowledge of Balanced Scorecard ™ method, business and process professionals now have a single place to define, measure and manage the execution of improvement initiatives in a collaborative environment.

logos2“We have observed that the majority of companies struggle to gain desired visibility into leading indicators and effective measurement mechanisms for the Balanced Scorecard ™ as they progress throughout the plan year. Measurement, actionable insights and improved reaction time to the leading indicators are the magic bullets that allow our clients to understand why they are not meeting their Scorecard objectives and performance targets”, said John Robinson Vice President of Solutions at Salient Process. “It is for this reason we are excited to announce this powerful capability using our process-driven, Balanced Scorecard ™ framework combined with Shibumi’s cloud platform to deliver maximum value from improvement efforts and increase our client’s competitive capabilities.”

Align Strategic Objectives with Performance of Key Business Objectives

Map strategy to key business processes. Easily communicate objectives, Define performance targets and initiatives. Increase and control transparency. Cascade performance targets. Track progress and quickly cascade and react to changes in your business and market. Gain command of your strategic goals and transform them into actionable components, initiatives and improvements that are measured and monitored.

About Shibumi

Founded in 2012, Shibumi is a cloud-based application that provides a secure, central location to manage initiatives and deliver better results. Shibumi reduces the need for time-consuming manual effort coordinating status, impact assessments and performance results and helps teams focus on their most important job – executing. Shibumi is a privately-backed company. To learn more about Shibumi, visit www.shibumi.com.

About Salient Process

Founded in 2011, Salient Process is a premier provider of Business Process Management (BPM) and Decision Management (BRMS and CEP) consulting services. Salient Process enables organizations to actualize the measurable benefits of better decisions by linking process outcomes to corporate goals. Utilizing a proven methodology Salient Process partners with organizations to ensure they successfully navigate the process and decision-centric maturity journey. Headquartered in Sacramento, CA the company has offices in Denver and Miami. To learn more about Salient Process, LLC visit www.salientprocess.com.

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Tell your story using Shibumi

Posted on November 21, 2014 by Mark DiGirolamo

Working with our customers over the last year, we’ve reinforced our belief that effective communication is key to managing goals and initiatives. Teams are constantly spending precious hours updating management on progress and revising expectations.

Most often, people fallback to PowerPoint when they need to do briefingsor communicate progress with a large group; however, ’duplicative work’, ‘instantly out of date’, ‘time consuming’ is what we most hear about PowerPoint.

In response to this we’ve added a suite of features to replace the one off presentations.

Improved Dashboards

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To craft a story, you may want to highlight certain details such as specific milestones, KPIs or status messages. Giving access to the entire initiative or goal can cause information overload for a viewer. Dashboards are meant to simplify the views and display a subset of information. Combined with Shibumi’s custom sections, you have a powerful tool for communication.

Once the dashboard is built, invite others to view it. Presto, no more one off, manually created presentations. As you update your plan, the dashboard updates instantly increasing the timeliness of information and decreasing your workload.  And with Shibumi’s advanced security features you can tell your story internally or externally with complete confidence that you remain in control.

Custom Sections

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Part of being able to tell your story is having control over layout. Being able to highlight goals in the top right, metrics in the bottom left, a scorecard right in the middle. This all plays to guiding a viewer down a narrative.

In support of this the Shibumi interface is now based on custom sections. Custom sections give you complete control over how the page is layed out and where information appears so you can determine what, when and how your viewers are consuming the information you want to share.

With custom sections you can resize, drag and drop, add custom labels and more.

Get started by creating an initiative and clicking the ‘Add Section’ button.

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Six Sigma & Shibumi

Posted on October 2, 2014 by Mark DiGirolamo

Shibumi is a cloud-based application used to simplify the execution of initiatives and deliver results. We’re all about defining goals, aligning business activity and measuring performance along the way. Working with our customers we’re often asked about Six Sigma.

Working with many Six Sigma practitioners, we have crafted some useful features to better manage projects utilizing that methodology.

Templates are the key

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We started by creating a template for Six Sigma projects. Because templates can be completely customized, including contents and layout, we were able to fully support the DMAIC methodology. This didn’t only include DMAIC but also all the phases and tasks under each of those steps. In addition, we attached the standard deliverables that should be produced at each stage. For example:

  • SIPOC
  • Process Maps
  • Fishbone diagrams
  • etc…

To capture all the quantitative data necessary for Six Sigma we leveraged Shibumi metrics. This included metrics like:

  • # of defects
  • Defects per Million Opportunities
  • Cost of Poor Quality
  • Throughput Yield
  • etc…

All of this culminated in a fairly detailed template that customers have already put to use in live Six Sigma projects.  Shibumi is a turn-key application that can help you and your team organize and track your progress and have you executing like the black-belt you truly are.  Try it out.

If you’d like more information about this, please contact us.

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Advanced Reporting has come to Shibumi

Posted on October 1, 2014 by Mark DiGirolamo

Every organization struggles with how to make sense of and manage the massive amount of information generated each day.  This information includes your strategic goals, the measures you use to determine success and the initiatives your working towards. With the latest release Shibumi makes it simple to generate tabular reports and heatmaps to analyze this information and make it actionable.

Advanced Reports with a few clicks

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With advanced reports in Shibumi it’s easy to create tabular reports with a few clicks.

  1. Select what you would like to report on (Goals, Initiatives, Projects, etc…)
  2. Define any additional filters you would like
  3. Add/Remove any columns of data in the report
  4. Click Save

Adding and removing columns is a snap. Click the (+) on the far right on the label row and pick which ones you’d like to add. Shibumi scans the contents of the report and presents you with all the available columns in a simple pick list.

Reports + Templates: Creating powerful management views

When you combine our recently added templating functionality with reporting you get a powerful combination. As you define items in Shibumi based on templates, the reports are even easier to generate, because they all share the same basic attributes.

Take, for example, a project template. Projects can share the same phases and health measures such as budget, scope and timeline to ensure a standard method of evaluation. As you add projects into the portfolio, the reports can automatically pick up your new metrics to give you enhanced visibility into performance in seconds.

Using reports to create tailored lists

Another use of reports is to create tailored views into Shibumi for each user. A user has a set of goals and initiatives she’s responsible for. She has identified the key metrics she uses to gauge performance and she would like all this complied into a simple grid for a one-stop view into her world.  With reports she can now have that exact view, making it much easier for her to interact with all of her relevant data in one place.

She can even manage the data directly from the report with inline editing and our recently introduced preview pane, saving her time and effort and letting her see how changes impact her results.

A game changer

Advanced reporting in Shibumi represents a leap in the types of insights and views that can be generated.  Take a look for yourself. Click ‘Reports’ on the left to get started.

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