Sales platforms continue to be the topic of our Sales Performance Management interview series. Moreover, Mario Pufahl, CSO at ec4u, will explain the advantages of standard solutions over individualized solutions.
“Nowadays, companies are using standard solutions.”
The transcript of the interview part “tools”:
What are the different sales platforms?
There are various modern sales platforms with functionality playing a crucial role. I’d like to mention CRM first because it allows you to display the “classic” versions of marketing, sales and service. The marketing automation platform is also helpful in displaying marketing and sales processes online.
You can also build dashboards with BI-tools. In sales, a variety of applications can also be implemented into these platforms.
Online-meetings are important sales tools as well. You can work collaboratively with Skype for Business or GoToMeeting, for example.
Sharepoint should be mentioned or any another storage version in the form of sales’ knowledge.
Various companies offer apps and systems with these functionalities. One of the most popular providers is Salesforce. With Microsoft, you have a strong integration of the office-world. Oracle is currently a very strong contender with Eloqua regarding marketing automation but there are others waiting in line. Marketo, for example, is another supplier that you can use for marketing automation. The German company SAP has also still a strong market presence with Hybris. Furthermore, you can choose “hidden champions”, like SugarCRM or Update.
Why should you use standard solutions?
Individualized solutions are a thing of the past because of their disadvantages:
They are very expensive
You are dependent on your employees
It is hard to scale them
And most of all, these solutions require too much time in a market that is rapidly changing. Hence, the requirements that you’ve decided on two years ago are already outdated by the time they are implemented, unless you have a very strong IT.
Therefore, companies have come to use standard solutions. These standards are implemented in modern cloud tools by hundreds and thousands of developers due to the rapidly changing market which would make it unaffordable for a single company.
Hence, the trend goes towards cloud solutions. Since the solution runs externally, you should preferably have intern experts for quality assurance. Since modern on-premise-solutions also have additional hosting costs, cloud solutions offer another advantage in reduced costs overall.
Using standards or being close to the standard is therefore the right path. You can also define standards to allow modifications, so that you can use the standard options of the standard tools to individualize your own processes.