/Aaron Ayer
Aaron Ayer

About Aaron Ayer

Aaron Ayer, founder of The Hunley Group, has built multiple marketing organizations as a chief marketing officer. His entrepreneurial, yet analytical, management principles offer fresh value to growth stage small companies and Fortune 500 businesses alike. Prior to founding The Hunley Group in 2010, Aaron had served as head of marketing for Hycrete, a CleanTech company funded by Mohr-Davidow and Rockport Capital. He came to Hycrete from a similar role at StrionAir, a building products company held by Carlyle Group, when it was sold to United Technologies / Carrier Corporation. He began his professional career as a nuclear submarine officer in the US Navy. Aaron received an MBA from Harvard Business School and holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri – Rolla. He is a registered Professional Engineer and a US Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional. An expert in CRM implementations and applications, Aaron has been a Salesforce.com consultant for over 10 years, including 6 Salesforce.com certifications.

The Hunley Group Blog: CRM Best Practices – Stop looking over your shoulder, and start driving from leading indicators

Using Lagging Indicators is Just Looking Over Your Shoulder Yay! You hit your sales bogie!  Big whoop; that was easy … to measure.  Because it’s all a done deal, and you know you have the win.  It comes out of the ERP database.  And man, that is traditional sales management - set a bogie, hire the rep, give them a phone, measure their sales performance.   Mission accomplished?  Gosh, we hope not.  Because all sales results can tell you is that you did win.  And if you’re in sales and marketing, you want to be measuring the things that tell you that you will win.  Next month, next quarter, and ideally, next year.  And most likely, you have a pretty good sense of what things a sales person should be doing that will lead to wins.   Looking Forward is What a CRM Should Help You Do Using a CRM right means looking forward to the right actions to take.  Then sales actuals can become more of a “well, of course, we hit the numbers” thing.   A well-architected CRM will help you excel at this. Have you clearly defined the sales activity strategy?  Do you need to build your channel?  Do you need to target new customers?  Do you need to more-deeply-penetrate existing customers?  Do you need to maintain where [...]

By |2020-06-01T20:28:33-04:00June 1st, 2020|Categories: Blog, CRM, General|0 Comments

The Hunley Group Blog: What can YOU do to drive CRM adoption?

What can YOU do to drive CRM adoption? You Spend Some Serious Coin; How Do You Get Your People Using It? Have you ever heard about (or seen!) a CRM getting launched - well designed, and with all the best intentions - and then it just … sits there. Mediocre adoption, nothing really happening. Guessing you have. Today, I had a client CEO ask me the sweetest question I’ve heard in a while, “OK, we’re launched. What can we be doing to drive the adoption of this thing?” First of all, if you have that level of commitment, all the way from the top, you’re destined for success. But second, you have a team that realizes that it won’t simply happen on its own. There’s work to be done post-launch. This is change management; you have to drive it home. (Check out one of our previous post on driving CRM adoption) Here’s How To Think About It Build a plan. Crawl, walk, run. Set expectations based on practicalities.   What do you expect to see in week 1? What do you expect to see in weeks 2 and 3? Month 2? Month 3? First, look for usage.  It would be best if you had an adoption dashboard that shows whether everyone is logging in, how often when they last did so. It should include [...]

By |2020-06-11T12:32:03-04:00May 17th, 2020|Categories: Blog, CRM|0 Comments

The Hunley Group Blog: Give them what they need: Real-time sales data visibility

DISAPPOINTED, BUT NOT SURPRISED   So many times a CRM is used as a management tool for reporting. Clients forget - or simply cannot get their heads around the need - to make it a productivity tool.   If you’re in the building materials business, with all its gloriously fragmented channels to market, the complexity of product lines, and the myriad choices that your customers have, useful data on sales is one of the most powerful tools you have. As a sales rep, you need solid and sound data, distilled for your needs, presented at your fingertips.   So while we’ve long past being surprised when we encounter a client who doesn’t acknowledge that integration of sales data into their CRM should be virtually priority number one, we’re still disappointed when we see it.   IT’S ABOUT EASY ANSWERS AND USEFUL INSIGHTS   Let’s imagine the top-of-mind questions that a CRM could answer for a sales rep:   How am I doing? Sales reps are incentivized by commissions. It stinks to have to wait till the end of the month (or quarter), after the fact, to get emailed a static report of sales results for a territory. Summary sales performance on the login home page is eye candy for a sales rep.   How are my accounts performing? Clicking into [...]

By |2020-04-05T20:35:36-04:00April 5th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Building Products, CRM|0 Comments

The Hunley Group Blog: Clean Data. What a concept.

Clean Data. What a concept. Well, There's really no such thing as a pristinely clean database is there? We’ve never seen one. How about CRM databases? A CRM is open-access for a lot of users, many of whom may ... let’s say ... not have too much discipline about what they put in. And you’re loading up website leads, trade show leads, list purchases, prospect databases, and countless other sources. So CRM databases over time can get really dirty. Let’s define “dirty“because that can mean a lot of things. Here are the usual suspects: Duplication. Big one. Companies, contacts, leads, etc. Non-standardized data, such as all-caps FIRST NAME or all lower-case, phone numbers without hyphens, Inc. and Incorporated, MA and Massachusetts, ZIPs in the Northeast US without a leading zero, etc. Missing data fields, such as blank phone numbers, ZIP but no City/State, no website, blank email address, etc. Incorrect data fields, such as invalid phone, ZIP, or email address, wrong company on contact, and on. Missing data records, such as incomplete lists of prospect companies or companies with no contacts. Mis-targeted data records, such a database full of prospects that are poor fits for your business. We’ve seen all ends of the spectrum here in terms of poor data hygiene, and many different mindsets for dealing with it. Clients [...]

By |2020-03-08T20:05:14-04:00March 8th, 2020|Categories: Blog, CRM, General|Tags: |0 Comments

The Hunley Group Blog: Building Products Manufacturers – Put your Dealer (Contractor) Locator on steroids

  Building Products Manufacturers - Put your Dealer (Contractor) Locator on steroids   If there’s anything ubiquitous about a building materials company’s website, it’s a dealer locator. (Or contractor locator. Or both. How about we just call it a “Locator” for this post?) Now, what would you like your Locator to do for you? Well, if you put in a postal code, you’d like it to return a list of the closest dealers or contractors closest? What else would you like? Let’s think about that for a minute; hmm ... Well, first you’d like that list to be current and accurate. You’d like to maintain the underlying database that gets polled to be easy. Or maybe even zero effort on your website. You’d like to be able to prioritize your best (or preferred) dealers & contractors so they show up first You’d like to rotate through those favorites so everyone gets a shot at the top You’d probably like to be able to let your contractors and dealers choose which ZIPs they show up in, not just which they’re closest to, since their shop might be pretty far from the chichi neighborhoods most likely to make big purchases. You’d like to let your customers connect directly with your partners, but have some control over knowing that they did You’d like [...]

By |2020-02-23T19:41:12-05:00February 23rd, 2020|Categories: Blog, Building Products, CRM, General|Tags: , , |0 Comments
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