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CR0X

Original Poster:

1,700 posts

82 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
Probably a recurring issue for anyone who manages a sales-team: how do you get your team to report back effectively on what they have been doing, and what they will be doing, but without taking up too much time?

We don't have a pressured culture, so forcing written reports to be done on their own time isn't an option at this stage!

AJS-

11,712 posts

119 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
Numbers numbers numbers.

You need to set some clearly defined KPIs that enable you to spot what works and what doesn't.

E.g. How many telemarketing calls, how many appointments did this yield, how many appointments typically lead to an order and of what value.

There will be more relevant ones specific to your business, and some of it does rely on the salesman's honesty (I know!) but if you're managing a reasonable sized team then you will spot averages and pinpoint who is under performing and at what stage. I.e. Mr A is making 50 telemarketing calls and getting 15 appointments while Mr B is making 50 calls and only getting 5, then you need to work on Mr B's telemarketing.

davepoth

22,926 posts

82 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
CR0X said:
Probably a recurring issue for anyone who manages a sales-team: how do you get your team to report back effectively on what they have been doing, and what they will be doing, but without taking up too much time?

We don't have a pressured culture, so forcing written reports to be done on their own time isn't an option at this stage!
Best to ask management what they want, I guess. If all they want to know is how much new business has come in then there's not all that much point doing any more.

jogon

1,302 posts

41 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
We do a conference call three times a week which mainly involves taking down the forecasted deals.

We use a crm system and everyone has to log all the activities they do each day and we receive a report every morning outlining activity levels, any overdue activities, pipeline size, conversion, forecasted deals and deals closed.

Then every afternoon we receive a UK league table which again outlines activity levels, deals, contract values and 3 month averages.

Its all very transparent and hard to fudge so makes keeping track of your team quite easy.

Jumpy Guy

331 posts

102 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
This all sounds very time intensive

Lots of BDMs filling out CRM details, and possibly not an efficient use of their time

I think it depends what you're selling, and how complex the sale is

Also , what do the management team actually need to know?

No point in generating excess data : it just helps bad national managers justify their existence

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Camberwell

113 posts

97 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
It largely depends on what kind of business you are in and the culture you are trying to create - if it's a call centre type thing then reporting activity is probably more appropriate. If it's something more high level then you want your people to be spending quality time with customers not filling in forms.

But either way it is important to set reasonable targets and be able to track against them for obvious reasons. A CRM system is useful for the sales teams(and other customer facing people) to be able to have a single view of customer activities. And it is very good to roll up forecasts etc and enable management to track that against the plan.

There are a number of CRM systems available http://www.goldmine.com/ is one you can install internally and http://www.salesforce.com is one you can have someone else host - you just access it via a web browser.

There are of course many others but these are ones i have experience with personally

Deva Link

26,934 posts

128 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
Getting fairly senior level sales people to maintain a CRM is just a nightmare, and, in my experience, almost completely impossible with people outside the UK.

Usually you find the worst sales people are good at admin (they love to sit at home filling in forms and writing reports) and the good ones are out and about all the time and just won't do it.

Our reporting is by completing a "weekly" which is an extremely brief (couple of lines per activity) report on the major things done that week.

CR0X

Original Poster:

1,700 posts

82 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
Thanks, all interesting.

We are moving towards Sage CRM, as we use Sage 200 for accounting. Having the two working together makes sense on many levels.

We simply want to know:

a. what they have been doing (who seen, who quoted, problems arisen)
b. what they are going be doing (who seeing, who quoting)
c. Issues & Solutions

Ultimately, CRM will tell us a) and b), but we are six months away from that side up and running.

Our sales team are reasonably high-level, so not admin people at all, and work from home, and travel seeing clients.

ATM

4,094 posts

102 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
A vote for Salesforce.com here. If your sales people keep it up to date with their activities this will help them remember what they did and what they need to do. Then the system will produce reports for you so you know what everyone was doing and in comparison to each other. All good sales people need to keep track of their diaries and calendar and keep a record of contacts and their contact details - this is exactly what Salesforce.com does and much more. Other crm systems are out there but we use this one. I dont know anyone who uses Sage CRM.

DSLiverpool

5,097 posts

85 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
jogon said:
We do a conference call three times a week which mainly involves taking down the forecasted deals.

We use a crm system and everyone has to log all the activities they do each day and we receive a report every morning outlining activity levels, any overdue activities, pipeline size, conversion, forecasted deals and deals closed.

Then every afternoon we receive a UK league table which again outlines activity levels, deals, contract values and 3 month averages.

Its all very transparent and hard to fudge so makes keeping track of your team quite easy.
This is why I gave up being a captain of industry to being a no-mark online reseller, European sales director (German) had a hard on for this stuff and despite my best efforts it was implemented and I lost some of my best sales guys whilst the form filling admin type sales guys flourished. Ultimately sales declined but I had bailed by then.

Broccers

2,884 posts

136 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
An easy way to demoralise a sales team in one foul swoop.

As said above the hardest people to get to do this are your top sales people and pissing them off is not a great move.

davepoth

22,926 posts

82 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
Broccers said:
An easy way to demoralise a sales team in one foul swoop.

As said above the hardest people to get to do this are your top sales people and pissing them off is not a great move.
How much difference will the CRM stuff make? If the sales people have sole responsibility for that customer it will be a ball ache for little benefit.

Broccers

2,884 posts

136 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
Any person over achieving is going to balk at having to do added reporting for no reward. Sales folk are a funny bunch wink

blindswelledrat

22,107 posts

115 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
Broccers said:
foul swoop..
biglaugh

Agree with the rest of what you said though.
Crox, Im assuming you are a fairly small company with a modest sales team
WHy not simply email each other?

CR0X

Original Poster:

1,700 posts

82 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
blindswelledrat said:
biglaugh

Agree with the rest of what you said though.
Crox, Im assuming you are a fairly small company with a modest sales team
WHy not simply email each other?
We do! That is the point! Currently we use a (we think) simple word document ... but useful feedback. Some people complain it takes too long, some give us not enough information etc etc

PugwasHDJ80

5,841 posts

104 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
Sage CRM?

just don't, please, you won't tahnk yourself.

Salesforce blows it into the weeds and can still integrate into your accounting/ERP system.

there are others too- MS Dynamix for example.

don'tbesilly

474 posts

46 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
Sage CRM is possibly the worst system I've used,if you're already having problems with the salesguy's giving you basic information in a word document,they'll hate Sage with a passion.


CR0X

Original Poster:

1,700 posts

82 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
PugwasHDJ80 said:
Sage CRM?

just don't, please, you won't tahnk yourself.

Salesforce blows it into the weeds and can still integrate into your accounting/ERP system.

there are others too- MS Dynamix for example.
its too late for that. It will be quite heavily customised on the front end, to mirror our existing systems, quoting etc, but we won't touch all of it. The exact fit to Sage200 is key for the guys on the road, as they can see a high level of detail, without having to connect to 200.

Jumpy Guy

331 posts

102 months

[news] 
Friday 13th July 2012 quote quote all
A prediction -

- The best sales sharks wont use the CRM properly, as they'll be too busy actually selling stuff

- The admin based sales types will use the CRM perfectly, and it'll always be up to date. They wont sell as much



Who do you manage, and how to keep discipline? What are their KPIs? Selling stuff, or CRM management?


From my experience, nothing makes decent BDMs change roles quicker than a stifling management/ reporting system

swerni

21,742 posts

93 months

[news] 
Saturday 14th July 2012 quote quote all
I use a spreadsheet.
It shows all my major deals , who the partner / end user is value, close date and status.
I've always done is as it allows me to track where I am and what I need to do.

I can let management know at any point in time, how much I've done, month, quarter or YTD, where I am relative to my target and what deals I have in the pipeline so therefore what coverage I have of there remaining target.

Anyone who doesn't run a prospect sheet or use some kind of CRM to track where they are, isn't in control of their pipeline.
CRM is only a chore if the value it adds is more than the return it offers.

We have a weekly forecast call where we update our manager and if anything major happens during the week I'll call him.


What is it you want to measure?
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