How Sales Managers Can Use CRM Data to Improve Sales Activity

Shutterstock_184756136Salesforce CRM can give sales managers the power to own and gain total visibility into the sales process. How? Comprehensive data on prospects, current customers, ongoing deals, pipeline, and revenue forecasts is available in a single consolidated place.

Sales managers can gain insight into the performance and trends of their sales representatives, as well as understanding customer, regional, and marketplace trends.

Used effectively, Salesforce benefits other parts of the organization, from product management and revenue management to corporate strategy and marketing teams. 

Why It Starts with the Sales Team

Achieving success with Salesforce starts with the sales team. There is a distinct need for data to be continually entered and processed into Salesforce. This allows for near real-time monitoring of sales activity and performance. While some of this data can be engineered to be entered automatically from lead generation forms or other types of web-based content, sales activities like calls, meetings, and signed contracts often need to be entered manually. 

The bottom line is that high performing sales reps want to make sales, not spend their whole morning entering data into Salesforce. Techniques such as an incentive point-based system and report generation allow sales managers to gain greater insight into the sales process and enable the sales reps to do their job more effectively.

Convert Sales Reps Activity into Data

The more data integrated into Salesforce, the more effective a sales manager can perform. This includes gaining insight into customer issues or priority deals, visualizing trends, understanding advanced forecasting or providing coaching and support to sales reps. One solution to have sales reps enter more data into Salesforce is a weekly point system. 

A point system is an incentive-based, competitive tool that goes beyond closed revenue competition and creates incentives for sales reps to enter their comprehensive sales activities into the Salesforce system. Fundamentally, people that work in sales like competition. A weekly points system allows Salesforce to be used as a scorecard.   

Points are calculated against completed tasks/activities. An example system could include:

  • Email to prospect/lead = 0.5 point
  • Outbound call = 1 point
  • Competitive analysis activities (pricing, etc.) = 1 point
  • Salesforce login rate about X% = 2 points
  • Opportunity reports: 2 points
  • Meeting (conference call) = 5 points
  • Meeting (face-to-face) = 6 points
  • Demo = 8 points
  • Signed contract = 20 points

Sales managers can create as many points as needed to fully capture the activity of their sales reps. At the end of the week, simply add up the points to see who wins. A minimum weekly point total can be very useful. If a sales person doesn’t meet the minimum, the sales manager can take appropriate action, including coaching. Overall, a points system creates friendly competition, incentivizes entering data into Salesforce, and ensures that the sales reps are generating revenue.

Use Reports to Effectively Measure Sales Activity

Weekly and monthly reports can help a sales manager evaluate Salesforce adoption by their sales team, improve the quality of the data entered into Salesforce, and ultimately, allow the sales manager to more effectively measure sales activity. Reports that list each opportunity added within a specific time period enables sales managers to better visualize the funnel. 

Sales managers can include reports into the weekly points system. Example reports include:

  • New opportunities added past week/month
  • Opportunities set to close past week/month
  • Opportunities past due (by one week/two weeks/month)
  • New accounts and contacts added past week/month

Sales Managers Perform Better with Data

Ultimately, sales is a numbers game. Activity monitoring, reports, and metrics will hold a sales team accountable, enable more accurate forecasts, and provide insight into win/loss analysis. As a tool, Salesforce becomes more robust with more data integrated into the system. An optimized Salesforce creates better decision support for managers, data points on coaching for sales team members, advanced forecasts, more effective dashboards on sales goals, lead management analysis, opportunity management analysis, and activity management analysis.

For sales reps and team members, a robust Salesforce offers better visibility into customer information, easy account planning, better time management, performance reports and dashboards, selling trends, opportunity forecasts, and increased ease of collaboration. All of this helps sales managers more effectively measure sales activity.

About the author:

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 8.26.29 AMGary Galvin is a consultant, sales leader, and CEO of Galvin Technologies, which is a Salesforce Consulting Partner known for creating solutions that increase revenue and improve business processes. Galvin Technologies focuses on using technology to provide a personal and consistent experience that turn prospects into life-long clients. Galvin leads the direction of the company while focusing on new customer acquisition. You can follow Galvin at @gary_galvin or on LinkedIn.

 

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