December 22, 2016

How You Can Maximize Visibility with Accurate Sales KPIs

The challenges associated with a growing sales team are great ones to have, but that doesn’t mean a failure to effectively manage them won’t hurt. A sales organization’s CRM platform is often the first pressure point where rapid growth will have a negative impact, and unfortunately it’s a critical spot where bad habits can create serious challenges. CRMs are supposed to provide visibility into key sales metrics, but too many sales teams today are relying on manual data entry processes to keep their CRMs up to date. That’s limiting not just how quickly teams can grow, but their effectiveness too.

When your growing team is still updating your CRM manually, you’ll find their behavior falls into at least one or more of these categories:
Not updating with enough detail, creating incomplete records
Making sloppy mistakes, resulting in inaccurate CRM data
Updating irregularly, making it difficult to track sales KPIs over time
Forgetting to consistently update, leaving you to chase down information with phone calls and emails

Plus, new hires often miss out on sufficient training on the processes required for manually collecting activity, which compounds the problem of inaccurate CRM data.

That’s how data gets lost, and no matter how fast you’re team is growing you don’t want to lose opportunities to lousy data.

All of these situations greatly reduce the usefulness of a CRM platform and limit management’s visibility into sales performance. Fast-growing sales teams need more than just a robust CRM platform – they need a smarter collection process that is populated with objective, precise sales KPIs that are automatically collected.

5 Ways Sales Performance Management Suffers Due to Inaccurate CRM Data

You know your processes for collecting CRM data aren’t up to snuff with the demands of your growing sales team when:
It’s hard to schedule follow ups with customers and prospects and you can’t keep track of which sales people have set appointments or taken follow up actions with which accounts.
You and your sales people are having great meetings in the field, but those never seem to translate into weekly CRM reports.
During ad hoc update calls and check-in emails, your reps always have promising news about the actions they are taking to push prospects trough the sales cycle, but you have no way of tracking the effectiveness of the actions.
The team is consistently not on the same page with what’s going on for each account. This encourages reps to stay in narrow silos, focused only on the immediate prospects and customers they are dealing with directly, and frequent missteps and surprises when team members try to collaborate or help each other.
You’re spending hours each week creating reports that are based on data you know is incomplete or inaccurate but are still critical in the creation of your monthly and quarterly reports.
If that sounds like your sales team, take heart – you’re not alone.

Research shows that 85% of businesses’ CRM systems house between 10% and 40% of bad records, more than half of which were created by human error. This bad data has a direct impact on the bottom line, with the typical American business giving up 12% of its annual revenue due to inaccurate data.

The proliferation of high quality CRM platforms, like Salesforce and SugarCRM, have given sales leaders powerful tools for tracking sales KPIs and managing dispersed sales teams, but it’s time for sales organizations to take those tools to the next step by improving the accuracy of the data they contain.

Key takeaways:

CRMs are often the first pain point for a growing sales team, and that pain comes in the form of inaccurate and incomplete sales metrics
That pain stems from reliance on manual processes for collecting sales activity data
Inaccurate data severely limits sales leaders’ visibility, a critical problem for managers of dispersed teams
Inaccurate data also costs businesses real money – 12% of a typical company’s annual revenue
Businesses can stand apart from their competition just from adopting technologies that improve the accuracy of their sales KPIs by automating data input into their CRM.