Sales skills you need to master

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in Behind The Scenes, Cloud Solutions for Business, Cloud Tutorials, Dynamics CRM Online | 0 comments

Springboard your sales metrics

Worried about sales? Not confident in getting your product or service out there? Our Account Manager, Lucy Bourne explores the range of sales skills you need to master to start reaching your target.

So sit back, grab a coffee and learn how to start boosting your monthly figures.

At Cloud2020, we’re always looking at ways that technology can boost the productivity of sales people: whether it be by something as simple as reminding them to call that hot lead or providing them with rich and valuable information on how their prospects have interacted with the business. The technology is all very well, but what about the actual skills that every sales person needs?

We look to the experts to arm us with this knowledge: Todd Cohen has coached and led sales teams to deliver over 500 million USDs worth ofrevenue for leading companies such as: Xerox, Gartner, Thomson–Reuters and Pensare. Cohen identifies the sales skills can be split into four different areas:

  • personal
  • relational
  • professional
  • return on investment

In this post, we’ll take a look at all o these areas:


Innate desire to sell

This one’s an easy one: it’s just like looking in the mirror. The attitude you give out to a customer reflects what you’ll get back: If you love to sell your customers will love you back. They’ll be far more less likely to buy from you if they can see you don’t like what you do. Positive attitudes are easily reflected in the sales scores.


Even if you’re already lucky enough to have the inbuilt desire to sell, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re passionate about it. Passion is tangible and your customers and your colleagues will be able to feel it when they’re around you. It also demonstrates that you’re engaged and interested, which shows you can bring value to your customers.


Having high energy levels won’t guarantee you reach your target, but it’s proven low energy won’t help you. Emotions are contagious and bringing the right energy to work affects your team’s morale. So, bring it!

Self – motivation

Just like you need a daily dose of coffee to start off your day, you need a daily dose of motivation to keep you going in the long term. Successful salespeople are able to overcome obstacles that happen when trying to close deals. If you want to do the same – it’s simple, just work out what drives you to sell, and visualise it. Why are you in this business?


It takes years to build trust and only seconds to break it. Credibility is the basis of doing business. The best salespeople are honest. They build trust, and do their best not to breach it. It also includes acknowledging mistakes and not blaming others.



Genuine humility is a strength that leads to success. People are more likely to buy from real, modest people who put a heart into their job. Arrogance doesn’t sell, confidence does.


Confident salespeople possess a natural comfort in dealing with others. Customers like to work with confident people, because they place a higher level of trust in them. The key to boosting your confidence level is to be comfortable with yourself, be engaged in the company you work for and believe in the product you sell.

Control your ego!

An oversized ego alienates you from your customers and colleagues, making it hard to create a collaborative environment. So don’t be too impressed with your own results and never let your ego be bigger than your skill set.

Build relationships

It’s much easier to buy from people we trust. To build trust, a salesperson needs to invest time in building a relationship with a customer. Closing a sale based on trust and a good relationship opens new opportunities and successful future sales.

Selling is becoming more and more about the relationships and trust that have been established than about products and solutions. You must create success through solid relationships and trust. These elements become your support system for tomorrow’s sales.


Building great relationships allows you to communicate easily with other teams in your company in order to close the deal. Once your product becomes more complex you may want to use their expertise.


Many of us love to hear ourselves talk. Other people? Not so much. If you’re willing to achieve success, don’t be a salesperson who talks without a break. You’re only repeating what you already know. When you listen, you can learn more about customers, their problems and their pain points that need to be solved.

Remember:  It’s easier to listen if you have planned a list of questions to ask before you go to the meeting or into the sales call. This way you can concentrate on listening to the customer, rather than thinking about the next question to ask.


Sometimes deals take time. And patience is not about just waiting, it’s about being able to keep a good attitude while waiting. One push too much and a customer can resign. With too much pressure, you’re not only killing your deal but your relationship as well. So don’t rush it. Let your deal develop, mature and only then close it.

Take responsibility

Personal responsibility is a component of all the skills we’ve talked about so far. You are the only person responsible for your success: not your boss, not your other half, just you. Your image, power, energy, the desire to sell and listening bring you closer to success.


Business acumen

When you lose your cool and emotions take over, sometime you can’t see the situation clearly. It’s never bee more important to maintain a professional demeanor and have the ability to assess a situation from all angles: is it a valuable deal for you? Is the prospect’s company in a good shape?

Work on your state of mind in order to keep your cool. A clear view allows you to asses the sales opportunity objectively.

Build your business plan and map exactly what you need to do

Whatever goals you have, you need to put a plan in place to achieve them. Successful salespeople know that even the best persuasion techniques work better with some planning behind them.

Your plan should include calls, emails, demos – whatever is needed to get the job done? How many of them do you need? When exactly in the sales cycle should they happen? Put a lot of effort on preparing that – consider using sales productivity tools like Springboard to automate this process to prevent making errors – we’re all human.

Hone your competitive streak

Competitive sales people know exactly their industry, the competition and exactly what they offer. What’s more, they are aware of customers specific needs (both visible and underlying) and use this knowledge to know which products and/or services are the best choice for the customer.

Ask for the order

You’ve worked hard to get the customer to the point where a buying decision can be made, but you haven’t closed the deal. Review each step you took:  does the customer know your product enough? If so, have you asked for the order?

Asking for the order is a natural part of the sales conversation. It’s all to easy to avoid asking the question due to fear of a refusal. Customer refusal can actually lead you to a better understanding of their needs. Follow Todd Cohen’s advice and ask yourself a question: “What is motivating your customer to back away from a commitment? Can you address those needs?”



Intelligence is a vital combination of common sense with a healthy quantity of knowledge that leads to make solid business decisions.

Intelligent salespeople understand the components of a sales cycle and are able to read all the signs during a sales process. They also understand the competition, industry and economy.

Ability to see the bigger picture

If you focus on making a sale you will make a sale and then you’ll be done. But if you focus on the customer and their pain points and needs, chances are you’ll keep them for life. Make sure you keep the bigger picture in mind and look beyond one deal into the years after.

Become a thought leader

Lack of knowledge is your weak point, while in fact it should be your power, be sure to have information on your customer’s industry at your fingertips to ensure that you become the “go-to” contact for advice. Be hungry for sector-specific information and ensure that you’re up-to-date and familiar with key trends. This way you’ll become the person that others come to for advice. According to Cohen:

You must sell with a perspective of your industry. Be able to talk intelligently about where your customer’s industry is going, about internet developments and chances that are likely to occur.

Desire to educate your customers

Compared to you, your customers probably know very little about your product – they usually don’t know even  half of the features that are available. As a result, you may find you need to explain everything to them like they were 12. And sometimes like they were 6 – which is totally fine and what’s better way to do it if not through a compelling story?

Commitment to career learning

It’s pretty easy to feel you’re the best at what you do when you have no understanding  of the mistakes you might be making.  The more we learn, the more we understand how much more is left to learn. We never know everything – the key is to appreciate we need to constantly learn new things and develop new skills. Learning is the key to growth in the IT industry.

Practice your craft until you master it

It’s not enough to simply just know these sales skills – we need to constantly consider them. Successful salespeople have practiced for years to  get to where they are, and the best bit? Many now use these skills without even thinking about it. You can get to this point too.

Practice your craft until you master it. Just like they did.

Need a tool to help you master these skills? Consider Springboard, a CRM solution for SMEs that encourages best practice, and drives sales. Chat on our site to find out how Springboard could work for your business.

Lucy @ Cloud2020

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How to Synchronise CRM Marketing Lists From Microsoft Dynamics CRM to MDM

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Cloud Tutorials, Dynamics CRM Online, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing | 0 comments

To enable your Marketing Lists created from within Microsoft Dynamics CRM to be available within Microsoft Dynamics Marketing (MDM), you first need to ensure the CRM connector solution is added to your CRM instance.

Once your connector solution is enabled, from the Nav Bar go to Settings>Solutions



Open your solution


Navigate to your Marketing List Form view


A new field named Sync Enabled will show in the field explorer, add this to you Marketing List Form.


Toggle the Sync Enabled field on your Marketing List to yes to synchronise your list with MDM.




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Proudly Announcing The Release of Springboard!

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Cloud Solutions for Business, Cloud Solutions for NonProfit, Cloud Tutorials, Dynamics CRM Online, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, Office365 | 0 comments


Springboard has been designed to provide rapid implementation and value. The powerful and flexible nature of MS Dynamics CRM often has clients unsure of where to start and that’s where Springboard comes in!

From our experience and knowledge of CRM software we have designed a new product aimed to assist SMBs and small companies. We have used our knowledge of CRM to come up with a pre-configured system that has the added ability to be customisable, giving business exactly what they need. With a scalable packaged product we will be providing business’s access to a CRM system with: a set price, integration with Office applications, quick deployment and sales automation to name just a few benefits.

Our aim is to make the benefits of CRM accessible to any organisation in any sector, whilst providing connectivity to external services like websites as well as integrating with a business’s current systems.

Register your interest here

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Windows 10 is HERE!

Posted by on Jul 29, 2015 in Behind The Scenes, Cloud Solutions for Business, Cloud Solutions for NonProfit, Cloud Tutorials | 0 comments

Get the best Windows ever

Ok, we know you didn’t love Windows 8… or 8.1, but now: we celebrate, Windows 10 is HERE.
Windows 10 is familiar and easy to use. It includes an improved Start menu and is designed to startup and resume fast. Plus, it’s packed with new innovations including Microsoft Edge – an all-new browser – personal files and apps you’ve installed will all be waiting for you. We’ve designed the upgrade to be easy and compatible with the hardware and software you already use.

Follow steps here to get started… for FREE.

Check if your machine is ready, read this

Don’t forget, you can always contact us for assistance.

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Join Cloud2020 for Future Decoded 2015 – Fully Booked

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Behind The Scenes, Cloud Solutions for Business, Cloud Solutions for NonProfit, Cloud Tutorials, Dynamics CRM Online, Events, Office365 | 0 comments

As a valued Cloud2020 customer, we’d like to invite you to this year’s premier Microsoft technology event: Future Decoded. The event will play host to 10,000 of the brightest Decision Makers, Developers and IT Pros from across UK and Europe.

Attendees will be taken on a journey to decode the future of business and technology whilst gaining tangible insights on making sense of the latest social and economic advancements.

There are two full-day events to choose from:

Tuesday 10th November: “The Business Day”  Click here for the Agenda and to find out more.
Wednesday 11th November: “The Technical Day” Click here for the Agenda and to find out more.

We’d be delighted if you could join the Cloud2020 team at either, or both!  We’ll also be announcing, a little closer to the time, Cloud2020 specific events which will give is the opportunity to thank you for your business.


In the meantime, please do get in touch if you want to discuss anything else.

Thanks for reading!

Lucy | Account Manager @ Cloud2020

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20 Awesome features of Office365

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Cloud Solutions for Business, Cloud Solutions for NonProfit, Cloud Tutorials, Office365 | 0 comments

We know many of you are already massive ambassadors for Office365 and the myriad features that are included but often I have clients say to me: “I don’t know what I don’t know!”

Well, this blog post aims to get over that issue – so, grab a coffee and take a few moments out to read our top 20 favourite AWESOME features of Office365… you won’t be disappointed!

Office 365 for Business offers many features (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc) that you maybe familiar with, plus additional tools to help you collaborate and be more productive. What does that mean? In short, Office isn’t now constrained to well, your office! From PC, Tablet to Phone you can access, edit, collaborate and save your files across devices and when on the go.


1. On or Offline Flexibility:

Yes that’s right you don’t have to be connected to the internet to use it. Use the available applications offline.

2. Unlimited Storage and Collaboration:

With the click of a button you can quickly and securely share files with people inside and outside your business with OneDrive for Business, from securely sharing and fine tuning a customer proposal to multiple people collaborating on the same presentation. That’s not all, Office 365 Business users get Unlimited OneDrive for Business Storage.

3. Notes to Never forget:

Create, read and share your notes across all your devices wherever you are with OneNote. For example, one person taking meeting minutes can share these automatically with all meeting attendees who can then view on whatever device they are using (See our favourite hacks for OneNote).

4. Capture and convert to digital:

Sketch your ideas and snap a picture for later. Don’t lose receipts or stray sticky notes again! Always find important documents or business cards. Office Lens is like having a scanner in your pocket. Like magic, it digitises notes of all kinds, even on whiteboards or blackboards.


Cloud2020 |Skype for Business

5. Professional Video Conferencing included:

As much as I’d like to use tech for EVERYTHING, I do appreciate that there will always be the necessity for Face to Face meetings, but sometimes time and costs mean these just aren’t viable. Skype For Business provides the flexibility for you to offer your customers/clients the option for a video conference where you can present, collaborate – do pretty much everything you would be able to do if you were face to face!

6. Instant Messaging (IM) and Presence:

We’re now able to quickly see who is available online and easily invite them to attend a meeting using the IM and Presence feature in Skype for Business, even if they are a normal Skype user.

7. Reply to Emails without opening them:

With Outlook in Office 365 you can reply in-line to emails without even opening the email. Helping you to quickly view & respond to messages without having to separately open up every email.

8. Never forget to attach a file:

Forgotten to attach a file? Not a problem, with Outlook in Office 365 for Business an automatic reminder will tell you before you send that important email to a customer.

(If you’re anything like me, you’ll see this notification 100s of times a day!

9. Calendar Peek:

Use the popular ‘peek trick’ in Outlook to glance at your calendar without moving away from the email or task you are working on.


Right! we’re half way… don’t give up now, I know there’s a whole bunch more features you’re just going to loveeee….


10. Resume on any device:

The resume reading feature in in Word allows you to pick up where you left off, even on a different devices! Word 2013 automatically bookmarks the last place you were reading…no loss in concentration.

11. Just Share:

You can share your documents online with people who don’t even have Office installed themselves. They have the option to view it in a browser with Office Online.

Check out this video to get started:

12. Create Professional Looking Documents:

Microsoft Sway makes it simple to create and share polished, professionally designed, interactive content such as presentations, sales documents, tenders, online sales and marketing materials (saving your business money not having to pay an agency). Business features include instant co-authoring, creation of interactive charts and the ability to embed Office documents (such as Excel charts and graphs).


13. Showcase Data:

The Auto chart feature in Excel makes designing charts and analysing your data easy as well as offering options to help you illustrate your data! Getting closer interpreting & taking action not just looking at data.

14. Ditch the Macro:

Since I was told about ‘Flash Fill’ I haven’t been able to imagine how I lived without it! This tool learns and remembers data calculations so you can populate the rest of your data as you go along with no need for complicated macros, retyping 100 lines or calculations…


5. AutoPivot:

Manage your accounts/reporting with Autopivot tables in Excel. With these you can summarise your data and analyse it quickly and effectively making your day to day finance and reporting tasks soooo much easier!

16. Prepping a Slick Pitch:

PowerPoint templates and alignment guides can help you intuitively design and style professional and unique presentations perfect for those pitches. Don’t forget to enable “Presenter mode” for the full power of ppts (read on for more!)

 17. Present/Pitch with Confidence:

Presenter mode in PowerPoint enables you to nail that pitch, by projecting your presentation in a customer meeting with clients seeing the presentation, but you seeing your own reading notes as well as which slide is next and how long you’ve presented for.

18. Tweak those docs on the move:

Save a presentation in OneDrive for Business or SharePoint online and then feel free to edit those last bits whilst on the move on your mobile device. And if your battery dies and you forget your charger, don’t worry, use another device to access your presentation and present from there…

19. Working on a project together? Collaboration Central:

With the web app co-authoring tool, a team of people can work on the same document at the same time, in a browser or in the local application – getting more done, together, quicker!

20. No more Squinting:

Can’t see that teeny data in the chart in a PowerPoint presentation? With Slide Zoom tool you can smoothly zoom in and out or diagrams providing emphasis to charts or graphics on any slide.

You made it! thanks for sticking with it, I sure hope you have got some tips on how to best use your Office365 tools.  (as many of you know, I could talk all day about these topics, but I’ve kept it as short as possible!)

Don’t forget, you can get in touch here if you have any questions. Thanks for reading! Lucy @Cloud2020



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