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Adios … Hello 2.0 CRM’s

26 Mar


In 2010, Salesforce purchased Jigsaw and renamed it… On May 4th, 2019, they will be calling it quits.

As a recruiter and salesperson, it has been a tool for many years providing phone numbers, email addresses and titles of prospects. Like Wikipedia and LinkedIn, was good at getting other people to contribute just-in-time information and share it through their platform. That was a novel idea many years ago when we were still collecting business cards and putting them into our Rolodex (or Outlook if you were tech savvy). The mass amount of DATA (primarily free of charge) was wonderful and we dreamed that the site would only benefit from the Salesforce acquisition.

T-Rex_1_grande Salesforce couldn’t make it really work (or didn’t want to make it work) and now, a once powerful place to acquire and manage CRM records, is a dinosaur. The primary reason for shutting their curtains is that it was full of a bunch of junk – inaccurate records in terms of titles, phone numbers and email addresses. Today, their data is more inaccurate than ever.

So where do we go from here?

There are many options to gravitate to in 2019 and within the universe of CRM’s, they are all a little different from one another. Most of them are going to cost you some money… and I’m going to let the companies battle a little bit before understanding who will be the quality, long term players. They are going to grow (CRM software grew faster than any other software segment in 2018) and gobble one another up – and I don’t see it sorting itself out quickly.

What is a CRM in 2019? The definition is changing every day. A CRM (customer relationship manager) was created to move us past an Excel spreadsheet to organize and manage all of our interactions with customers and prospects. Today, a CRM is certainly focused on doing that, but it is becoming more interactive pulling records from sources outside of your organization.

Recently, SelectHub provided a 2019 snapshot by looking at a sample set of 254 companies (CRM Survey):

  • Outlook is the CRM tool for 29% of these companies
  • Excel is 22% (what?!)
  • Gmail is 14%
  • Salesforce is a mere 6%
  • Mailchimp has 5% of the market
  • The remaining 24% includes HubSpot (3%), Microsoft (2%) & Oracle (2%)

How accurate is this sample set? Admittedly, the list is made up of primarily companies under 1000 employees (84%) and a majority of those are under 500 employees. For small businesses, I’ll assume this is a pretty good snapshot. 

smh260% of these companies are using Outlook, Excel and Gmail as a CRM! It definitely surprised me that Salesforce has captured a mere 6% of the CRM market. It’s no wonder that Salesforce is hiring salespeople like crazy as they are probably drooling over the market potential. I’m reminded of Coca-Cola in this instance… In 2011, Coca-Cola had over 40% of the carbonated beverage worldwide market. At the time, 55 billion beverages were consumed world-wide per day (excluding water) and Coca-Cola sold “only” 1.7 billion beverages per day. With only 3.1% of the beverage market, they have incredible potential!

Here is another take on who owns the market: CRM market share? Salesforce cites that they have 19.6% market share (Oracle, SAP, Microsoft & Adobe making up the next 20%). This article also says that Salesforce is fudging their numbers a bit – part of this is because it’s difficult to completely define WHAT-IS-A-CRM. Even if this is accurate, the top 5 still own less than 40% of the market.

With the removal of, Salesforce is going to push their product called the Lightning Data Engine. They have a head start because Lightning has partnered with many players (via their AppExchange which has over 5,000 “solutions”) and they’ve become an aggregator of your CRM options which include:

  • Dun & Bradstreet Optimizer as well as D&B Hoovers
  • Equifax (Business Connect)
  • ZoomInfo
  • Bombora
  • HG Data & HG Insights
  • Datafox Orchestrate (Oracle)
  • Clearbit
  • MCH Strategic Data
  • Compass
  • InsideView
  • Owler
  • Business Watch
  • Aberdeen
  • Relationships promised to come include Thomson Reuters and others

Salesforce’s product isn’t great, but they are winning. Their partnerships may be the driver that moves them from good to great. Another reason they are a decent choice for a CRM is because they have been around for 20 years. This doesn’t mean Salesforce is better – but they have become a name brand. This has driven them way beyond expectations to a net worth today of $122 Billion. Also, Salesforce has a reputation of taking good care of their employees – you can’t underestimate the power of a company with a great culture.

Is LinkedIn going to be a player in this universe? Microsoft will claim they already are with their CRM Dynamics 365. I’m disappointed in the results so far but since Microsoft owns LinkedIn, I would imagine that they have a gold mine if they can figure it out as quickly.


8 Bullets on 13 Players:

  1. Based on history, I’m concerned that Microsoft isn’t moving fast enough.
  2. It feels like Salesforce is trying to think for us by driving its users towards any old CRM tool.
  3. Does Oracle or SAP even care about being a solid CRM for the small business community? Is Adobe going to be a major player?
  4. Is Google’s Copper CRM (formerly ProsperWorks) making a dent in the market?
  5. What about the unified CRM’s like Pega, BPM Online and SugarCRM?
  6. HubSpot, Zoho and Mailchimp have garnered significant growth over the last five years. Are they going to take us to the next level? I think they can push everyone to innovate.
  7. I’ve heard good things about Intelligent CRM by Avtex – which so far hasn’t partnered with Salesforce’s AppExchange.
  8. There are many others that aren’t even on my radar (yet)…


I’m disappointed that didn’t survive… I wish they’d continued with a shared platform and just made it better. The fact that it was free made it pretty cool too. I’m not investing in any of the above at the moment, but I’m curious to see how this plays out and what innovations are to come.

I’m not the expert on this topic. I’m just another user of the products that is trying to understand how it is shifting. Per usual, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

It’s time to grow faster~ Drew



Time to Purchase a Sales CRM?

23 Aug

Customer Relationship Management

The short answer is, YES.

Last year, Salesforce, the largest sales CRM provider, grew their revenue by 26%. Companies are getting on board with CRM’s earlier than ever. If you are a small company in a growth stage, I would strongly recommend that you implement a basic program like Salesforce immediately. I honestly don’t have a strong opinion about the best CRM – there strengths to all of them and I’ve consulted within many business using different programs. 

Here are 3 resources for investigating the software that works best for your business:

We can’t afford it right now. They aren’t that expensive relative to other software purchases and there are many options at a reasonable price. A business with 2-3 users can find a basic SaaS CRM for less than $100 a month.

Our business is too small. I’m amazed at how many companies are still using Excel or another type of spreadsheet! If you only have two people selling inside your business there is a daily need to share information on prospects and customers. Simply put, you are never too small for a sales CRM.

My salespeople don’t like using it. Too bad – it’s a part of the job in 2018. It won’t slow them down and, in fact, should help them with pipeline management and efficiently sharing information with colleagues and management.

If your sales team is battling you on using a sales CRM, then you have some training ahead of you. Technology isn’t a burden, it’s a necessity… and this expands way beyond the use of a CRM. More selling than ever is happening via email, social media and eCommerce and not on the telephone or in person.

As a manager, the sales CRM will provide you with better visibility to customer/prospect analytics, pipeline revenue, real-time insights and long-term forecasts. With the ability to automatically convert your current information, it’s a much easier implementation than you realize.

If you are putting this off, bite the bullet and get this in place before the end of the year. Or how about tomorrow? Let me know if you have any specific questions that I can answer regarding purchasing and implementing a sales CRM. 

Forward, never straight~ Drew

It’s time to grow faster.


8 Tools for Sales Jedi Knights

3 Apr

Belt prototype

“You must unlearn what you have learned.” –Yoda

A few years ago, I came up with the idea of the Sales Jedi Knight. He or she is so much more than just an aggressive extrovert with a good head on their shoulders (see an older post on Jedi Mind Tricks: A Sales Jedi Knight is always learning; they are both aggressive and patient; they listen with both their ears and eyes; they pay attention to the big picture as much as the nitty-gritty details; they embrace technology and relish the change ahead – and thus, the Sales Jedi Knight was born (at least in my head). This is the salesperson of the future whom Blue Octopus is always seeking!

Beyond the light saber, Jedi Knights always carry a few pieces of technology in their tool belt. Similarly, Sales Jedi Knights must be equipped with a few items of their own to help make their life run a little smoother. Today, I’d like to offer you some ideas that can make a big difference!  

Every Sales Jedi Knight should be using:

    1. Two Monitors: About three years ago, I set up a second monitor at my desk. If I could clear the left side of my desk, I would add a third monitor. Your average flat screen monitor costs about $100 – what are you waiting for? I don’t know how I ever worked without this setup.
    2. A Headset: I began using a headset at my desk many years ago. The delight of simply having both hands free! Even better, once people see it on your head, they tend to leave you alone so you can focus on getting to your prospects and clients (and out of the office by 5:00!). I’m still looking for one with a light on it (to show you are on a live call). Send me your suggestions!
    3. A Bluetooth: I’m not encouraging you to drive and talk – but if you must, please get a Bluetooth for your cell phone. What about using it on that walk to the car? How about during your time in between appointments? Or as you walk around the office? I would highly recommend a LG HBS700 headset (which also works great for listening to music).
    4. A Silent Keyboard: Most laptops will accomplish this but often you are probably at a PC. For $20-30 you can get a 4-5 star silent keyboard on Amazon.
    5. Voicemails to Email: If you aren’t currently using a voicemail system that converts your messages to texts or emails, it’s definitely time to consider this. I use Google Voice for free.
    6. A Loaded Cell Phone: Ladies and gentlemen, it ain’t just a telephone. It’s really a computer in your pocket. As much as you need a laptop or tablet, you need a cell phone loaded like its your old PC. Download Salesforce or your CRM (mainly for contact look up), social media apps like LinkedIn and anything related to software that you need to access at work. I also use four cloud storage drives in order to share documents that I’m using between my iPad, desktop computer and cell phone: OneDrive, Dropbox, Cubby and iCloud (all free with at least 1 Gig of storage). And don’t forget about your camera – it’s essentially a scanner so you can photograph receipts and documents as a backup option – or a way to get rid of the paper altogether. I try to download and try one new app every week. Share your favorites with me!
    7. An Assistant: Ha – a real administrative assistant isn’t in the budget?! For $10 an hour you could hire an assistant in India who can be doing your research, correspondence, documentation, proofing and more while you are sleeping. I’ve used virtual assistants to recruit for me when in a pinch and to set up appointments for me. Google “virtual assistant India” and interview a few companies.
    8. A Streaming Media Player: This is a fun one. For $35 you can get a Google Chromecast HDMI plug that can transfer anything from a phone, tablet or laptop to a larger monitor. Need to run a presentation on the overhead? Want to unwind to a Netflix movie back at the hotel? You are going to like this dongle! If you aren’t a Google fan, here are some other options for accomplishing this:

Other than a Virtual Assistant, my list above will cost you less than $300. Put something new into your work week. Good luck Jedis!

Make every day count!

~Drew Schmitz

Twitter: @drew_schmitz

Spring Cleaning!

14 Mar


Happy Spring America!

Spring is only a few days away and it may be time to take on a couple extra steps to increase your efficiency and lower the stress. I am taking on a broader topic today, but think it’s a universal issue for those of us in the rat race. Come this time of year, I’m always a little frustrated with the clutter that begins to rise up at my desk, in my car, and around the house. So my list below are a few practical items I’ve dramatically improved in March and I’m challenging you to consider doing the same over the next month:

1. Email and Paper –  get rid of it:

Toss (Delete), Refer, File or Act on it. It’s simple, but why do you always have 50 items in your inbox at the END of the day? Why doesn’t that stack of paper on your desk ever dwindle? Counterintuitive to eliminating the paper, I print up my action items that take more than five minutes. When I complete them, I recycle the 8 & 1/2 x 11. My inbox was empty this morning. It works for me – what is your system?

2. Phone Calls – finish them:

Are you always a phone call or 10 behind? I also print up the people (Outlook contact) who I need to call (both personal and professional calls). I carry that piece of paper around until I’ve at least left them a message. Sometimes it fits into the time I’m driving or sometimes it lingers a few days, but it always irritates me enough to make the call. If it’s important, why haven’t you called your mom this week?

3. Goal List – check them off:

Both big and small goals need to be written down somewhere. Not necessarily with a pen these days… Where are your short and long term goals written? Are they moving forward? Centralize them into one master list (my weekly goals are always on my calendar). Again, what’s your system for moving them forward a little faster this year?

4. Recharge the brain – it needs to happen daily:

All is for naught, if you don’t smile today. Great – so your inbox is empty, you have no one to call, and you are aggressively checking off your goal list. Do your days include small victories or a hobby? Exercise, read a good book, eat your favorite meal for lunch, hang out with a friend, watch a movie… the list is endless. I’ve talked to many people who ignore this “category” for many weeks and they are stressed beyond belief at that moment. Charge thy battery daily (and if you aren’t accomplishing it, put “recharge the brain” on the daily goal list).

Make it a great day~ Drew Schmitz


Win the Sales War

9 Jan


WIN THE SALES WAR: The National Sales Executive Association conducted a survey on how many sales you can get depending on how many times you contact your prospects. Their statistics show that most sales are made from the 5th contact through the 12th contact. Here is the data they have compiled about on which prospect contact the sale is made:

  • 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact
  • 3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact
  • 5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact
  • 10% of sales are made on the 4th contact
  • 80% of sales are made on the 5th – 12th contact

With these statistics in mind, structure the mix of your calls to maximize success. The first calls require 50 attempts to succeed while fourth contact calls require only 10 attempts to succeed. Follow-through drives results.

Win the sales war! Persistence is the #1 ingredient.

Make it a great day~ Drew Schmitz


Software Sales 2013

3 Jan


Good Day America!

I’m writing today after a long pause (yes, I get overloaded too!) to shift my sales focus in 2013 to software sales. I have been working in the software field – selling and recruiting for the past three years. Going forward, I’d like to isolate my blog exclusively to this niche to attract anyone interested in that conversation.

Questions to be asked and answered in blog posts ahead:

  • Cloud software – to be or not to be? What’s that mean about all the rest?
  • In general as a salesperson, how do I sell this “stuff”?
  • How is selling software different than selling other goods and services?
  • What industries are hot in software in the U.S. today?
  • Where do you find a good salesperson?

My intention ahead isn’t to sell me, but to communicate with you and stay current on the latest trends and sales topics in the software field. We perform an amazing service! There’s a lot of great software out there but not enough great selling organizations and salespeople. I vow to continue to keep it personal and lively as well, so stay away from those dull posts and please ride along with me!

Make it a great day~

Drew Schmitz