You will rarely hear a company say that measuring sales pipeline and accurate business forecasting isn’t important. In spite of this, so many companies still don’t have a unified process for tracking, measuring, and forecasting business opportunity. More importantly, they don’t have the necessary sales culture to support it.
If sales performance isn’t defined by measurable goals and governed by consistent, regular business reviews how can it ever be managed? Moreover, how will your sales people exceed expectations or be held accountable for underperformance?
Managing a sales pipeline does not need to be difficult – in fact, the simpler the better. Most important, but also most challenging, is to make sure you instill a regular operating rhythm around business reviews with a focus on actual performance vs. expected goals. This will instill a culture of sales awareness and create a sense of urgency around performance expectations and forecasting accuracy.
One way to ensure greater accuracy is to provide instant visibility of current pipeline with expected sales goals at every level of the sales organization. Sales people will manage to the goals set in front of them, so they need to be visible. No one wants to show a $100,000 quarterly pipeline against a $1,000,000 quarterly goal.
Just as important, it needs to be easy for a sales person to update their opportunity pipeline within their CRM system. If it’s an administrative burden, it won’t get done. Also, everyone in the sales organization needs to be fluent in your internal sales language – if “Pipeline”, “Forecast”, “Upside”, “Booked”, “Sales Stage 3” are terms you use in your business vocabulary, then it’s crucial everyone has a crystal clear understanding of each definition.
AbleBridge has helped hundreds of organizations simplify their sales operations by marrying sales process with technology. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is our core CRM technology focus because it allows us to integrate any sales process into CRM, and it’s easy to use from a sales person’s perspective. Taking technology challenges out of the sales equation is essential. We also offer a
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