For many companies, the 28th of February is the last day of their current financial year. It’s also the day that Sales Managers and Max Administrators need to do some basic housekeeping. This housekeeping relates specifically to their annual pipeline as their sales year wraps up. Analysing annual sales, marketing lead-generation, database, customer service and pipeline statistics is a vital management function indeed.
Let’s just focus on the pipeline for now: Accuracy is key. Of course, the idea is that you should keep your pipeline up to date on a daily basis and clean out the crud as opportunities are lost, suspended or abandoned. However more often than not, many opportunities (often those that were unqualified early in the sales process) are kept alive by hopeful salespeople for months (or years) on end.
After months of wishful thinking, your pipeline may soon become bogged down in opportunities that haven’t moved an inch. It’s the Sales Manager’s job to “interrogate” every opportunity that has stalled and to assist a salesperson in making the decision to keep working an opportunity or let it go i.e. is this potential sale “Alive or Dead?”
We strongly advise taking an hour or two on the last day of the financial year to seriously clean up your entire “In Progress” opportunity pipeline. Go through every single opportunity listed – make sure your column view in Max includes the system field “Date Last Contacted” so that you can review when the salesperson last made contact with the customer or prospect. This new field introduced in 2017 is great for deciding how to proceed further. At a glance you can see how long it is since anyone made contact with the customer. You might find that many old opportunities were lost simply because no-one had followed up in months.
After your pipeline spring clean – export all your opportunities to Excel and analyse your annual sales stats. Without a doubt you will uncover some very useful sales management information that will assist you in developing your new sales strategy for the year ahead. It will also give you direction as to where your salespeople need skills training, what products were most enquired about and tons more – depending of course on how complete and accurate the information is.
If you’re using Max to its full potential, you should be able to determine exactly how many quotes each salesperson sent out for every product or service you offer. For example you could find that Sarah sent out 100 proposals for product x and closed 5 whilst Kedibone sent out 300 and closed 80. That’s very powerful sales management information indeed.
by Suzanne Burgess