The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 10 months ago

5 Things CRM Software Should Help You Do w/ Jeroen Corthout


CRM software was created in order to help sales teams close deals and keep customers happy. Why, then, has CRM become more work for the salespeople and not the software that’s supposed to be assisting them?

This is the question Jeroen Corthout was asking when he found himself paying for Salesforce, but using Outlook and WunderList to manage his follow-ups. His answer was to create his own CRM software, Salesflare.

In this episode, Jeroen and I discuss…

  • Common frustrations with current CRM software
  • How CRM software affects sales and revenue leaders
  • What sales reps should be doing to get a founder’s attention

This post includes highlights from our podcast interview with Jeroen Corthout from Salesflare.

For the entire interview, you can listen to The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. If you don’t use Apple Podcasts, we suggest this link.

Sale teams will go more and moretowards the future where sales people don't have to spend their time onsoftware softer actually helps them and it organized a whole lot of stuff forthem so that they can build better clients, relationships and focus muchmore on the things that sales people are inherently good ads. You're listening to the DTB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast, dedicated elpan executives, train theirsales and marketing teams to optimize growth, whether you're looking fortechniques and strategies were tools and resources. You'V come to the rightplace. Let's accelerate your growth in three to one: welcome every one to thebtob revenue executive experience. I'm your host Chat Sanderson today we'retalking about frustrations with CRM, specifically sales force an others, butit is one of those banes of the existence of most sales raps. It's abane of existence for sal's leadership, because many of them can't trust thedata that is put into the system and to help us talk about this. Today we havewith US Yuroun courthout, it's cofounder of Salessales flair. Excuseme, you rud, thank you, someone for taking time and welcome to the showyeah. Thank you. I'm glad to be here so before we jump in. We always like tostar wish just a topic to auper audience Geu to know you a little bitbetter and always curious to find out something you're passionate about that.Maybe our audience would be surprised to learn about you. Last year I started singing. I alwaysliked singing, but then I figured at some points. Why don't I just take itup a mouch and start taking singing classes, and I was having a lot of funwith thats until corona came around because not only it did the classes ends. Not only didthe organization that Ori offered the classes not find it economically viableanymore, but it's also the best way to spread corona. So...

...that's yeah. That is true, projectingwhat kind of what kind of singing are we talking about just just for fun? I it's just thatthat I like in general, singing songs and I just wanted to get better at it.So taking classes is really nice because it you can improve your skillsand it's bit oter people you learn from other people. You learn some techniques,there's no purpose behind this at all. It's justfun, just a passion, excellent. Okay, thank you for sharing that. So howabout a little bit of context around sales flare? What O sells flar do kindof your role is cofounder there. What does that mean you're doing day today, yeah sales flare first of all, is a sales crm. So that's means a SRMfocused on the sales aspect, which is the core aspect. In most cases, thatmeans it S. it's focused on you following up leads and customers andorganizing that very well, so that no leads fall through the cracks. It'sfocused on smallen medium sized businesses, specifically the ones thatsell be to be that's because it's very much focused companies like followingup companies and all the people there, so that sort of places it within a space of more thansix hundred crms, where we diffreciate versus other people in the in theclosest space. Think companies like Hap spot or Bibe drive is that we focusmuch more on automated Dattan puts so in sales flar, when you're tracking,stuff, really e. The flows in the software are thought up in such a waythat no matter what you do, things will just be suggested to you. So U, forinstance, you you create a company, there's a serch engine of companies.You Click on the right one. It pulls an...

...extra information about the company. Ittells you who you already know at the company. You can just add these peoplewith one click. It pulls in the timeline from there and it just flowsin such a way that it's just a minimale amount of clicks and key strokes totrack your customers and in a way that also from there, then the softwarereally helps you with falling up your customers by nudging you in all kindsof ways which obviously starts with keeping track of the data for youautomatically, and so, as we were prepping for the interview and stuff.If you mentioned Ha, you've been around about six six and a half years. Kind ofcurious is a cofiner wheredid. Where did the idea for this come from? Wherewas what was the genesis? What kind of problems were you trying to solve? Yeahprevious tough salfare actually worked in a marketing consultancy. I was asales guy there like selling the projects and also and managing them toa certain extent. Sales Force was my very first RM system. I took it veryvery seriously, and people had told me that it would help me organize mysells, so Ireally tried to use it for that for sales follow up, which I didn't reallymanage to do, even though I I startd putting in Das and logging things andall that it didn't really work for me was very complicated to achieve the purpose and-and it seemed very much very different- from phises, organizing myself inwonderlist ask management system more an outblook itself rigfactally. I revere back to these two systems, and I started to notice that this was ageneral thing, like none of my colleagues were organizing themselvesand sales force. The only thing we used I for was for management reporting andfor sort of mapping who was on bitch account but teparting that nothing muchhappened in there. It was really not what they said. It was, and I didn't do anything withinside.For a few years until I was working with my current cofonder on anothersoftware company, we had just gone to a...

...big conference in Vegas. It was an IBMconference. We we sold softer that was compatible to theirsofter and we had alot of leads and we looked for a good way to follow those up, and I knewsales force wasn't going to help. So we looked hen into some other serms and wenoticed that, actually, it wasn't just sales force that didn't work for us, none of them workd for us, because theyalways failed with us not really having the necessarydiscipline to keep them up to date. The way weere expected to keep them up todate. We felt like we didn't really have that discipline to be this, likeperfect data andput robots, and we don't figure that this isactually why most sales people hate crm. You need to do a whole lot of work, andthen it doesn't give you much in return, it's just your your manager, sort ofdoing reporting and looking at what you're doing, and we also thought itdoesn't have to be that way, because actually all of the things that we wereputting into the Ser im like, for instance, you you send someone in emailand then you go into the system. USIC send an email or you meet someone nowand then you need to think. Oh, I need to put this person in the crm. You gettheir information somewhere. Very often there ther Imo Singature so and you puten into this Youram or you have a meeting with someone and you put thatin, but that's actually already in your calnter, you, you call someone hit'sactually already in your phone an we figured like all the data to keep theserm up to dat already exists. All we need to do sort of plug into all thiskind of places extracted theyre, organize it and offer it, and that willmake it very easy for sales people to follow up every single thing abouttheir customers without having to go through all the work that was yeah. That was usual. So we built anintelligence here am on top of existing... that organizes the dateautomatically helps you folp customers like I said it, provides overvew andwe've been building more and more automation. On top of that, so that,for instance, now, on top of all the Daytha that exists, you can puttriggers to send out altomated email sequences and things like that. Allwith with the with the mission that that sales people can focus on theircustomers, so they can perfectly follow them up, not disappoint the customerswithout spending too much time on data and put in software, and all that andthat's still ar our biggest mission today and when we think about Saramyour onehundred percent right. The vast majority of sales professionals are nottaking the time to or apply the discipline to, update things and I'mkind of curious. Have you seen o you have a percentage of a percentage or a measurement of howmuch you've reduced that manual imput necessity, it's very hard, we usuallysay seventy percent, because we on sort of empirically calculated that but it'shard to say I would say a better measure. Maybe is that if youlook at our revenue, for instance, ninety one percent right now, I thinkof our revenue- comes from active customers that are really activelyusing the software they in de out, which is a lot if you compare with withother urms and that's just because to keep using it. There isn't this. Thisis high bearer this. This high amount of work that you need to put in because,like you, said, Mosto sales people don't have the discipline to to keepthis herim up to date, and I honestly believe that no one has that discipline consistentlylike, as we all know, when sales people R, not selling so well, they they tendto imput all the data into the CRM. They're very careful about it, becauseI mean they're not selling, so they are something to show.

But then, as soon as you start selling,then you feel invincible. And then you start saying to your manager like. Oh,what would you rather have me, do fill out this serm and for close deals, and I don't think anyone is really immune to that yeah. It is Itis,definitely a cycle that as a former sales executive, managing global teams,we saw all the time and it was a challenge because we couldn't get. Wecouldn't get them to input the data. We couldn't get reliable things for us ata reporting level to then make educated and informed decisions for the business,and so it has a long term ripple effect, as especially as an organization asgrowing, and so I'm curious when you talk about activity active ninety onepercent active customer esinte. How do you define active? Is it they're usingit on a daily basis, weekly basis or it's pulling data into the system h?How do we kind of define that is that they're in the software and I think byweekly basiess? At least I mean that's the cut off okay and have you seendifferences? You know if you have an example or a CAE study or kind of astore you can share with us about. You know somebody that might have beenusing something else that started using sales, flar and kind of the. Whatyou've heard back from that particular customer, or in that instance yeah?Well, usually, people start using sales flor either from thethe SALESREP perspective of wind, which sometimes also on to manageer level ofwe need to follow bleeds better. A lot of leads are slipping through thecracks and then from a manager perspective. It's also often like. Okay,we have no insight into what's happening. We don't know if somebodyleaves like whohave. They been talking to what hasbeen discussed so mody Sicko, whether we do which customers are e actuallytalking to is that going well is and not going well. Can I coach myselfspeople all this kind of questions, but...

...the basic question is really aboutfollowing up leads and when I did customer interviews just about a yearago, with some of her larger customers, there was one who said that they hadsaved one billion dollars in revenue over that year by using sales for- andthis is just a team with- is not a very large customer, with wit with treeusers, and actually when covid came around. They were very early withcontan contacting us on support and saying, like he I'd like to close my account to savesome costs with Covid, and I remembered like how they said that they they saveda million a year and that they were paying us a a hundred and five a month.And I pointed them to that fact, and they said Oh yeah, it's true yeah yeah.Maybe we should keep yusing. The software tit's actually been working, let's notbreak it yeah, and so, when you think about kind of what the future holds forthe development of sales flayer and things that sales reps may need orbenefit from in the future kind of what is that product vision or that solutionvision? Look like so we've been focusing very much uptill now. I'm making sure that the data is very much automated and that thatthe system actively helps you with falloing up, which is the basic issuesthat had to be solved in SRM. I do believe that there's many moreopportunities coming there, much more of the sales process can be digitalized.Some of the things we don't digitalize yet in our system is like e. The conversations that you're having-and this is not mind yet there's a lot of other things in terms of types ofdata that we can still involve so there's certainly still a future thereand then, when, when ai starts being...

...viable, then we can be GIN, toleach,all kinds of stuff in terms of suggestions that help you orpriortizations or automateds sort of things it does, and in the meantime,we've also started building out some of this automation layer on top of thedata, like the system that sends out automated email sequences that we canalso expand all kinds of outer types of sales interactions. I believe that,like base on all the data ads, we can start gathering sale teams will go moreand more towards the future where sales people don't have to spend their timeon software softer actually helps them and it organized a whole lot of stufffor them so that they can build better clients, relationships and focus muchmore on the things that sales people are inherently good at and that theylike to do, which is talking with customers, finding solutions helpingthem instead of like all this stupid, daugter things excellent all right. So, let's ChangeDirection here, a little bit. We ask all of our guess kind of two standardquestions towards the Indoveacha interview. The first is simply as acofounder that makes you a prospect for other sales professionals that are outthere. I'm almays curious to understand if somebody doesn't have a trustedreferral into you, what works for you to capture your attention and earn theright to time on your calendar. It starts from understanding what I need lots ofpeople contact me for stuff that I would never buy. So that's that', TEPnumber one, but then step number two to actually convince me to get on a call.Some of the things that have worked on me. I think, if you mentioned, who you work for and it's companies, Iknow that helps it's sort of a proxy for a referral. You could say,...

I think, that's probably the mostpowerful thing you can do say. Okay, we had success with these companies and Iknow these companies, I respect those companies or their competitors orwhatever that tends to get my attention. Excellent. All right last question: Wecalleid our acceleration insight. If there was one thing you could tellsales professionas one piece of advice: You could give them that you believe ifthey listened to, would help them hit or exceed their targets. What would itbe and why maybe a relevant one right now? Alsothinking back to what I just said is hypertargeting. I noticed that manyfellow software companies have hat. Can I say we find their Dargon markets overthe past six months to make sure that they have a higher rate of success withtheir prospects, as some some prospects might be lesslikely to buy right now, I think in general, it's good practice, butespecially now, and especially based on all the data that is available nowadaysto really make use of that data collect as much as you can and use that tounderstand which are really the best prospects to focus on which ones arethe best ones to focus on t e first. That will me by my advice. I excellentappreciate that, and so your run, if a listeneris interested in learning moreabout these topics, talking to you and or learning more about sales players,tere specific place, you want us to send them to prefer the website you anLinkein, some other place. Yeah! That's that's that's good yeah! So the websiteis sales. Flayercom sales flair is with flare. If you want to try this ofterthere's a button at the top ride you get a trial of. I think up to thirty days depends onthe amount of steps in the setup. You do it's a sort of a gameifight type oftrial, and if you want to get in touch with me, you can do soon. Linkton,there's only one person with my name.

So it's not too difficult to find me,but please do include a message. Otherwise, I cannot distinguish youfrom all th the daily spam again right right. If you're not GOINTA, send amessage: Don't Botheri Right, excellent you're on all rigt. Thank you. I can'tthink you enoug for taking a time to be on H. Show it's been great to have youyeah. This was fun. Thank you all right, everybody that does it this episode.You know the drill B to be revizaccom share with friends, family coworkers.You like, which you heard as Favoritelyvis, review on itunes. Untilnext time we avalue something associates, withy, nothing, but thegreatest success. You've been listening to the BTBrevenue executive experience to ensure that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you somuch for listening until next time.

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