Which CRM requirements are crucial for sales management? This is part one of a five part document describing sales requirements considerations for selecting a CRM system. You'll want a CRM that encompasses all of the customer journey, so keep these requirement categories in mind as you analyze the sales management capabilities of a CRM system.

Opportunity Management

Opportunity management plays a significant role in a CRM system. It gives sales teams the ability to track sales processes, manage pipelines, and do competitive analysis. When defining your CRM requirements for sales management, take note of the opportunity management capabilities listed below:

  • Sales process
  • Pipeline
  • Won/Lost analysis
  • Competitive analysis
  • Competitive product analysis
  • Discount approval & analysis

Activity Management

Activity management is defined by the tracking & reporting of activities, usually associated with the sales department. A salesperson may use activity management to report on their sales calls or share calendars with a manager. This sales management function is great for creating transparency and holding individuals accountable for their sales activities. However, the overall usefulness depends on an organization’s structure and processes. Keep these aspects of activity management in mind as you search for you CRM:

  • Activity tracking
  • Calendar
  • Activity reporting
  • Trip reporting

Quoting

One question clients always want answered is “how much is it going to cost me?” The automation of this process is quoting. Quoting is one of the more complex functionalities in CRM. Look for features like:

  • Quote generation & assembly
  • Discounting, tax, & freight costs
  • Currency
  • Electronic signature
  • CPQ, configure pricing
  • Substitution
  • Inventory/product availability
  • Shipping forecast
  • Contract pricing
  • Price catalog
  • Quote delivery

Forecasting

Forecasting is the process of predicting sales and revenue. Managers look to forecasts to help manage the over revenue expectation of the company and to eventually predict profitability. Keep these major forecasting requirements in mind when searching for your CRM:

  • Currency adjustments (applies to foreign)
  • Baselining (snapshot view of forecast and compare to another forecast)
  • Manager adjustments
  • Upside
  • Machine forecasting
  • Sales distribution
  • Forecast periods
  • Product forecasting

Call Planning

Call planning capabilities help salespeople map out and manage their on-site customer interactions. For some industries, call planning is a legal requirement. Keep these considerations in mind:

  • Expense tracking
  • Time tracking
  • Routing
  • Mapping

360 View

This is the generic term for understanding all the communications from your company and the customer. Consider these features to create a 360 degree view with CRM:

  • Email
  • Notes
  • Phone calls
  • Inbound/outbound calls
  • Meetings
  • Activities
  • Products
  • Sales history
  • Opportunities
  • Contacts
  • Cases
  • Social & News
  • Financials
  • Relationships (parent company, who’s their attorney, etc.)

Order Management

Order Management is the process of turning a quote into an order and completing a sale. These processes warrant consideration when searching for the right CRM fit. Things to consider with order management are:

  • ERP integration
  • Order tracking
  • Taking orders
  • Converting quotes to orders
  • Reordering
  • Part ordering
  • Customer self-serve (aka portal)

Contracting

For every deal, there’s a contract. Contracting tracks the process of creating, signing, and approving the contracts. Think about your company’s contracting processes and how that factors in to your CRM requirements for sales management. Consider:

  • Contract creation
  • Signing
  • Term tracking
  • Termination
  • Approval/authorization

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*STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 OF OUR 5 PART SERIES ON CRM REQUIREMENTS*

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