To my bretheren in outside sales, I absolutely urge you to take a look at HubSpot's CRM (it's free by the way!).
We all move from job to job, no matter our success over our career (we get bored, not challenged, unachievable quotas - yes, read that sales leaders, etc.) and one thing we always seem to bring with us is the elusive PST file. I can't tell you how many friends have asked me over the past year, "How do I get a PST on a MAC and I'm using Google as our email service provider?".
It eventually dawned on me that a PST (while useful) is COMPLETELY outdated. While not necessarily HubSpot's intended use case you should absolutely, 100%, without question, create your own HubSpot CRM account. Think of this as your black book of black books. Yes, the sales prevention team in legal might find out, but just tell them that the Salesforce instance you're using is worthless and that you still have to send an excel spreadhseet to your manager (or at least review one) every week and that this is a tool you use to ehance the customer experience and accelerate your deals.
So what's the catch of me speaking so loudly on it? A lot!
- As an outside sales rep, not only did I hate Salesforce (i.e. it added no value and had lots of data entry), but in 12 years of using it, I can say it added ZERO value to me other than keeping a manager off my back on a Friday or Monday (depending on the cadence of forecast calls). Even as a sales manager I could never reliably count on the data because there were reps like me. In god I trust, all others must bring data. Maybe I was using it wrong?
- While I've always been pretty consistent on foldering email conversations and segment based on the customer / prospect account (thanks Tony DeGeorge for teaching me that so early on in my career), searching and finding the relevent emails I always had to go back and look for was always cumbersome.
- It provides a timeline of events (and email history) which I find incredibly valuable vs. scouring through my email history.
- It has a more elegant way of tracking deals (IMO) than Salesforce and since it's your instance, you can decide which fields you want to be mandatory versus in Salesforce; just to create a very early stage opportunity can take time if you have 20 fields to fill out. A lot of friends (including myself) were guilty of waiting until an opportunity was pretty baked before putting it into Salesforce because they / I knew I had to fill out a lot of meaningless (to me, at least) fields and I was always running 100 MpH. So instead of relying on your own spreadsheet to track early stage opportunities, you can do this within HubSpot's CRM.
- If you combine the CRM with HubSpot Sales (pay the $50 / month for the paid version and expense it), you get all kinds of deeper insights and tools to advance and automate some of your follow up with prospects and customers.
- You can now get insight into when the best time to engage each prospect or customer based on analytics from Seventh Sense.
If you want a better tracking mechanism in your sales process, better insight on your existing and prospective customers, awesome tools and the black book of black books that will follow you; sign up - it's free and you'll love it! And if you play your cards right, you might be able to convince your sales leadership to start using it to make your life easier too.