In my career, I have managed many sales teams. I know the data that needs to be tracked by a sales manager. And now that I implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM, I know how it can be tracked and reported on.
When I was a sales manager and I walked into my team’s weekly sales meeting, I wanted each sales rep to be able to show me 4 things:
1. What opportunities are forecasted to close this Quarter?
For each of those opportunities I want to know who owns it, the total revenue value, the estimated close date and where it stands in the sales process.
2. How does the sale forecast number compare to each sales reps’ quarterly goal?
As a sales manager, I paid attention to how a sales rep’s forecasted numbers compared to their quarterly goals. And their forecast number needed to at least equal their quarterly goal every single week. If it didn’t, the amount of potential upside needed to account for the gap.
3. What is their upside?
Upside consists of opportunities that are far along in the sales cycle, but are not strong enough to forecast for this quarter. If any of the forecasted deals fall out, I want to know that the sales rep has enough upside to still try and meet their goal. Maybe there are incentives or discounts that we can provide to push the decision date. There needs to be enough upside to cover any forecast slippage.
4. What is their total pipeline?
I also like to look at their total pipeline beyond this quarter - prospects that haven't yet advanced to upside, but are lower in the pipeline. Once this quarter is over, we need to have enough opportunities to carve out a forecast that fulfills our next quarterly goal. From my perspective, a sales rep should be managing a pipeline of 4x their forecasted goal. This instills accountability and means sales reps need to enter all of their opportunities.
All of this information can easily be tracked in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. That is exactly what the system is meant to do. However, it can be time consuming, from a sales rep’s perspective, to enter / update opportunities. It’s even more difficult to see what they are forecasting vs. their sales goal without proper tracking in place. From a sales manager’s perspective, collecting all the information and aggregating it in a usable reporting format is time-intensive and usually results in an inaccurate and outdated sales pipeline. These challenges oftentimes result in a breakdown in sales process and make it very difficult to have a pulse on the sales pipeline and maintain accurate sales forecasts.
For example, with EditAble CRM Grid you can:
- Quickly update opportunity estimated close dates, sales stages and potential revenue without opening individual CRM records.
- Group opportunities by sales stage or sales rep for instant revenue totals.
- Calculate the total revenue of forecasted opportunities.
- Compare forecasted revenue against sales rep and / or territory sales goals
You can set up these calculations and comparisons to show right on the screen along with the user’s sales goals, so each sales rep can track their status instead of waiting to see a static report once a week.
EditAble CRM Grid for Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps both sales reps and sales managers walk confidently into the weekly sales meeting with all the information they need.
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By Ryan Plourde, AbleBridge, Massachusetts Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner,