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An effective sales management software can help your business reach, or even exceed your revenue goals in the long run.
Most businesses in the modern-day rely on a sales management system to manage their sales cycle and grow revenue.
But, when most people refer to a CRM platform, they're referring to software or tools that enable them to improve business relationships and manage their ever-growing teams easily.
However, customer relationship management varies depending on the department of usage. For instance, the support team might leverage the CRM software to manage service tickets, while the marketing team may use it to analyze their campaigns.
The CRM platform inevitably assists salespeople throughout their sales cycle and aids them with valuable support enabling them to be efficient and close deals.
In this guide, we'll talk about -
- What is sales management?
- Sales management process
- Why should your business leverage sales management software for your CRM?
- The role of CRM in the sales management process
Let's dive in.
What is Sales Management?
To put it simply, sales management is the process of building a sales force by planning, recruiting, training, organizing, coordinating, and implementing successful sales techniques that consistently perform well to meet its targets.
A sales management system is an absolute must for all businesses trying to hit their revenue goals, each quarter.
Regardless of the industry your business operates in, managing sales and boosting sales performance for all sizes of businesses, the secret to success is leveraging a sales management strategy.
Besides helping your organization to meet its revenue goals, the sales management tool also allows you to stay up to date with industry trends and can play a vital role in helping you flourish in a highly competitive marketplace.
What is a Sales Management System?
A sales management system, also known as sales management software, or sales CRM, is a type of technology that is designed to simplify the sales process.
Salespeople can use the software to track sales data, manage customer data, pipeline management, and automate mundane tasks to focus on driving sales.
Today's sales management systems are far more sophisticated that come with a variety of modules and features - social profiles, online activity, sentiment analysis, peer coaching, and more.
A sales management software is a centralized system that helps sales managers to implement and carry out the best sales techniques, manage sales opportunities and operations, boost productivity, and close deals.
A good CRM platform is a one-stop solution that significantly improves all challenges of the sales management practices.
Sales Management Process
Regardless of the industry your business functions in, no two businesses are the same.
Ideally, your sales process should replicate the buying process and be self-explanatory for your sales teams and customers to understand.
The sales management process typically involves the following steps -
- Lead generation
- Lead scoring and qualification
- Set revenue goals and quotas
- Onboard and train new hires
- Lead conversion
- Deal closing
#1 Lead Generation
Lead generation is a vital step in the sales management process.
Typically, lead generation is a marketing process, where marketing teams capture the interest of potential customers via highly targeted campaigns.
For modern businesses, channeling their digital mediums has proven to be highly impactful based on online and social selling techniques.
Lead generation is the first step of the process, before the lead scoring and qualification. Post this, qualified leads are passed on to the sales teams for conversion.
#2 Lead Scoring and Lead Qualification
Lead scoring and qualification is the process where you score and qualify leads based on their tendency to purchase your product.
The definition of 'qualification' varies from company to company.
There are three types of lead qualification - marketing qualified lead (MQL), sales qualified lead (SQL), and product qualified lead (PQL).
The kind of lead qualification makes it clear to the sales manager if the lead is worth chasing. During this step in your sales process, your team will qualify the leads based on lead scoring.
Lead scoring refers to the manner in which your leads are scored and ranked based on a set number of criteria determined by the sales manager in the organization.
#3 Set Revenue Goals and Quotas
Setting revenue goals and quotas each quarter for your entire sales team, as well as individual reps to ensure everyone is working towards the same goal.
You can set a variety of sales goals including job functions, training, onboarding, or anything that fits the bill. Before locking the goals and quotas, be sure to clearly communicate across teams, so there is no confusion thereafter.
These goals can be set manually, or by leveraging a sales intelligence tool such as Salesken via sales enablement kits that can have a central repository system to refer back to.
#4 Onboard and Train New Hires
Another primary responsibility of the sales management process is to onboard and train new hires.
Onboarding and training new hires without a CRM platform or a sales intelligent tool can be daunting and might lead to manual errors. By being a part of the onboarding and training process, you can ensure all sales reps are on the same level and have a clear understanding of your processes.
Leveraging CRM software to train new hires can be a breeze. The CRM software assists sales managers across the organization to be on par with their peers, learn about their sales accounts and get a hands-on learning experience from the best sales reps via their coaching moments, and more.
#5 Lead Conversion
The process of turning the lead into a customer is called a lead conversion.
Typically, these interests are captured from lead generation campaigns - the interested customer will leave behind their phone number, email address, or other details to learn more about your product.
The prospect is then captured by the CRM software to assign the lead to a sales rep to start the process of lead conversion.
The sales rep showcases the product, supports and motivates the prospect to purchase by providing the right kind of sales collateral, and will be available throughout to close the deal.
The successful conversion is the result of a seamless, well-informed, and communicative sales approach, powered by CRM software.
#6 Deal Closing
This is the stage where sales teams learn if the deal has been lost or won.
At this stage, sales reps must set up a tentative date to close the deal. This can help sales teams to understand and track the deal at each stage within the sales pipeline.
Once the sales team converts a lead into a paying customer, the journey does not end there.
Maintaining a good customer relationship to support and enhance their journey is the most important part of closing deals.
The customer's details are then passed on to the customer success teams to help them guide their clients, answer any queries, and offer assistance whenever required.
Retaining an existing customer is more challenging than acquiring a new customer.
Always ensure that your product is beneficial for the customer, and if not, help them unlock your product's true potential by providing round-the-clock assistance.
What are the Key Aspects of Sales Management?
There are three key aspects of sales management within the sales process -
- Sales operations
- Sales strategy
- Sales analysis
This process might vary from business to business, but key aspects such as operations, analysis, and strategy remain as focal points.
Sales Operations: Developing an Efficient Sales Team
The first step of sales operations is to hire a great sales operations manager.
Once you've hired a great sales operations manager, expanding the team should be the ideal next step in the process.
The sales team is the backbone of your company - they bring in revenue, act as a direct point of contact between the customer and the product, and are the face of your product.
For any sales team to perform exceptionally well, they must be equipped with the best resources to progress and flourish rather than just be viewed as the "team that rakes in the moolah."
Before selecting and onboarding new sales hires, ensure you spend enough time training them and developing their skills.
Sales people should not just be great sellers, but also need to be great at selling your product and be the face of the organization that customers want to work with.
Once you have fully functioning and high-value team members, it is time to start setting goals and track their performance. To do this, you need to -
- Set targets
- Assign territories
- Establish goals and quotas
But the sales manager's job is not done here.
It's also their responsibility to track and counsel the team throughout the process to make sure they are on track and motivate them when needed by providing the right assistance.
Sales managers can easily coach and motivate their teams with the help of CRM software that can pull out data from similar deals, provide the right cues to close the deals, and even learn about the prospect in-depth.
Sales Strategy: Defining the Sales Process
Once the sales teams and revenue goals are in place, the most prominent question arises - what is the sales process of your company to actually carry out the sales and close deals?
This process varies from company to company, but essentially, you are facilitating a transaction between a company and its customers by moving them through the process which leads to an exchange.
Every business has its own sales cycle, which is a series of set tasks that helps a company to reach its customers. Therefore, having a sales pipeline, or a sales funnel will simplify the process to maneuver these deals to conversion.
Simply put, the sales pipeline helps salespeople stay organized and be on top of their work. It also is a direct indicator of how well the prospect is interacting with your product, and how likely they are to close.
Sales activities that are within a sales person's control include -
- Lead generation and scoring
- The number of sales calls, follow-up emails, social messaging, and other outreach activities
- Market research on competitors, new products, and other pertinent information
- Product knowledge
Sales Analysis: Tracking and Reporting
Tracking the sales pipeline and reporting helps you to understand if your current strategy affects your company's success and reach, and gives you deeper insight into what you can do to improvise to meet your goals.
Successful reporting involves using quantifiable indicators, or metrics that indicate how each aspect of your sales operations is performing and if you are achieving your targets.
With the sales funnel in place, you should be able to measure the following four metrics -
- The number of deals in your funnel
- The average size of a deal in your funnel
- The average percentage of deals that are won
- Sales velocity, or average sales lifecycle before it is won
A CRM software will help you learn deeper into each deal with the help of relevant metrics and reports to help you streamline your sales management process.
5 Benefits of Using a Sales Management System
Still wondering why your team should leverage a sales management system?
Here are 5 key benefits that will transform the way you sell -
#1 Promote Teamwork and Productivity
A sales management system coordinates and automates sales data from departments across the organization in a central repository system.
Everyone involved in the sale can access this information in real-time through the platform, communicate directly with the customer and stay up to date.
Not just that, this also reduces the need for lengthy meetings while encouraging teams to work towards a common goal - making that sale and improving productivity!
#2 Save Time
A sales management platform helps sales teams to organize all customer-related information in one single place that is easily accessible to all team members and help streamline your process.
It can process and analyze data and produce easy to comprehend reports with relevant information, thus saving time.
#3 Automate Workflows
Sales teams can cut down half their tasks by automating trivial admin tasks with the help of a sales management system.
Instead of manually feeding in data or sending follow-up emails, the sales team can focus on actually making the sale while the platform takes care of the necessary admin tasks with a simple, yet powerful workflow.
#4 Stay Up-to-Date on your Sales Pipeline
Without a stable sales management system, it can be extremely challenging for sales managers to stay on top of their sales data.
A CRM platform aids sales managers with up-to-date information on the status of each lead so the sales team can never miss an opportunity and prioritize their time with the prospect with a high tendency to convert.
#5 Exceed Sales Goals
Ultimately, sales managers leverage resources such as a sales management system to track their revenue goals.
These platforms are intuitive in nature - they help sales teams optimize their sales process so each lead is more likely to close and give more attention to high-value opportunities.
By keeping their teams informed and organized by providing the right set of data, sales managers can easily exceed their sales targets and meet their goals.
CRM for Sales Management: Accelerate your Revenue Goals
Sales is all about getting the right data at the right time.
Modern CRM systems have progressed so much that they have the ability to push sales deals and provide an organized sales pipeline to close the deal.
Here are some of the key features of a CRM that will help businesses to improve their sales performance and accelerate their revenue goals easily -
Lead Scoring and Lead Assignment
A vital part of the sales process, besides lead qualification, is lead scoring.
Lead scoring should be the primary step in your sales process, so it can be highly relevant and is helpful if your sales management system can automatically score them as they enter the pipeline.
Lead scoring helps the team to understand the real value of the lead and set realistic goals for themselves.
In addition, although most businesses rely on various sources for lead generation, your sales management tool should allow you to automate the lead assignment process by defining a workflow based on which leads are assigned to a set of sales reps.
A good sales management software should let you configure various criteria based on your industry-specific requirements so that only the leads that fit the bill are assigned to reps.
Real-Time Notifications to Alert the Sales Teams
Understanding when to interact with your qualified leads before they turn cold is important.
With the help of a CRM for sales management, sales reps can immediately know when a lead visits your website, fills in a form, opens your email, or even mentions your company name on social media.
Stop relying on guesswork and seize the opportunity while the lead is still hot with sales management software.
Robust Live Chat
Most businesses rely on the live chat feature in hopes of turning around their customer service and catering to all customer queries.
Unfortunately, the live chat feature, when they are not intuitive, work on a set of defined rules, giving customers a very robotic feel.
When the live chat is accompanied by artificial language and machine learning, it becomes a highly interactive tool that lets customers/visitors have the best user experience and cater to all their needs with a human-like language.
Sales reps can notice and help the customers if they are stuck on a blog post, do not understand the payment system, or even need more information.
Sales Pipeline and Sales Process Management
The sales pipeline gives you a quick overview of your deals and helps you understand the individual stages the customer is at.
Not just that, a CRM helps you create a sales process unique to your organization.
As your organization grows, it is important that your sales process becomes scalable. Having a thorough knowledge of your pipeline with a defined sales process helps you decide what steps to take in order to close the deal.
Ensure that the sales management CRM you choose lets you customize and keep a close eye on your deals, what stage they are at, the assistance they might need to close the deal, and the numbers associated with it in a compact view.
This can be easily achieved by building a scalable process inside your sales management tool.
Having a sales process mapped out helps sales reps focus on their customer while prospecting with the knowledge of what to do at every stage of the pipeline.
AI for Sales for Automation
Artificial intelligence is not a novel technology. It’s been in the industry for years now, and is an important part of the modern sales approach.
As a sales manager, you want your sales reps to focus on actually making a sale and bringing in revenue.
This can be done if your sales team automates mundane admin tasks and spends more time talking to your prospects.
An efficient sales management CRM should be powered with artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate repeat admin tasks and let your sales reps improve their productivity and close more deals.
Set up a workflow so salespeople do not miss important emails, send relevant sales enablement content, and have a quick overview of the status of the deal with a CRM.
Analytics and Forecasts
What is the use of data without insights?
When you accumulate massive amounts of data, it can get daunting.
A sales management CRM helps your team to track, spot key trends, analyze cues, and provide additional assistance with the right analytics and forecast metrics to make better decisions.
Keep a close eye on key performance metrics, targets, and pipeline goals for the month with the CRM.
Negotiate and Handle Objections
Typically, even after convincing your prospect to purchase your product, there might be one too many objections.
Some of the most common objections in the sales cycle include pricing, product quality, customer support, post-sales service, delivery time, and more. During the negotiation phase, it is vital to identify the real cause behind the deal, in case of rejection.
Once the cause is identified, the sales rep can feed this into the system so the software learns about negotiation and handling objections in the right way so sales reps do not repeat the same mistake in the future.
Want to help your reps handle sales objections like a pro? With Salesken’s Real-Time Assistance, sales reps share best responses to objections, winning hooks and best negotiations tactics, with your team in real-time. Replicate winning strategies of your top reps in real-time and improve sales outcomes.
Manage Sales Operations, Close Deals, and More with a Sales Management CRM Tool
Sales management is not a simple process, but it is a critical role that can impact your business’s revenue.
Although there are lots of moving parts and intricacies, with the right strategies and workflows in place, you can efficiently manage your sales teams, manage goals, maintain relationships, and meet your goals.
A sales management CRM like Salesken can equip your sales team with powerful, yet actionable strategies to take your sales process to the next level. Closing deals and staying on top of potential opportunities have never been easier with Salesken.
Book a demo with our expert to explore more opportunities and accelerate your revenue goals.
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