Most companies use sales pipeline data to gauge a very generalized picture of future sales. But imagine if your company’s data was accurate enough to predict next month’s revenue within a few cents? If an organization can standardize on top-performing sales processes and establish an accurate, targeted picture of the customer, pipeline data becomes far more reliable—and future sales become far more predictable.
Insurance brokerage and advisory company Willis Towers Watson (WTW) collected extensive sales data across systems within the organization, but they lacked a centralized system to view the collected data. The company adopted Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales to capture data in a single system where they could extract insights to optimize sales practices and prioritize high-converting customers. By using insights to drive success into sales practices, WTW has increased the reliability of their sales pipeline, making future revenue far more predictable.
“In January, we ran our numbers based on prior performance and predicted almost to the penny what the number would be for new business going forward. Probably very few companies have been able to do something like that.”—Luis Maurette, CRB Global Head of Sales and Client Management, WTW
Sales predictability can be increased when sales leaders have two key things:
- An accurate picture of high-conversion customers: Seller conversion rate will increase and sales cycles will close faster if you can provide your sellers a picture of your highest-converting customers. With the right tools, customer profiles can easily be developed from the characteristics of existing customers—sales intelligence you already have. According to LinkedIn, 74 percent of sales intelligence users said the tools are extremely critical or critical in closing deals.
- Better, faster sales processes: According to McKinsey, sales performance management can drive up to a 10 to 20 percent increase in revenue per salesperson. That means if you leverage tools that help you identify sales best practices and standardize them across your company, your sales cadence becomes predictable.
Fast access to data, fewer systems to pull data from, and easy collaboration with teammates and stakeholders optimize processes, and in turn makes sales cycles faster.
Identify customers more accurately, win more customers
A better understanding of the customers leads to higher conversion rates. Marcelo Fama, Head of Latin America CRB Ops at WTW says that with the new capabilities offered by Dynamics 365 Sales and Microsoft Relationship Sales (which includes LinkedIn Sales Navigator), “We identify more opportunities sooner with the highly effective, automated triggers in the sales process that come with the platform.” At WTW, they are now able to target unique audiences because of data in Dynamics 365, and have accelerated the sales process because clients recognize right out of the gate that they understand their clients’ needs.
Increase speed and collaboration with Teams
When sellers can quickly access account managers and subject matter experts for quick information within the context of a deal, sales cycles close faster. WTW plans to leverage the integration of the One Microsoft platform to optimize their sales processes. With Microsoft Teams embedded in Dynamics 365 Sales, sellers can share and edit CRM records within the context of chats and channels, providing the seamless collaboration between segments and regions critical to closing deals. “We have aspirations to become even more connected as a company and to accelerate growth through standardized processes,” says Maurette.
Success depends on making it stick
Historically, the failure rate for large-scale change efforts like new customer relationship management (CRM) programs has been as high as 70 percent. WTW reversed this trend and within six months of rapid deployment, 90 percent of WTW sellers were up to speed and using the new tools to work faster and more efficiently.
“In my 18 years at WTW, I don’t think we ever expected staff to adopt anything at above 80 percent, let alone a sales platform. It’s just outstanding.”—Jim Blaney, Head of Sales and Client Management, Corporate Risk and Broking, North America, WTW
By tapping into the true value of Dynamics 365 Sales, WTW makes more data-driven decisions with consistency across the company rather than decisions based on guesswork. And the company has a deeper understanding of its clients and can better create targeted campaigns and deliver relevant, personalized services.
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