In our series — Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Basics for Sales Professionals — we’ve covered CRM from the perspective of Sales Representatives responsible for closings sales. In this blog we’ll look at CRM basics for Sales Managers. Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides several ways to manage and help your Sales team get the results your organization needs. To keep things simple, let’s look at 4 CRM management basics that will help you direct your team more effectively:
- Track sales-related activities of individuals and teams
- Review, revise, and take action on sales pipeline
- Analyze sales history
- Access Management Reports
We’ll look at some common sales scenarios to illustrate the management objectives listed above:
Activities, Tasks, and Internal Collaboration
Activities are all the things your team does in pursuit of a sale. Things like phone calls, emails, appointments and so on. There are multiple ways to keep up with your team’s sales-related Activities using Dynamics CRM. Activity records “live” in your CRM Lead, Opportunity, Contact, and Account records.
Activities are displayed in chronological order. Look for open and completed sales activities like phone calls and appoints, for the entire sales team or for individual salespeople. Here’s an example of Activities displayed in a Lead record.
Use the collaboration tools in Microsoft Dynamics CRM get your team working together, communicating in a social-network style of interaction. Posts in the CRM social pane resemble posts in familiar apps such as Twitter and Facebook. Following on the experience of social sites your team members are used to, these posts display not just in the Lead record, but in in the individual User’s “What’s New” page.
CRM Users can easily schedule future tasks for themselves or other team members right within the relevant CRM record. In this scenario, salesperson Veronica creates a task for her team member Sanjay, provides Sanjay with a description of what needs to done as well as a due date. This Task will appear in the related CRM record as well as on Sanjay’s Activity view.
Review and take action on Sales Pipeline
A key metric that Sales Managers routinely focus on is sales pipeline. Dynamics CRM provides managers with a complete view of forecasted sales, with the ability to segment the pipeline by product, by territory, by salesperson, or by sales stage. In this example the sales pipeline is displayed as a sales funnel segmented by sales stage. Potential sales in the blue portion of the funnel are in the Lead or Qualifying stage. The brown section represents Opportunities in the Develop stage and the purple part represents opportunities in the Propose stage.
Click on the funnel to uncover the underlying data and to view the individual deals that comprise the full pipeline. In this View the pipeline is displayed in a manner that is similar to an Excel spreadsheet. Resort or filter columns to narrow down the pipeline view. For instance you may only want to look at deals with a probability of 50% or higher, or are closing in the current month.
Click on any single line item to drill down to an individual sales opportunity. Now you are in the actual Opportunity record. Check on the most recent phone calls or appointments. Use this information to take action. Follow up with the sales rep that owns the opportunity, or reach out directly to the customer. As Sales Manager, you have the permissions to change values in the record such as estimated close date or estimated revenue. Any changes you make will roll up to the pipeline forecast in real time and be reflected in any view, dashboard, or report.
Analyze Sales History
Sales history can be accessed in multiple ways. Choose which way is most practical based on how you want to analyze sales or manage your team. Select the Won Opportunities View to see a spreadsheet-style display of previous sales sortable buy customer or sales revenue. Refer to the bar chart on the right to see total sales per customer.
Click on an individual customer bar in the chart to pull up their sales orders.
Export the report to Excel if that’s your preference.
You’ve now got a spreadsheet ready for further modification, reformatting, printing, whatever you need.
Stock reports are available anytime featuring real-time sales data.
You can group data in the sales reports to sort by month, owner, territory, etc.
Click once more to pull up the detailed report, in this example sorted by Owner.
I hope you found this introduction to Dynamics CRM for Sales Managers valuable, and it gets you on the way to making your team more productive and successful. There’s a lot more to cover. Stay tuned for future xRM3 E-books, webinars, videos and blogs.
By Mark Abes/Vice President Sales & Marketing of xRM3, a Microsoft Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM consulting, implementation, integration, and administrative services. Based in San Diego County Southern California.