While there are bound to be some salespeople that do not follow the sales process, the vast majority will. The process may be buying- or selling-based, but it is still a process and it can be used in a flowchart and broken down into stages. A sales process will have specific milestones at each stage. Often if any milestone is skipped, the sale opportunity is lost somewhere down the line.
Knowing both process stage and time provides the account rep and sales manager with the ability to be realistic about when a sale will actually close. Most importantly, it also provides both rep and manager the ability to be directive about which actions will move the opportunity to the next stage.
How to achieve the knowledge
Having in-depth insight into the sales pipeline provides a great advantage to a business. The installation of a CRM system will assist in knowing the sales forecast through an individual and company-wide pipeline. An out-of-the-box Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides an Opportunity entity that can be associated with an Account or Contact. It provides the ability to track the sales opportunity, expected value, expected close date, and to associate all related activities: calls, emails, tasks, and appointments.
The real power of using Opportunities comes when fields are added that track your sales process. Now everyone has vision into what has been completed and what it will take for the opportunity to move to the next stage. This knowledge provides individuals and teams the ability to support each other. Experience learned over time will help establish an expected time-cycle for each selling stage.
- Sales forecasts become real, not guesses.
- Selling efforts are broken down into clearly defined stages, so discussions and actions can be taken to move the selling effort to the next stage.
- No more hiding the harsh “truth” of where a sales opportunity is at, or the real probability of closing.
For information on how to gain greater knowledge of your sales pipeline call me at – 330-929-1353 x 224 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.