Five Ways A CRM Can Reduce Manager Stress at Sales Meetings

Jason StevensCRM, Sales Force Automation

Stressed out Sales Manager
Sales managers may be micromanaging sales teams in a bid to meet sales goals during leaner periods, “requiring more reporting, making heavy-handed suggestions on next steps and second-guessing team members’ decisions.”Harvard Business Review

The net result is sales staff spends less time selling and more time reporting, ultimately leading to lower sales. While these conditions may not disrupt an enterprise with bigger pockets, a small business can literally fold overnight if this situation persists.

Patrick McCarthy, the founder of GetScorecard, experienced this first-hand during a decade-long rise through the cloud hosting industry as sales director, ultimately fueling his desire to launch a proactive CRM that simplified the sales dashboard for both the sale force and the manager.

If you are a sales manager, you will appreciate our five suggestions to make those Monday morning meetings run smoothly at lower cortisone levels!

1. Keep it Short

This is especially true for small businesses or startups that are generally stretched thin in their effort to conserve resources and keep staff focused on lead generation, nurturing and closing, Weekly or monthly meetings, while useful, can be also be counter-productive, interrupting the ebb and flow of caffeine-injected sales reps. Thus, schedule your meeting via an online calendar system attached to your CRM and preferably state a single, big objective. For Example: Each sale rep needs to highlight three of their top leads they hope to convert in the next 30 days. Keep the meeting religiously focused on this goal and no more than one hour if possible.

2. Keep Score

The issue many SMB sales managers face in the run up to a weekly sales meeting is having finger-tip access to sales intelligence without resorting to complex spreadsheet calculations or relying upon scattered notes from offline or online sources. Choosing a powerful, simple CRM package that illuminates the company “scorecard” in a visual manner, is perhaps one of the most critical and overlooked weapons at the disposal of stressed out sales manager. However, finding a software package that clearly surfaces lead, revenue, order and opportunity data in an easy-to-use sales pipeline can be challenging, but not impossible. GetScorecard for example, tackles the earlier mentioned goal of lead conversion by using micro charts to illustrate both overall and individual lead performance data. This allows a manager to align CRM software with business goals in an effortless manner. Definitely a stress saver!

3. Nurture Rivalries

If competition is good for business, the same holds true for your sales force. Until recently it was extremely difficult to collate and compare individual sales people performance against each other in CRM software without complex workarounds or resorting to expensive SAP or Saleforce enterprise solutions. New “Scorecard” features allow both the sales person and the sales manager to benchmark their performance against the company average. In one glance, the sales manager has instant insight into how his sales force is performing at each stage of the sales pipeline, transforming a humdrum sales meeting into a valuable tool for isolating business roadblocks or training issues. Sales staff, in turn, is more motivated to close deals if they can instantly see their colleague is showing spikes in performance.

4. Automate, Mate!

With the power of automation revolutionizing every industry from car manufacture to cloud computing, it should come as no surprise that sales managers can now rely on CRM auto-tasking to help sales staff call or email the right customers at the right time based on a rule-setting criteria and event triggers. This elevates the level of transparency and accountability at sales meetings, helping the manager keep discussions focused on WHY the customer did not convert rather than why broker did not correctly assign email and call follow ups. This feature, while present to some degree in various CRMs, is usually priced at the enterprise level. With Get scorecard, the sales manager gets enterprise-level power at a fraction of the cost. A surefire way to bring piece of mind to a Sales Manager focused on cutting down costs.

5. Health Score

This is perhaps the most valuable metric available to both a sales manager and his staff: a way to automatically gauge the health of the customer relationship based on various events, including complaints or commendations, which elevate the score up or down in percentage terms. By setting relevant trigger ‘events’ related to the nature of your business, the CRM software will build up an accurate health score of your customer. Like the stock price of a company, the value concentrates sales meeting attention on the real status of the customer relationship (and what needs to be done to reach 100% satisfaction). For the first time, a sales manager can focus on solutions based on real data rather than inaccurate (or inflated) reporting originating from a sales rep at a meeting.

The suggestions above will not only reduce your stress levels (and enhance the sales pipeline); they may even help you retain sales account managers.

The key is to set them up to succeed.

As Harvard Business Schools warns, “That should not be a matter of good fortune; it should be the result of data-driven planning”.

If you have any specific comments to help those Monday morning meetings run smoothly, please reply below or contact us online!