Mid-September is here! The close of the 3rd Quarter for many is imminent. Business executives are projecting the sales needed to complete the year on a high – new customers to add, existing customers with money to spend. Rub those hands together! Looming as well are hiring, operations, delivery and support decisions. Heavy decisions, costly to carry out and expensive, if not made well. For decisions like these, you need real sales numbers, accurate sales data and projections, and you need that information now. You need that “magic bullet” for sales success!
How do you get the information you need for making critical decisions with confidence? Do you have accurate, reliable and detailed sales information? Do you feel nervous, worried, frustrated thinking about it?
For most companies, the truth is, they really don’t have the sales data they need. They may look at spreadsheets, compiled by a variety of people, based on past performance, shift numbers around, copy, paste, cross their fingers and pray that there aren’t too many costly mistakes in those spreadsheets.
It doesn’t have to be this way. It is nearly impossible to grow and grow profitably, operating this way. “CRM” software: sales prospecting software, sales estimating software and sales reporting software, as an all-in-one sales process management tool, is what separates growth and profitability oriented business executives from the rest.
Let’s face it, freeing your time to focus on the top priorities of your company is like winning the lottery. Do you dream about your sales managers and sales people being smarter, better business people on your behalf? If establishing a solid, efficient and productive sales management process, with real time business intelligence is the reality you desire, sales management software is an absolute must.
Here are 7 benefits of sales management software to think about:
1. Centralized Lead Tracking & Management – The key is “centralized”. Distribution of leads anytime to any sales person with an automated audit trail, bliss. Opportunities are managed centrally – not stored on laptops that can be lost, stolen or given to your competition. Gone are the days of leads recorded on a “sticky”! Passing real time lead information to sales people and knowing it has been acted upon, means increasing your lead to sold ratio.
2. Up-to-Date Equipment Database – how much fun is it to update your product database? Most business executives list this as a one of their primary complaints – a real headache resulting in out of date products being sold with incorrect pricing. Money is literally given away because the product database is not updated. Stop managing such a vital aspect of your business on a spreadsheet!
3. Single Contact & Customer Database – how many customer and contact databases exist in your company? For those allowing sales people to keep your customer and contact information on their laptops – you are giving away your assets, your proprietary data, your customer and contact list. Why would you do that?
4. Creation of Sales Proposals & Contracts – another huge loss is found in the manual creation of sales proposal and contracts. Lost time, a lack of uniformity and consistency of presentation documents, distortion of your company logo (your brand!), incorrect pricing, changes to your legal terms and conditions (that you don’t know about and have no control over), are all great examples of easy and very costly losses faced daily.
5. Multiple Tools & Forms – most companies use an average of three different software tools to produce one estimate and require 8-10 forms from sales people! That’s insane (sorry, “judgement-free”, I cannot be!). Pricing estimates are in a spreadsheet, data then transferred to a document, then ‘massaged” to join the files. Management of proposal versions, what was sent to a customer, forms for Operations, Support, Purchasing and Accounting. Multiple tools to upkeep, multiple resources, lost time, lost information are all just that – losses.
6. Real Time Reporting – from the moment of contact through “booking”, loss or other disposition, the sales process is ripe with invaluable information for a huge variety of real-time reporting. Imagine having sales data you can count on ahead of time, yes – being proactive. To be great at your job, you need to know what’s happening in your company!
7. Gain of Efficiencies & Confidence – this is big. A unified sales management system results in efficiency gains throughout your company. You eliminate upkeep of multiple files, tools, multiple-data entry, mistakes, wasted time and resources. Detailed, accurate sales intelligence enables proactive decisions, revealing trends, and make smarter more confident decisions daily.
We spend time thinking about the “magic bullet” – the strategies to deploy to make our business stronger, our profitability better. Strangely, most do not evaluate or understand the drain of their current sales process on resources and profits. Investing in accounting software is a “must”. Wouldn’t it make sense to invest in the foundation of your company – your sales process? Challenge yourself to evaluate the benefits to be gained and remember, a happy, productive sales machine, no matter the size of your company, translates into increased, more profitable sales.