Roles: Sales Person
Sales Role In SME Sales people need to close sales, obviously. Doing this requires diligent tracking of sales leads, customers, and proposal opportunities.
The following are common tasks and roles for sales people:
- Track and follow-up with existing sales leads
- Enter new sales leads
- Enter and follow-up on proposals
- Convert proposals to orders or invoices
- Convert Direct Marketing leads to sales leads
- Track Customers as sales leads
- Best Practices for Sales People
Track and follow-up with existing sales leads
Tracking sales leads requires going through or getting to the sales lead. So the first step is organizing to find sales leads. There are a few ways to organize and search for sales leads as follows:
- Master Search: A quick way to find specific sales leads is to use the master search. Just enter the information such as company name or contact name and select enter. Look for the name in either sales leads, direct sales, or customers. If the record already exists, always use the existing one rather than creating a new record. You can also select "Limit results to" and select only Sales Leads.
- Search View and Grid: To view a list of sales leads you can get to the "search grid" in a variety of different ways:
- Lookups F4 key: By pressing the F4 key or Lookups>Open Sales leads, will open a list of sales leads. This list can be customized by you for your view of sales leads. See views section on how to create or edit views. You can add any fields or information from your sales lead screen to this view. You can also filter this view to show only your leads.
- Search in Sales Lead Module: Another way to get to the search view is to select Search and then select Search Open Leads (or Search Closed Leads or Search All Leads to search for past closed leads as well). This will bring up the search view as mentioned above.
- Activities: It's important to create activities for all sales leads so you know the next time you need to follow-up with the sales lead. Activities are created from an existing sales lead, proposal, customer, or any type of record. For example, say you first enter a sales lead, have a good discussion about your services and then you ask the prospect of when they want you to follow-up. They reply that they need to check with somebody, so follow-up in 2 days. You set an activity for two days away. Now you are finished with this lead an know that you will be reminded in two days to follow-up with this lead. Later you will track your activities and jump directly to this sales leads. See the Activities section for more information.
Enter new sales leads
Before entering a new sales lead, be sure to check if the lead already exists as a customer or sales lead in the system. Follow the search procedure above. If you create a new sales lead that is already in the system, it will be hard to merge the new information you enter with the existing information. Once you know this is a new sales lead, you can enter it by simply going to sales lead and selecting "New Lead". You can also enter a new lead by selecting the menu item called "New Item" and select Lead or simple select ctrl-alt-L.
Once you create the new sales lead, enter all the information you can. The Company field can also be used for the person's name if service will be for a private party.
Enter and follow-up on proposals
Proposals are used for actual proposals or for tracking opportunities. You can start entering a proposal as soon as you have a qualified lead and know some information about the products or services the lead (or customer) is looking for. These proposals can be used as a "pipeline" to track you future sales opportunities.
Entering a proposal is similar to enter is the same as entering orders and invoices. All the information entered into the proposal will be used to convert the proposal to an order so that information is never entered twice. Note that your efforts of entering complete information in the proposal, will help the entire organization as this proposal moves to an order, to an invoice, and finally into the accounting system. See the Proposals section for more information on how to enter information into the proposal.
It's also important to track notes for the proposal. These notes are for internal use about the status on progress of the proposal and are typically NOT shared with the sales lead or customer. So you can enter any information about the proposal to help everyone in the organization to understand the progress and history of the proposal.
Tracking activities on proposals as well as sales leads. When an activity is created on a proposal and you double click on that activity, it will go straight to the proposal so you can follow-up or update the proposal.
Search all your open proposals by selecting Search>Open Proposals. You can also configure a unique view for your proposal search list.
Convert proposals to orders or invoices
Once a sales lead agrees to the proposal, you will convert the proposal to one or more orders or invoices. "New for SME6.2" is the ability to generate multiple orders from one proposal for example if the proposal is broken into multiple phases of a project.
Business Process Tips: You organization may follow a business process to first have the proposal approved before it is converted. If this is the case for your organization, set an activity for the approver to first approve the proposal.
To convert a partial proposal to an order or invoice, you simply select Actions>Convert Proposal . Select To Service to screate a service order, select To Install to create an install order, or select To Invoice to create an itemized invoice.
To convert the final (or a single) order select Actions>Generate Final and select To Service, To Install, or To Invoice.
This will convert the proposal to the selected type of order and then ask to close the proposal. Usually, once the proposal is fully converted, it should be closed.
Note when a proposal is converted, the sales lead will be copied to customers as well if it is not already a customers. Thus, by converting a proposal it also converts the sales lead to a customer.
Sometimes it's good practice to jump to the order and set an activity to someone in operations to make sure they follow-up and get the order completed.
Convert Direct Marketing leads to sales leads
If your organization is using Direct Marketing to track leads used in marketing lists or other, you may be going through Direct Marketing records. Once the you get a hold of a direct sale and they have any interest in your products, you simply convert the direct marketing to a sales lead and track in the sales lead section.
To convert a direct marketing lead, select Actions>Move to Open Leads.
Track Customers as sales leads
You can also track customers as sales leads. Remember past customers are a great source for sales. First find the customer using the search mechanisms. If you want to track the customer as a sales lead simply select Actions>Copy to Sales. This customer will now be in the sales lead section to track as a sales lead. The lead will also be linked as a customer so that when a proposal is converted to an order it will use the same customer record and not create a new customer record.
Another way to move customer to sales lead is to create a proposal for a customer. From the customer section, select Actions>New Proposal and the customer will be copied to sales leads and a new proposal will be created.
Best Practices for Sales People
Here are a few Best Practices that sales people should follow and how to follow these best practices with SME:
- Before creating new leads or customers, ALWAYS search to see if they exist already. Other people in the organization may have already entered this information or this could have been an old customer looking for new services. If a new record is created it can not be merged with an existing record so it will lead to duplicates.
- Always enter new Notes for sales leads and proposals. This will indicate to management that you have been "touching" this lead. Also, this will allow other people in the organization to see the history with this lead.
- Notes are for internal use only so enter any information that will be helpful to you or other people in the organization. For example if the sales lead is a jerk, write it down in notes so other people are prepared when dealing with them. If the lead like to talk about their dog, write it in so you can form a bond with the lead, such as: "How's your dog boo-boo doing...".
- Always create activities for the next action with the lead. Before finishing a conversation, ask the lead when they would like you to follow-up. The lead is alway impressed when you say you will follow-up in two days and you follow-up in exactly two days.
- Create activities for other people in the organization to follow-up. Create an activity and assign to other SME users to perform actions on the sales lead or proposal. For example, if a proposal needs to be approved, set an activity to the approver to the proposal. Or set an activity on a newly created order to make sure the order gets process properly.
- Track lead source in the sales lead. The lead source will help marketing know which marketing plans are working.
- Track sales stage in the sales lead. Tracking the sales stage will let you and management know which sales leads are hot and should have more regular follow-up. The sale stage drop down list should be configured for your organization that matches your sales pipeline stages.
- Track the forecasted amount to know the size of the initial deal with the sales lead.