Ask any manager his number one frustration and most likely it’s forecasting and targeting. It is a far from an exact science yet we have to plan the budgeting of our businesses around it.
Nothing makes this process exact but what makes it at least predictable is timely information. A CRM system will provide you with a collective “roll-up” and view of each quote whether that quota is held by an individual, a branch, a unit or whatever way an organisation is set up to report on numbers.
One important note is that this is not a replacement for a financial system. Your CRM system can be integrated but a finance system looks, by definition, at historical, committed data. For forecasting there is an element of forward looking – what a person thinks will be the likely sales over a period.
A CRM system will allow a sales manager to adjust these numbers based on his or her belief of the likelihood of closing, the stage of various deals (this can be automated), historical trends, knowledge of an individual’s tendency to be optimistic or pessimistic. Adjusting for all these factors allows a manager to arrive at a committed, dynamic number that can be reported to the business as a whole.
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