What’s in Your Sales Pipeline?

5 ways a CRM Can Help Manage Sales and Grow the Bottom-line (part two)

In part one of this article I outlined the five ways a CRM solution can assist in managing a sales pipeline. Let’s dig a little deeper into these areas.

Let’s Get Motivated

Most sales people are compared in one area, closed deals. After all this is where the rubber meets the road. Sales people are paid on the deals they close. Company revenues are impacted by this as well. There can be ups and downs in these results at any given time. Winners can look like losers depending on when the numbers are reviewed. How accurately can your business measure the total amount of volume a salesperson is managing in their pipeline? By using this as a measurement you can get a better vision of how well each sales person prospects, and how well they can turn a lead into a sale. A clear look at each sales reps pipeline can tell a more accurate story of how effective they are. Motivating reps using contests that include lead generation, number of opportunities in their pipeline and or accuracy of forecasting close dates can have a positive effect on the business and help drive more opportunities.

The Revenue Roller Coaster

Sales people like closing deals. Staying motivated to prospect for new sales is more difficult. It can become easy to put-off prospecting activities that build new business when the only thing management sees is the end result. When management has the tools to a monitor the pipeline of future business it can identify early on if a salesperson is not paying enough attention to prospecting. With this ability the business can address the issue before it starts to have a negative effect on company revenues. By having the ability to track all opportunities a business can do a much better job of smoothing out sales reducing off months and forecasting future revenue opportunities more accurately.

Where is the Money Coming From?

As mentioned above, forecasting future sales is imperative to the overall success of a business. The ability to view the sales pipeline can allow the company to accurately determine future demand for its products. This allows the company to staff correctly, and gives them the ability to do a much better job of managing their inventory. Inventory that is accurately managed is a tremendous way to increase revenue and reduce cost.

Clear the Way to Close Sales Faster

In a lot of businesses sales can get stalled, many times at the same point in the process. It can be hard to spot where a sale gets stuck without a clear view of all sales opportunities. A business might feel that they are doing well by closing 30% of their deals. What if you could see that 50% of deals stall once the proposal is delivered. This might point to the need to do a better job of qualifying a prospect. This allows you to avoid wasting time on leads that don’t have a budget and really don’t know what they want. It also allows the salesperson to focus on deals with a better chance of closing because a better job of qualifying was done. Microsoft Dynamics CRM does a very good job of providing the tools for pipeline tracking.

Increase Your Win Rate

In the same way you can close deals faster you can greatly improve your win rate with the use of a CRM solution like Microsoft Dynamics CRM. By breaking down the sales process into steps a rep can think about, the buying steps a customer has and align your sales process with the customers buying process. Because you have a clear view of this with a CRM you can do a better job managing the sales process and increasing the close rate. This is done because the CRM solution can provides the ability to analyze the sales in the pipeline and can help the sales rep overcome objections before they occur, moving the sale forward and avoiding the black holes that a sale could fall into.

Ramp Up

Pipeline management will constantly be an evolving process. Many business avoid this because it is nearly impossible to manage the data manually. What is known today about a potential sale can change in a heartbeat. Managing information in reference to lead generation and management as well as market penetration and pipeline management is daunting without using a CRM solution. With a CRM in place a business can quickly experience improvements in all aspects of their sales and marketing efforts. And that equals a healthier bottom-line.

Beringer Associates is a leading IT solutions provider specializing in CRM Solutions, CRM for Distribution, Managed Network Services, Unified Communications, and Internet Cloud Computing. We can help determine the best way to implement new technology, like a CRM  system, for your business.