When you think about your CRM software and how it relates to your sales process, you likely immediately think of how your sales staff uses contact management features. Or maybe you think about how CRM automates certain functions of the sales process, easing the load of your sales staff.
But, how can CRM software be used as an effective tool for better sales management for your small business? How can your sales manager use CRM tools to best advantage?
While answers to those questions are many, turn your focus to just two of the areas where CRM software enhances the ability of your sales manager. They are: monitoring of your sales staff and sales forecasting.
1) Better Management Through Monitoring
Though it is not the function of your sales manager to micro-manage each sales person at all times, it is necessary that he/she be aware of the performance of team members as well as the issues that they might be facing. How does CRM software help your manager to stay on top of things?
Burnout Busting Strategy
Think about the issue of sales person burnout. Good sales people try to project a positive, enthusiastic attitude. And sometimes, this outward projection masks a problem lurking below the surface. Likely, your sales manager, sharp though he or she may be, might not see the early warning signs of sales person burnout just by looking at the outward appearance of a troubled sales person.
This is where CRM software can help. With metrics like sales numbers and customer interaction figures, your sales manager can watch for signs of burnout more carefully. Keeping an eye out for diminishing effectiveness can help your sales manager discern whether the problem is widespread, or confined to a single sales person. Then, appropriate action can be taken, whether in the form of an organizational change in the case of system-wide sales declines, or in the form of private help and support provided to a single salesperson in the case of a marked decrease in that sales person’s performance.
The goal of your sales manager is to support and nurture your sales team into giving its best day after day. By carefully looking at the metrics pertaining to individual sales performance, your manager can discern the individual strengths and weaknesses of team members. This enables your manager to assign tasks to bolster weaknesses and accentuate strengths.
For instance, suppose your sales manager sees that a particular sales team member has more success with cold calling than with nurturing leads long-term. Shifting that employee to cold calling might be just the thing to boost his/her morale. Reports generated by your CRM software can help your manager find the right job assignments for each sales team member, contributing not only to the individual well-being of one team member, but also to the overall strength of the sales team as a whole.
2) Better Management Through Accurate Forecasting
Because your CRM system is a centralized base of information for all your sales-related processes, your sales manager has access to all the tools needed to stay organized and up-to-the-minute with the sales pipeline.
Think of all that your sales manager must keep track of every day. He/she must be aware of each sales team member’s activities, current sales projects, upcoming sales opportunities with current and future clients, management initiatives, product development, marketing strategies, and so on.
CRM software enables your sales manager to clearly see the total sales picture and also to drill down to more detailed information through robust reporting capabilities. It provides answers to your sales manager to questions such as:
- What percentage of total sales comes from product Y?
- How many current deals are we working on that are expected to close by the end of the quarter or the fiscal year?
- Where are our best leads coming from?
- Are there weak points in our sales funnel?
- What are our current conversion rates?
The answers to these questions help your sales manager make more accurate forecasts regarding both the immediate and long-range sales projections for your company.
Additionally, metrics captured with your CRM software inform your sales manager’s decisions regarding current sales processes and how performance might be enhanced or improved.
More Than Just a Contact List
There are, of course, many other ways that your sales manager uses the wealth of data captured by your CRM system. If you would like a demonstration of other top advantages of CRM for sales management, please contact us to begin your free, 30-day trial.
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