Are you missing out on the most promising customers? Why do you win some sales, but lose others? Do you consider forecasting as a painful and heavy-duty process?

According to research, 80% of SMEs are using Excel to manage their sales pipeline. Due to its familiarity, it is a popular choice for many sales managers and if you work with less than 10 deals at a time then spreadsheets are a cheap and effective way to boost sales.

However the familiarity and convenience of Excel does not always translate into efficiency and productivity, especially with a high volume of deals every week. Looking at layers of spreadsheet data and trying to come up with a coherent sales forecast can be soul-destroying. You know that feeling too well…

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4 Ways CRM Data Can Improve Your Sales Pipeline Analysis

Reduce time spent on admin

If you spend hours every month on reporting, you are missing out on what really matters most – selling.

With the right tools, pipeline analysis can become a breeze, allowing you to get visibility into team performance, check on sales quotas and examine monthly trends. You will never let a lucrative deal slip through the cracks again!

Take guesswork out of the equation

In the absence of a crystal ball to predict future sales accurately, many rely on guesswork. But it doesn’t have to be this way…

With a CRM system you can work out an average closure rate to predict future sales revenue. Working backwards from your sales target, you can predict how many leads you need to hit your target. No luck or hunch needed.

Identify and focus on lucrative prospects

Sales-initiative.com recommends focusing your pipeline on high-value business, rather than hitting targets through a series of smaller deals. This concept comes from the Pareto principle meaning that 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers.

How CRM can help? When you identify your sweet spot, you can focus on growing this market. At the same time, when unprofitable clients consume too much resource, you can introduce automation to allow your sales reps focus on richer deals.

Identify leaks and plug them

Your prospects will drop out due to insufficient budget, wrong timing, or lack of conviction at the solution you offer.

With CRM you can easily record this information to identify patterns or a particular stage where prospects get stuck. Once you know this you can review your sales process – could a new sales tactic or an additional stage reduce your drop out rate?

What to look for in your CRM solution

Your CRM can increase your productivity and make sales processes more efficient, however not all CRM systems offer the same functionality – here are a few tips on what to consider:

  • Accessibility

If remote access is important, you should look for a system that include a mobile application for easy access when on the move. Sales reps with mobile access to their CRM are 24% more likely to achieve their annual sales quota.

  • Integration

Look out for a solution that integrates with existing applications, such as email and accounting software.

  • Functionality

Look for a system that comes with good reporting options that can help you forecast and show conversion rates.

Still using Excel to manage your sales pipeline?

Sure, spreadsheets can be useful, but they're not an efficient tool when you have to tackle pipeline management. The good news is that there are many CRM systems that can transform the way you manage your sales pipeline…

How to choose the right CRM software

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