Boost Sales, Productivity And Forecasting Accuracy With The Right Technology

CRM and ERP solutions that are used consistently and effectively by sales teams have both far-reaching and measurable effects on the overall success of a Sales Organisation.

CRM and ERP solution for sales

Question: Has your Sales Organisation implemented a CRM or ERP technology solution that has pipeline and forecasting scales aligned to your Sales Engagement Process, and is it effective in providing insights to assist sales managers and sales executives for pipeline management and forecasting?

The reality 

According to our research at ThinkSales Global, only 28% of Sales Organisations have implemented a CRM or ERP technology solution that has pipeline and forecasting scales aligned to their Sales Engagement Process.

In addition,27.9% of companies rate their confidence as Outstanding that their current CRM, ERP or technology solution is effective in providing insights to assist sales managers and sales executives in pipeline management and forecasting.

The ‘effectively using data’ problem

According to Salesforce.com. CRM applications can help increase sales by up to 29%, sales productivity by up to 34% and sales forecast accuracy by 42%.

The problem is that even though many organisations have a CRM or ERP solution in place, technology solutions are only as good as the data entered into the system.

This requires:

  1. The correct set-up to ensure your CRM pipeline stages reflect the stages in your sales process, and that your process is aligned to the commitments you need form customers
  2. Daily monitoring to ensure sales executives are capturing the correct information timeously

Are your sales executives using the tools available to them to increase sales and productivity, and are your sales managers monitoring the data inputted to increase forecast accuracy? Without these tools, you’re leaving opportunities on the table for your competitors to scoop up.

Manage and enhance what you measure

First, let’s begin with why your organisation is doing this: As we’ve seen, better data at everyone’s fingertips results in more sales, high productivity levels and increased forecasting accuracy.

In order for this to be successful, your end goal is a system that can be measured and managed. This will require your sales executives to provide you with data, and it will add processes and admin to their lives. They’re professionals, and this should be a part of their job.

To support the Sales Engagement Process that your Sales Organisation has designed and implemented, you need three key components:

  • Skills: Ensure your team has the knowledge and abilities to execute the various Activities within the process (coaching plays a big role here)
  • Tools: The technology and job aids that support both the Sales Activities
  • Metrics: The numbers that allow sales managers to set expectations and gauge success (and which form the basis of knowing where, and who to coach).

CRM and ERP covers both the Tools and Metrics that make a successful Sales Engagement Process achieve the desired results.

Your sales process stages should therefore be captured and monitored in your CRM sales pipeline. This will provide key and measurable insights on sales force activities and results.

A technology-supported view of your pipeline, aligned to your Sales Engagement Process enables managers to:

  • Ensure enough qualified opportunities are entering the pipeline
  • Detect risky or stalled opportunities
  • Identify patterns unique to individual sales executives where intervention and coaching is required
  • Improve forecasting ability

Sales leader’s toolkit

Metrics: Sales Engagement Process

  1. Sales executive adherence to Sales Engagement Process
  2. Number of deals in each phase of the process, captured into CRM
  3. Number of deals progressed to the next phases, captured into CRM
  4. % of stalled deals in each phase, captured into CRM
  5. % of lost deals per phase, captured into CRM

 Assess the health of your sales organisation

Implementing a CRM or ERP technology solution that has pipeline and forecasting scales aligned to Sales Engagement Processes, and is effective in providing insights to assist sales managers and sales executives for pipeline management and forecasting are two of 322 measures of a world-class Sales Organisation.

ThinkSales Global is a specialist revenue engineering consultancy.

We assist our clients to deliver market-defying results through strategic and tactical intentions within a Sales Organisation Maturity Model that addresses the five key pillars of high-performing Sales Organsations, namely:

  1. Competitive Strategy
  2. Customer Engagement
  3. Sales Talent
  4. Sales Management
  5. Sales Enablement

How does your Sales Organisation stack up? Find out by taking the ThinkSales 5 Pillar Strategic Sales Assessment™.

This first-of-its-kind 360-degree gap analysis report enables your Sales Leadership team to assess its strengths and detect weaknesses and impediments to revenue growth across the five pillars.

Click here for more information on the ThinkSales 5 Pillar Strategic Sales Assessment™.

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