How to Win More Deals with Clear Pipeline Visibility

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System is an amazing tool when it comes to the management of your opportunity/ deal pipeline. It can help you to bundle your orders and inquiries, it can keep departments in touch with your customers and it can help you to personalize your services. You have made a major investment in this business solution, expecting that your sales volumes would increase as well. But that is not happening. Why? What could have gone wrong? Is it the economy or other external factors or something is wrong internally? Has the market changed so drastically that your product or service no longer has any value? Or is it time you took a step back and reviewed how you are using the CRM in your pipeline development?
CRM software is a great set of tools, but its implementation does need to be carefully managed. A CRM system alone will not increase your sales; make your product more desirable or your company more profitable. A CRM system is never a replacement for the personal touch the customer facing teams bring to the customer relationship.

CRM systems manage data and knowledge. They provide excellent reporting capabilities which empower your sales force to better understand the customer and the customers’ needs. But it is what your sales force does with this knowledge that will drive your opportunity pipeline. The creation of a more valuable relationship, though knowledge of the customer, depends on the integration of this knowledge into the planning and processes used by the sales force. A CRM system, even with all the bells and whistles, will not solve the age old problem of how to increase sales.

CRM systems cannot create prospects for your sales force. What they can do, however, is provide your sales force with a detailed profiles of your current customers. This profile can then become an efficient and effective tool to manage current prospects and identify new prospects. This prospecting is what will build and maintain your opportunity pipeline.

What the sales force must remember is that the CRM system is an identification system – not a cherry orchard ripe for the picking. There must be a change in mindset that moves from a sales force mentality of only going after prospects they are sure to close to going after prospects that fit the criteria defined for the market. They must begin to use the CRM solution's actionable intelligence to identify the profile of those prospects who are most likely to become customers, to develop new and long term relationships as well as to expand current relationships.

By proactively managing the opportunity pipeline based on the CRM data the sales force will be able to directly impact the company’s revenue. Average sales value should increase due to the enriched leads generated, more prospects should be converted to consumers based on better qualification of the leads and the overall sales cycle of lead to prospect to consumer should be shortened.

A High Impact CRM solution can significantly help the customer facing teams to create and manage opportunities. Building and proactively managing the opportunity pipeline is very critical to justify the investment in the CRM solution. Without the pipeline all does run dry!

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