A recent study by CSO Insights 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.”
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. CRM systems and data management are often the most important and complex aspects of sales operations.
CRMs are powerful tools, but they can also contain an overwhelming amount of information. Here are few helpful strategies for sales ops teams to manage CRM data effectively and efficiently:
Define a Formal Sales Process
Good data begins with measurable inputs. A sales process is 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. Defining each stage and related activities in your team’s sales process can help you identify and track key indicators at each phase of a sale. This can help you determine where sales are most often delayed or lost and where to focus on improvement.
Even if you already have a sales process in place, take the time to look it over. Try to define the sequence of actions your sales team goes through to connect to potential clients, identify and qualify leads, and convert leads into sales. Then see if your sales process reflects those activities,
Break the elements of a sale down into a series of steps. Each step likely fits into one of four main “stages” in the sales process. 1. Prospecting, or lead generation 2. Initial contact and lead qualification 3. Follow-up and personalized sales pitch 4. Negotiation and Sale Closure There are many steps involved in each stage, and 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 sales process.
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:
- What strategies have reps found to be most successful? Are these strategies being applied universally?
- What steps are most commonly overlooked or neglected?
- What activities take the most time? Is this time productive towards closing a sale?
- At what stage are the most leads being lost? Why?
- 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.
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!W