Are sales representatives following your processes?
If that situation seems familiar to you, then you should review the processes you have designed. On the one hand, sales representatives do not want to fill in information about leads, calls, meetings, quotes, and opportunities in the system. They want to sell. On the other hand, sales managers ask for more metrics, processes, fields, formula, reports, and dashboards. They want to drive their business. In this post, I will show you how to design win-win business processes.
How to design win-win business processes?
If you side with sales managers, you will probably create too many fields and increase the amount of time sales representatives spend on data entry. Eventually, sales representatives will not bother filling in fields anymore if you ask too much of them. If you side with sales representatives and never ask anything from them, sales managers will not be able to drive their business.
So what do you do? Do you only add fields when sales representatives do not complain? Many times, it is hard for Sales Operations to choose their side. In fact, Sales Operations must act as a go-between between representatives and managers. Sales Operations should not be influenced by complaints and sudden caprices. They should focus on business situations and make calls accordingly.
If you have designed poor business processes, you will have many of these in your system:
- Blank fields
- Obsolete fields
- Randomly filled fields
- Too many “Other” values
- Too many mandatory fields
Behind this, sales representatives waste their time, get frustrated, and it does not give any business insights to sales managers. When a sales manager asks me to implement a new process, I ask myself this simple question: why would sales representatives fill the damn field?
Why would sales representatives fill the damn field?
If you cannot answer this question, pass. However, if it saves time, gives business insights or makes their life easier; implement right away. Let us say that the sales manager wants information about the competition. It seems to you that a picklist field (or even worse, a multi-picklist field) on the opportunity object could do the trick. Why would sales representatives fill the damn field?
- Does it give some battle card so they can win the deal?
- Does it automatically change the price list?
- Do they have a 10€ bonus if they do it?
If not, mostly they won’t fill it, mostly you’ll make it mandatory, mostly they’ll fill in it randomly and the sales managers will be clueless when reporting on the astonishing “Competition__c” field. In this example, if the competition field does not trigger anything, I would suggest a 5 min discussion each week during sales meetings. Sales reps will feel valued, and sales managers will have much more business insights than this ineffective field. Win-win.