Human relationships. We crave them, occasionally learn from them, and give our all to making them work. When it comes to sales, the great salespeople are those who are the most deeply human: able to listen intently, have insight into problems their customer might have, and find or create solutions, even when all the roads seem to lead nowhere.
But when administrative duties, such as recording, tracking and connecting the details about every potential sale in the pipeline threaten to overwhelm salespeople, they—and sales leaders, too—should wave their white flags. This is a job for technology. Why? Firstly, because the potential for human input to result in human error is enormous. This is as true for managing customer relationships as it is for measuring sales performance and calculating sales compensation.
Secondly, but equally if not more important: in smoothly functioning, successful sales organizations, administrative functions don’t take top priority. Salespeople, upon whose efforts and successes any organization depends, are freed up from rote, redundant tasks, and can focus on selling. And sales leaders, instead of dedicating precious time to juggling administrative functions, can devote themselves to growth and retention.
Process automation eliminates the huge burden of struggling to manage account information that’s spread across teams in Excel sheets. It brings that information to a single centralized tool, easily accessed by both management and entire sales teams. It’s been a great step ahead, allowing each person involved in the process to focus on value-added work rather than on trying to keep an eye on all the moving parts that impact performance.
Since salespeople spend so much time traveling, process automation must include enterprise mobility. It’s one of the most valuable aspects of automation, enabling sales to do what they do best and even reach new heights of productivity. With our sights set on that goal, Optymyze developed five key sales performance management (SPM) apps that should be in the deck of any sales strategist with an eye on 2017 and beyond.
The Contact Management app enables all hierarchical levels of an organization to keep a clean and transparent record of all contacts, their owners and their activities. It also provides a full picture of how these entities are interconnected.
In every company, managers and sales reps alike need full visibility into their organization’s efforts to establish and maintain account relationships. Account Management gives reps and sales managers, as well as staff at other hierarchical levels, access to their personal accounts portfolio, associated contacts and activities. Reps can enter account information on the go, giving managers a real-time overview of all accounts, as well as strategic information. The tool can grant specific access to users based on any potentially existing hierarchy, so that each level of the organization has a full understanding of its part in the puzzle.
Account Management is best used in conjunction with the Contacts Management app. It frees sales up to do the work they were hired for, provides tremendous organizational value, and promotes transparency at every level.
After sales leaders define a sales roadmap for their team, they need to track and measure their reps’ efforts. Opportunities Management facilitates this by adding structure to the many and varied parts of the selling process. By granting access to all parties involved in the sales process, reps can give leaders and other staff visibility into their sales pipeline and all opportunities aligned to the sales process. Users are enabled to connect opportunities to accounts and view all stages an opportunity goes through. In conjunction, reps and leaders gain full-time access to the progress they are making on any given sale. And the management team is enabled to analyze and predict future pipeline opportunities much more easily.
Easily accessing their teams’ and key contacts’ activities is crucial for managers. Doing so allows them an overview of individual as well as team performance and provides them with the ability to accurately measure that performance. It also gives them access to key contacts’ activities, thus facilitating the development of business relationships.
Moreover, by providing managers with the tangible information they need to measure team performance, the app leads to action items for the future. Geared towards all levels in a company, Activity Management supports managerial decisions through business insights and makes it possible for the company to focus on the most important deals.
Sales Force Insights
It’s one thing for management to have access to and visibility of the details about their sales teams’ accounts, performance, and opportunities. It’s quite another to have easy-to-read graphic reports that provide insights about pipeline, activities, and sales results. Sales Force Insights supports the decision-making process by creating these reports. The app also offers real-time representations of the company’s efforts to contract new accounts. Sales managers are thus enabled to associate those new accounts with key contacts, and to identify opportunities that will help the company grow and fulfill its organizational strategy.
“What you plant now, you will harvest later”
Many of our clients are already using the apps described here. To say they’re pleased with the results is an understatement. Once they experience the full range of benefits the apps provide, they’re over the moon.
And the adoption rate is high. We work closely with our clients to release the apps in a way that makes sense to the entire sales team. Internal trainings on the apps themselves have allowed clients to showcase the ways in which the tools would improve sales reps’ and sales leaders’ work and greatly boost their performance. Depending on team size, separate sessions can be scheduled for app owners on the client’s side to sit down with sales teams and walk them through real-life examples of how the tools have made their lives easier and helped them become more productive.
There’s no better way to start off the year right than by alleviating your sales teams from having to perform redundant tasks and letting them focus on the activities they love and that rake in the big bucks. With Optymyze’s Sales Force Automation apps, leaders can manage, measure and improve the selling process, adding value to the company’s progress now and for the foreseeable future. In the end, in order to keep up with this fast-moving industry, one always needs to stay one step ahead. As Og Mandino put it, “Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”
Aberdeen Research – Best-in-Class Approaches to SPM
Best-in-class players not only automate incentive compensation, territory and quota management, but also embrace emerging trends and technologies.