4 Ways To Keep Sales Activity Data Current In Salesforce
As Sales Leaders, we need reliable data from our Salesforce CRM to help us make good business decisions yet many of us struggle to have our Sales team keep their activity current. We understand how inefficient the update process can be at times and we want our Salespeople focused on direct sales activity over administrative tasks but we need good data to do our jobs.
So how do we maintain a healthy balance between these 2 objectives?
Let’s look at 4 ways to create a collaborative effort with your Sales team to stay motivated to keep their sales data current while maintaining high levels of productive sales activity.
1 | Efficient Data Capture
This is where Sales Leaders need to ensure the CRM data collection process is straightforward for Salespeople. A combination of automation tools, constant evaluation of required data fields and process simplification, will have a significant impact on sales results and productivity.
There are a number of questions to ask yourself to ensure you have an efficient CRM data capture process:
- Do you have the minimum data elements defined?
- Are there data elements you do not use and can eliminate?
- Are you communicating why your required data fields are in place?
One area of CRM data capture that can be time-consuming is customer communications, especially email. Salespeople are using multiple social media channels and efficiently capturing those activities into your CRM can be a challenge. However, there are a number of applications available that can automate and streamline this process.
2 | Activity Application – Hindsight
This is where sales leaders and high-performing salespeople take corrective action based on using historical data from their CRM. Some of the more common applications are:
- Territory coverage – activity data shows gaps in coverage of assigned territories. Sales activity may be too narrow in scope for optimal coverage or not deep enough for closing key opportunities.
- Forecast Analysis – your forecast accuracy is too low due to the inadequate volume of active opportunities or a small pipeline reflecting low activity.
- Quota Achievement Analysis – a Salesperson is simply not meeting the required levels of direct sales activity to make their number.
The downside of using only this Hindsight application is that frequently motivates underperformers to over-invest in administrating their activity in Salesforce. Conversely, high-performers place little value on inputting more data as it is often overlooked by management to not disrupt their performance.
2 | Activity Application – Insight
This is where Sales Leaders use real-time access to reliable activity data to coach their sales team on improving their performance. Some common applications of real-time sales data are:
- Deal Strategy – using real-time sales data to strategize on key activities for moving opportunities more effectively to a successful close.
- Quality Activity – using current sales data to gain insight into increasing high-impact activities and reducing those with a low impact on closing business.
- Quota Attainment – using current sales activity data to show salespeople the activities that will help them make or exceed their quota.
- Customer Experience (CX) – using current sales activity data to provide insight into those activities that improve the quality of the customer experience.
The value of this activity is that it reinforces salespeople keeping their CRM activity data current. Seeing the value of how this information directly helps close more business reinforces keeping their activity data current.
2 | Activity Application – Foresight
This is where Sales Leaders earn their value at the Executive Leadership table. If you have real-time access to reliable, high-quality sales data you can have a significant impact on the growth plans of the business. Some common planning applications are:
- Budgeting and Capacity Planning. Examples are:
- Sales headcount requirements – how many?
- Salesperson profile analysis – what type?
- Territory coverage model – where to deploy?
- Cost of Customer Acquisition – how much to invest?
- Increasing the productive capacity of your existing sales team through Investments in training and enablement.
- Planning for shifts in your sales model to drive efficiency in your cost of sale like moving the activity to lower cost sales functions.
- There are a number of high-quality Sales automation & AI tools coming to market. Analysis of sales activity data can show which sales activities are primed for automation.
- Throughput – using quality activity data to expose bottlenecks in transitioning opportunities through your revenue generation process.
The speed at which business moves today allows little hesitation in decision making and small margin for error in your future planning. So your success as a Sales Leader is heavily dependent on having real-time access to reliable data from your Salesforce CRM.
Getting your salespeople engaged in these 3 applications of CRM data helps them see the direct value in keeping their data current. But first, make sure you have an effective data capture process in place. There are also some terrific tools in the market such as ZynBit www.zynbit.com that will also make this process more efficient. The key is to understand and communicate how the tools and data requirements will help your sales team make their number!
About the Author
John Stopper, Chief Executive Officer of NorthStar Performance Strategies
John Stopper founded Northstar8 and created the Northstar Operational Revenue Model (NORM)TM to support his customers by delivering quantifiable metrics that provide optimal planning and execution of revenue generation strategies.
He has repeatedly demonstrated how to profitably grow global companies of varying sizes, and deploy capital cost-effectively throughout his 30-year career as CEO, board level executive, and entrepreneur within the high-tech industry. Additionally, John has integrated his technology industry knowledge, sales and marketing management skills, field operations experience with proprietary tools and services that would support senior executives in their revenue generation strategies.