By Nikolaus Kimla
Sales and marketing professionals are so bombarded with data and information today we need technology to help us sort it all out. One powerful aid to that mission is visualization – simply because the mind processes visual data many times faster than written or verbal data.
This makes sense. Going all the way back in humankind’s evolution, before written words, we communicated with pictures and symbols. All the recorded history we have of our earliest civilizations – Egypt is a prime example – is in pictures and symbols. (When one thinks of ancient Egyptian symbols, one of the first that comes to mind is surely the eye symbol we see everywhere.)
We are now coming to the point when visual communication is once again of prime importance. In the technology space, there are now even graphical databases containing visual data. At Pipeliner CRM, everything we do falls under the tagline of “Instant Dynamic Visualization.” Why do we feel this is important? Because, in management – or even as a user – you don’t have a lot of time. When data is represented visually, you can absorb it much faster. The more information we can make easier to understand quickly, the better for sales and marketing teams to function effectively and efficiently.
Impact on Use of Data
Visualization brings a tremendous impact to technology. We are doing everything possible for technology users to obtain the right information at the right time and in the fight form, so it can be immediately understood.
The human being – the user – must make a decision from that visualized information. As an example from CRM, the information might mean there aren’t enough opportunities in the user’s pipeline for them to meet their sales quota. The user can then do something about it. The faster they have the data, the faster they can make a decision – and, perhaps, even be proactive about making positive changes.
Visualization runs deep in the user experience. Proper visualization brings, as we’ve already covered, rapid and thorough understanding. Beyond that, our unified visual navigation – used throughout the Pipeliner CRM system – means a user only has to learn something once, and it can be applied everywhere.
Importance of User Experience
User experience is crucial, and has a direct bearing on CRM adoption. Given the sometimes considerable expenditure from a company for a CRM application, the ROI for that expenditure cannot be recovered if users won’t utilize CRM.
According to a recent report from Forrester, “Riding the Next Wave of SaaS CRM,” 49 percent of buyers are satisfied with their SaaS solution – compared with only 34 percent of users.
We’ve known since the very beginning of our product’s life –as a result of our initial research – that user satisfaction and adoption were key to the success of any CRM. Hence we’ve made user experience, through Instant Dynamic Visualization, the top priority for our development.
Setup and Administration
Another key finding from the Forrester report was that CRM users are most frustrated by their complicated CRM, and nearly half find training on the system insufficient. Pipeliner’s powerful visual simplicity also means Pipeliner can be deployed and trained in a fraction of the time of other CRM applications – user training is often completed in several hours (not days or weeks as in the case of traditional CRMs).
As for administration, the powerful simplicity of our system has rendered a full-time administrator unnecessary. Just as the cloud has meant companies no longer need to employ a full, expensive IT department to service the company’s computing needs, so it happens that Pipeliner has eliminated the need for a full-time CRM administrator. This greatly reduces a company’s risk, just as the cloud has eliminated the risk of relying on in-house IT personnel.
CRM administrator training has also been slashed, and can now be done in about five hours on anyone with a bit of computer literacy. Once completed, administration is a very part-time job.
But today, and into the future, the administrator – as well as the sales manager and salesperson – will rely on visualization to help them learn faster and better. This is one reason we produce the most visual CRM solution in the world. But the other (and far more important) reason is that the future is entirely visual.
Nikolaus Kimla is the CEO of Pipelinersales Inc., and the mastermind behind the development of Pipeliner, a revolutionary sales CRM software.