Sales performance: 6 simple ways managers can use CRM data to improve sales

Your CRM system holds a wealth of data that can be used to improve sales. Did you know that with a few simple steps you can take the data that’s already there and use it to gain insight and focus sales efforts?

We’ve put together a list of 6 tips based on more than 10 years experience with highly successful Nordic BTB sales teams. Have a look and consider what will help you reach short term targets and build long term value.


1. Keep teams focused with more visible goals and KPIs

KPIs are defined at strategy workshops or management meetings. After workshops people get so busy, KPIs are often forgotten until the next meeting. Weeks or months can pass before sales teams are updated and momentum is lost.

This is when it’s a good time to bring KPIs top of mind by sharing status updates on dashboards. How are sales figures looking this quarter? Everyone likes to see how they are doing. Visual formats are easier to grasp than text or email. A picture really is like a 1000 words!

The figures should update automatically as data is entered in SuperOffice, saving valuable reporting time. When everyone’s geared on reaching a goal, they will pay more attention to updates and expect figures to be accurate. Errors are picked up faster and you’ll find overall data quality improves.

2. Filter and group data for better insight

Successful sales teams are using sales analytics. By analyzing and comparing data across time, segments, products or other parameters, analytics provide valuable insight about what’s working, what isn’t, and how you can adapt.

Rather than selecting data and doing comparisons in multiple steps, analytics tools enable non-techies to sort, filter, and group data with one step. Modern CRM analytics fit a range of needs from general business users to experienced analysts.

We recently talked with one sales director that wants to track exactly how many customer meetings are booked per week and the number of proposals sent. Another sales leader wants continuous overview of budget vs. actual sales and to provide this information for each regional manager.

3. Celebrate new deals to generate enthusiasm

Do you celebrate new deals and give attention to both big and small wins? Acknowledging a win is part of building good team spirit, especially if times are tough. Consider how people respond to the ring of a sales bell or the energy created from a new win.

When a salesperson sets the status of an opportunity to “sold” everyone should get an update. With the number of mobile workers growing, this keeps up motivation while on the road or working from home.

In the example pictured, each salesperson sees:

  • Top 10 wins by revenue
  • Latest sale: salesperson name, customer name and amount
  • Updated ticker showing most recent sales

4. Run a team competition

If you’ve ever thought a competition could spur sales, but have been stopped by the additional logistics, then your CRM system holds the answers. Reusing your existing data saves punching figures into yet another system or having someone record results manually. As long as the information is logged in SuperOffice, the competition results can be pulled together and displayed.

What about competing on the number of telephone calls made by the inside sales team? The number of new customer meetings booked by one office compared to another? The number of marketing qualified leads converted to sales qualified leads within the quarter? The possibilities are almost endless.

5. Give stalled or forgotten sales the attention they deserve

Stalled sales are one of those items that pose a challenge for sales managers. Your salespeople may see when their own deal is stalled or past closed, but you may not have the same insight. Why is the sales stalled? Is it likely to remain stalled and should it be moved to ‘Lost’? The more stalled sales in a period, the harder it is to make an educated estimate of what will close.

In this case it’s useful to have an overview of all stalled opportunities per person. Create a report from your CRM system. Not surprisingly, just knowing that managers can see forgotten deals, can trigger salespeople to pursue deals even harder. The same applies to deals that are past close date.

6. Free-up time for customers or coaching with report automation

Everyone uses sales reports to navigate. Reports help steer sales in the right direction and control that revenues are on track. But there is clearly a relationship between the amounts of time spent on reporting and the tools that you use. Using Excel these days rather than sales analytics tools is like using a map when you could be using GPS.

Imagine that one, single version of each report is automtatically updated and available for review in advance of weekly sales meetings. Suddenly the meeting changes from being about reviewing numbers to deciding what actions are required. Meetings are more effective and sales are moving forward.

Using these tips can mean the difference between a struggling sales quarter and super success. The underlying data should already be in your database. If data isn’t accurate, these tips will encourage faster, more accurate input.

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