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The topic "Is your sales team burning up profit?" caught my attention in a recent issue of my TAB, The Alternative Board, newsletter.  Joe Zente from zthree.com wrote the following.


"Wise business owners consistently evaluate key metrics affecting their bottom line.  In an effort to increase profit, owners, their CFO's and controllers review factors ranging from the cost of goods, salaries, pricing, inventory turns, receivables and more.

Few companies, however evaluate ways to improve the area that holds the largest potential influence on profitability: their sales department.  Since time equals money, salespeople must use their time (and your company's support resources) effectively.  Unfortunately, most do not.  

Here are just a few of the most popular ways that many salespeople burn up profit:

1. Spending significant time with unqualified prospects.

2. Talking when they should be listening and understanding.

3. Not establishing ground rules.

4 Giving presentations to unqualified prospects.

5. Offering pricing before understanding the whole picture.

6. Creating and spending proposals before understanding the whole picture.

7. Listening with happy ears instead of learning the truth.

8. Sending multiple proposals to address the same opportunity because they didn't learn what was really required in the first place.

9. Emailing or texting when they should be visiting in-person.

10. Offering unnecessary discounts.

11. Understanding the true buying motives.

12. Poor territory management.

13. Poor time management

Most of these issues can be addressed through the implementation of an effective sales plan, success recipe and sales process.. ...A massive volume of profit lies in using an effective sales management process.  It is a gift that keeps on giving."

Many of the points mentioned reflect on having a trusted system in place that is well-used so sales management can easily obtain the metrics and drill into the history of actions - all of which are found in a purpose-build CRM.

Benefits of Empowering Your Sales Force with CRM

  • Increased sales rep selling time.  The automation of many time-consuming tasks such as report preparation, information requests, territory reviews, proposal writing, and forecasts will save the sales rep a tremendous amount of time.  A portion of this freed up time will be used to generate more sales and this time will directly increase revenue for the corporation. With sales reps actively using the CRM system, we have helped clients eliminate the tedious and often inaccurate task of creating call reports. 


  • Increased sales manager time.  CRM sales funnel management, forecasting and reporting tools allow sales managers to spend more of their time helping close deals and providing valuable guidance to their sales reps.   The result is a direct increase in revenue.
  • Decreases sales cycle. With better funnel management, the entire sales organization will be more informed about what stage a particular customer is within the sales cycle.  The sales organization is enabled to provide the necessary next steps to keep the deal moving in the right direction.  With fewer delays between each of the typical sales cycle steps, a deal will close in a shorter elapsed time frame.  This reduced time will allow the sales organization to pursue other deals and in the process, increase revenues.


  • Improved lead management. The lack of a common information base for lead tracking increases the chance of losing opportunities as responsibility is passed among team members.  Lack of timely response due to handling errors, product information research delays, quote and configuration delays, and poor presales support management, are but a few areas where problems arise. Clear identification of the ideal customer characteristics derived from your CRM database allows marketing to target higher qualified leads. Better leads, faster sales process.
  • Decrease in new rep ramp up time. By automating training and territory management, your CRM solution will decrease the time necessary to train a new sales representative. The new rep will be able to start selling into the territory faster, thus increasing the revenue that the rep generates in the first year. Additionally, if your rep is filling a previous sales territory the CRM database will be prepopulated with ready to go history of contact conversations.


  • Decrease in sale rep turnover. By providing better product information, lead management, sales support and reporting capabilities, the CRM solution will enhance the sales representative’s ability to sell effectively, and therefore, reduce sales rep turnover rates. This reduction in turnover has a direct bottom line savings in the form of reduced costs.  By having to hire less sales reps per year, the sales organization incurs less direct costs and does not lose sales that used to result from inefficient territory turnover.
  • Work enjoyment - Increased sales rep engagement.  Increased sales rep engagement comes from easy mobility access with their smart phone or tablet. They can lookup key contact information, update opportunity progress notes and check on customer service issues. The industry-leading solutions such as Infor CRM, bpm'online and ACT! increases user adoption, the holy grail for CRM effectiveness.



Helpful resources:

Sales Strategy Consulting to Grow Sales with Analytics

Sales development with CRM is too important to not do it well

30+ Bright ideas for greater business success with CRM

15 actions to achieve better CRM user engagement and adoption

How to not require call reports and add back sales time...

CRM related benefits by your role and responsibilities...

People an opportunity, not a road-block  and ebook

Make CRM Stick   8 Ways to Increase CRM Adoption


Topics:   CRM user adoption Make your business work smarter Business success with CRM Business Drivers for CRM

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