Sales Coaching Blog

How Better Pipeline Management Improves the Bottom Line

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

August 27, 2010

Posted by: Kristi Shoemaker, Marketing, EcSELL Institute

We had a wonderful turnout for our August Sales Management Webinar. Bill Eckstrom, President of EcSELL Institute and Tracey Kaufman, Senior Director of Customer Experience of Cloud9 Analytics, presented sales pipeline management and forecasting best practices.  If you missed it and would like a copy of the ppt deck, send me an email or comment on this blog.  Email kshoemaker@ecsellinstitute.com

Following is a article written by Barbara Gago Barbara Gago Cloud9 Analytics of Cloud9 Analytics. It explores the amount of revenue lost due to ineffective sales management processes.  Enjoy!

A study recently conducted by CSO Insights, surveying Chief Sales Officers from various organizations, uncovered some unsettling facts about the amount of revenue lost due to ineffective sales management processes.

 

·         Only 51.1% of Reps make their quota

·         Only 44.8% of forecasted deals are won

·         Only 78.5% of plan attainment is accomplished

·         Only 23% of firms have a dynamic sales process

 

So what does all this mean? It’s means that major revenue is being lost. And while 45% of companies use CRM to manage their sales forecasts, CRM is not enough. What’s missing is a sales management process that is informed by analytics.

 

First, to get a better idea of where you’re at, start with pipeline velocity. This is a dollar over day measure of your pipeline value. Pipeline velocity is calculated like this:

(# of deals) x (average deal size) x (win conversion rate)

average selling time in days

 

By calculating your pipeline velocity you’ll have clear idea of the overall health of your pipeline, be able to identify key drivers and how they impact your business, as well as focus on what you can control.

 

Once you know where you are pipeline management will give you better visibility. Better pipeline management (leading to forecast accuracy) will help you “detect & correct” rather than “measure & punish.” The idea is to be proactive and in control, not surprised at the end of every quarter. Improving pipeline management starts with analytics.

 

The CSO Insights studies shows that best-in-class companies are leveraging pipeline analytics manage their pipelines more efficiently. Here’s how they do it:

 

·         By proactively determining which forecasted deals have changed, and how

·         In real-time, determining which forecasted deals are slipping, and why

·         Proactively knowing which reps need extra coaching / mentoring

·         Coaching reps on how to prioritize which accounts to pursue

·         By assisting reps in qualifying out low quality opportunities early

·         Implementing a Dynamic Sales Process

·         Escalating CRM adoption (with carrots, not sticks)

 

By leveraging pipeline analytics, Sales managers are able to conduct more efficient weekly sales meetings (focusing on what’s changed / comparing to historic data), be better at 1:1 coaching, improve forecast accuracy, more consistent pipeline management, and the ability to implement smoother, more effective business processes that increase revenue and predictability.

  I invite you to attend our September Sales Management Webinar. We will explore the questions "Do you have the carrot in the right place to drive the right behavior?"  Learn best practices in sales compensation plans.

These two webinars tie together very nicely.  You have to be able to measure what you reward. You want to reward what you want to have done. What you want done has to be measureable.  It is one big sales management puzzel.

Don't miss this one! Request the ppt deck for the other one.

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Barbra Gago recently joined Cloud9 Analytics as Social Media and Community Manager. She works to develop best practice content and share everything she learns on the Sales Effectiveness blog covering; CRM, social CRM, pipeline management, forecast accuracy, pipeline velocity, performance management, business analytics, and SaaS technologies.

Cloud9 Analytics, EcSELL Institute Pillar Partner

http://www.cloud9analytics.com/

Cloud9 Analytics is the global leader in on-demand business analytics delivered directly to line-of-business managers. Cloud9 Pipeline Accelerator Suite for salesforce.com enables sales leaders to more effectively manage their opportunities and teams. The result is a dramatic increase in deal conversion rates, higher CRM adoption, and improved forecast accuracy. Powered by patent-pending row-versioning database technology, Cloud9's applications deliver value in just 24 hours and require zero installation, zero maintenance and zero IT support.

Topics: EcSELL Institute Partner, sales analytics & performance tracking, sales pipeline management

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