Streamlining Sales Processes to Boost Performance


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Sales success depends on effective sales
processes. Companies that automate sales
often end up automating ineffective processes.
Every organization has some built-in inefficiency,
which is usually caused by a failure to exploit the
best tools and methods for maximizing results.
When chosen wisely and used appropriately,
technology can have a positive impact on both
the management of the sales process and the
results of managing the sales effort more efficiently.
SugarCRM can remedy the gap in four
crucial areas. And it does so very economically,
avoiding a fifth mistake, spending more money
than you have to in order to improve.

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Streamlining Sales Processes to Boost Performance

  1. 1. ® Streamlining Sales Processes to Boost PerformanceFive best practices for optimizing the sales pipeline By Henry Canaday Sponsored by:
  2. 2. STREAMLINING SALES PROCESSES TO BOOST PERFORMANCEFive best practices for optimizing the sales pipelineSales success depends on effective sales wide variety of sources in just a few, simpleprocesses. Companies that automate sales steps. Sugar can import the data from Sales-often end up automating ineffective processes., Act, Microsoft Outlook, Excel, or otherEvery organization has some built-in inefficiency, standard file formats. And it distinguishes rawwhich is usually caused by a failure to exploit the leads from true tools and methods for maximizing results. Sugar’s Web-to-lead form lets your web site vis-When chosen wisely and used appropriately, itors enter their own data on a pop-up form whentechnology can have a positive impact on both they register, download white papers, or takethe management of the sales process and the other actions. Sugar then captures this data andresults of managing the sales effort more effi- instantly loads it into your lead files. “We importciently. SugarCRM can remedy the gap in four data with no problems, it’s easy to do,” sayscrucial areas. And it does so very economically, Bassim Hamadeh, founder and chief executiveavoiding a fifth mistake, spending more money officer of University Readers, a SugarCRM cus-than you have to in order to improve. tomer. “And if a salesperson gets a referral, he just creates a record. He can classify it as a lead1. Tapping the Best Leads First or an opportunity.”Leads, which are the lifeblood of sales, are today Sugar consolidates all contact information in abeing generated at an ever quickening pace, single location, then combines it with availablethanks partly to the revolution in information account information, and uses import and de-du-technology. Firms can now sup- plication technologies to ensureply leads that match your best that managers have a clean andcustomers from their databases, Sugar’s Web-to-lead accurate view of these contacts.sliced and diced precisely for form lets your Website And it is all done in real time.your reps and available over the visitors enter their own Tom Fabrizio,director of sales forInternet. Even better leads can data on a pop-up Digi-Data,chose Sugar in part be-be generated via your own Web- form when they cause his company sells throughsite, from visitors who either ask different dealer channels, and register, downloadquestions or request download- pricing is based on the initial reg-able materials that indicate in- white papers, or take istration of each customer. “Weterest in your products. other actions. needed a system that updated Then there are leads from tra- registrations in real time,” Fab-ditional sources. Satisfied cus- rizio explains. “If a rep in Cali-tomers can give referrals to fornia registered a new customerothers or indicate they have and a rep in New York registeredmore needs your company can the same one, we would notsatisfy. Trade shows and indus- know who to give the registrationtry gatherings yield many new to.” With Sugar, Fabrizio knowsleads of widely varying quality. which rep should receive the lead and what price That’s the good news. The bad news is, your the rep should quote.competitors are enjoying the same bountifulstream. As a result, failing to quickly get the best 2. Exploiting Emailleads to the field sacrifices sales to more nimble Email is another revolution in personal and busi-rivals. Yet simply passing the entire bounty on to ness communications that’s especially helpful inyour reps immediately may inundate them with marketing. For getting a message, question, orlow-quality leads, and ‘lead,’ so to speak, to dis- response out quickly and inexpensively, nothingcouragement in the sales force. beats email. No expensive and time-consuming Every lead must combine contact information meetings to arrange, no worries about schedul-with all the data necessary to judge its timing ing a conference call, and no slow paper. Justand quality. And the true opportunities must be the right words tapped on the keyboard and adispatched immediately to the sales rep most button pushed. The exact message gets throughlikely to close the deal. and stays in the files of the recipient, with no Sugar imports lead contact information from a human memory required.1
  3. 3. STREAMLINING SALES PROCESSES TO BOOST PERFORMANCE These are some of the reasons why email is But each of these individuals have other re-everyone’s favorite way of sending and receiving sponsibilities, such as seeking other prospects,business communications, and that’s what cultivating current accounts, training, reporting,makes it a great tool for marketing communica- and other nonrelated duties. Managers musttion. The key is volume and click-through rates, keep everyone on the same fast track to the explosion in email marketing has left a Sometimes that means setting priorities amongfoul taste in many a consumer’s mouth from un- competing responsibilities or allocating re-desired emails and spam. sources where they’re needed. In this environment, getting a message Sugar’s opportunity tracking and reportingthrough and getting the right reaction to it are in- tools track and manage multiple opportunitiescreasingly tough, even for individual emails. through real-time reporting. Managers can seeWhen a large organization uses email regularly, charts of opportunities by team, by product orcoordinating the messages, ensuring they will be geography and then drill down to understand howread, eliciting the right responses, and judging each opportunity is progressing. The Opportunitythe overall results are major challenges. Reminders feature ensures follow-through as op- SugarCRM’s email marketing tool allows mar- portunities progress across sales stages. Man-keting managers to identify the correct targets for agers can designate certain actions that need toevery email campaign. It then be taken and automate re-helps them design offerings tai- minders to ensure that teamslored to these targets that will Managers can designate and individuals take the neces-convey the brand identity of their certain actions that sary steps to close the sale.companies and tracks the re- need to be taken and SugarCRM can be customizedsponse rates to each campaign automate reminders to to mirror how your companyonce it is executed. ensure that teams and tracks its opportunities. Or you The email tool ensures that all can download extensions from individuals take thecampaigns are branded consis- the Sugar user community thattently and coordinated across all necessary steps to will track opportunities based oncustomer channels. Marketers will close the sale. your industry and company size.not send conflicting messages or Sugar’s tracking goes well be-create annoying redundancies, yond closed sales deals. Sugar’sand the solution constantly moni- customer-support function cen-tors the execution of each email tralizes customer-service re-campaign to ensure that each quests from all channels,offer reaches the target audience allowing firms to manage in-it was designed for. It checks how bound emails, diagnose bugs,many emails were opened, click-through rates, and share knowledge, and resolve customer many recipients unsubscribed. “We needed a system to track our service calls The tool counts the leads generated by each and issues that was visible to management,email campaign and classifies them as either sales and service,” says Digi-Data’s Fabrizio. “Andleads or opportunities for prioritized follow-up by operations needed to see what systems arethe sales force. To keep recipients receptive to fur- being ordered, so they could make sure productsther messages from your firm, the email tool con- are delivered on a timely basis. We have beentrols the lists of opt-in and opt-out email using Sugar for two years, and it works great.”addresses. SugarCRM also gives managers real-time reports on the ROI of each email campaign 4. Spreading Best Practicesand produces other critical metrics including leads Managers not only track deals, they also trackcreated, new opportunities, and closed-won deals. their salespeople. Which reps are cultivating which leads? Which reps are getting out the3. Tracking the Sales Process most proposals on schedule? Who is followingFor many sales, the progress from even a well- up with customers most frequently? Most im-qualified lead to a closed deal can be lengthy. portantly, who is closing deals at the highest rateEach step must be correctly taken, sometimes or for the biggest dollars?by several reps for a major prospect, and often These are the basic metrics that measurealso by nonsales staff, to close a major sale. sales activity and success. For a small team, a2
  4. 4. STREAMLINING SALES PROCESSES TO BOOST PERFORMANCE short sales cycle or 5. Getting Cost-effective ResultsBenefits of Adopting Sugar simple metrics such as All of these gains are clearly worth achieving.Pre-Sugar Revenue $50 Millions per year total revenue may suf- But every manager who has ever required thisSales Team 10 fice. But when a sales data knows it can come at a price. You can’tOperating Margin 15% force is large, the spend too much time or money gathering everySugar On-Demand $40 per user per month process is complex measurement, thus wasting your sales force’s and you need to know time on entering metrics. Nor can you ask yourRevenue Gains % $ per year how everyone is con- IT department to construct a mammoth new sys-1. Tapping Best Leads Faster 1% $500,000 tributing to your sales tem just to perfect the screens available to line2. Exploiting Email 1% $500,000 goals. Sales processes sales managers. There are trade-offs between3. Tracking Sales Process 1% $500,000 become trickier. benefits and costs.4. Spreading Best Practices 1% $500,000 Commissions and Sugar has been designed to be affordably ef-Total Revenue Gain $2,000,000 bonuses will eventu- fective from the start. First, it is available as anGain in Operating Profit $300,000 ally be paid on top- on-demand service for firms that want to mini- line metrics. But mize their own IT investments. But unlike otherSugar Cost $4,800 management needs on-demandCRM systems, Sugar can be movedNet Gain $295,200 to know as soon as inside your firm, complete with all your valu- possible, not just who able data, and operated on your own servers. is successful, but what practices are consis- This means that as your firm grows and infra- tently leading to success. These best practices structure requirements change, you can mold a should be emulated throughout solution that is cost-effective the sales force. That may mean and efficient. more training, more coaching, Sugar Dashboards give Right from the start, Sugar of- more sharing of techniques both reps and their fers users the ability to cus- among reps, or simply, blunt di- managers real-time tomize the application with rection from management. But information on how points and clicks. But for organ- you can’t do it until you know they’re doing on new izations that require deeper cus- who is doing well and why. tomization or require Sugar to leads, opportunities, and Sugar’s opportunity tracking integrate with other applications, lets you roll-up and analyze all current accounts. Sugar offers much more: access the opportunities your company to the underlying source code. is pursuing. It also shows how Most CRM vendors have a different units or individuals are business model based on lock- performing and what improve- ing-in their customers for a long ments can be made. Sugar period and charging them for Dashboards give both reps and customization. But Sugar is writ- their managers real-time infor- ten in a simple and popular pro- mation on how they’re doing on new leads, op- gramming language (PHP) that allows quick and portunities, and current accounts. By defining easy customization. access to these Dashboards based on the Moreover, there are now 60,000 users at needs and responsibilities of each user, sales- 3,000 firms and 12,000 developers in the people receive the data needed to evaluate Sugar community, many of whom provide feed- themselves or their team. Automatic consolida- back to Sugar and develop their own exten- tion of sales data across selling teams gives top sions. As a Sugar user, you can join Sugar executives the information needed to spot the and download for free almost 500 top performers, learn their best practices, and program extensions, for example, Contact spread these throughout the sales force. Grabber or one of the translations into many “I have a Dashboard for each salesperson,” foreign languages. notes Hamadeh. “I know where each is on meet- For a small firm that can reap just a 1 percent ings, calls, open tasks and activities each day. I can gain in sales– a very conservative assumption – get a report on conversions from cold calls for each in each of the four areas above, the gain in profit rep. You may find a person who is doing very well, can be substantial, as shown in the example but does not know why he is doing well. With Sugar, below. And, like any healthy diet, Sugar just I can see what he is doing behind the scenes.” keeps on giving. • 3