The Sales Manager’s Pains
So what exactly goes through the head of the person responsible for the sales team?
Numbers, obviously, reaching goals, keeping the team on track, equipping the team, getting involved when the time is right, keeping superiors up to date, respecting budgets, steering placed “orders” to marketing, supporting new hires and coaching those who need it, rewarding smart moves and absorbing those that are not, simplifying processes and sharing his vision, establishing and adapting his strategy, analyzing results, planning, communicating, etc.
I’ve seen many sales team managers, who are terribly busy people, burdened by even more terrible responsibilities: the company’s commercial success!
They’re passionate, they inspire the people around them and always take the time to try and improve themselves. I’ve also always found it fascinating to talk about a book on the latest sales trends with someone who doesn’t even look like they really have a minute to spend on reading! But, they learn, search and find. So how do they find the time? I think of such people as informed investors. They know the value of time (that limited resource); they know how to optimize their planning and invest where the return will be the greatest. That’s why many of them have decided to adopt a CRM strategy, process and tool.
Proactive team management
Managers often have trouble providing the supervision and coaching that will help their team, since they are so busy trying to get the data they receive from various sources to “speak”. They don’t have a choice, how can they define guidelines, initiatives and strategies without analyzing the data?
Sales team managers want to ensure that sales efforts are optimally allocated. Is the team working on the “right” prospects? Does the team have enough opportunities to reach its goals? What is the total weighted value of the sales pipeline? Why does one vendor seem to be more successful than another? Despite the new hires, the entire team seems to be completely swamped, why?
Sales managers know that a disorganized sales team produces less, rather than more, results; that a cohesive sales process helps qualify prospects faster and more systematically, grow the sales pipeline, better understand and shorten the sales cycle and work on the “low hanging fruit”.
Adopting a sales process and applying a methodology require a major effort and budget that can be made to pay off faster if they are backed by a CRM solution. Built to support simple or complex business processes, the CRM tool will depend on the careful application of the sales process and will be able to measure its success and scope.
To keep in touch with his team’s reality, the sales manager often tries to get involved “on the ground”, but it’s hard for him to add value to a sales cycle if he has no access to the information once a week, at the sales meeting. So, the data are offset, and a pre-meeting is needed to provide some background before jumping in—precious time spent transferring information from one person to another, often orally, with no trace and no history.
Entering information directly into a CRM tool makes it possible to share the information, suggest an approach and exchange ideas with colleagues. In the blink of an eye, the sales manager can access the history of sales activities and the prospect’s business reality to focus on what counts: adding value to the sales cycle by supporting his team.
Better access to information
Managers know that the crux of the problem is access to information. The faster the data are available, the faster they will be able to make the right decisions. They often have to collect data from here, there and everywhere. They become experts in macros and other Excel functions—with the risks all that implies:
- not working with the right version of the file;
- data corruption and loss.
CRM tools let you structure the information so it is easier to access by reducing the risks of data loss, corruption and theft. Prebuilt dashboards help you understand the data and make the right decisions quickly. Reports help deepen analyses and provide a perspective so the health of the sales can be diagnosed.
Do any of the situations I’ve described seem familiar? Do images, words, individuals and stories come to mind while reading these lines? You’ve been there too, right? Or maybe you currently don’t have to face one of the challenges listed above?
Whatever the case, feel free to share with us the challenges, issues and problems you face. With a history of over 500 business solution implementations, the Gestisoft team will definitely be able to offer you intriguing, original and cost-effective alternatives.