Face it – sales teams hate CRMs. They view it as an (un)necessary evil and strive to interact with it as little as possible. The lack of proper data entry leads to an atrophy of data and further exacerbates the problem. What sales reps want is a proper “cockpit” that helps manage their day and decreases the obstacles needed to hit their goals. Proper dashboards and CRM setup will become (1) a cockpit for your sales team to plan and manage their day-to-day activities, (2) a tool for better predictability and transparency into your sales team, and (3) a real-time tracker to create a competitive environment within your sales team.
The CEO and VP of Sales knew they needed more insight into their sales pipeline and were also looking for a way to support and motivate their reps in achieving quota. The team had Salesforce.com as their CRM, but most reps used it only as a database (of last resort – excel was their primary tool) versus a true prospecting and pipeline management asset. In order to enhance pipeline visibility for management as well as simplify reps’ interactions with Salesforce, the team needed a quick way to visualize and simplify their workflow within the CRM.
Real-time dashboards to provide insights for reps on day-to-day activities and visibility for sales leaders to focus individual coaching opportunities for their team.
- For Reps – Reps no longer had to search through mountains of reports to get their data. They worked from one dashboard to manage their day-to-day, dramatically increasing their productivity and reducing the number of prospects that slipped through the cracks.
- For Management – Total pipeline increased considerably as reps now had a clearer focus on prospecting. The larger and higher quality pipeline not only increased bookings, but also dramatically improved forecasting as the VP of Sales could spend more time discussing near term deals and getting them across the finish line.
Start simple – get an initial “MVP” performance dashboard launched and iterate it over time.
Track only the vital few metrics that really matter. In the specific example discussed above, those metrics fell into three groups:
- Activities – Creates healthy competition for reps to be in the top spot
- Net New Activity (# of accounts added, contacts added)
- Outreach (# of emails, voicemails, outbound calls)
- Outcomes – Provides visibility into leading indicators in hitting monthly metrics and whether the team is tracking to goals
- Sales Execution (# of demos, proposals sent)
- Bookings ($ by month and quarter versus goals)
- Tasks – Streamlines workflow for reps and focuses on mission critical items
- Tasks by date (due today, currently overdue, due 7 days out)
“We used to have to crack the whip with our reps to hit their outbound prospecting targets. Every Thursday at our weekly sales meeting, I’d push the team to hit our targets (only 10% of the team did). After building dashboards, we found the natural competitive spirit really came alive in our team. We had 70-80% of the team hitting their outbound metrics week in and week out. This ultimately resulted in 50% increase in our pipeline. The most surprising piece was how much the reps enjoyed the competition and drive to be in the top 3.”