I get asked all the time by sales leaders, how do I get my sales team to put all their opportunities in our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system? I usually respond with the question, “why do you think they don’t put them in CRM?” Answers vary from “being lazy” to “I don’t have any idea.” I also like to ask, “what happens if they lose a large opportunity?” I ask this question because it has a lot to do with why they put them in or don’t. So, let me ask this question, are all your opportunities in CRM?
The correct answer is NO.
There are variables you should consider, like the size of your company, the size of your salesforce, and how many opportunities you expect. However, for most companies, there are three types of deals, and only two of them live in your CRM.
Type 1: The Real Ones
You know, the ones that your sales rep puts in CRM once they get past hello and continue the conversation. They create the opportunity, set the stage for where it is, and its win probability. Your top performers even put in the next step. These are what we strive for as a sales organization.
Learn More by Listening to Our Podcast Episode 61:
Type 2: The Fluff
We all know the fluff. These are the deals that were once real or perceived to be real, and the prospect/client left it with the salesperson, saying they would get back to them. Then Casper, the friendly “I ghosted you,” shows up. “Hey, they didn’t say no, and they would get back to me.” These are the opportunities that magically get pushed out two months, then another two months, and another. The main reason they stay in the pipeline is each salesperson needs to have a certain number of opportunities or dollar amount to meet their quota.
Type 3:The Ones in Your Salespeople’s Head
If it is not in CRM, it doesn’t exist, right? Wrong! Some of the biggest deals slide in toward the end phase of the sales process. These deals magically show up in your CRM, and are won within a few days or weeks. Many companies even celebrate these types of wins. A salesperson can sell through Outlook and their cell phone without entering each initial interaction in your CRM. The ratio of these deals can vary widely due to your sales and company culture.
Your leadership sets your sales culture, and It’s easy for them to be spreadsheet junkies, looking at call activity and the number of opportunities each team member has. It can be difficult for them to understand that a culture of helping their sales team with their opportunities and growing business needs to be a top priority.
When a large deal is lost, the salesperson feels like the life was sucked out of their body. It’s like having a vacuum hose stuck in their throat on full blast taking all the air out of their lungs. It doesn’t need to be relived in a sales meeting. As leaders, we need to have enough trust in our team that they did everything they could to close the deal.
Make it easy for your salespeople to want to put their deals in CRM and create a coaching culture, not just a compliance culture. You may actually just get a pipeline that is as close to real as possible.
We recommend Business Central ERP for many reasons, but one of the main reasons is that it has a CRM baked right into the system, making it easy to use and integrate with and get the most out of. Also, Business Central works seamlessly with other Microsoft products that your sales team works with daily.
If you have any questions about your CRM, or best practices, feel free to reach out. I’d love to have a discussion.