Salesforce CRM and Sales Managers FTW (For The Win)!

09/10/2020 by Larry Salvatoriello
Eliminate the need for unwarranted meetings and give time back to your employees and yourself with these moves from the Sales Manager Playbook.

A sales manager’s job is not about being a babysitter or keeping tabs on who will hit their number or not. Technology can tell you that. The true core of a sales manager’s job is being a good problem solver and a coach to your team. I would have thought with the boom of CRM in the last decade that these unnecessary reactive behaviors would be over, but too often I hear sales professionals complain about the countless meetings discussing sales pipeline probabilities that show zero to no value to bringing actual sales across the finish line. 

Know The Why

Why are we having meetings to talk about something that if set-up correctly can be seen in a CRM tool like Salesforce with a click of a button?  Behavior like this leaves good sales professionals feeling frustrated and wastes countless hours that could be spent on more important things.

A CRM tool, and for the point of this post, Salesforce, not only allows you to easily access the data that drives your targets, it also encourages good habits and can highlight positive trends and early warning signs that can be the difference between hitting your target or not. Once using the tool proficiently you will be freed up to focus on the important stuff like reframing a conversation with a client or introducing good habits to a team member. This will lead to better performance for the company, the team, and happiness to all. So now let’s dive into the key pillars of a CRM tool, specifically Salesforce, that should be at the foundation of your Sales Management playbook. 

Data with Purpose

There is no reason to track data if you aren’t going to use it.  I understand there are some “templated” data points that come with Salesforce but that doesn’t mean they are important to your company.  Unneeded data points clutter up screens, complicate training and waste precious time.  Also, just because a data point was useful at one time doesn’t mean it is today. If you haven’t done so in awhile, have your Salesforce Admin do an audit and clean it up.  

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, make sure your team understands the “why” for the data collection. This little point gets overlooked all the time.  When a good teammate understands the “why” behind an action, they are more likely to do it even if it is not for their own individual needs.  This leads to less errors and richer data more naturally.  Trusting your data is rich and that your team is doing their part to keep it updated gives you the confidence to leave them alone.  

Pro Tip: If you have a good system and good data but still find yourself asking your team certain questions, it might be worth taking a minute to see if this data is worth tracking and normalizing in Salesforce.  Less questions of team members means less opportunity for them to think you are micromanaging.

Dashboard Confessionals

Having great data builds confidence, and having dynamic dashboards helps you visualize that data, identify trends, encourage good habits, build team comradery, and will also save you time.  A sales team dashboard in one screen can highlight what the team should be focusing on and reveal additional areas to investigate further. If data trends are positive like for example you see a spike in a particular product offering. With that info you may want to have your team explore the trend so you can market it more.  

If you see a negative trend like opportunity close time increasing, you may want to offer a discount or incentive to sign quicker.  These dashboards should also be about all the data around leads and opportunities.  If you can incorporate activity trends you can highlight individuals who may be struggling.  This open environment encourages team members to help each other and motivates to keep individuals doing good habits. 

Lastly, incorporating a leaderboard in the dashboard encourages healthy competition which then leads to increased team comradery. When you create an environment like this, issues that would have needed manager intervention have a way to work themselves out and sometimes get rid of the issues all together.

Celebrate Good Times

With Salesforce you can virtually celebrate people’s behaviors. In a time where we can only be in a virtual working environment, it is crucial to have avenues to share success of teams and individuals.  With badges and other collaboration tools embedded in Salesforce, you can not only highlight the big accomplishments but also highlight the little ones. 

This creates a culture of discipline that leads to great outcomes. When you have good discipline within teams, you don’t have to manage nearly as much. You can coach and focus on the complex problems that rise today and tomorrow.   We all know that we face a tremendous amount of challenges today and in the future.  You need to have as much time as possible to focus on them so you can weather the storm. 

So in summary, if you implement Salesforce properly using its rich toolset, you eliminate the need for unwarranted meetings and give time back to your employees and yourself.  Add in new cool features like Einstein and marketing automation you can leverage it to actually coach you and your team on areas to spend your time on.  Maybe we can then change the role from sales manager to sales coach.

Do you have any further insights on the sales manager playbook?  Connect with me @Salvatoriello or in the Salesforce Trailblazer Community