In this environment of change, one of the most significant challenges we face is nailing our business goals. “The Big One” is common to all of us – to sell more and increase revenue. “How do we arrive there?” is the real question.
At WeSuite, we heard loudly and clearly from our clients in 2020 that having sales management software in place was a game-changer. An established and connected workflow for all things sales, along with connection into their accounting system, made the sudden and unexpected transition to a remote work environment relatively seamless. Now, whether companies choose to return to the office, embrace a hybrid model, or maintain a mostly remote workforce moving forward, a connected sales management platform removes traditional disjointed barriers caused by manual, decentralized processes. Sales management software will remain a game-changer, and here’s why.
A unified process easily supports the entire organization!
A sales process that is centralized and supports the entire organization is essential for targeting and, moreover, nailing business goals. Having customers, site and billing addresses, main points of contacts, and (oh yes!) parts and services readily available via a centralized database puts your entire team on equal footing. It also saves time and lowers the risk and cost of mistakes as your sales team quotes only approved products, services, and labor rates.
Let’s face it, systems integrators do not have the most straightforward sales process in the world. Even more complex is security sales estimating. Individually constructed and managed Excel quoting sheets are not up to the task. By contrast, a controlled, centralized platform establishes organizational confidence that quotes are accurate. It also saves time in the quoting process and dramatically lowers the risk associated with data re-entry by different sets of fingers.
Keep in mind, as well, that best-of-breed sales management software provides the flexibility needed to support various types of sales teams within one single application. For example, some organizations include commercial, residential, and small business salespeople. The time-to-sale and volume processed vary quite widely between these groups. Sales software that supports a range and depth of features, down to individual user rights within the application, enables definition of the best workflows for each type of sale. User threshold settings that trigger approval automation can vary from one salesperson to the next, and support variations in approval thresholds when salespeople cross-sell across territories.
Commission plans are another example where software flexibility is beneficial. Commission calculations are often based on complex formulas. Factors may include differences in outright sale values, gross margins, recurring services, contract term, markets, rate creation, and a host of other possibilities. Automating these calculations is not only more efficient, but its ensured accuracy builds trust among the sales team. It also instills confidence among leadership that profitability and sales goals are being fully met and supported.
An established, consistent sales workflow from “contact to contract” supports your entire sales organization, easily enables growth, and builds confidence for success far beyond the selling team.
Overall, the greatest benefit of using sales management and business software is the ability to measure success against business priorities.
Business priorities are often quantified and measured by KPI (key performance indicators). Defining business priorities and backing performance with real-time data from your sales and business management software makes it infinitely easier to gauge results. Data identifies what needs attention and where the team is excelling. Tracking KPIs quarter-by-quarter helps individuals and the team improve, meet and exceed goals. It points you immediately in the right direction for the next steps and actions to take.
KPIs often center around sales metrics. Sales are the “front end” that feeds the rest of the organization. A healthy, consistent, and well-managed diet is fundamental to building a well-oiled machine that operates at peak efficiency with improved accuracy and efficiencies. Well-fed companies enjoy greater team cohesiveness and can focus on “real” issues instead of trivialities that steal time and hurt organizational attitude. Customer satisfaction can occupy center stage.
This is so important! Increased customer satisfaction translates to staying power, building long-term, repeated business. Furthermore, those satisfied customers can serve as your best salespeople, promoting you and your company to others. So in reality, the benefits of sales management software extend beyond your paid employees to your entire customer base and market share. That’s a lot of bang for a relatively small investment.
Next time we’ll provide specific examples of the connected process and how it has helped our clients set, meet, and exceed sales goals that directly impact its business priorities. Until then, what are the most important priorities a connected sales process can do for you and your team?