In 2008 I was running an enterprise team for Salesforce.com and had a dilemma with process integrity and CRM data – Enterprise reps were doing a great job in managing their big deal process and following the methodology, but for the smaller, higher velocity deals it was quite the opposite – The rigorous data reporting and field filling required for enterprise deals just didn’t scale down to some of the more opportunistic, high velocity deals.
I ran into the same problem in 2012 when I was running inside sales for Yammer – The reps needed to have a guide for running their deals and and my managers needed to know what was left to do in order to win the deal.
The simple solution below will work equally well in situations where you own the CRM or even in larger orgs where you can’t have changes made to the CRM to fit your needs.
What I did at Salesforce was create an acronym that neatly summarized our coverage of the account and where we stood in the process. ‘blip poom’ was written in every opportunity description field, which were acronyms as follows:
All reps needed to do was capitalize the letters to affirm that we had covered off that element – ‘BLIP’ told me (and them) that they had addressed potentially relevant stakeholders within the process and ‘POOM’ ensured that we addressed necessary documentation early enough in the process.
The 30 seconds it took to update this field ensured that reps weren’t blind-sided by unexpected stakeholders or undue delays from last minute legal wrangling. This simple tactic provided much greater robustness in the forecast and improved win rates.
My suggestion is that you create your own magic acronyms to save your reps having to fill out an onerous number of fields to reflect where they stand in an opportunity.
Bonus points to anyone who publishes their acronym(s) in the comments below.