Archive for November, 2011

How to Get the Most Value Out of Your Dealmaker® Test Drive on salesforce.com’s Appexchange

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Thank you for taking time out to evaluate Dealmaker in more detail. This short post gives you an outline of the Dealmaker software platform, and gives you detailed instructions for what you can see in the Dealmaker test drive.

About Dealmaker

It’s easy to sell smarter thanks to Dealmaker’s embedded, proven sales methodologies and real-time coaching that help you effectively navigate through the opportunity and selling processes. And you can manage better thanks to the predictive analytics that deliver accurate, updated forecasts and provide visibility into your actual pipeline. Dealmaker’s objective, in-depth analysis of your sales team’s actual performance identifies when the deal will close based on real data, not wishful thinking. Dealmaker delivers confidence to sales leaders by taking the guesswork out of sales and forecasting by delivering accurate, on demand and transparent forecasts. Dealmaker software can be tailored to your business to reflect the sales processes and methodologies that are right for you. And it can integrate with all the leading CRM systems, including Salesforce CRM, Microsoft Dynamics and Oracle CRM On Demand, as well as other business software.

Dealmaker Smart Opportunity Manager delivers intelligent advice on how to win each deal based on information you provide, and increases your win rate. Automated deal coaching, applied in context, identifies risks and vulnerabilities. Buyer relationship strategies are automatically defined to show you how to sell to each buyer, and the optimal competitive strategy is identified. Collaboration Maps help you visually represent how your solution meets the buyer’s needs. Like an automated deal review, Coach Me pulls it all together, diagnoses problems and prescribes actions to increase your chance of winning the opportunity. Dealmaker Smart Opportunity Manager includes TAS sales methodology, but can also be configured to your own methodology.

Dealmaker Smart Account Manager applies automation and intelligence so it is easy to adopt account planning and management as part of your company’s processes. Use the Opportunity Map to gain a picture of current status and ‘white space’ areas to explore for potential business. Align your opportunities with the customer’s goals using the Value Map. The Strategy Map provides insight to the customer’s business goals and Political Map plots the power structure. Using Dealmaker’s analysis and advice, the account team can work together to execute the account strategy to maximize the revenue from each account.

Dealmaker Smart Renewals Manager helps you maximize renewal rates for subscription or maintenance recurring contracts. The smart renewals sales process and playbook outline the proactive steps to take to anticipate potential cancellation of contracts. Automated deal coaching, applied in context, identifies risks and vulnerabilities in upcoming renewals, and helps you to defend the value of retaining your solution. Use call planning techniques to optimize each sales call, and anticipate and answer objections and tough questions. Use Dealmaker Smart Renewals Manager to standardize your approach and maximize predictable and profitable revenue from subscription or maintenance recurring revenue.

Dealmaker Smart Playbook and Forecast puts you in control of the buying process, increases sales velocity through the sales cycle and delivers objective and accurate sales forecasts. It connects the dots between customer activity and deal progress. Using Quicklinks, you link the right sales tools to each stage of the deal. Your sales forecast is based on the same objective criteria for each sales person and is based on fact, not opinion. The playbook is tailored for your business with the step-by-step approach needed to close the deal, and the intelligent forecasting engine predicts accurate close dates and closure probabilities to save you from wasting time building and updating sales forecasts.

Dealmaker Predictive Sales Analytics helps you increase sales performance by providing intelligent analysis of what is actually happening in each sales cycle in the business. It delivers deep insight into the four factors that drive sales velocity: number of deals, average deal value, win rate, and sales cycle. Driven by Dealmaker’s intelligent sales cycle monitoring engine, you get true past, present and future pipeline visibility. You know when you don’t have enough in the pipeline to make quota, can identify stalled deals, learn what has changed, and see when the sales cycle is changing for won or lost deals. Dealmaker Predictive Sales Analytics links the analysis to the actual sales opportunity so that you can take action based on reliable data. The insights gained from predictive sales analytics can assist sales managers to make valuable coaching interventions, thereby accelerating sales velocity.

Instructions for the Dealmaker Test Drive on salesforce.com’s Appexchange

Sales Process

Select the ‘Express Logistics 100 Enterprise Licenses’ opportunity either from ‘Recent Items’ on your left (you may need to click the collapsible sidebar in the top left of your screen), or from the Opportunities tab (make sure you are viewing ‘All Opportunities’) and then from the Opportunity Detail screen click the Dealmaker button.

Moving from salesforce.com home page into an opportunity

Moving from salesforce.com home page into an opportunity

Moving from opportunity detail into Dealmaker

Moving from opportunity detail into Dealmaker

Dealmaker Sales Process

Sales Process

Dealmaker is fully integrated with the CRM system, displaying the data directly within the CRM system. The opportunity details in the Details section top-left are also taken from the opportunity in the CRM system, so that you never have to enter data twice.  When you select the Qualifier Assessment option you are presented with the Dealmaker opportunity screen at the current pipeline stage.

Based on the rules that you have set up, Dealmaker places every opportunity in the right sales process and the right place in the pipeline. Many companies have multiple products, channels and routes to market that vary the sales process in some way; be it the length of the sales cycle, the steps to sale, the average deal size or even the stages in the pipeline. Dealmaker provides the ability to specify a different sales process for any combination of these “features” of an opportunity. If you have multiple sales processes, Dealmaker will automatically determine which process each opportunity fits into based on the “type” of that opportunity.

The pipeline structure is determined as part of your sales process or processes, so that it fully reflects your own customized sales process. You may have more or less stages in your pipeline, have different pipelines depending on the sales process you’re working with or you may name your stages differently. The pipeline in Dealmaker will reflect the stages set up in your CRM system to match the way that you do business.

In the Pipeline Qualification Status section at the top right of the screen you can see where you are in the opportunity.  Each stage in the pipeline is shown at a % completion level, so in a glance you can get a quick view of what’s left to do to close the deal.

In the Qualifiers and Verifiable Outcomes section, we can see that each stage of the pipeline has tasks, events or milestones assigned to it. These are the best practice steps that you have determined are appropriate for your business, and for which you have set the appropriate level of importance. An opportunity cannot be marked as having progressed beyond a stage unless all of the essential steps have been met.

Looking to the Dealmaker Details portion of the screen, as the sales person completes each of the best practice steps through each stage of the sales cycle, Dealmaker will calculate the projected close date and likely closure probability of the opportunity, based on how much progress the sales person has made.

Probability is no longer subjective! This means that 48%, to take a random example, means the same for everyone.  It means that certain things have been achieved, particular milestones have been passed and the sales user has checked off the relevant Qualifiers. Note that instead of filling out forms or templates, Dealmaker delivers the value of the methodology in just a few clicks.

One of the comments that we regularly hear from our customers is that Dealmaker allows the sales people to manage themselves more successfully. The sales manager is able to independently review the progress of the sales person’s opportunities in real time and is driven to focus attention on those opportunities where he or she can be of most value. To this point, the sales users can red-flag any opportunity where they need support.

Dealmaker includes customized help for the sales user at each step along the way. If the sales user needs a prompter to remember what the Qualifier meant, or what the step is trying to achieve, the customized Help text is made available against each Qualifier to provide support.  Also, a Related Info link provides access to any further documents or templates that he may require to complete the qualifier step – items like proposal templates, case studies, whitepapers, etc., are made available here.

Note also that you can export to Excel, for printing or archiving purposes, your full opportunity plan from either the Sales Process or TAS Assessment screens.  You can also export each individual screen if that’s all you need.  Finally, you can also export the whole plan into PowerPoint.

TAS Assessment

Click the Sales Process drop-down to pull up TAS Assessment.

Dealmaker TAS Assessment

TAS Assessment

The TAS methodology includes a set of 20 pivotal criteria designed to objectively assess the competitive status of the sales opportunity and help you answer the question “how am I doing in this opportunity?” These criteria can be fully configured for your business, and indeed Dealmaker can automate and optimize any opportunity management methodology.

The summary section in the top right of the screen gives you a quick view of how you are doing relative to the competition. This data is pulled straight from your CRM system, removing the need for rekeying.  If you are lagging behind in any area, you can determine what steps you need to take to address the issue and correct your competitive position.

A comments field is provided for some of the key assessment criteria. This is configurable per account.

Dealmaker is an intelligent application that guides the sales professional through the sale, since selling is a complex exercise and there can be a lot to remember and execute on.  For example, note that Dealmaker points out inconsistencies in our methodology, where our TAS Assessment is contradicted by our work so far in the Sales Process qualifiers.

All the information I’m putting into Dealmaker can be used to review opportunities with my peers or my manager.  Opportunity presentations and reviews are a frequent occurrence, and it can be very time-consuming putting together a presentation slide deck on your opportunity for that important meeting.  Not so with Dealmaker.  You can export the entire plan into a PowerPoint deck.  In a few clicks and a few seconds, Dealmaker will extract all the information and arrange it in a presentable, slide-by-slide format for you to edit and finalize.  It will even convert your political analysis and collaboration maps into a similar map using the SmartArt feature in PowerPoint. Dealmaker is designed to make the sales organization as productive as possible, and this represents a huge time-saver for the sales professional.

Competitive Strategy

Click on the Competitive Strategy button towards the top of the screen.

Dealmaker Competitive Strategy

Competitive Strategy

Knowing how to win against your competition, selecting a single strategy and sticking with it, unless a major change occurs in the opportunity, is extremely important in winning a deal.

When you first access the competitive strategy screen you will need to set the criteria in order for Dealmaker to advise you on a strategy to take within the opportunity. Dealmaker will prompt you through a series of questions and based on your responses, will provide you with the competitive strategy that you should pursue. If something changes within the opportunity, you can change the criteria on this screen and the advised strategy will update accordingly.

Dealmaker allows you to enter the details of your strategy, and you can do this even if there are no competitors called out for the opportunity.  You can override a recommended strategy by un-checking it.   It is important to be aware of the likely competitive strategy of your competitors, and the competitors have been pulled through from the opportunity information in salesforce.com.  You can indicate your competitor’s anticipated strategy in the free text boxes you can also summarize their strengths and weaknesses.

Political Analysis

Click on the Political Analysis button at the top of the Dealmaker screen.

Dealmaker Political Analysis

Political Analysis

One of the key reasons deals are lost is because the sales person has been unable to navigate the power structure of an account.   With Dealmaker, however, you’re supported in the building of the political map of the account. Through this map, you can analyze the customer’s organization, and ultimately shorten your sales cycle by spending time with the right people discussing the right issues. Understanding the political structure within the account, as well as the organizational hierarchy, you can avoid surprises in the sales campaign. By determining who the decision makers are, who they’re influenced by, who’s on your side, or who might be an adversary, supporting the competition, you can ensure that you focus your attention winning the minds of the right people.

The formal structure of the organization includes the organizational hierarchy (who reports to whom), the buying role (Approver, Decision-maker, Evaluator, User) of each individual for this opportunity, the adaptability to change (Innovator, Visionary, Pragmatist, Conservative, Laggard) of each person, your status or how they perceive your organization/solution (Enemy, Non-supporter, Neutral, Supporter, Mentor) and, finally, your level of coverage with the individual (No contact, Brief contact, Multiple contact, In-depth). The key icon indicates the key players in the opportunity.  Once you have mapped this information, you have a full view of the formal structure of the organization.

However, although extremely important to understand, this is not the full story. Knowing the informal structure, both the political structure and the influence flow, within the account will give you insight into how you can influence the decision makers without always going directly to them.

Each individual within the opportunity has a political position, based on their rank and influence levels. Those with a very high rank and/or influence level are deemed part of the inner circle. Those with a medium level rank and influence are in the political structure but not the inner circle, while all others are outside the political structure.  Those individuals who are part of the political structure, but their rank and influence are not high enough to be considered part of the inner circle, are signified in the graphic by the green figure on the edge of the circle. Those who do not have sufficient influence to be considered part of the political structure are shown in the graphic with a gray figure outside the circle.

Influence within an account, as opposed to rank or authority, flows in non-traditional directions, from subordinate to superior or across departmental boundaries. In this opportunity we can see a number of influence lines.

Now that you have mapped the organization, you can look to determine what my relationship strategy should be within the account. If you hover over any individual’s name, given the formal and informal structure within the opportunity, you can see what my relationship strategy should be with him or her to improve my position and the opportunity.

Adding contacts to the chart is easy, you can enter a name or just leave the field blank and the system will return all contacts from the CRM system in your target company, if the box is checked, or contacts from other companies, if you uncheck it.

Collaboration Map

Click on the Collaboration Map button at the top of the screen.

Dealmaker Collaboration Map

Collaboration Map

One of the biggest mistakes many of us make is not spending enough time to work with our customer’s key decision makers to understand their business problem, the underlying cause of that problem, and the consequential impact.   In TAS terminology we say Key Business Requirement, Consequential Pain, and Tactical Pain.

The Collaboration Map in Dealmaker is a graphical tool used by a salesperson to assist the customer to describe their business problems, through a visual representation of the connected pains. Through this collaborative discovery process, the salesperson can prioritize areas to address and solutions to apply. It is only when we uncover, through dialogue with our customer, the Impact of not dealing with the causes of problems can we help the customer get a better understanding of how together we might find a solution.

For each Key Business Requirement, Consequential Pain and Tactical Pain, you can see that we can record important details, including what the issue is, who at the customer owns the issue, and whether they have confirmed our understanding.  A green check mark indicates that they have confirmed.  As with the political analysis chart, the design is with flexibility and usability in mind.  You build your chart by dragging and dropping boxes on each other.  You can also collapse and expand Tactical Pains that fall under the Consequential Pain, for example, to maximize the available screen.  You can also save a map as a template, or even import a template to start a new map, as a useful starting point for similar opportunities, which greatly aids productivity.

Decision Criteria

Click on the Decision Criteria button at the top of the screen.

Dealmaker Decision Criteria

Decision Criteria

Understanding what is motivating your customers to buy is crucial in any opportunity.  Dealmaker encapsulates all of the great TAS Methodology in the software.  In the decision criteria screen you can add the individuals you feel are key players by selecting them from a drop down presented directly from SFDC.  You can also detail what you feel the key issues are in the opportunity, and then rank those issues for each key player.  Dealmaker then calculates the overall rank of each key issue across all key players, which helps you with your focus and overall strategy.

On the bottom left you can indicate, using a traffic light system, your assessment of your position relative to the competition on each of the key issues.  A green up arrow means well positioned, a red down arrow means positioned at a disadvantage, while the amber equal signs means you’re pretty much at parity with the competition.

Your position relative to the competition, and the overall rank of each issue across all key players, is nicely summarized for you at the top of the screen so that you can at a glance how you are doing in this element of the deal-winning game.  It is this ranking of the key issues for each key player that you see when you hover over the key icons in the political analysis screen that I showed you a few moments ago.

You can export to Excel, for printing or archiving, the full TAS Plan from either of the two Assessment screens, and you can also export to Excel any of the individual screens.

PRIME Actions

Click on the PRIME Actions button at the top of the screen.

Dealmaker PRIME Actions

PRIME Actions

Coach Me

Click on the Coach Me icon to the right of the PRIME button.

Dealmaker Coach Me

Coach Me

With comprehensive sales process and methodology, sometimes we need coaches to help us see areas we might have missed, and Dealmaker often guides the sales person on inaccuracies in their plan and makes recommendations on strategy.

Imagine if your CRM system knew everything about the deal you were working on and proactively coached you on what had to do to win the deal.  The benefits of coaching to revenues, training ROI and customer service are well documented, but we don’t always have as much time to spend on sales coaching as we would like, so not enough coaching happens – and revenue performance suffers.  Dealmaker Coach Me helps the sales person and the sales manager solve this problem.

If you’re a sales person looking for what to do next on the deal, or maybe preparing for a deal review you’re your manager, you want to be sure that you’ve thought through as many of the issues on this deal before their call.

Coach Me has seen lots of situations like this, and when you click on the Coach Me link in Dealmaker, you’re presented with some specific coaching advice about how you should approach this particular situation.

If you’re a manager, you know that this deal is a competitive scenario, and the relationships are very important. Maybe you want to focus in on the competitive strategy that the sales person has selected, as Dealmaker Coach Me has highlighted some exposure.

Also, looking at the customer’s organization, you can use Coach Me to uncover areas where there is risk. Coach Me helps the sales person self-coach up to the point where they needs coaching input.  Managers can now spend time with sales people on the areas where they can really add value.

Dealmaker Coach Me provides real-time, deal-specific coaching, enabling sales professionals to sell smarter, and managers to coach smarter. Coach Me enables you to benefit from intelligent and specific coaching on your opportunities.  As you can see, it’s available on every Opportunity Management screen of every opportunity.

Forecast Analysis

Click on the Forecast Analysis tab at the top of the screen.

Dealmaker Forecast Analysis

Forecast Analysis

In Dealmaker you can forecast across 2 axes, or views, and also across a range of filters.  The role view is a vertical view of the hierarchy of the sales organization, through the roll-up.  The Account view is a horizontal view across accounts.  The forecast screen provides both a summary and detailed view of your forecast. In the top area of the screen, Dealmaker provides a summary view of the forecast for each sales user and sales team.  The wide range of filtering options makes this a very powerful analytical tool.

Looking at the summary area, we can see that for the selected time period the owner, their quota, what’s been closed and what the pipeline is. Based on the rules that you have determined, Dealmaker also calculates the projected revenue number. Dealmaker looks at each of the opportunities in the pipeline and picks out those individual opportunities that Dealmaker thinks can be closed in this forecast period. The projected revenue number is the full value of all of those selected opportunities – you’re not going to get 33% of every deal, for example, rather you’ll get 100% of some and 0% of others.

The next thing that Dealmaker displays is the distribution of opportunity value across the stages of your pipeline. The graphical representation shows the value in each stage. As you move closer to quarter or year end, you want to see more and more of your opportunity value moving towards the closing stages, switching the balance to the final stages of the pipeline.

As a sales manager, the next thing you’re concerned about is the mix of deals in the forecast.  A green tick-mark represents a good balance of deals. A red ball, means there are a small number of large deals, or rocks, in a forecast that represents a large proportion of the forecast number. Working on too many small deals means you get a yellow pyramid of pebbles. As a sales manager, you want to know when there is a risk to the forecast, either because of one abnormally large deal which could make or break your forecast, or because your sales people won’t have sufficient time to close a sufficient number of the small deals that they have in their pipeline to reach their forecast.

While you’re supporting my sales team, you want to ensure that you focus immediately on those opportunities where they need your help. In both the summary and detail view, you can see that a number of opportunities have been flagged for attention. Also, in the detailed view, you can see when a plan was last updated, an important indicator that someone is on top of things.  You can see what stage opportunities have progressed to, and you can drill straight through to the opportunity screen to determine what the sales person needs to do to get this deal over the line, and where you can help the process.

Dealmaker provides a very powerful forecasting tool, both for the sales manager and the sales executive. For sales management, and indeed for the CEO/CFO, the value of accurate forecasting is considerable.  Also, many of our customers have pointed out that when Dealmaker is used, sales management need to spend less time chasing and more time coaching.  Dealmaker takes a lot of the management burden away.

Performance Coach

Click on the Performance Coach tab at the top of the screen.

Snapshot

Pipeline Snapshot

Pipeline Snapshot

Once you’ve figured out your forecast for a particular period, the next thing you want to focus on is your pipeline into the future.

Pipeline is the totals of potential revenue against target revenue at each stage of a defined sales process, looking further into the future.  The target revenue comes from what the organization told Dealmaker about their typical deal sizes, their quotas, and their typical sales cycles.

We need to know what the pipeline is in absolute terms and also in relative terms, relative to our targets over time.  Again, this applies equally well to the individual rep and indeed all levels of the organization within the roll-up.  Dealmaker is able to calculate the target stage value that we need in each stage of the pipeline to get us where we need to be through time as deals move through the funnel.

Green indicates where the team looks pretty good, and red indicates a shortfall where the team – and marketing – must work harder to fill and progress the pipeline.  This obviously becomes more urgent for the bottom stages, which are the deals that should close in the near term.

Dealmaker technology helps you do what you need to do to advance the deals.  On the left hand side you can see the timeline.  For red stages this timeline indicates when there is going to be a revenue shortfall problem unless we do something about it now.

Healthcheck

Click on the Healthcheck button towards the top of the screen.

Healthcheck

Healthcheck

So next we need to do a health check, to see the health of deals in the pipeline.  Are the deals moving along, or are there deals stalled, not being worked on and languishing at each stage in the pipeline?  Deals never stand still, they either go forward or they go back, and what we can see here is for each stage in the pipeline, which deals are being actively worked on, in green, which are stalled, in amber, with no work done on them for a certain period of time, and which deals are inactive, in red, since they’ve not been touched in an even greater period of time.  By the way, we can decide what constitutes a stalled deal or inactive deal by setting the number of days’ duration filter, so it’s completely flexible.

So if we see deals that are in the latter stages of the pipeline, and they’re not being worked, then we really have to wonder whether they’ve been over-progressed in the first place, and in effect are now moving backwards.  We’ve already looked at our forecast and in the latter stages is where we would expect to see the deals coming in, whereas this Healthcheck screen paints for us a different picture, and we can raise the alarm bells early.

Visually of course, we can look at the multi-colored bars and see what the health of each stage is, because we don’t really want to see any red inactive deals the further down the sales process we go.  Conversely, deals that are inactive at the top stages of the sales process are not good either because it means leads are not being followed up and marketing expenditure to get them there in the first place is being wasted, or else opportunities are being created that should not have been created in the first place, because they have not been filtered out by telemarketing, for example.

What’s Changed

Click on the What’s Changed button towards the top of the screen.

What's Changed

What's Changed

The What’s Changed screen allows us to look at what’s happened to a series of deals over a period of time, and see what’s changed at each stage in the pipeline.  This is really important to managers. If, for example, a manager sees $12m in stage 4 and is expecting this figure to move to $8m in stage 5, but he only sees $4m, he or she wants to know what has happened to the other $4m.  Tree things could have happened: deals fell out and become non-deals, deals were lost to the competition, or his sales people discounted and the value of deals has been reduced.  Once the reasons are identified, the manager can coach on better behaviours

The numbers in the green bars tell us the value of deals that started in that stage and ended in the same stage at period end.  Any value above the diagonal has advanced down the pipeline to the relevant stage, where any value below the green diagonal has fallen out from that stage into the relevant stage.  So the value of this is that we can see, even if we’ve been focused on one large deal the last few days, exactly what has changed in the whole of the pipeline.

Now we can look at this information in a variety of ways as you can see from the filtering options at the top of the screen.  We can filter by the type of deal, the status of the deal, starting stage and ending stage, across different sales processes, different people or teams and even by value or deal number.  Now even though our pipeline might be progressing as we expect, we also wants to know if the deal mix has changed over the period.  Have some deals increased in value over the period, or maybe decreased?  So we can mouse over any asterisk and Dealmaker will tell us the exact figures.  What is important here is that we get a real sense of the momentum through the pipeline, where deals have increased in size, decreased, or deal numbers have gone up, and so on.

We will probably be focused on what’s happening at the bottom of the pipeline as we move to the end of the quarter, and as with the forecast screen we can drill from this view into specific deals for a given sales stage, and Dealmaker automatically resets the filters and the individual deals are displayed.  Then we can familiarize ourselves with the deal in question and get a sense of its history and movement.

Velocity

Click on the Velocity button towards the top of the screen.

Velocity

Velocity

Pipeline analysis is a function of velocity through the sales cycle.  Individual sales reps will all have different velocities through different stages, and this Velocity screen allows us to compare and contrast, and also give us valuable pointers on where we should focus our coaching.

So these are true lengths of time it takes to close deals, and while there will always be deals at each end of the bell curve that closed in 4 days or 4 years, the data illustrates the normal cycle of things and therefore provides very useful information for businesses to do their planning around and make their decisions on.  Also, we can ask ourselves why there are levels of discrepancy between certain teams or individuals.

We can also look at the sales cycle lengths and see what coaching we need to do so that, for example, enough time is being spent at the early stages, doing the homework and qualifying the deals to go after, followed by shorter sales stages as the deal progresses.  If the later sales stages are long, we can see evidence that the individuals are not spending enough time understanding the customer’s requirements and so end up proposing a range of solutions which results in a drawn out or lost purchase.  Alternatively, our people might not be spending enough time presenting the evidence of their solution and moving too quickly to the purchase, the customer is not ready, hasn’t seen the value and then it becomes all about the price, terms and conditions.

Actvity

Activity

Activity

Click on the Activity button towards the top of the screen.

Activity which provides reporting intelligence on user activity in Dealmaker.  It is a fact proven across Dealmaker customers that the most successful salespeople are the most active users of Dealmaker.  They work exclusively in Dealmaker, keep their account plans up to date, progress their opportunities daily, and use Dealmaker to guide them through the best practice adoption of sales methodology and sales process.

Activity tracks and displays the number of logins to Dealmaker within the specific filtered timeframe, to monitor, fine-tune and encourage adoption of selling best practice in Dealmaker.  Daily logins to Dealmaker might be one of the key non-revenue, or new behavior objectives that you have identified as a critical success factor, and Activity allows you to benchmark this for each user, pinpoint any ‘change execution’ challenges, and encourage increased activity in the crucial short term, as well as the medium and long terms.

Account Planning

Click on the Account Planning tab at the top of the screen.

Account Planning

Account Planning

The Account Planning tab is effectively the ‘home page’ of the account management application, and it lists the plans you have access to, either as an owner, manager or team member.  Dealmaker is transparently integrated into the CRM system, users just see a few additional tabs of functionality.

You can search across a range of parameters to find my plan, including Plan Status, Plan Name, Account Name and plan Owner.  So across the top in the detailed area we have the plan name, the plan owner’s name, and the Account.  Next to the plan icon are two icons, allowing me to go straight into either the opportunity map for the plan, or the plan details for the plan.  The plan has a start and end date, and you can see who last modified the plan and when.  Status refers to whether the plan is open and can be worked on, shown here by the grey padlock icon, or is ‘closed’, shown by the gold padlock icon.  Plans automatically close once the close date of the plan has passed.

Plan Details

Click on the Plan Details icon for a Plan.

Into Plan Details

Into Plan Details

In the Plan Details tab, you can see the 8 buttons across the top and the two edit buttons below.  The 8 top buttons are arranged to reflect the workflow of the Account Planning process.  The Edit Details allows you to edit the details of the plan, and the Edit Summary allows you to edit the summary information and the extra summary information, which is configurable by your company Administrator.

You can export your entire Plan to an Microsoft Excel file or PowerPoint slide deck, including all the maps, in a couple of clicks, and as you can imagine for Account and Opportunity review meetings or calls this is a huge time-saver. This is a shining example of Dealmaker working hard to maximize sales person and sales leader productivity

You click on the ‘Edit Details’ button to quickly and easily set up and edit your Account Plan, pulling all the relevant information in directly from your CRM system.

Opportunity Map

Click on the Opportunity Map button at the top of the screen.

Opportunity Map

Opportunity Map

The Opportunity Map is the repository for all the research and strategizing on your accounts.  Down the left hand column you can see the list of Units or Accounts you’re selling to, which you add from your CRM system.  Your solutions go across the top of the opportunity map, and these are entirely configurable by you.

The heart of the map is made up of the different classes of opportunities for your Account Plan, and there will also be black areas where you are blocked from selling a solution, and mostly areas of ‘white space’ where you currently don’t sell and where you should try to sell.

Political Map

Click on the Political Map icon as marked.

Into Political Map

Into Political Map

This represents the Political Map for the specific Unit or Account.  Dealmaker allows you to record different Political Maps for the specific Units of one Account.  To make everyone as productive as possible, there is also an import function which allows you to effectively copy another map to use as your starting point. This is very useful for similar Units or Accounts.

Strategy Map

Click on the Strategy Map icon as marked.

Into Strategy Map

Into Strategy Map

In order to get proactive and start creating potential new opportunities, you have to understand the customer more deeply, by investigating their Business Drivers, Business Initiatives and Critical Success Factors.  That way you can understand from their perspective what problems they have and how your products or services might apply. The vast bulk of this work comes from research, but also from sharing and discussing your Account Plan with your customer.

In account management, when you’re dealing with account management teams, it’s important to be able to record and share your research into the account’s business situation so that you can collectively create opportunities which have the best chance of fulfilling your customer requirements.  This is where the Strategy Map in Dealmaker comes in.  As you can see, this is a very tidy way of recording the goals, business drivers, initiatives, critical success factors and opportunities against a particular Unit or Account.

Value Map

Click the Value Map button at the top of the screen.

Value Map

Value Map

You’ll want to be able to prioritize your potential opportunities and select those that you are going to target.  The Value Map records the calculated set of relative positions you have assigned to the Opportunities according to the ‘value to the customer’ and the ‘value to us’.  Opportunities can be targeted or untargeted.

The Value to Us and Value to the Customer attributes are completely customizable to your needs within the administration interface and they represent the key criteria the organization uses to decide where on the Value Map the Opportunity should be placed.

Objectives

Click the Objectives button at the top of the screen.

Objectives, Strategies and Actions

Objectives, Strategies and Actions

Having plotted and targeted your Potential Opportunities, you’ll want to close out your Plan by figuring out what steps you need to take to realize the plan.  This is where our Objectives, Strategies and Actions come in.

Here you see the Objectives for the Account, and for each Objective, there is a strategy, you see what type of objective it is, whether it associated with the plan as a whole or Unit, and what the name of that plan or unit is.

You can toggle between actions and objectives, either opting to show all actions, or just the actions for this objective, and then you can toggle back to the Objectives.  Notice how the system warns you when an Action is overdue.  There’s also an Action Summary in the top right.

MarketView

Click on the MarketView button.

MarketView

MarketView

After your teams have built their Account Plans, it is very important for sales professionals and managers to understand what’s happening across their business, and they can only do this if they have a comprehensive view of your marketplace; in other words, they need to see all their plans in one view.  You may wish to view, in one place, all the accounts that your US team sells to, or the top 10 ‘pharma’ companies that you work with or you may need a global view of one of your major accounts across the regional teams.  Then you can get one window on your addressable market and see where the gaps are.

The MarketView report provides you with a rolled-up view of the accounts in your marketplace, the opportunities in the account plans and the deals that have been closed to date. In MarketView you can create your own reports that reflect your business. Any reports that you create are automatically available to those above you in your organization hierarchy, and can also be shared with peers or subordinates who own accounts included in these reports.

Click My MarketViews.  Click on a MarketView and hit select.

Into MarketView

Into MarketView

Many individual sales people manage different types and sizes of accounts.  If you have an account plan built for each of your major enterprise accounts and a portfolio plan for managing the other smaller accounts that you own, you can create a single MarketView report that includes all of your accounts in one report.  This is really useful for getting a sense of your own business and where you need to go from here.

As a manager, once your sales people have created their own MarketViews, in other words a single portfolio of their accounts, you can create a roll-up view of your team’s portfolios, providing you with a single report for your entire team’s or organization’s business. This gives you insight into both the current opportunities and the potential business that you can help your team win.

Global account teams are often composed of individuals and teams from various geographic regions. If your global accounts are like this, and your organizational hierarchy reflects this, you can create a MarketView report that allows those outside your branch of the organizational tree to share the view of the full global account. If you also provide access to all the account owners, the global account team can see what’s happening throughout the various regions.  This gives you insight into the potential regional weaknesses of the global account.  Sharing this report makes for stronger communication across the team and provides team members with all the information they need to best manage their area of the account.

The MarketView component is both flexible and powerful, and you can create a wide range of your own custom MarketViews.  Understanding how your organization is tracking within specific industries, and being able to compare industries within one view can give you insights that will help you better steer the course of your business. For example, if the account planning process for one industry results in twice the business compared with another industry, you may consider applying the process across other industries in your business.

Finally on MarketViews, within the Forecast Analysis component of Dealmaker in Opportunity Management, you can not only forecast by role, within your sales organizational hierarchy, but also horizontally, by MarketView, giving you a complete matrix view of your sales forecast.

A Final Word – Working your Account Plan

When you’ve finished your Account Plan, you’re going to want to work it on an ongoing basis during the year.  You can click directly through from any opportunity on the Opportunity Map straight into the opportunity plan for that opportunity.

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