Sales. You’ve probably heard this before: We’re all in the business of selling something. If you think you are not in sales, as an exec or business owner, think again.
Sales is a tough line of work. But part of what makes it hard is keeping track of what you’re doing. That sounds easy, but if it wasn’t so difficult, we wouldn’t have the immense number of Customer Relationship Management systems that we have now. Now, I know these systems are designed to create a 360 degree view of the customer and all that, but who uses them? Sales people.
I was in a discussion this week with Mark Mader, CEO of Smartsheet, which isn’t a CRM or Sales solution, but it does offer what is known as Online Project Collaboration. I wrote a review this week about Smartsheet at Small Business Trends.
But I want to explore some of the other conversation points that Mark and I shared. Mark said it best: “Virtually every small business has to deal with front office operations – the common theme across all – is a pipeline. B2C or B2B, pipelines are inescapable. Death, taxes, and…the Need to Sell.”
I’m a user of Smartsheet through my client Shiftboard (the online scheduling platform). We love using it. Although the service is “Online Project Collaboration”, it is way more than that. If you read some of their case studies, customer success stories, you’ll see that small businesses are creatively applying online solutions to non-project related uses.
People and companies are using Smartsheet for the front-end process of their businesses. From simple pipeline tracking to work tracking, it is about getting work done. It is hard to explain and hard to visualize until you spend time in the service. I never thought I’d be a raving fan of Smartsheet, but I am an active user of it. I guess I just like stuff that works. Read my review at SmallBizTrends at the link above. You can also check out Mark Mader’s blog post about Why Customers Choose Smartsheet over Google Docs (which I also use and love).
Let me know what you think and what collaborative tools you’re using to get work done.
TJ McCue is a strategic content guy (aka a business writer) and the founder of Sales Rescue Team.