Can someone turn on the lights? The challenges businesses face without good sales visibility.
Navigating your business without organization-wide visibility into your sales process, activities and pipeline can feel a lot like navigating through the darkness. Members of the team are left playing guessing games at every level and process of your business. When there is a lack of sales visibility, companies are left to overcome the following challenges:
- When members across your organization are unable to see one another’s activity and planned tasks, efficiency slows down as everyone struggles to get on the same page.
Disparate silos of data:
- When a collection of data is controlled by and visible to only one department of your organization, it creates harmful barriers to communication and productivity across multiple departments and your business as a whole.
Inability to forecast:
- Forecasting allows for your business to set goals and standards that are reasonable and measurable based on what you know from your data. When data is missing or not visible, forecasting is inaccurate or absent all together.
Inability to learn and improve:
- One of the primary benefits of sales visibility is the opportunity for your business to observe details of the sales pipeline, associated activities and key processes. Employees across the organization can learn from this data, and make necessary changes and improvements that will benefit your customers, your team members, and the overall health of your business. Without visibility providing your organization with insight into sales related processes, this pinpointed learning and growing is no longer possible.
Poor team culture:
- Just like having data siloed to separate departments of your business is harmful and ineffective, so too is having team members and communications that are siloed much the same way. This leaves your team members with little insight into what is going on with the business as a whole, creating a sense of disconnection and a lack of unity across your company.
Ineffective team management:
It is the responsibility of management to uplift and enable the success of their team members. Without clear insight into the strengths, weaknesses, skills, and results of their team members, managers are left not knowing how to best support and improve their team.
Poor customer satisfaction:
- When your business is lacking unity, a positive team culture, and a clear understanding of the sales process, it reflects in your customer interactions and can leave your buyers unsatisfied and disappointed.
While there are a lot of challenges to navigate here, the good news is that you don’t need to be in the dark. When you deploy CRM to improve sales visibility, you are turning on the lights and seeing the full picture of your business, bright and clear.
What does sales visibility mean throughout your business?
Across different departments in your business, a CRM implementation to improve sales visibility will have different effects. Sales visibility can mean different things depending on the ways in which a department uses the data collected. Let’s take a look at how different departments have different perspectives of sales visibility.
For the sales team, sales visibility comes down to activity and pipeline management. From the sales team’s perspective, they are going to use visibility to answer the questions: How am I doing, and where can I do better? By focusing on these questions, members of the sales team will be able to manage their pipeline to improve their sales numbers and focus on the leads that will most likely pay off.
While sales managers are also concerned with sales numbers and pipeline management, they differ from individual salespeople in that they are concerned with using sales visibility to enable the success of their entire sales team. With sales visibility, managers are able to see where their team members are excelling, and where they need support. Additionally, when a sales team is excelling in their individual pursuits, the sales manager is free to use visibility to monitor and manage the bigger picture through sales process refinement, and KPI management and reporting.
For customer service reps, sales visibility is the cornerstone of being proactive rather than reactive. A clear picture of the sales pipeline allows for the customer service team to see blindspots and pain points in the buying cycle. In doing so, the customer service team can keep the sales team abreast of any customer service issues before they arise. This allows for the overall management and communication of customer satisfaction.
The relationship between sales and marketing should be a symbiotic one. While we don’t often see this type of healthy, and mutually beneficial relationship between the departments, the truth is that this relationship is essential for a business to succeed and scale. With sales visibility, marketing teams are able to track and manage various marketing campaigns and lead sourcing. Pipeline visibility allows for the sales and marketing teams to be on the same page from day one of the buyer journey.
For the delivery team, sales visibility is all about staying in the know from the time an opportunity is first entered right up until the product or service is delivered. This allows for the delivery team to use sales visibility as a mechanism for identifying and communicating upsell opportunities. Additionally, they are provided with a clear understanding of customer sentiment.
As we have discussed in this article, the role of management is to uplift and support their team. For executive management, sales visibility allows for this to occur. Having a clear picture of the sales pipeline, associated activities and processes allows for management to see and keep track of the performance of their team members at every level – not just the sales reps! Additionally, when a CRM system is effectively implemented, executive management teams are able to effectively forecast for their business. They are also able to use this visibility as decision support to help paint a clear picture of where budget changes and support are best allocated.
How to Improve Sales Pipeline Visibility for Your Business
Effective sales pipeline visibility is essential for your business. Having a clear image of your sales pipeline allows you to confidently nail down forecasting for your business as a whole.
Sales pipeline visibility means that throughout your business, a clear picture of data and insights into the sales pipeline is available. This includes visibility for the sales team, sales management, customer service, marketing, delivery team, and executive management.
One common misconception about sales pipeline visibility is that it is a “Big Brother” approach to management, centred around spying on or micromanaging a sales team. This isn’t true, and is actually a pretty harmful misconception when it comes to the real success that can come from sales visibility for your business!
The reality is that members across your organization can work more seamlessly together when they can see each other’s activities and planned tasks as it related to sales pursuits. Effectively implemented sales pipeline visibility is all about improving your business!
So, how do we improve sales pipeline visibility? By implementing the right CRM solution with visibility and collaboration at the forefront of your planning and requirements gathering efforts.
How to gain effective sales visibility
We can see that it is essential to improve sales visibility for your business! But how do we gain this asset of visibility, effectively?
- Implement a CRM solution with natural integration across common collaboration and productivity tools.
- Integrate with back-office systems to ensure unity and cooperation across your business.
- Capture and maintain accurate data to understand the full picture of your business and sales process.
- Establish and enforce standard business processes that having been tested, re-tested, and maintained to achieve the most effective outcomes for your business.
- Create role-based experiences within the buying cycle, including:
- Fields / Forms
- Implement proper and on-going training across your business to ensure all of your team members understand the full value of the CRM implementation to improve sales visibility for all.
The end game
At the end of the day, sales visibility is all about success for your business and unity of your team members. By finding the right CRM solution for your organization to implement along with an effective implementation approach, you are taking leaps and bounds in the right direction to achieve more efficient sales processes, a cohesive team culture, better sales team performance, better business decision making, higher customer satisfaction and retention, and more!
New Dynamic is here to support you in every step of the journey toward CRM success. Learn more about how to successfully plan for, implement and continuously improve CRM at www.newdynamicllc.com.