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Use Goal Management in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 to Track and Improve Sales Team Performance

With the Holidays behind us, many Sales teams are in the process of receiving new comp plans for the New Year. Sales management is faced with the dilemma of devising compensation structures that not only reward top performers, but also motivate them to continue producing at a high level going forward. Besides possibly changing compensation, Sales Goals for reps and territory assignments may be altered as well.

In many cases, the new Sales Goals may seem extremely challenging at first glance. Regardless of how well management clearly defines and articulates the changes based on their analysis of last year’s company results, current and future market environments, and projected growth rates, some Sales reps may wonder why the changes were necessary, and thus they may have some reservations about hitting their new lofty numbers until they start closing some deals again. Without Goals, though, businesses, Sales teams, and Sales reps have no real measure for success in place.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 recognizes how important it is for Sales executives and top producers to track and achieve Goals. For instance, CRM 2011 offers Goal tracking and management functionality that Sales reps can use to view their individual performance results and see how they stack up against their respective Revenue or Sales Volume Goals. Plus, Sales management can use Goals in CRM to chart and analyze the progress of the teams or territories they oversee and really target areas for improvement based on how much time is left in the current sales period. The Sales Goals can be for a custom time period, such as monthly, quarterly, or annually or even set to a particular Fiscal period. Moreover, tracking and managing Goals within CRM will make the overall Sales Goal maintenance, roll-up, reporting, and review process far less cumbersome and error-prone, especially compared to the extremely time-consuming and manual-intensive approach of doing the same in spreadsheets.

Furthermore, the built-in robust Goal charts are great visualization mechanisms for Sales reps to see where they stand at a given point in time against their peers and their individual Goal(s). For instance, the chart below displays a comparison of Actual and In-Progress Sales Opportunity Revenue figures versus a Quarterly Sales Goal for three individuals. It is taken from “Tracking status against goals with built-in predictability” on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Blog, which I encourage you to reference if you want to get more insight on the use of Sales Goals in CRM 2011 and see more sample Goal charts. Being able to always refer to these instant individual Goal results via a Dashboard or an in-line visualization chart helps maintain Sales focus and momentum, instills accountability, and fuels competition amongst reps, managers, teams, and regions.

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Additionally, I recommend watching this brief Goals tutorial video from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Resource Center to learn more on how to create and assign parent/child roll-up Goals and Goal metrics. It actually focuses on an example of Service Case Goals, but the steps are a great primer on how to create Goals in CRM, particularly Goals with a Goal Metric based on a “Count” as opposed to a Revenue $ Amount metric. The video really can serve as a guide if you have the need to create a Sales “Count” Goal, such as number of Opportunities or Products sold per month, number of outbound dials per week, or number of leads generated from a Marketing campaign.

Lastly, if you would like to discuss further and see first-hand how Customer Effective can leverage and tailor the Goal Management functionality in CRM 2011 to optimize your Sales Department’s processes, productivity, and performance, please e-mail us at info@customereffective.com.