Enquires and opportunities are at the heart of everything you do to grow your business.
Maintaining good opportunity data provides more accurate reporting and increases your confidence in understanding your key business numbers.
Having a rhythmic flow of new opportunities into your business that follow a sales journey through various stages helps protect your business from peaks and troughs in income, and provides stability in the knowledge that you can increase the flow of opportunities if and when needed.
You can then increase the flow of opportunities, for example from 10 to 50 or 300 to 700 to increase your turnover. It’s crucial to ensure that opportunities are managed in a structured way, following an overall process which helps promote data consistency in your sales funnel.
Tip 1. Use meaningful opportunity names
When searching for records across your CRM, a meaningful and concise opportunity name helps users understand at a glance who the opportunity is for, what the opportunity represents, and when it came in to the business.
For example, you could implement a convention in your business of Company Name + Brief Summary of opportunity + Date = All My Systems Dynamics CRM Online 25 users March 2016 OR All My Systems Dynamics CRM Training 100 users June 2016.
The exact structure may be different for your business, but by training your team on using a standard convention promotes data consistency across your business.
Tip 2. Keep estimated close date and estimated turnover up to date
As soon as your sales team discover these key items of data the opportunity record should be updated immediately. Good data underpins trustworthy and accurate sales forecasts for this month, next month, or the next 6 months, providing these fields are kept up to date at all times.
Tip 3. Keep probabilities and/or structured sales stages up to date
If you structure your sales process into stages, or use probabilities to calculate a weighted turnover figure, then your sales forecasts and reporting insight relies on this data being kept current.
Ask yourself whether you can report with certainty right now on which stage opportunities are up to across your business. If the answer is no, then it’s time to speak with your team to ensure this data is updated in a more timely manner.
Tip 4. Add any sales activities directly to the opportunity e.g. phone calls, appointments, emails so the opportunity acts like a folder of key information stored all in one place
It’s a well-established fact that people buy people. All key interactions between your sales team and your prospects and customers must be captured accurately and in one place. That place is in your CRM system, recorded against the specific opportunity the sales activity relates to.
Not in Outlook sent items. Not in emails saved as PDFs on a shared drive. Not in emails cc’d in to colleagues to keep them in the loop…there is a better way!
The power of CRM comes from recording all key activities in one place, so your whole team benefits from the most up to date communications activity.
Tip 5. Use a Follow Up date field to trigger a reminder for your next follow up regarding this opportunity
Your business is busy, your people are busy. Don’t run the risk of opportunities falling between the cracks when time is tight.
Make sure your team set follow up dates and that they receive reminders from your CRM system, in their Microsoft Outlook calendar or via tasks, and on their connected mobile and tablet devices.
Bonus Tip 5a!
CRM as a culture takes priority over CRM as a software tool. By implementing our 5 key tips you’ll be on your way to maximising your opportunity data in your CRM.
Contact us if you would like to know more about making the best use of CRM in your business.