Effective sales operations can make the difference between a profitable venture and a failure. Sales operations processes and tools make sure teams and campaigns run efficiently, effectively and meet the organization’s business objectives. With the right tools, leadership can keep sales programs on track and in the black. To see what is sales operations, read this recent post.
Some of the most important aspects of a sales operations program include lifecycle management and tracking historical responses, sales training, aligning sales goals with account executives, territory management and managing commissions. Today, we’ll take a look at the Top 5 Tools for successfully managing sales operations.
All too often, leads are converted to a contact in Salesforce.com then drop off everyone’s radar. Revenue opportunities are lost due to a failure in the sales operations workflow. Built on the Salesforce.com platform, Full Circle CRM fills an important role with its Lifecycle Management module, helping marketers extract more opportunities from each campaign.
It also taps useful data from Salesforce, helping marketing make more strategic decisions, rather than relying on gut-based hunches. One key to this is the ability to track historical responses and tipping points in the sales process, which Full Circle guides you through. It’s especially useful for implementing the Demand Waterfall recommended by the thought leaders at Sirius Decisions.
Training is a critical first step in maximizing results team results. And, since businesses often need to change messaging and key selling points rapidly, reps may need to be re-trained frequently. Fortunately, there are tools that make sales training much more efficient and effective. MindFlash offers a helpful platform for sales training.
Since it’s cloud-based, traveling salespeople can easily get trained from any location through self-paced lessons with presentations, quizzes and even customer certification courses. It can also double as a customer training platform, eliminating hours of hand-holding by busy sales and support teams.
Every organization struggles with the classic divide between sales and marketing. However, companies are also often challenged by the gap between corporate sales goals and the activities of its account executives. For example, the company wants to drive sales for flagship Widget A, but salespeople keep pushing Widget B because it’s a shorter sales cycle and a quicker route to a commission. This story never ends well. Xactly solves this problem by helping manage programs that align company goals and salesperson behaviors.
One of the most sensitive topics for sales is territory management. Every account rep wants a bigger territory, and is quick to speak up when a sale is “poached” from their assigned geography or market. Territory management, which encompasses organizational hierarchies, account assignments and sales crediting rules, can be easily managed with tools from Varicent.
This Toronto-based company, acquired by IBM last year, earns a spot on our Top 5 list for successfully keeping the peace between salespeople and simplifying this challenging sales operations task.
Once all other aspects of sales operations are in good order, you’ll need to make sure you have a solid tool in place for managing sales commissions. Everyone looks forward to payday. QCommission offers an excellent solution for accurately handling commissions on time, building trust with your sales team as you compensate them for their hard work.
QCommission integrates with Salesforce.com and QuickBooks, allows reps to view commission statements online and provides critical compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley regulations.
When sales operations is equipped with effective tools, they can make sales people focused on core selling activities. As we discussed before, when only 29% of the average sales person is dedicated to core selling, anything you can do to boost efficiency will have major results.