Why Sales Definitions Are a Best Practice for Great Sales Teams

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What I call an Opportunity you call a Lead. What I call ‘upside’ someone else calls ‘working set’. For a sales team to be successful, and for a sales manager to have accurate reports, sales terms need to be clearly defined so everyone is speaking a common language.

Let's say I'm a sales leader who defines upside as opportunities that are not slated to close in the current quarter.  It's important for me to see that every sales rep has a large enough working set so when next quarter rolls around they can carve out of that and have enough to forecast toward their goal. Having enough upside in the current quarter is just as important. For example, if an opportunity falls out of the current forecast we may have to focus on opportunities categorized as upside and see if we can do something to pull them into current forecast.

If the sales team member doesn’t understand a common set of definitions they will be unable to talk about the pipeline in a way that makes sense for everyone. This can lead to confusion and incomplete information and can impact sales forecast reliability.

So, does everyone on your sales team, including new hires, use the same definitions? Are executives who read the reports getting an accurate picture or your company’s productivity and profitability?

A common set of definitions used across the organization must be documented and clearly communicated to everyone involved.

When we built the Sales Pipeline Management add on for Microsoft Dynamics CRM we specifically addressed this issue.  The add-on is designed so that each company can set up their own sales definitions or use the default definitions that we’ve defined. A help icon in the CRM system can provide a definition if a user forgets.

Sales pipeline management 2016

These are five common sales terms and definitions:

  • Forecast

The total amount being forecast. This is the sum of Close and Committed opportunities.

  • Upside

Opportunities that are estimated to close in the specified period but have not been Committed.

  • Committed

Opportunities that have been Committed to close in the specified period.

  • Closed

Opportunities that have been Closed-Win in the specified period.

  • % of Goal

The percentage of Forecast amount to Goal for the specified period.

When everyone is looking at the same data, it is easier to reach the same goals.

A sales rep can log into Dynamics CRM and see his quarterly sales goal and the amount he is forecasting in that quarter. Those numbers should be equal every week when the pipeline reviews are done.

A regional manager’s goal could be based on the total revenue of all the reps that report directly to her. If she is confident that all reps are using the same sales definitions, she can filter and view the forecast for each sales rep to see how close they are to their goal and therefore how close she is to her own goal.

Sales definitions might seem like a small issue until you realize that forecasts have been skewed because not everyone was playing by the same rules or talking the same language Keep your terms standardized and keep your reports accurate and useful with AbleBridge’s Sales Pipeline Management add-on for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

AbleBridge Sales Pipeline Management is a combination of reporting tools and sales methodologies designed to enhance Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

To learn more about this add on tool for Dynamics CRM and how it was developed around best practices for sales teams, contact AbleBridge. 877-600-2253 or info@ablebridge.com

By AbleBridge, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gold Partner, www.ablebridge.com

Follow us on Twitter: @AbleBridge

Project Mgmt for Dynamics CRM

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