What is evolutionplan Systemhaus?
Evolutionplan Systemhaus provides training and consultancy support to help B2B companies improve their sales process.
Working mainly in the IT, manufacturing, and renewable energy sectors, the company provides coaching and tools to help customers introduce an effective, results-driven sales process. In particular, they help customers answer three big sales questions:
- How can you get in contact with your target customers to generate qualified leads?
- How can you reduce the cost of sale while raising sales productivity?
- How can you direct leads and prospects while keeping your salespeople responsible?
The end result is that customers benefit from a complete sales solution. This combines the training and coaching of salespeople and managers to help them become more effective at sales and achieve their plans, along with the introduction of three key methods. These are:
- HubSpot for the marketing/campaign/lead generation phase
- Pipeliner CRM for realistic planning around CRM software and achievable sales results (evolutionplan Systemhaus is now a Pipeliner reseller)
- Salespreneurship® for keeping salespeople responsible for achieving their goals and providing a new way of sales management and leadership
Chris Sudergat is the co-founder and managing director:
How did your background with CRM inform your decision to use Pipeliner?
My co-founder, Oliver Wegner, and I have over 20 years experience within international sales roles in the B2B environment. In the last five years, I’ve worked as a B2B sales consultant focused primarily on the IT industry. Along with Oliver, I’ve been responsible for a number of international roll-outs with SAP CRM, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and more. This varied experience and my involvement in a huge number of projects in the CRM area has given me an invaluable insight into why projects fail, which I draw upon to help my clients.
We found that in nearly every roll-out, the absence of user acceptance was the main factor that put the project at risk. This is one of the reasons we now use Pipeliner. That’s because user acceptance is one of the biggest success factors of this tool because the software genuinely supports salespeople with their daily business. Pipeliner is the best tool I have ever seen. It’s extremely easy to configure and the first tool which shows me reliable results.
What were the triggers that made you explore a new pipeline management tool?
In our role as B2B sales consultants we’ve always been looking for a tool that supports the daily sales business. Despite there being a huge choice on the market, finding the right piece of software was not easy. We’ve been involved in a lot of projects over the years, and we’ve seen so many CRM initiatives fail, so we’re aware of the common pitfalls and had an idea of the features and functionality that we were looking for. We’ve found that the two main factors for implementing a successful CRM system are user acceptance and the ability to create reliable targets. That’s because these bring benefits to all levels of the business.
What are some ways Pipeliner enhances your sales management process?
One of the very best things about Pipeliner is the fact that we can build our exact sales process into the software. This is an incredibly valuable feature for us. As you can imagine, we’ve improved our sales process over the years because we’ve been in this business for so long. So having access to CRM software that allows you to input your own pipeline (instead of being constrained by a predefined template) was fantastic. In addition, to configure Pipeliner according to our own process was an effort of just 30 minutes.
What was the “aha” moment when you realized that Pipeliner was right for you?
Back in December 2013, a sales rep working for a really big IT company tested Pipeliner. After using the software, he asked us whether he could buy a single license for himself. We were intrigued by this and wanted to know why he was willing to personally pay for this software himself. He told us that his company would need another one or two years before they could implement a CRM system. He wasn’t willing to wait that long and after using Pipeliner for a short time; he realized that he couldn’t live without it anymore because it made his job so much easier.
This conversation was the “aha” moment. After all, if a sales rep is willing to pay for a license himself because it helps him to do his daily work, then we knew that we’d found the right product – and our experience of using it ourselves, along with all the great projects we’ve won over the last six months, proves this.
Pipeliner is the first sales tool that we’ve seen that really supports sales organizations through all levels. The system only takes between two to three working days to set up, which compared to all the other systems we know is an extremely small investment.
How have things changed in your business since you started using Pipeliner?
One of the biggest benefits is that Pipeliner helps us to stay focused.
The software provides us with an excellent overview of all our opportunities. It´s not “activity driven” like all the other CRM tools that we’ve seen so far. Instead, it´s process and result driven, which is far more valuable for driving sales (and ties in with what we want to help our customers achieve for themselves).
With Pipeliner, we know exactly where we are, what comes next, and how we will end up at the end of this year. Can you show me any other tool that gives you such an excellent answer and insight into all your business needs?
How would you describe your personal sales philosophy?
I talk a lot about Salespreneurship®. This means that salespeople need to act like real businesspeople and use their entrepreneurial skills to find leads and create quality solutions that can help nudge prospects further along the pipeline to a close.
I also believe that to be a successful salesperson you need to find the right solution for your prospects. In practical terms, this means we sell exactly what the customer needs to solve a problem – not less and not more. It’s a little like Pipeliner CRM’s own philosophy – just the right amount of customization, not too much.
In your opinion, what do salespeople need to do to be successful in the new sales era?
I believe that salespeople need to change their minds. The main question today is not how we sell. It is more about how customers buy. This affects all sales areas and it also means that Salespreneurship® is a mind change in sales as well as in management.
What are the sales tools that you rely on to run your business?
My phone, my PC, the Internet, and access to my HubSpot and Pipeliner account. That´s all I need.