In recent years, the SalesTech Landscape has exploded. Many of these new products aim to add value to sales reps.
In particular, there are a variety of SalesTech products, from sales engagement platforms to forecasting tools, that try to help the rep by pulling data out of Salesforce into their applications or to email clients and then syncing data back into Salesforce.
A few of these products address an aspect of Opportunity Management by giving reps the ability to update a select set of fields in opportunities, reducing their administrative burden. This begs the question:
What is Opportunity Management?
In general, there are two schools of thought:
- Opportunity Management is the process of maintaining the data about sales opportunities to ensure accurate sales pipeline management and sales forecasting Or
- Opportunity Management is a strategic process that supports, tracks and manages the execution of a sales process in pursuit of closing a sale.
The first definition certainly can streamline the process of reps providing data to management. However, it reduces Opportunity Management to an administrative task. It fails to reinforce the strategic aspects of reps managing opportunities and offers no support for helping sales reps sell more effectively.
The second definition speaks to the original promise of SFA (Sales Force Automation) on the CRM platform. Unfortunately, most sales reps will tell you that the CRM application they use does not help them sell. It helps their managers track and manage the deals in the pipeline so the sales forecast can be produced.
Revisit the original promise of Opportunity Management
Rather than give up on the CRM as a platform, it may be time to revisit how to fulfill the original promise of Opportunity Management for sales teams. To deliver on the second definition of Opportunity Management, reps need to be interacting with a CRM application that guides them through the sales process defined by your company in addition to maintaining data to support pipeline management and sales forecasting.
Further, in this digital era where buyer interactions can be captured through email, calendars, website visits and more, Opportunity Management should include the capture, organization, and visualization of data about each and every buyer associated with the opportunity so your rep can easily map buyer activities throughout the sales process. And, your company can build the data repository to track buyer journeys and reveal changes along the way.
See Akoonu’s approach to Buyer Aware Opportunity Management.