Sales performance: 6 simple ways managers can use CRM data to improve sales

Your CRM system holds a wealth of data that can be used to improve sales. Did you know that with a few simple steps you can take the data that’s already there and use it to gain insight and focus sales efforts?

We’ve put together a list of 6 tips based on more than 10 years experience with highly successful Nordic BTB sales teams. Have a look and consider what will help you reach short term targets and build long term value.

sales-leaderboard

1. Keep teams focused with more visible goals and KPIs

KPIs are defined at strategy workshops or management meetings. After workshops people get so busy, KPIs are often forgotten until the next meeting. Weeks or months can pass before sales teams are updated and momentum is lost.

This is when it’s a good time to bring KPIs top of mind by sharing status updates on dashboards. How are sales figures looking this quarter? Everyone likes to see how they are doing. Visual formats are easier to grasp than text or email. A picture really is like a 1000 words!

The figures should update automatically as data is entered in SuperOffice, saving valuable reporting time. When everyone’s geared on reaching a goal, they will pay more attention to updates and expect figures to be accurate. Errors are picked up faster and you’ll find overall data quality improves.

2. Filter and group data for better insight

Successful sales teams are using sales analytics. By analyzing and comparing data across time, segments, products or other parameters, analytics provide valuable insight about what’s working, what isn’t, and how you can adapt.

Rather than selecting data and doing comparisons in multiple steps, analytics tools enable non-techies to sort, filter, and group data with one step. Modern CRM analytics fit a range of needs from general business users to experienced analysts.

We recently talked with one sales director that wants to track exactly how many customer meetings are booked per week and the number of proposals sent. Another sales leader wants continuous overview of budget vs. actual sales and to provide this information for each regional manager.

3. Celebrate new deals to generate enthusiasm

Do you celebrate new deals and give attention to both big and small wins? Acknowledging a win is part of building good team spirit, especially if times are tough. Consider how people respond to the ring of a sales bell or the energy created from a new win.

When a salesperson sets the status of an opportunity to “sold” everyone should get an update. With the number of mobile workers growing, this keeps up motivation while on the road or working from home.

In the example pictured, each salesperson sees:

  • Top 10 wins by revenue
  • Latest sale: salesperson name, customer name and amount
  • Updated ticker showing most recent sales

4. Run a team competition

If you’ve ever thought a competition could spur sales, but have been stopped by the additional logistics, then your CRM system holds the answers. Reusing your existing data saves punching figures into yet another system or having someone record results manually. As long as the information is logged in SuperOffice, the competition results can be pulled together and displayed.

What about competing on the number of telephone calls made by the inside sales team? The number of new customer meetings booked by one office compared to another? The number of marketing qualified leads converted to sales qualified leads within the quarter? The possibilities are almost endless.

5. Give stalled or forgotten sales the attention they deserve

Stalled sales are one of those items that pose a challenge for sales managers. Your salespeople may see when their own deal is stalled or past closed, but you may not have the same insight. Why is the sales stalled? Is it likely to remain stalled and should it be moved to ‘Lost’? The more stalled sales in a period, the harder it is to make an educated estimate of what will close.

In this case it’s useful to have an overview of all stalled opportunities per person. Create a report from your CRM system. Not surprisingly, just knowing that managers can see forgotten deals, can trigger salespeople to pursue deals even harder. The same applies to deals that are past close date.

6. Free-up time for customers or coaching with report automation

Everyone uses sales reports to navigate. Reports help steer sales in the right direction and control that revenues are on track. But there is clearly a relationship between the amounts of time spent on reporting and the tools that you use. Using Excel these days rather than sales analytics tools is like using a map when you could be using GPS.

Imagine that one, single version of each report is automtatically updated and available for review in advance of weekly sales meetings. Suddenly the meeting changes from being about reviewing numbers to deciding what actions are required. Meetings are more effective and sales are moving forward.

Using these tips can mean the difference between a struggling sales quarter and super success. The underlying data should already be in your database. If data isn’t accurate, these tips will encourage faster, more accurate input.

Announcing Beta version of SuperOffice Analyze’s new cloud platform for SuperOffice CRM Online

March 3, 2016 – Business Analyze today announces that the cloud version of SuperOffice Analyze, the powerful analytics and reporting tool for SuperOffice CRM Online, is now available in Beta directly from SuperOffice App Store.

The cloud version of the most popular analytics tool for SuperOffice makes it easier than ever for business leaders and SuperOffice users to measure, monitor and analyze customer relationships and sales performance.

“We are in the process of rolling out the beta version of SuperOffice Analyze cloud with select customers,” says Einar Gynnild, CEO of Business Analyze. “There is a wealth of information within systems that can be extracted and used to gain business insight, better serve customers and fuel growth.  With the cloud, it is even easier and faster.”

“CRM and analytics go hand in hand. There is clear trend amongst leaders and managers to use CRM data to improve decision making, automate reporting and identify new opportunities.” says Cathrine Mula-Davis, who is responsible for SuperOffice App Store.  “With this early-stage offering, we are happy to that all SuperOffice CRM Online customers in Europe, can now enjoy the benefits of a fully-fledged, cloud analytics platform.”

The SuperOffice Analyze cloud contains all the pre-defined leader, manager, sales and service dashboards as the on-premise version, as well as the flexibility to create custom reports, queries and calculations. It also gives users full, instant access to their data and user-defined fields.

Because SuperOffice Analyze is built on the powerful and flexible Business Analyze platform, SuperOffice customers can easily integrate CRM data with other cloud, on-premise or spreadsheet applications.

Full market rollout is expected in Q2.

For more information visit www.businessanalyze.com. To register your interest in the Beta program, visit http://online.superoffice.com/appstore, or contact any one of our authorized partners.

Better budgeting with Business Analyze for SuperOffice

“We’re having our quarterly management meeting next Friday. Can you give an updated sales budget report?”

This sounds like a simple request, but if the thought of pulling the necessary facts and figures together sounds as much fun as pulling teeth, then there is help at hand.

Sold-vs-Budget (1)

Traditionally, budget reports are created by extracting SuperOffice sales data and making spreadsheet comparisons. This gets the job done, but it also take time. Figures change quickly and there’s no guarantee that what you present next Friday will be up to date. If a large deal closes, you want the tables and charts to reflect the real numbers.

The other way to report, is to use budgeting dashboards. Updated sales data from SuperOffice is pulled into graphs or charts and compared to budget for selected time periods, people or parts of the organization. Bring your PC into the meeting, login to Business Analyze, to share the reports.

Read on to find out how it works:

  1. Input your budget

    Input budget per person under ‘budget’. People’s names and their place in the organization structure are based on information already entered in ‘company contacts’. You do not have to repeat the process.

  2. Compare actual to budget for a specific period

    The graph ‘sales vs. budget’ will automatically update with your figures. Sales is composed of two elements: 1) the prognosis, which is total amount in the pipeline for the period, and 2) the amount that has been registered as ‘sold’. This is normally defined as the last stage of the pipeline.Sold-vs-Budget-trend

  3. Check the long-term trend

    Some salespeople can be overly optimistic and think they will sell more than expected. If you chart percent of budget achieved over a longer period, such as several months, it’s easier see if there is consistent under -budgeting or over budgeting and adjust forecasts accordingly.

  4. Spot the outliers

    If there is a large variance between sales and budgeted,  you probably want to do something about it. By clicking on the graphs, you can explore underlying data case-by- case. This makes it easier to review cases with sales reps. If the reports show you are well ahead of budget, share the excitement with your colleagues and enjoy the feeling of success a little longer.

What other tricks do you have to manage budgets? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch.

New version of SuperOffice Analyze now available

Oslo, February 12, 2016  –  Business Analyze announces today the latest release of SuperOffice Analyze, the visual analytics platform for SuperOffice CRM. SuperOffice Analyze 8 makes it easy to understand SuperOffice data and get business insight through self-serve analytics, interactive dashboards and automated reporting.

The release is designed to help businesses using SuperOffice realize their full potential through better understanding and measurement of sales, customers and customer-facing processes.

productUpdate-sua8

“Businesses have an increasing wealth of data lying within both CRM systems and their other systems – data that is difficult to understand and significantly underused,” says Einar Gynnild, CEO of Business Analyze. “With this release we make it easier for everyone to extract, analyze and actively use data to guide decisions and identify opportunities for revenue growth. Leaders and teams across the organization, can benefit from analytics that give instant insight and direction to current activities, customer needs, and key performance indicators (KPIs).”

The new release includes:

  • support for SuperOffice CRM version 8 and 7.5
  • enhanced user interface – brightened colors, revised icons and easier navigation ensuring users recognize the same look and feel as within SuperOffice 8
  • stakeholder analytics and reports – ability to group data and measure performance based on stakeholder contact, information or company
  • enhanced charting options for stacking and using ranges
  • additional  fixes and minor enhancements

SUA-dashboard-example01-stakeholders

A key new feature is the ability to analyze sales per stakeholder without using a lot of time. Companies selling through partners or third parties want to know ‘Which partners sells the most? How much can we expect partners to deliver?  Who are the top salespeople? With SuperOffice Analyze 8 these questions are answered based on existing data.

This release provides on-premise and on-site SuperOffice customers with more than 20 ready-to-use dashboards and reports. Additional capabilities for customizing reports, doing in-depth analysis and connecting data from ERP, spreadsheets, e-commerce sites or other systems are also available.

SuperOffice Analyze customers can upgrade to this latest version as part of their service agreement.

This release is currently available for implementation through SuperOffice and authorized Business Analyze partners.

For more information or a demonstration, please visit www.businessanalyze.com

How Stamina’s Barometer is putting a value on employee health

Stress or conflict. Accidents. Inactivity. There can be many causes for poor health or unsafe conditions at work, but the result is the same: unhealthy workforces lead to underperformance. That is something Stamina Helse AS is doing something about.

stamina-guri-big

Measuring HSE

Guri Sogn-Larssen, Product Manager for Stamina’s Occupational Health Services in Norway has been heading up a project the last 2 years to develop the Stamina Barometer. It’s an anonymous, survey-driven management tool used to map, measure and improve employee health and well-being. Research findings are the basis for strategic planning, competence development programs, and day-to-day initiatives having a positive effect on employee health, and ultimately performance.

The barometer is composed of 25-30 carefully selected questions, covering 4 main areas: systematic health, safety and environment (HSE), lifestyle, work environment and sick leave. During the past year, employee feedback has been collected from more than 30 organizations across 10 industries.

Take away the guesswork

“What’s exciting about the barometer is it makes occupational health, and the factors that influence health, measurable and tangible. Rather than guessing if sick leave is high, for example, HR leaders and managers can benchmark sick leave between departments or compared to industry norms. It’s much easier to do something about it when you know where to focus.”

“Measuring different parts of the organization is the way to identify where changes are needed and set priorities. Every organization has limited resources so it is important to start in the right place with the right activities,” says Sogn-Larssen.

Both employees and managers give feedback. The results of the two groups are compared to see if there are differences in perception. Survey findings are analyzed in order to identify outliers. Each company receives a full report and presentation of key findings.

“While there are many regulations companies have to follow, companies shouldn’t be concerned about health because they are forced by law. Companies should be concerned because they want to create a great workplace,” says Sogn-Larssen. “Leaders need to ask themselves “Where do we want to be in 1-3 years? What can we do for our employees to get there?”

Changed from complex spreadsheets to visual analytics

Stamina asked Questback, specialists in employee and customer feedback, to help develop the survey and collect data in a structured way. Each question is carefully formulated and factors are weighted. Business Analyze was asked to simplify data analysis and reporting routines.

“Analyzing the data, sorting ‘key findings’ from ‘nice-to-know’, and presenting everything in an easy-to-understand format is more demanding that you think. I’ve spent many long hours working with Excel, and even more hours to in Word to prepare good documentation,” says Sogn-Larssen. “Some clients have 10-12 departments, so doing a full report for a company like that takes 2 weeks once we receive the raw data.”

“In the last 3 months we’ve gone over to a more automatic process. Data is processed using analytics software and presented directly on digital dashboards. There can still be significant amounts of discussion with customers, but once we have collected data, the actual reporting time has been reduced by 60% – 70%. Since we don’t cut and paste or key in formulas anymore, the risk of error is greatly reduced. Now we can provide more organizations with higher quality analysis. “

Vector Laptop isolated on white background

Vector Laptop isolated on white background

Picture: Data is processed using analytics software and presented directly on digital dashboards.

More emphasis on follow-up

The barometer can highlight needs for better communication, better routines, change of roles or tasks, and greater employee or leader involvement. If 56% of employees don’t know there are proper policies in place for handling harassment, they probably won’t report problems or get the help they need. This can have a direct, negative effect.

“Too often companies work spontaneously rather than strategically with health and safety – particularly smaller and mid-size companies. Some company’s don’t have in-house expertise and others simply have too much to do with too few people. By providing a fully-developed measurement tool, the barometer brings down barriers and brings about happier, healthier people,” concludes Sogn-Larssen.