Monthly Archives: July 2017

5 Ways to Streamline Your Sales Process and Hit Your Sales Forecasts

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streamline sales forecasting with ForecastEra
The key to a strong pipeline is implementing and defining a clear and formalized sales process. According to a 2015 Harvard Business Review study, companies that have defined a sales process had 18% more revenue growth than companies that didn’t have a defined process. This shows the importance of defining, managing and executing a clear sales process. It can (and will!) impact your company’s overall revenue, and it is an important driver of an accurate sales forecast.

A company’s pipeline is ultimately a representation of a company’s sales process—it defines the length of a deal cycle, the parties involved, and how success is measured. So, how do we go about defining the sales process?

Clearly define the stages of a deal. Every stage of the deal must be clearly defined with milestones that are easily understood by the sales team. The terms used must be simple and clear, with nothing that could be left to interpretation. A consistent sales process must address all points of the sales cycle, from beginning to end. This can include:

Prospecting
Identifying Leads
The Initial Touchpoint
Following up
Closing
Implementation
Service Support


Use universally understood terms.
Keep in mind that every product and organization will require different terminology and definitions for these sales stages, but having universally understood terms and protocols in the sales cycle is a best practice across industries. Using wishy-washy and generic terms will result in poor sales performance and will directly affect the sales forecast. In other words, your sales team should know exactly where any given deal stands.

Customize your sales process based on the customer’s buying process.  Another important thing to keep in mind is that the sales process must align with your target customer’s buying process. This is the key point: every organization will have a unique sales process. There may be different expected durations, actionable items, and key players at each sales stage, depending on the customer’s buying process. Take the time and effort to create a unique and clearly defined process for your product—it will pay off.

Thoroughly train your sales force
. Make sure that your team is trained and thoroughly understands where a deal should sit at each stage. By doing so, there won’t be any misunderstanding when labeling or moving a deal forward (or backward) in the pipeline. The predictability that this ensures will make your sales forecasts much more accurate and easy to adjust.

Continuously calibrate your sales forecasts.
As a company grows, the leadership must adapt and create a consistent sales process to ensure the continuous calibration and adjustment of the original forecasts. Inconsistency and failure to adjust have proven time and time again to plague sales departments. Implementing a rolling forecast using ForecastEra’s Planning and Sales Performance Solutions will help you continuously forecast and keep your pipeline moving.

Keeping a pipeline flowing and continuously adjusting and calibrating a pipeline is very important for a sales team. This, accompanied with a cleanly defined sales process and excellent execution, will allow your organization to hit your sales forecasts and grow your company.

Find out more about how we can help you define your sales process and improve your company’s forecasting capabilities: http://www.forecastera.com

Pharma Sales VPs: Get the Most Out of Your CRM

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CRM Solutions

As a Pharmaceutical Sales Executive, you need to make sure you set realistic targets and sales goals. In order to do this, you need to monitor the correct data and key performance indicators. There are many factors that could influence the real-time data on sales performance—geography, product, and client type, to name a few.

Here are a few ways you can ensure that your sales data in your CRM is accurate and reliable.

1. Define the terms. Make sure that within you CRM, the terms that are used are clearly defined and universally understood. For example, does “customer” mean a prescriber? A healthcare institution?
Understanding the inputs to your CRM will ensure that there’s accurate data flowing in, and cross-functional units like business, finance, and IT departments will be able to coordinate efficiently.

2. Ensure your KPIs are the right fit. Having the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that align with your sales process and sales rep activity is very key. Make sure that the KPIs you implement are accurate and reliable. You can adjust your KPIs accordingly and constantly validate them with your sales rep to ensure that they are measuring the correct data points.

3. Gather Quality Data. Having a robust CRM will require many different sources of data gathered from the field. Integrating the data into your system will allow you to closely monitor your sales reps, as well as continuously validate your KPIs on all levels, whether it’s geographic, by product, or by client type. Encourage your sales reps to target physicians using this past sales data to ensure a higher probability of closed deals.

4. Adjust to the changing environment. The pharma industry is quite dynamic and constantly changing. Sales VPs must embrace the challenges, whether its price pressures from generics, mergers, and acquisitions throughout the industry, transformation from sales reps to sales consultants. Short term revenue fixes, like an influx of revenue from blockbuster drugs, cover up the real need overhaul antiquated systems, streamline the sales processes, and solve operational inefficiencies.

5. Customize the CRM. Lastly, it is important to ensure that if your organization is switching to a new CRM, the decision must be an organization-based, rather than an application-based, selection. Why? Application-based decisions will require a company to change their processes and business practices to fit the mold of the software, whereas implementing a software that can adapt to your organizational requirements is a much more efficient and strategic way to go about streamlining your sales process. Furthermore, any changes to tailor the software to fit your organizational needs will be extremely costly to maintain or upgrade.

With ForecastEra’s new software, we can work with you to customize our software to your organization’s needs and processes. There is no need to change your existing sales and marketing processes to work within the limits of a cookie-cutter software.

Find out more about how we can work with you to implement our cutting edge CRM and improve your company’s forecasting capabilities: http://www.forecastera.com