How to Manage CRM Data effectively: 3 Tips for Sales Ops Teams

Sales operations is a critical piece of many sales organizations. In recent years, the responsibilities of sales ops teams have evolved beyond simply facilitating efficiency in sales teams. Sales ops now encompasses management of an organization’s technology stack and overall sales productivity.

CSO Insights conducted a recent study that defines sales ops as, “a strategic function, designed to provide a platform for sales productivity and performance by providing integrated methods, processes, tools, technologies and analytics for the entire sales force and senior executives.”

In this post we’d like to share a few tips for sales ops teams to manage CRM data effectively:


Define and Implement a Formal Sales Process

A sales process consists of a series of steps that your sales team takes to convert prospects into customers. A recent survey  by Vantage Point Performance and the Sales Management Association shows that companies that implemented a formal sales process experienced 18% more revenue growth than companies that did not. By defining the stages and related activities in your team’s sales process, you will be better able to identify and track indicators at each phase of a sale. This can help you determine where sales are most often delayed or lost and what improvements can be made.

Your CRM data is a powerful tool, but it is important to understand what is going on behind the numbers. Take the first step toward an effective sales procedure for your team: gain a clear understanding of the current process. Define the sequence of actions your sales team goes through to connect to potential clients, identify and qualify leads, and convert leads into sales.

Break the elements of a sale down into a series of steps that might be categorized into one of three “stages” in the sales process. 1. Prospecting, or lead generation 2. Initial contact and lead qualification 3. Follow-up and personalized sales pitch. Recognize that there are many steps involved in each stage, and that any given step may require various iterations before it is successful.

Now focus on the data. Measure the activities related to each of these steps and consider the data in context. This will help you to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the current system.

There is always room for improvement, and good data management should inform changes to your sales process. What’s important is to focus on how your team functions. Don’t forget that your team members are also valuable sources of information.

Consider these questions when developing revisions to your sales process:

  1. What strategies have reps found to be most successful? Are these strategies being applied universally?
  2. What steps are most commonly overlooked or neglected?
  3. What activities take the most time? Is this time productive towards closing a sale?
  4. At what stage are the most leads being lost? Why?
  5. How are leads classified? How does the sales process vary depending on a lead’s qualifications?

This kind of structural work in sales ops may take time, but in the end you will gain a much better understanding of your data. This will give you valuable insight into your sales process and how to improve it.


Redefine Key Performance Indicators

Sales ops teams rely on all kinds of measurable metrics, but which are the most important ones to measure and track? You know these metrics as key performance indicators, and likely there are a handful that you constantly have your eye on. These standard KPI’s like sales closed, revenue generated, etc. are very important. However, do not make the mistake of thinking a handfull of metrics provides the complete picture of your team’s performance.Sales ops: gauge performance with KPI's tailored to your team's goals.

Try reviewing your key performance indicators periodically. Keep in mind the specific goals your team has now and consider focusing more attention on indicators directly related to these goals.  For example, when implementing a new sales tool or strategy define KPI’s to track adoption. Is your company making a push to expand your product into a new market? Recognize the hurdles of initial entry and instead of focusing on the number of closed sales, give more attention to prospecting, or initial contact metrics. You can also define KPI’s to focus on problem areas in the sales process. Carefully track metrics related to a step in the sales process with a high loss rate to help determine what changes need to be made and measure improvement.

By regularly reviewing and identifying KPI’s that address specific goals, you can more easily set benchmarks for your team. This practice can also help you determine specifically where progress is being made, and where things can be improved.


Implement Sales Ops Tech Solutions

Sales ops is all about tech these days. With so many tools and technologies available for sales ops teams, look into products that can help optimize the use of your CRM data. Sales Enablement Technologies, like gamification software, leaderboards, and communication platforms can go a long way to help you manage your data and your sales team effectively.

When it comes to making the most of your CRM data with sales ops technology, visualization is key.

Consider investing in software that can help improve data transparency in your sales organization. For instance, live leaderboards are a great solution to keeping team members informed of both individual and group progress.

Tracking and displaying your sales team’s KPIs using leaderboards and data visualization technology can improve your team’s performance in the following ways. Data transparency helps team members understand their progress in relation to their peers and company goals. This increases individual and group accountability. Additionally, displaying rankings for key performance indicators can create a healthy sense of competition within your sales team that can improve engagement, motivation, and productivity. Tracking your KPI’s in real-time can also improve data quality by encouraging CRM user adoption and making it easier to spot bad data.

Check out Hurrah! Leaderboards!

Hurrah! Leaderboards software can help you manage and get the most out of your CRM data. Hurrah! is a broadcasting software solution for key performance indicators that integrates with major CRMs. The web-based application uses gamification techniques to interpret and display metrics in real-time. Designed optimally for inside sales organizations, it has proven to be particularly effective for engaging and motivating young members of the workforce.

Learn more about how leaderboards technology can improve your sales ops data management and boost your team’s engagement and productivity!

Contact us for a free demo of Hurrah!

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7 Strategies You Can Use To Improve Sales Productivity

Sales productivity has a direct impact on revenue and is a key factor in the success of nearly any business.

Improving sales productivity means maximizing results and minimizing the resources used. This is no easy task.

Studies show sobering statistics about the state of sales productivity. A study by Aberdeen Group reports that two-thirds of sales reps fail to reach their annual sales quota, and only 20% of sales reps are top performers. This reflects the reality that the majority of salespeople have significant room for improvement.

Why is this? In part it is due to the fact that salespeople have a lot on their plate that has nothing to do with selling. A recent study estimates that sales reps only spend about 37% of their time on activities actually related to selling.

What can we do about this? To start, try these 7 strategies to improve sales productivity.

Prioritize

Busier salespeople are not necessarily more productive. One of the best-kept secrets for effective and productive work is very simple: get your priorities straight. This allows you to work smarter, not longer.

A study conducted by Wrike shows that over half of sales reps are unclear about their priorities. This confusion negatively impacts sales reps ability to accomplish key goals. The best team managers take the time to outline and explain both individual and group priorities.

Eliminate or Automate Extra Tasks

Though multitasking is often seen as an asset, research shows that it is often counterproductive. The same Wrike study shows that 60% of sales reps struggle with working on too many things once.

Sales reps only spend about one-third of their time actually selling, and administrative tasks are responsible for a large part of the drain on productiveness

Simple steps like automating email responses can cut down on busy-work, but technology can do a lot more than that these days. Setting up web campaigns that give prospects easy access to informational content, video tutorials, and product reviews can help push prospects further down your sales funnel before involving sales reps.

How to Increase Productivity: Measure Everything

Measure Everything

Many companies fail to improve sales productivity because they don’t consistently track key metrics.  CIO Insights reports that disorganized data and limited visibility of metrics presents problems for 40% of sales organizations.

Data quality and visibility is essential to gaining key productivity insights and track improvement. In fact, the most successful sales teams are often the most data-focused. A recent Accenture report shows that 57% of high performing sales teams rely heavily on sales analytics, compared with 16% of underperforming sales teams.

Invest in Sales Enablement Technologies

Strategically chosen cales enablement technology can have a big impact on sales productivity. 

Sales gamification solutions are a powerful addition to classic CRM systems. Primarily designed to motivate sales teams, they help get sales reps more engaged in daily activities, and motivate teams with healthy competition.

Use Your CRM

CRMs play a huge role in many sales organizations today, but achieving good user adoption can be a struggle.

Consider that the average sales rep needs to update over 300 CRM records per week. It’s no surprise that companies are more and more turning towards tech solutions to enhance CRM data and usage.

CRM user adoption has declined as processes become more complex, and surveys show that reps waste a lot of time trying to interpret and organize CRM data. Automating and simplifying the CRM updating process can go a long way to cut down on frustration.

Data visualization is also key to user adoption. Keeping data visible helps create accountability and transparency. Reps are more likely to update data regularly and not let a backlog pile up, and data errors are easier to spot.  Sales leaderboards are an extremely useful tool for live data visualization.  Real-time performance broadcasting helps improve data quality and boost awareness of your KPIs.

Improve Sales Productivity: Work in your priorities

 

Recognize

Positive reinforcement is as powerful as it can be simple. Recognizing team members for their successes, big and small, can go a long way to incentivize productivity and enhance performance. A culture of positive and constructive feedback helps build a healthy sales organization. 

Team engagement and dedication, while hard to measure numerically, are important motivators of sales productivity. Thus, recognition and support should be encouraged both from sales team managers and peers alike. 

Communicate With Your Team

Last but not least, it’s you can’t take sales productivity to the next level without good communication with your sales team. Sales reps need to know and to be constantly reminded of priorities and expectations. More is more in this case. A Harvard Business Review survey revealed that 70% of employees are more engaged when senior leadership continually updates and communicates company strategies.

Still, communication is not just about passing along information. Encouragement, and engaging employees in open dialogue are key to building a healthy sales team.

Improve Sales Productivity: Communicate With Your Team

 

How can Hurrah! Help Improve Productivity for Sales Teams?

When it comes to improving sales productivity, we like to think of Hurrah! Leaderboards as the ultimate tech solution.

  • Recognize

    Celebrate achievements instantly with real-time recognition.

  • Communicate

    Communicate goals and strategies with your team.

  • Engage

    Enhance employee engagement with gamification.

  • Adopt

    Improve CRM user engagement and data transparency with live metrics displays.

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