The constant pressure on sales teams to deliver results is nothing new, but the approach that different sales organizations take to achieving targets varies greatly. Proactivity in the sales process can make the difference between poor and outstanding results, but sales professionals in many organizations do not have the tools required to provide the detailed insights they really need to achieve it with ease.
Driving effectiveness in the sales department not only requires a sales incentive management system, but also the provision of accurate, timely data to sales reps in order for them to identify the right course of action at the right time. In this blog we explore how a sales performance management solution can achieve this, using the example of one of the world’s leading electronics companies – Ricoh.
Think about the amount of data a business may hold on any one customer, and where it might be stored:
This list is not exhaustive but highlights the number of potential sources of information which may be useful for furthering the sales process. From a sales rep’s perspective, finding all of this information presents a time-consuming challenge in itself, never mind comparing the different factors to identify the current position of the customer and the chance of them purchasing something new.
It is likely that several ad-hoc spreadsheets also come into play as reps try to monitor their pipeline and keep track of where their customers and prospects are at, requiring regular manual updates, which create further time delays.
Multiply the time spent by each rep by the total size of the sales team, and the inefficiencies start to show – not ideal when you consider that the team’s primary function is to sell more as quickly as possible.
Gartner defines sales performance management (SPM) as “a suite of operational and analytical functions that automate and unite back-office operational sales processes.” By bringing information together, and through the automation of processes which may traditionally be time-consuming, SPM solutions make it easier for sales teams to gain clarity over the entire sales process and focus on selling, while giving managers full visibility of how sales teams are performing across all business entities.
In an ideal world, all relevant customer data needs to be brought together for sales performance management to be at its most effective, which can be achieved using a unified analysis, simulation, and planning solution.
To explore the benefits of sales performance management, let’s look at the example of leading electronics company Ricoh. The company’s European arm has utilized the Board decision-making platform as a unified solution to consolidate customer data from its 25 operating entities, including 4.6 million customer records, 5 million sales activities, 750,000 open sales opportunities, and over 9 million service activities.
Due to past acquisitions, the Ricoh Europe previously had several approaches to the sales process in different countries and the above data was held in multiple systems and locations, making it difficult to get the full picture to drive sales performance.
Now, through the use of Board as a centralized sales performance management solution, the business has:
These factors combine to deliver a transformation of the entire sales process, bringing together front and back office data in a way that is useful for driving sales performance. You can read the full Ricoh sales performance management case study here.
The benefits don’t stop there. Sales performance management solutions also make it possible to manage the allocation of sales goals across different territories, channels, sales reps, and product lines in a top-down or bottom-up approach. The link between all data sources enable this allocation to be carried out while taking into account both historical performance and predicted forecasts, providing full visibility at every stage.
Every organization has access to a wealth of information on its customer and prospect accounts, but it is often difficult to access without considerable manual effort. Through the implementation of a sales performance management approach, leadership teams can empower both themselves and their sales teams to access information instantly, driving transparency across customer accounts at every stage of the sales pipeline and beyond, and improving the efficiency of sales forecasting and reporting activities business-wide.
To learn more about using Board as a sales performance management solution, watch our webinar on Sales and Marketing performance.
Find out how, as a unified decision-making platform, Board combines the power of self-service analytics with comprehensive planning and reporting for an all-in-one approach to sales performance management