Sales White Paper: From Sales Force 'Accounting' to Sales Performance Automation


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The majority of companies today are struggling to convert leads into meetings and ultimately sales. Roughly half of all firms find that they are unable to turn more than half their leads into meetings. Without being able to get their foot in the door, nearly one half of individual salespeople are under quota and suffering from diminishing opportunities.

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Sales White Paper: From Sales Force 'Accounting' to Sales Performance Automation

  1. 1. From Sales Force ‘Accounting’to Sales Performance Automation WHITE PAPER
  2. 2. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 1 CRM: SALES FORCE AUTOMATION Sales Force Automation systems (SFA) were designed to aid organizations by managing and tracking records in one place, providing sales forecasting, and supporting management’s leadership efforts. From Sales Force‘Accounting’ to Sales Performance Automation INTRODUCTION The majority of companies today are struggling to convert leads into meetings and ultimately sales. Roughly half of all firms find that they are unable to turn more than half their leads into meetings. Without being able to get their foot in the door, nearly one half of individual salespeople are under quota and suffering from diminishing opportunities. In today’s sales environment, with turnover nearing 30%, it is critical that each sales representative is given the tools and support needed to win the dwindling number of deals available. With more pressure and limited resources, increased sales productivity is the goal for managers, but it is an elusive goal, as one third of prime selling time is wasted by poor enablement.1 Even with CRM systems, salespeople are not being given the right tools for their job. The Gartner Group studied why this is2 and found that most salespeople see their CRM or Sales Force Automation system as a management application that is designed for managers, rather than a tool that can be used to increase sales and help perform tasks more effectively. ThisWhite Paper compares older CRM systems with CRM 2.0 from the perspective of the individual salesperson and discusses the importance of having a system that is designed for both the manager and the salesperson. As with any of ourWhite Papers, there will be a big variance in the seniority and experience of the readership. Some of you will perhaps be in your first managerial role, looking to focus on what’s really important in the deal. Others may be more seasoned sales leaders at Director, orVP level tuning in to make sure you’re in step with the latest thinking and technologies. ThisWhite Paper aims to provide something for the complete range of requirements, since the ideas and recommendations have applicability right up the leadership hierarchy. However, if you want to dig deeper or move wider, we urge you to get in touch with us individually. You can do this via email to: ThisWhite Paper will start by touching on CRM systems and their challenges for salespeople. Then it will look at its operation through the eyes of a salesperson. After that, we’ll introduce what CRM 2.0 is and discuss how it is designed to help salespeople do their job better and project accurate forecasts through its sales methodology and process. These programs and systems were going to reinforce best practices; measure the performances of individual sales people accurately; encourage better internal and external communications; and ultimately improve sales and revenue figures. 1 Nov.13,2008;IDCSalesAdvisoryPractice’sRelease 2 GartnerPublicationG00157754:On-DemandSFACan’tGuaranteeSuccess
  3. 3. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 2 When salespeople are asked to use SFA, they generally drop their shoulders, roll their eyes and kiss their valuable selling time goodbye. For them, it’s anything but automation. For a big part of that day, they turn into a data entry clerk inputting their deals into a seemingly redundant system only to discuss those same deals later in the week with their managers. Instead of helping focus representatives on their individual leads and providing tools to help him or her win them, SFAs all too often turn selling into a data entry task where the information is consumed by management, but does not then get turned into helpful guidance for the salesperson. While this automates the recording process and presents management with consolidated information on what his or her salespeople are doing, it does not actually aid in selling best practices and is often not used effectively, resulting in wasted effort and dubious, subjective forecasts. If it weren’t so important, it would be humorous how a lot of companies do their forecasting. Along with general past numbers and trends, companies often consider peripheral information and personal feelings when calculating future performance. When first line managers start the process, they gather their salespeople’s data and adjust the expected future numbers based on their knowledge of, and confidence in, each person under them. Some salespeople are overly optimistic, some overly pessimistic. This additional layer of subjectivity is then propagated by each level of the hierarchy. By the time the CFO considers the forecasts with a view to communicating withWall Street orThe City, those numbers bear little resemblance to reality and are a summation of how the individuals of the organization felt on the day. In reality, most CRM systems have fallen short of these promises because 1) they are not being used effectively, and 2) they lack the essential tools and resources that salespeople actually need. Unfortunately, the Software-As-A-Service approach has not significantly improved CRM system usefulness or increased sales effectiveness. Despite recent studies from IDC that show a yearly sales increase of $57,000 from each representative by shifting just 10 minutes a week to more active selling time, sales people are still struggling to get true value from SFAs and make their time more productive. Additionally, a recentTAS Group webinar3 found that 75% of companies reported their CRM system forecasts weren’t accurate enough to be trusted. Even if a company has a CRM system in place and it is being used, that does not necessarily translate into having a more productive sales team or realizing increased revenue. When considering CRM systems in your workplace, it is important to ask yourself the following questions: • Are you pleased with your CRM system and its adoption and use? • Do you have a defined sales process and is it being used consistently? • Do you have a sales methodology in place and is it being used effectively? • Can you rely on your CRM system for accurate forecasting, or do you depend on manual processes? FOR SALESPEOPLE,‘SFA’MEANS SALES FORCE ACCOUNTING A recent Gartner report found that,“most sales people see SFA as a management application, rather than a salesperson’s tool. SaaS does not do anything to alter this perception, which can only be changed by balancing requirements between the needs of sales management and salespeople.” Sales people are not getting the promised value out of most CRMs due to their negative perception and actual lack of usefulness in the sales cycle. This is why Joe Galvin,Vice President and Research Director at Sirius Decisions (, calls SFA: Sales Force Accounting. - Sales person adoption is poor - Data quality is poor - Complicated and cumbersome - Seen as a management application - SaaS hasn’t changed these issues KEY FINDINGS 3 Where’stheBeef?WhySalesMethodologyFailsWithoutCompleteCRMIntegration
  4. 4. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 3 Dealmaker fromTheTAS Group is CRM 2.0. Its intelligent software applications and sales methodology are proven to help consistently win more deals. Sales people will consistently use their CRM system when they are equipped with a system that makes them more money and more successful. Such a system integrates science-based methodology and processes, providing them with valuable resources and tools for each lead at every step in the sales cycle, increasing the number of deals they win. It streamlines forecasting and provides managers with up-to-date information that is objective and rules-based, not subjective. Because everything is integrated into the sales team’s daily- use activities, early warning signs are immediate for better coaching. Dealmaker comes with aVirtual Learning system that delivers superior training remotely, which is perfect for modern, on-the-job learning. Post-training, Dealmaker’s lessons can be integrated into your CRM system and are on-demand at every step in the sales cycle. Where CRM system integration is required, Dealmaker enhances any 3rd party system, either through one of our plug-ins or via the Dealmaker Application Programming Interface (‘API’). CRM 2.0: SALES PERFORMANCE AUTOMATION A useful system that is designed for both management and the salesperson is one that focuses on Sales Performance Automation (SPA). In this arrangement, information that is entered by the sales person is tracked, organized and consumed by both management and the salesperson. For management, detailed information is used for pipelining, coaching, and more accurate forecasts because it removes the optimism that permeates sales people’s assessment of where they are in the sales cycle. The information collected in SPA is also run through the company’s sales methodology and process, resulting in strategy guidance for the salesperson and an early warning system that highlights potential red flags for managers. SPA is a salesperson-centric approach that increases revenue, improves sales forecasts and metrics, and continually reinforces best practices. Increased revenue is delivered through an integrated sales methodology that is automated and constantly used during salespeople’s daily activities. Improved forecasting can only be achieved when guesswork is replaced by objective in-depth analysis of sales team’s actual, continual performance with reference to the detailed and specific knowledge of what it takes to close deals. Objective forecasting is not only more accurate, but is essential for managers to effectively coach and support their salespeople early in the cycle, when warning signs become evident. Integrated into a SPA approach is sales-learning that is focused on just-in-time, or contextual, knowledge and skill acquisition. Traditional classroom sales training is both expensive and inefficient as anything from 38% to 87% of skills are lost within the first month. The best way for people to learn new skills is through small, bite-sized lessons that are continually reinforced when it becomes time to use them. When comparing standard CRM systems to CRM 2.0, the differences are striking for both managers and salespeople, as shown in the table to the right. CRM 1.0 - SFA CRM 2.0 - SPA For Salespeople For Salespeople Provides forms for data entry Provides tools and insight for deal Allows compliance Allows more time to sell Leaves unanswered questions: • How should I work this deal? • How should I approach this person? •Which materials should I use? • Can I close this deal? •When will it close Provides: • Strategy for selling • Selling approach for individuals • Automatic material selection • Closure probability • Close date For Managers For Managers Open Field to interpret data Scientifically calculated data Subjective forecasts Objective forecasts
  5. 5. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 4 CONCLUSION CRM system adoption by salespeople has, for a long time, been low due to its focus on compliance. Most salespeople have not seen personal value in the Sales Force Automation system in their CRM and usually have to be coerced by managers into using it. Dealmaker automates sales effectiveness through a unique combination of intelligent software applications and sales methodology and process, which helps salespeople sell more and in turn improves can improve CRM system adoption by 44%. We’d be delighted to discuss your specific needs further, and explore how Dealmaker can drive sustained sales performance improvement in your organization. If you wish to find out more, please contact us at
  6. 6. ABOUTTHETAS GROUP TheTAS Group helps progressive sales organizations increase their sales velocity resulting in higher win rates, bigger deals, shorter sales cycles, and more qualified deals in the pipeline. Our unique value is deep methodology embedded within intelligent Dealmaker software, 100% native in Salesforce. Smart coaching, delivered just-in-time, improves sales performance and accelerates sales results.We have changed the paradigm of improving sales effectiveness from traditional sales training to delivering sales methodology and insights when and where the sales person is working a sales opportunity. For more information visit Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved.This briefing is for customer use only and no usage rights are conveyed. Nothing herein may be reproduced in any form without written permission ofTheTAS Group.