Organization is key. In sales, especially for large organizations with hundreds of customers, organization is especially important. The sales pipeline is a vital part of your sales process, and with the assistance of a CRM (customer relationship management) system, managing the sales pipeline can be simple and effective. Before we discuss how CRMs help to improve sales pipelines forecasting, we need to fully understand two important elements of the conversation: the sales pipeline and the CRM itself.
What are Sales Pipelines?
Sales pipelines deal with prospects. Essentially, they are the system through which prospects become customers. It usually moves an individual or company from the status of a prospect through the pipe until they become a final purchaser. The system can involve meetings scheduled, proposals sent, and first purchase.
Each industry and company will have a different sales pipeline, but the principle of moving a contact from prospect to customer remains the same.
What are CRMs?
CRMs deal with customers. They are software systems that are designed to help organize, automate, and implement customer contact. CRMs are used before, during, and after the sale, and they can be used to modify marketing techniques, customer service, and internal organization.
CRM systems are designed to give everyone on the team access to the right information. User access can be adjusted to fit the personnel; for example, managers can have access to all the customer and sales data while sales associates can have access to only those that fit their department.
Why CRMs Help to Improve Sales Pipeline Forecasting
Now that we have a basic understanding of both systems, we are ready to understand why CRMs help to improve sales pipeline forecasting.
Helps You Determine and Monitor Prospect Goals
One of the major purposes of a sales pipeline is to determine how many prospects you need to contact to reach your sales goals. For example, if every 10 contacts results in a single sale, then simple math tells us that we need to contact 100 prospects to close 10 sales. By using a CRM, a business can track their contacts and success rates, giving them reliable information on how many people they need to contact for a successful year, quarter, month, or week.
Increases the Effectiveness of Contact
CRMs can help take the sales pipeline forecasting even further by providing valuable information on the types of contact a business should make. Everyone in sales knows that no two leads are exactly alike, so going down the phonebook and contacting every person is obviously a waste of time. CRMs can help you specifically target individuals who fit your desired prospects, increasing your conversion rate and reducing the amount of time you spend on dead-end leads.
Reduce Administration Time
If you or members of your team spend hours organizing and analyzing your sales information to create forecasts, a CRM may be able to help. A report from Pace Productivity found that sales reps spend almost a quarter of their time on administrative tasks, which can include planning contacts and organizing follow-ups. They found that most sales reps only spend 22% of their time actually selling. Ideally, they say, a rep would spend 33% of their time selling and only 15% on administration.
With a CRM system, there is a reduced administration time, which helps streamline forecasting and other elements of the sales pipeline.
Move Deals Forward with Greater Efficiency
The end goal in sales is to close the deal. Therefore, moving deals ahead with greater efficiency and expediency is always a good thing. (Assuming, of course, that expediency does not result in recklessness.)
When properly implemented, your CRM system will provide greater efficiency without sacrificing the quality of leads, closing rate, or the accuracy of sales forecasting.
Let Us Make Your Sales Pipeline More Efficient
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Contact 602 Creative Studio today and you’ll get the information you need to launch your organization’s continued growth!