Magazine article CRM Magazine

SpringCM: Best Practices in Sales Automation: How to Achieve Faster Closing Cycles and Maximum Sales Productivity

Magazine article CRM Magazine

SpringCM: Best Practices in Sales Automation: How to Achieve Faster Closing Cycles and Maximum Sales Productivity

Article excerpt

BEST PRACTICES OF SALES AUTOMATION

Analysts tell us that the contract process consumes 18-25% of the sales cycle. Think about that the next time sales productivity dips and your sales teams are scrambling to close fewer deals. While CRM systems automated the first mile of sales--from lead to opportunity creation--many sales teams are still stuck using fax, email, and paper printouts to actually negotiate and close the deal. By automating the last mile--the contract creation negotiation and renewal cycle--you can reduce your contract cycle by 50 percent or more. That means reducing the sales cycle by 9 percent and enabling your teams to close 11 percent more deals--all without adding sales people or other resources.

The good news: you don't have to invest in a huge software implementation or time-consuming training. With cloud options, you can easily add-on and integrate sales contract management with most CRM systems.

Unlike traditional software implementations, a cloud solution (also called Software-as-a-Service or SaaS) enables you to rapidly implement a sales contract management solution in a matter of days. Rather than spend excessive cycles on system planning and testing, which on-premise software requires, a cloud contract management solution allows your initial team to quickly set up the business rules and processes and begin using the solution.

What should you look for in a cloud contract management solution?

* A library of standard templates from which to work makes it easy for users to access the right one.

* Automatic routing and alerts help avoid missed deadlines and ensure that everyone has visibility into contact status.

* Easy CRM and ERP integration without special programming or additional costs.

* Electronic signature capability helps accelerate contract approvals and provides visibility into which contracts are awaiting signatures.

* Collaboration among prospects, sales, and legal so each party gets access to information that matters

SAY 'NO' TO MANAGING TECHNOLOGY AND 'YES' TO MANAGING THE BUSINESS

Implementing traditional sales contract automation software involves managing software, hardware, and professional services in an expensive, time-consuming process. A cloud software solution, however, means that you manage the business function not the technology. …

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