Even if your sales personnel possess natural born talent for generating leads and closing deals, that’s simply not enough to maximize an organization’s bottom line. In order to ensure a corporation’s profitability, it’s important for sales managers to effectively organize and manage sales department workflows.
When strategically implemented, sales management processes such as hiring and training sales personnel, incentivizing sales staff, strategizing lead generation, forecasting company sales, and setting sales goals and quotas can help businesses maintain a more continuous, predictable cash flow.
However, managing sales department processes can prove challenging for any sales manager. To help manage daily operations, effective sales managers typically utilize various sales management tools. Here are a few different types of sales management solutions often leveraged by top organizations:
- Candidate relationship management
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Sales performance management
- Sales reporting
- Mind mapping
Sales management tools help sales managers better visualize their sales pipeline, manage sales department tasks, report on and analyze sales data, and track individual performance. More importantly, sales management tools reduce time spent on tedious administrative tasks–time that can be used for more impactful activities, like lead generation or closing deals.
In this article, we will explore how task management and project management fit into your organization’s sales management strategy,how sales management tools enhance key sales management strategies, and how companies can use tools such as MindManager® to better visualize and enhance their sales management processes.
How task management and project management fit into your organization’s sales process management strategy
Most sales departments are broken down into various roles including sales development, account management, inside sales, field sales, client services, and other sales-focused teams.
The various teams that constitute an organization’s sales department all have their own projects to complete in order to accomplish their sales goals and quotas. Each project a sales team engages in qualifies as an individual stage within the overarching sales cycle, which comes with its own set of tasks that must be accomplished.
For instance, sales development teams are often tasked with bridging the gap between sales and marketing by prospecting and qualifying customer leads. To do so, sales development teams must complete certain tasks such as conducting customer research, facilitating discovery calls, and scheduling demos with prospective customers.
So, how are sales managers supposed to ensure that each sales project and its associated tasks are completed successfully by their sales teams? Well, one way is to make good use of sales management tools, seeing as these solutions specialize in helping sales managers better manage both the small details and big picture of their sales department’s various workflows.
How sales management tools enhance key sales management strategies
Now let’s look at a few common sales management strategies used by top organizations and how sales management tools can be used to support them.Outlining compensation plans and expectations
When hiring new sales personnel, sales managers should be sure to provide these individuals with a detailed explanation of their commission structure, salary, and what they can expect of their colleagues.
A good sales commission structure will balance fair compensation for personnel with a company’s bottom line. By clearly explaining to candidates how their salary works in conjunction with their commission and what their job duties consist of, sales managers can ensure that their candidates are aware of company standards before they start selling.
To ensure that candidates are aware of company compensation plans and team expectations, sales managers can utilize a recruitment candidate relationship management (CRM) tool. Recruitment CRM tools are a type of sales management tool that provide sales managers with a centralized platform to track all candidate documentation and communications.
With a recruitment CRM tool, sales managers can store important sales personnel onboarding documents such as salesperson compensation plans, employee handbooks, and organizational charts. During the onboarding process, managers can extend new hires access rights to all this information on the recruitment CRM, avoiding the risk of miscommunication regarding compensation down the line.Setting realistic goals and quotas
Unrealistic sales goals and quotas will often result in high staff turnover rates, which can be detrimental to a company’s bottom line. Sales managers should set sales goals and quotas that are challenging, yet attainable, as this will encourage their sales staff to operate at top performance without experiencing burnout.
However, to set realistic sales goals and quotas, sales managers should utilize a reliable customer relationship management solution (CRM). CRM solutions are a type of sales management tool that centralizes a company’s prospective and existing customer data so that the sales department can easily access the information they need to close deals.
In order to develop realistic sales goals and quotas, sales managers can analyze the data that CRM tools hold, to set ambitious yet realistic goals for their sales personnel. CRM systems track every aspect of the sales pipeline, enabling managers to better understand sales team conversion rates, drop-off rates, sales cycle lengths, and other key performance indicators (KPIs) that can then be used to guide the sales quota strategy.Adequately training and motivating sales personnel
In order to set their sales team up for success, sales managers must adequately train and motivate their sales personnel. After the onboarding process, sales representatives should be able to understand the following:
- The entire process, from generating leads to follow up with prospects and customers.
- The methodologies and techniques your sales department uses.
- The tools and technologies your sales team uses.
- The buyer personas for the company’s target audience.
But a sales manager’s job doesn’t stop there! It is also the responsibility of a sales manager to continuously motivate sales personnel to perform at an optimal level.
Sales performance management (SPM) software is a sales management tool that helps sales managers better track and manage their sales department performance levels and execute sales training. SPM tools often come with features such as targeted sales training, training resources, training courses, and real-time sales assistance to help equip new salespeople with the knowledge and skills they need to successfully complete assigned tasks.
Most SPM tools also include gamification features such as quizzes, contests, and badges for sales personnel to earn. Sales managers can leverage gamification to motivate their salespeople to increase their sales performance.
For instance, to motivate sales personnel to increase their sales, sales managers can use an SPM tool to assign virtual badges to salespeople that meet or exceed set sales quotas. Once a salesperson has a certain number of badges, sales managers can assign bonuses to those team members, or other rewards such as prizes or gift cards to motivate their sales personnel to close more deals.
Leveraging sales and revenue reports to make continuous improvement to organizational sales processes
By creating sales and revenue reports, sales managers can better understand what their sales teams are doing well and what they need to improve upon. Sharing these reports with sales staff on a periodic basis can help them make incremental improvements to their sales processes, which enhances the adaptability and competitiveness of an organization.
Sales reporting software is a sales management tool that helps sales managers automatically generate sales reports for their sales department. Some different types of sales reports that these tools can typically generate include:
- Pipeline and funnel analysis reports
- Revenue reports
- Sales forecasting reports
- Customer interaction reports
- Sales performance reports
These reports often contain a wide variety of sales metrics such as total revenue, revenue by product or service, year-over-year growth, net promoter score, and other sales KPIs.
Sales managers can draw actionable insights from these reports that can be used to correct the weaknesses of their sales strategy, which then underscores the continuous improvement of their sales department.
How businesses can use MindManager to better visualize and enhance their sales management processes
Research shows that the brain recalls visual images much more easily than it does written text. By leveraging mind mapping tools to outline sales management processes, sales managers can easily identify and improve upon gaps in their sales management workflows.
MindManager process maps, flowcharts, organizational charts, and sales funnel charts that can be used to better understand and optimize the inner workings of an organization’s sales department. flowcharts, organizational charts, and sales funnel charts that can be used to better understand and optimize the inner workings of an organization’s sales department.
MindManager’s co-editing capabilities enable sales department leadership to easily collaborate with their teams on sales management process diagrams, regardless of their technical expertise. MindManager also enables users to save their mind mapping templates for future use, saving teams valuable time and energy they can otherwise spend on lead generation and closing deals.Explore how MindManager is an ideal sales management tool for your team or business.