The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 1 year ago

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

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

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.

Sales teams will go more and moretowards a future where salespeople don't have to spend their time on software. Softwareactually helps them and it's organized a whole lot of stuff for them so thatthey can build better clients relationships and and focus much more on the things thatsalespeople are inherently good ads. You're listening to the BDB revenue executive experience,a podcast dedicated to helping executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've cometo the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two, one. Welcome everyone to the BB revenue executive experience. I'm your host, ChadSanderson. Today we're talking about frustrations with Serram, specifically sales force and others, but it is one of those banes of the existence of most sales reps. it's a band of existence for sales leadership because many of them can't trustthe data that is put into the system. And to help us talk about thistoday we have with us your own courthout. It's cofounder of sales salesflare, excuse me. You're thank you so much for taking time and welcometo the show. Yeah, thank you, I'm glad to be here. So, before we jump in, we always like to start with just atopic to help our audience get to know you a little bit better and alwayscurious to find out something you're passionate about that maybe our audience would be surprisedto learn about you. Last year I started singing. I always liked singing, but then I figured at some point, why don't I just pick it upa notch and start taking singing classes, and I was having a lot offun with that until corona came around, because not only that, it's theclasses ends. Not only did the organization that or I offered the classesnot find it economically viable anymore, but it's also the best way to spreadcorona. So that's yeah, that is...

...true. Projecting. What kind ofwhat kind of singing are we're talking about? I just just for fun, Iit's just that that I like in general, singing songs and I justwanted to get better at it. So taking classes is really nice because ityou can improve your skills and it's with other people. You learn from otherpeople, you learn some techniques. There's no purpose behind this at all.It's just fun, just a passion. Excellent. Okay, thank you forsharing that. So how about a little bit of context around Sales Flair?What a sales flare do? kind of your role is co founder there.What does that mean? You're doing daytoday. Yeah, sales flare first of allis a sales crm. So that's means a crm focused on the salesaspect, which is the core aspect in most cases. That means it's focusedon you following up leads and customers and organizing that very well so that noleads fall through the cracks. It's focused on small and medium sized businesses,specifically the ones that sell be to be. That's because it's very much focused companies, like following up companies and all the people there. So that sortof places it within a space of more than six hundred crms. Where wedifferentiate versus other people in the in the closest space, think companies like hubspot or pipe drive, is that we focus much more on automated data input. So in sales flare, when you're tracking stuff, really the flows inthe software are thought up in such a way that no matter what you do, things will just be suggested to you. So you, for instance, youyou create a company, there's a search engine of companies. You Clickon the right one, it pulls an...

...extra information about the company. Ittells you who you already know at the company. You can just add thesepeople with one click. It pulls in the timeline from there and it justflows in such a way that it's just a minimal amount of clicks and keystrokesto track your customers and in a way that also from there down, thesoftware really helps you with following up your customers by nudging you in all kindsof ways, which obviously starts with keeping track of the data for you automatically. And so, as we were prepping for the interview, and so ifyou mentioned you've been around but six, six and a half years, kindof curious. Is A confounder. Where did where did the idea for thiscome from? where? which was the genesis? Where kind of problems whereyou trying to solve? Yeah, previous two salesware actually worked in a marketingconsultancy. I was a sales guy. They're like selling the projects and alsoI'm managing them to a certain extent, sales force was my very first errumsystem. I took it very, very seriously and people had told me thatit would help me organize my sales, so I really tried to use itfor that, for sales follow up, which I didn't really manage to do, even though I started putting in tasks and logging things and all that.It didn't really work for me. was very complicated to achieve the purpose andand it seemed very much, very different from phastance organizing myself in wonder listthat ask management system or an outlook itself right actually, I I reverted backto these two systems and I started to notice that this was a general thing, like none of my colleagues were organizing themselves and sales force, the onlything we use it for was for management, reporting and for sort of mapping whowas on which a count. But the parting that nothing much happened inthere. It was really not what they said it was and I didn't doanything with that inside for a few years until I was working with my currentcofounder and another software company. We had...

...just gone to a big conference inVegas. It was an IBM conference. We we sold software that was compatibleto their software and we had a lot of leads and we looked for agood way to follow those up and I knew sales force was not going tohelp. So we looked then into some other cerms and we noticed that actuallyit wasn't just sales force that didn't work for us. None of them workfor us because they always failed with us not really having the necessary discipline tokeep them up to date the way we're expected to keep them up to date. We felt like we didn't really have that discipline to be the like perfectdata input robots. And we then figure that this is actually why most salespeoplehate crm. You need to do a whole lot of work and then itdoesn't give you much in return. It's just your your your manager sort ofdoing reporting and looking at what you're doing. And we also thought it doesn't haveto be that way because actually all of the things that we were puttinginto the crm like, for instance, you you send someone an email andany go into the system as they send an email, or you meet someonenew and then you need to think, Oh, I need to put thisperson in the crum. You get their information somewhere. Very often there theiremail signature, so and you put an into the Cerum, or you havea meeting with someone and you put that in, but that's actually already inyour count or or you you call it someone, that's actually already in yourphone. I we figured like all the data to keep the crum up todate already exists. All we need to do sort of plug into all thiskind of places extracted data, organize it and offer it, and that willmake it very easy for sales people to follow up every single thing about theircustomers without having to go through all the work. That was yeah, thatwas usual. So we built an intelligence crum top of existing data that organizesthe date automatically. It helps you followup...

...customers. Like I said, itprovides overview and we've been building more and more automation on top of that sothat, for instance, now, on top of all the data that exists, you can put triggers to send out automated email sequences and things like that. All with the with the with the mission that that sales people can focuson their customers, so they can perfectly follow them up not disappoint the customers, without spending too much time on data and put in software and all thatand that's still our biggest mission today. And when we think about Cerrum,your one hundred percent right. The vast majority of sales professors are not takingthe time to or apply the discipline to update things, and I'm kind ofcurious. Have you seen, do you have a percentage of a percentage ora measurement of how much you've reduced that manual input necessity? It's very hard. We usually say seventy percent because we once sort of empirically calculated that,but it's hard to say. I would say a better measure maybe is thatif you look at our revenue, for instance, ninety one percent right now, I think, of our revenue comes from active customers that are really activelyusing the software they and they out, which is a lot if you comparewith with other crms. And that's just because to keep using it, thereisn't this this is high barer, this this high amount of work that youneed to put in because, like you said, also sales people don't havethe discipline to keep this cyrum up to date. And I honestly believe thatno one has that discipline consistently. Like, as we all know, when salespeople are not selling so well they they tend to input all the datainto the crum. They're very careful about it because, I mean, they'renot selling, so they have something to...

...show. But then as soon asyou start selling, then you feel invincible and anyway start saying to your manager. Are Like, Oh, what would you rather have made to fill outthe serum and or close deals? And I don't think anyone is really immuneto that. Yeah, it is. Is definitely a cycle that, asa former sales executive managing global teams, we saw all the time and itwas a challenge because we couldn't get we couldn't get them to input the data, we couldn't get reliable things for us at a reporting level to then makeeducated and informed decisions for the business. And so it has a long termripple effect as especially as an organization is growing. And so I'm curious whenyou talk about activity, active. Ninety one percent active customer use its.How do you define active? Is it they're using it on a daily basis, weekly basis, or it's pulling data into the system? How do wekind of define that? Is that they're in the software on the, Ithink, Bi weekly basis at least I mean that's the cut off. Okay, and have you seen differences? You know, give an example or acase study or kind of a story you can share with us about, youknow, somebody that might have been using something else that started using sales flareand kind of the what you've heard back from that particular customer or in thatinstance. Yeah, well, usually people start using sales flur either from thesales for reperspective of wind, which sometimes also on the manager level of weneed to follow bleeds better. Are a lot of leads slipping through the cracks, and then from a manager perspective it's also often like okay, we haveno insight into what's happening. We don't know if somebody leaves, like whohave they been talking to? What has been discussed? Somebody is sick,how whether we do, which customers are we actually talking to? Is thatgoing wells and not going well? Can I coach my sales people? Allthis kind of questions, but the basic...

...question is really about following up leads. And when I did customer interviews just about a year ago with some ofour larger customers, there was one who said that they had saved one milliondollars in revenue over that year by using sales flare. And this is justa team with is not a very large customer, with three users. Andactually when covid came around, they were very early but contact contacting us onsupport and saying like Hey, I'd like to close my account to save somecosts with Covid, and I remembered, like how they said that they theysaved a million a year and that they were paying as a hundred and fivea month, and I pointed them to that effect and they said, Oh, yeah, it's true. Yeah, maybe we should keep you see thesoftware, it's actually been working. Let's not break it. Yeah, andso when you think about kind of what the future holds for the development ofsales flare and things that sales reps may need or benefit from in the future, kind of what is that product vision or that Solution Vision Look like?So we've been focusing very much up till now on making sure that the datais very much automated and that that the system actively helps you with following up, which is the basic issues that had to be solved in crm. Ido believe that there's many more opportunities coming there much more of the sales processcan be digitalized. Some of the things we don't digitalize yet in our systemis like a the the conversations that you're having, and this is not mindyet. There's a lot of other things in terms of types of data thatwe can still involve. So there's certainly still a future there. And thenwhen ai starts being viable, then we...

...can we can unleash all kinds ofstuff in terms of suggestions and help you, or prioritizations or automated sort of thingsit does. And in the meantime we've also started building out some ofthis automation layer on top of the data, like the system that sends out automatedemail sequences that we can also expand to all kinds of other types ofsales interactions. I believe that, like, based on all the data ads wecan start gathering, sales teams will go more and more towards a futurewhere salespeople don't have to spend their time on software. Software actually helps themand it's organize a whole lot of stuff for them so that they can buildbetter clients relationships and and focus much more on the things that sales people areinherently good at and that they like to do, which is talking with customers, finding solutions, helping them instead of like all this stupid other things.Excellent, all right, so let's change direction here a little bit. Weask all of our guests can a two standard questions towards the end of eachinterview. The first is simply, as a cofounder, that makes you aprospect for other sales professionals that are out there. I'm always curious to understandif somebody doesn't have a trusted referral into you, what works for you tocapture your attention and earn the right to time on your calendar. It startsfrom understanding what I need. Lots of people contact me for stuff that Iwould never buy. So that's that number one. But then step number twoto actually convince me to get on a call. Some of the things thatI've worked on me. I think if you mention who you work for andit's companies I know, that helps. It's sort of a proxy for areferral, you could say. I think...

...that's probably the most powerful thing youcan do. Say Okay, we had success with these companies and I knowthese companies. I respect those companies or their competitors or whatever. That tendsto get my attention. Excellent. All right. Last question. We callit our acceleration inside. There was one thing you could tell sales professionals,one piece of advice you could give them that you believe, if they listento, would help them hit or exceed their targets? What would it beand why? Maybe a relevant one right now. Also, thinking back towhat I just said, is hyper targeting. I noticed that many fellow or softwarecompanies have, I can I say, refined their target markets over the pastsix months to make sure that they have a higher rate of success withtheir prospects, as some some prospects might be less likely to buy right now. I think in general it's good practice, but especially now and especially based onall the data that is available nowadays, to really make use of that data, collect as much as you can and use that to understand which arereally the best prospects to focus on and which ones are the best ones tofocus on first. That would be, by my advice, excellent. Appreciatethat. And so you're ruin. If a listeners interested in learning more aboutthese topics, talking to you and or learning more about sales flayers are specificplace you want us to send them? You prefer the website you and Linkedinsome other place. Yeah, that's that's that's good. Yeah, so thewebsite is sales flayercom. Sales flare is with flare. If you want totry us, Afterwa it does a button at the top ride you get atrial of I think up to thirty days, depends on the amount of steps inthe set up you do. It's a sort of a game of fightstype of trial. And if you want to get in touch with me,you can do so on Linkedin. There's only one person with my name,so it's stop too difficult to find me,...

...but please do include a message,otherwise I cannot distinguish you from all the daily spam. Again, right, right, if you're not going to send a message, don't bother.Right, excellent, you're and all right. Thank you. I can't thank younot for taking a time to be on the show. It's been greatto have you. Yeah, this was fun. Thank you. All right, everybody that does of this episode, you know, the drill be tobe rev exact. COOM, share with friends, family, Co workers,if you like what you hear. His favorite lea with review on itunes.Until next time. We have value something associates with you. Nothing but thegreatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience. To ensurethat you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes or yourfavorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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