An effective sales process relies on the sales manager’s ability to use data to analyze the performance of their sales reps, appropriate resources to achieve set goals, coach their sales team to sell, and optimize sales moving forward. Without structured, consistent, and up-to-date data however, it is nearly impossible to make the important decisions reliably.
That’s where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software – such as Salesforce.com – comes in as an essential tool to help sales managers…
Forecast More Accurately
CRMs provide systematic reporting of multiple different inputs that enable sales managers to more accurately forecast revenue. Instead of spending hours working in Excel spreadsheets and waiting for weekly or monthly reports, managers can easily track the information needed to generate scalable, predictable revenue. Each opportunity should be logged in the CRM with relevant information such as deal size and expected close date.
As reps become better trained on which fields to enter and how frequently and specifically to do so, the reports will become even more accurate. These reports can then be generated and analyzed in real-time, preventing a bottleneck and dependable, factual sales metrics to base sales forecasts on.
Manage Both Deals and Sales Reps
With such a high level of calls and activities occurring on your sales team throughout the day, it is difficult to keep track of each account and the respective reps in charge. Without being aware of interactions or updates, there is no basis from which to draw influential decisions and provide support and coaching for individuals on your team.
Information updated into opportunities allows sales managers to generate reports containing variables such as deal amount, close date, stage, and probability. These fields help managers prioritize certain deals or accounts. It also categorizes these data points individually so a manager has the data to indicate when a sales rep is underperforming and requires more training, or to acknowledge achievements.
Produce Reliable, Actionable Insights
Historical data accumulates and collaborates with real-time data to create trending analysis and benchmarks that were once previously based purely upon speculation. Instead of looking at data on a quarterly basis and making decisions based on the results generated, managers can analyze the trend and key performance indicators to produce new and reasonable goals for both the short and long term.
These reports can also highlight where the inconsistencies are. If one quarter is not producing the results you expected or is off-track from the previous quarters, it is easy to drill-down to see what the root cause of these issues are. This ability to easily drill-down allows issues to be tackled instantaneously in a more effective system, rather than getting a report a month later when it is too late to fix the problem.
This trending data also allows for sales managers to better direct their reps toward the deals that have the highest probability of closing, based upon the deals that have previously been successful for the companies. By staying within their sales ‘strike zone,’ they can spend less wasted effort on the types of opportunities that historically have not closed at a high rate.
Sales Managers that effectively utilize a CRM system can truly seize control of the reins and take ownership over their sales process. With total transparency and instant visibility into to all their customers and reps in one place, Sales Managers can stay on top of emerging trends, identify when a deal or a rep needs a little extra help, fix issues as they arise, and make data-driven decisions that positively impact the bottom line.