Using SugarCRM for Sales Pipeline Management and Forecasting – CRM Implementation Simplified

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Most of the sales teams and company management talks about Sales Pipeline and Forecasting. Both are some how related. Sales Pipeline is an indicator of the current and upcoming deals and gives the health of the company in terms of getting new orders. It gives an idea of what all deals might come up, thus gives an effective forecast of the business if used properly.

SugarCRM is designed to help Sales Team use it and build their pipeline using Opportunities module. And SugarCRM forecast module gives the sense of direction the individual , team / company going in terms of future sales.

What is Sales Pipeline ?

Sales Pipeline is a systematic process for selling your products or services. This systematic process involved stages which indicate a probability of selling your product or service to the prospective customer. Each of the deals that are in the pipeline will have a typical size of the deal and the approximate date / time when the prospect is going to buy.

Depending on the number of deals in the pipeline and the approximate hit rate of the individual or team, you can approximately predict your future revenue. So if there are very less number of deals in your pipeline this month, you are sure to get less revenue next month or next quarter. So a healthy pipeline means more deals in the pipeline that the sales team can close if given a push.

Manage your pipeline systematically and you will be in control of your sales and Targets.

SugarCRM Opportunity Management

SugarCRM opportunity module captures the sales deals that are in the pipeline. The process through which each deal goes through is managed by naming them in Sales Stage. So each deal starts from the beginning and goes and ends by winning or losing.

At each stage some deals gets lost and only a few of them wills stay till the end. That is the reason it is also called Sales Funnel so you will have more deals in the initial stages and becoming less and less when you come to the last stages.

The default Sales Stages for SugarCRM Opportunity module are

  • Prospecting
  • Qualification
  • Needs Analysis
  • Value Proposition
  • Id. Decision Makers
  • Perception Analysis
  • Proposal/Price Quote
  • Negotiation/Review
  • Closed Won
  • Closed Lost

You can get more information about the meaning of each stage here http://support.sugarcrm.com/Knowledge_Base/End_Users/Opportunities/Default_Opportunity_Sales_Stages/

Depending on the company, there may be an existing Opportunity Stages or Deal Stages that can be quickly brought into SugarCRM. We can change the above Sales Stages to let us say only 4 or 5 as an example.

Let us say we have only 5 Stages

Qualification – 30%

Proposal / Price Quote – 70%

Negotiation / Review – 90%

Closed Won  – 100%

Closed Lost – 0%

You can associate corresponding probability for each sales stage. If your company does not have a concept of sales pipeline and stages, it is right time to look at some standard sales stages and corresponding probability as it helps in forecasting future business.

Why it is called Sales Funnel – because we may get 100 leads in the Qualification stage, but they filtered down and only 30 may pass the Qualification stages and enter in the Proposal / Price Quote. And only 10 might enter into Negotiation and Review.

And may be 5 are Closed Won and 5 are Closed Lost.

If each sales person religiously enters his sales deals in SugarCRM as Opportunity and follow the sales process a pipeline gets built and it can be forecasted.

Pipeline / Opportunity Forecast:

Once you start using the Opportunities, we can get an average time a deal takes to close and average close ratio. And these things along with the Expected Close date helps in forecasting the revenue better.

SugarCRM Comes with forecasts module that will help us defining the financial year start / end date and how often you want to slice the forecast, monthly / quarterly etc. Once the basic definition of Financial Year is provided, you can set the Target for each main key people in terms of the revenue they need to generate for the business.

Each of the head can in turn set targets to their reports.

Opportunity Commits and Individual Dashboards:

Once targets are set, the system automatically generates the Quota Against Actual dashboards indicating his dashboard for sales. The same is extended at team level and organisation level.

Apart from this, it also gives the individual to commit certain opportunities he is confident about and aiming to close to the manager for each month. Thus giving more accurate forecast of business.

So SugarCRM can be configured very well as a sales pipeline management tool and forecasting system for businesses that manage Sales.

Advanced Features:

SugarCRM Enterprise Edition comes with product line item level forecasting to ensure each product head knows how his product line is moving in different markets.

Whether you want to manage sales pipeline or deal forecast, SugarCRM standard features help to roll the system immediately with out of the box implementation.

Bhea is a leading SugarCRM Advanced partner with close to a decade experience in implementing CRM with SugarCRM. Contact us for starting your own sales pipeline management using SugarCRM.

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