We believe that salespeople are entrepreneurs within the enterprise—or, as we like to refer to them, salespreneurs. Along those lines we are now engaged in a series of Pipeliner CRM tips and tricks focused on empowering the entrepreneurial spirit of salespeople and sales managers. This post is about a vital aspect of sales target achievement: focusing and prioritizing.
What To Do, What To Do?
When there are no real operational standards, salespeople find it hard to know what to do next.Which sales should they be pursuing, in what order? Also without such standards, sales management can have trouble guiding salespeople on which way to go.
The answer, of course, is focusing and prioritizing opportunities. With many CRM solutions, especially traditional complex ones, this can be somewhat of a chore. But with Pipeliner CRM, focusing and prioritizing is relatively simple action, and there are actually numerous ways to do it.
Rank Your Opportunities
One way that salesperson themselves can prioritize Opportunities is with the Pipeliner ranking system. With this system, the salesperson can rank likelihood of closing from 1 – 5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. When a new Opportunity is entered, the rep ranks the opportunity right then, by clicking on the number of stars (1 – 5) they think is accurate. That ranking will then remain attached to that Opportunity as it moves along the pipeline, unless it is changed.
All of the Opportunities of a certain ranking can be seen at once by using Pipeliner’s filters. Filter settings are found by clicking on the cogwheel icon in the upper right of your screen, then clicking on “Filter Settings.” You can then filter by ranking.
Set Closing Date
A salesperson or sales manager may want to prioritize sales by closing date—the date they project the sale will close.
You can get a valuable view of sales by closing date with Pipeliner CRM’s Timeline feature. Simply click on “Timeline” at the bottom of the Pipeliner UI. You will then see a full list of Opportunities and their data. At the top of the screen you will be able to scroll left and right, and view the number of opportunities by closing date. This will allow you to focus on sales that are closer in time, or prioritize for a certain quarter or time period.
Show Me the Money!
You can also focus on sales in a certain dollar amount category or range. In the Filter Settings window (see “Filters” below), simply fill in the amount, and you will then only see deals in the pipeline targeted to come in greater than that amount. You can then focus on these opportunities or prioritize based on them
Garbage In, Garbage Out Applies
For all these activities, make sure the data being entered is as accurate as possible. An overly optimistic closing date, rating, dollar value, will cause the system to set the priority higher than it actually is.
These obviously should be used in combination. A high rating — combined with a near closing date and a high dollar amount — would be your highest priority.
Slice and Dice the View of the Sales Force
A sales manager can view pipelines of a single sales rep, a particular group, or the whole sales force. This will allow you to set priorities or the focus of a particular rep or group.
You view this landscape through Pipeliner’s Profiles. To view different Profiles, click on “My View” in the upper right-hand corner of the Pipeliner user interface, and chose the various Profiles you’d like to see.
Filters Fine and Filters Broad
You can also view a pipeline or pipelines by Filters. Filter settings are found by clicking on the cogwheel icon in the upper right of your screen, then clicking on “Filter Settings.” You can filter by Account, Contact, Name, Owner, Opportunity value, Account type, Ranking, Account class, Time in sales step, Due in sales step, the Sales unit or Subunit, Products or Soales step.
There is a wide variety of ways Filters can be used for focusing and prioritizing.You can also combine Profiles and Filters to see how various reps or groups are stacking up, and what their priorities should be.
Pipeliner’s velocity notifications work hand-in-glove with the Sales Stages you set up, and allows you either as sales manager or sales rep to never let Opportunities stagnate. Appropriate people—the sales rep and/or sales manager—are notified whenever an opportunity is due to move to the next stage.
Here’s how to set up velocity notifications:
Hover over any pipeline stage. A box will appear showing specifics about that pipeline stage.
Click on “set notifications” in the lower right of box.
You”ll see a small box to the right of each of your sales stages. Click on the left-hand side of that box. A check mark will appear, as well as a window giving you options for your notifications. You can opt to be notified on the day the sale is due, or a number of other options for number of days before the sales is due.
Once you”ve set the notifications you”d like to receive, save and then close the window.
Hit-Rate Manager Keeps an Eye on the Activity
Pipeliner CRM’s Hit Rate Manager is a way of keeping tabs on the activities of the team, by showing you, by account, the amount of activity that has taken place within a given time frame.
To run Hit Rate Manager, go to Reports, then hit Rate Manager. You can then click on “options” (the gear icon in the upper right). You can then explore a number of options through which you can view the activity of a particular rep, group, or entire sales force, over various periods of time.
The Archive: Improve the Future By Studying the Past
A unique feature of Pipeliner CRM is its Archive, which shows both closed and lost opportunities. By examining the Archive and looking over lost deals, you can isolate commonalities among them, thereby figuring out what your sales team should not be focusing on and prioritizing. It’s certainly a way to lose fewer deals. By the way, if a lost Opportunity heats up again, you can rejuvenate it with a single click.
Use Pipeliner CRM’s focusing and prioritizing features to consistently raise your success level and closing rates.