What Sales Tracking Software Does
Powerful sales tracking software can provide the tools to enable successful management of your sales processes. Sales tracking software and sales management allows distributors to drive greater sales revenue and make more profitable sales. Sales management is essentially the process of organizing and managing the efforts of sales personnel, setting targets and objectives, and most importantly measuring performance against goals. Effective sales management software allows the tracking of sales efforts from receiving leads through to closing sales, managing the pipeline of opportunities, and then analyzing the results.
Defining the Sales Process
To manage a sales process, the overall sales process first has to be defined in terms of stages. Every sale starts as a lead and goes through various pipeline stages until it is either closed or lost. Defining this sales process systematizes the process of closing sales and allows the whole effort to be managed as a portfolio of opportunities in different pipeline stages. Your sales and distribution software should be able to report on all pipeline stages to track how opportunities are moving through the pipeline and identify where the bottlenecks are.
Managing Sales Activities
Salespersons work on interacting with leads to close sales. To manage these activities, your sales and distribution software needs to be able to track calendar tasks by salesperson by customer or prospect by transaction or opportunity. The system needs to record call notes, meeting notes, and outgoing email communications so that salespersons always have immediate access to all these prospect and customer interactions. A critically important capability is for your sales and distribution software to be able to automatically link to all transactions in the system. Without this, salespersons will not be able to easily respond to questions from prospects and customers, and this will hinder the ability to close new sales.
Evaluating Sales Activities
With good sales and distribution software, sales managers can evaluate lead sources and conversion rates and correlate these with sales activities. This information can be used to streamline and improve the sales process. In addition, having the data allows for optimizing the types of leads purchased as well as refining the processes that are undertaken to qualify leads and prospects. These changes can greatly improve the rate at which deals are closed as well as reduce the cost of closing deals. Also being able to evaluate the results of different marketing initiatives and sales campaigns drives better lead conversion rates and more effective sales management.
Managing Customer Accounts
Your sales and distribution software also needs to allow salespersons to see all customer purchase history quickly and easily. Salespersons need to know what products your customers bought in the past and when. This customer relationship management (CRM) information is critical to sales management. Using sales and distribution software sales managers and salespersons should be able to analyze which customer accounts are the best sales targets and which products are the most profitable. Using this information, sales managers can strategically manage customer accounts to optimize pricing and terms. Salespersons can then prioritize their efforts with the most important customer accounts and spend less time on the less attractive accounts.
Forecasting Customer Needs
Sales and distribution software that projects what your customers want based on what they purchased allows you to keep the right products on hand and at the right inventory levels. Inventory management that allows distributors to optimize inventory levels can drive massive savings in reducing or eliminating slow-moving and/or unprofitable lines, Accurate forecasting of customer needs also allows for efficiently targeting salespersons on the most profitable and productive opportunities.
Analyzing Customer Purchases
Sales and distribution software that can analyze current purchases of particular products against prior purchases can identify possible customer relationship issues early that can then be addressed. Also, drop-offs in purchases by certain customers can identify potential opportunities to offer special discounts. Analyzing which products are moving slowly can allow for targeted promotions or sales discounts. Fast-moving and products in high demand may be opportunities to raise pricing to certain customer accounts. Evaluating correlations of purchases of different products and/or product lines allows sales managers to create cross-sell and upsell offerings for salespersons.
Implementing Sales Tracking Software
Implementing a sales management and CRM system starts with having the right sales tracking software. Contact us to see how Accolent ERP can meet your sales management and CRM software needs.