The way customers have changed over the last 20 years has been one of the most exciting and challenging periods. The change has been very profound, buyers have instant and phenomenal information available on the market, product, or service. Moreover, they have an incredible amount of data solely off user reviews. Before a buyer interacts with a sales rep, 50-90% of the sales journey has already been completed.
It’s obvious that the world of sales is constantly evolving at a break-neck speed so sales must be extremely strategic as to what they bring to the table. However, across industries, sales conversions stand at only 2.46% – 3.26% . This is usually because the sales team in most industries are distributed. Adding on to the woes, 20% of sales teams don’t have the necessary resources that could help them reinforce their workflow. Moreover, today’s expanded work-from-home environment is creating a level of opaqueness. Only one-third of sales agents can be productive, enter data, report generation, and scheduling.
All of this is happening because many are trying to implement newer strategies with old platforms that only have sales CRM as a key feature. The newer cloud-based platforms are more flexible, faster, and offer predictive growth! The advantages are endless, some noteworthy leaders in these platforms are Oracle, Salesforce, Zoho, Freshsales and Hubspot.
Need for a Feature-Rich Platform
Of course, sales is more than just a numbers game. Hence, sales management platforms should have the main objective of making it easy to reliably predict and gain deeper insights into opportunities. So, here are a list of key features that are a must for any Sales teams in 2021.
Sales Force Automation (SFA) – To manage sales teams and to manage the routine sales activities to become more efficient, sales management teams must use sales force automation software. On an average, two-thirds of a sales rep’s time is spent on non-revenue and administrative tasks. The SFA’s sole purpose is to streamline the sales process so that you always use the most effective strategy, get deeper insights, and become highly productive. Check out top 10 tools!
Sales Performance Management (SPM) – There is a need for a strategy for monitoring and directing sales employees by encouraging them to develop their ability to sell products or services with deeper and clear insights into sales quotas, territories, bonus opportunities, and forecasting. The main purpose is to inform and inspire salespeople to set goals and satisfy customers. Here is the SPM buyer’s guide,market (2020-2025) overview and top SPM tools.
Channel Management – The main objective of any business is to develop a better connection between the customer and the product. Channel Management software helps businesses streamline their delivery and sales activities by grouping clients into unique segments, keeping track of marketing outreach, and purchasing trends. Here is a guide to nail down channel management.
Customer Data Management (CDM) – There is a need to gather, manage, and analyze customer data to form a cohesive view of each customer from different sources. The aim of CDM is to efficiently deliver special, personalized, real-time, and channel agnostic CX. CDM needs to be a top priority because the focus has shifted from persona-based to PII driven personalization, ad tech driven to martech driven customization and omni-channel space needs more of data integration. Here are some popular CDM platforms and 2021 best practices.
Sales Performance Management 2021
The global market size of Sales Performance Management will be $14 Billion by 2027 from $4. 7 Billion in 2020 . The increasing need for accurate measurement in a highly unpredictable environment is driving the market growth. Companies are requesting a scalable, personalized, and streamlined framework to handle and provide analytics based on their sales results, which will fuel market growth in the next six years.
2021 SPM Challenges
- Disconnected – There is limited insight caused by inaccurate and infrequent forecasting. Sales planning processes are not integrated with incentive compensation, territory management, and quota management systems.
- Outdated – There is severe lack of modeling and analysis capabilities to evaluate quota planning scenarios, so the manual processes consist of several siloed departments pouring over the spreadsheets.
- Inefficient processes – Rep attrition, revised forecasts, and realigned accounts are causing a lot of rework during the planning cycle due to an inability to quickly change quotas and territories to respond to unexpected market conditions.
- Differentiating the solution – With a plethora of alternative options available today, producing a sales pitch that sets the company apart from the competition can be tricky. In addition, as they meet sales professionals, prospects today are well-informed, and are already farther down the sales process. Not only do they analyze your approach, but they also analyze your rivals as well.
The Three Step Process for Sales Performance Management
No organization is exempted from sales challenges, in building consumer relationships, and successfully interacting with prospects and clients, even the most high-performing sales teams face barriers.
What sets successful businesses apart is their ability to resolve these sales challenges strategically. So, below are the steps that will help you meet 2021 sales challenges.
Plan and Mentor – Coach sales teams with data-driven insights on quota’s, earnings, cost of compensation, activities, and predictive deal forecasting, since they will make your business 5% more efficient and 6% more profitable when set correctly. In addition, if they are difficult yet feasible, then it will inspire them to perform at their best and will generate a lot of momentum and energy. Here are some methods to help you plan efficiently.
Analyze and Motivate – It is important that you support planning, attainment, align sales teams efficiently, and measure sales performance. When done correctly you may see an increase in collaboration, productivity, awareness by implementing gamification techniques. They help companies measure performance and inform their decision-making based on their metric analysis. For instance, if a company is experiencing a month-to-month decrease in sales, they would want to examine their activities to ascertain and address the cause. Essential KPIs to track in 2021.
Adjust and Maximize – Automate your entire compensation solution, decrease IT / admin costs, and optimize sales execution. Generally, quota targets are spread based on historical data, but you should also be able to spread according to the season. Example – to reflect consumer and sales trends or holiday periods, it aligns sales quotas, revenue expectations, and the time spent for planning territory coverage is reduced. Nothing better than working with Oracle sales planning cloud.
The Future of Sales in 2021
Employment in sales is expected to decline by 2%, with a loss of around 303,400 jobs from 2019 to 2029. Sales employees will continue to be in demand in the services and wholesale sectors because these jobs remain crucial in building and sustaining enterprise customer bases. So, you need to boost the effectiveness of the sales teams to successfully assist sales teams #DoMore. Here are some key messages that might help your future sales strategy in 2021.
Conversational CRM gives reps time to focus on the “art of selling”
As businesses expand, to help manage their relationships, they usually depend on CRM systems. Although CRM information can be helpful for reaching current customers, it does not always help companies reach new customers. Brands effectively reach potential customers and generate leads through the combination of messaging and automation. The next generation of customer relationship management is conversational CRM because for a starter it saves great amount of time which is otherwise consumed at length by data entry. This frees-up human agents to help with the problems that matter most and create happy clients.
Also, Conversational CRM helps fill in the gaps where important information is always lacking and eliminates any security lapse by directly submitting information to a cloud-based database.
It is the Connected sales Planning Era
Lasting connections between data, people, and plans!
We are into data silos, but more importantly, we are into silos planning, i.e the sales, the HR, the supply chain, or any other department is focused on numbers, making forecasts and those numbers don’t always align. Many of them are trapped in the enterprise in spreadsheets that are not shared. The forecasts from these different functions may not even run on the same assumptions, and others may not follow suit when one forecast is updated. In other words, they are working on various problems if everyone is hovering over their own results. They will all pull the trigger in the same direction if everybody has access to the same data and the same plans.
Thus, sales planning and performance management become two sides of the same coin when you implement Connected Planning. Ultimately, they feed into each other so that the way you manage in the present is influenced by your future plans and success management in the present becomes a way to prepare for the future.
One way of carrying out the above said strategies is with Oracle’s Connected CX Cloud Suite that provides superior ROI while decreasing operating costs.
Drive revenue optimization with the advanced incentive pay, cap, and territorial management software from Oracle. With related data and deeper perspectives, Oracle lets both sales managers and sales process personnel prepare and perform better.
You will better understand your strategies and models with a multidimensional approach for territories, goods, accounts, networks, seasonality, and more. With Oracle’s predictive and intelligent planning strategy, from quota planning to revenue forecasting, to boost sales execution and organizational effectiveness.
Maximize your market scope with AI-driven predictive planning capabilities and set territory and quota plans intelligently
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This post was written by Sundar Viswanathan — Senior CRM Application Lead and CRM Practice Director at SoftClouds has 17+ years of experience with technical solution design and end to end implementations. Sundar is also certified on Oracle CX Applications and Siebel. He specializes in developing CX processes, including Marketing automation, salesforce automation and partner management and loyalty management modules.