Aficionados often call it the "sales game". Is it really a game? It has the idea of a goal with a thrilling result: winning the deal. Like goals, there are spectacular ones and there can be lots of them or a few or even none.
However the other thing that makes a game is action. Sales deals don't close without effort. If you couldn't see the effort it wouldn't be worth playing. How would a manager feel if a game of soccer was played in pitch blackness? Pretty lame, even for the players.
Lots of CRM implementations leave players and managers completely in the dark. Not because the information can't be captured in the CRM system but because it isn't being captured.
Whenever a rep has a run-away success other players are in the dark about what made that rep successful. Was it a thousand small things done well or a few big things done brilliantly or was it just luck?
PipelineCheck is launching the Productivity Matrix and Foretell (the forecasting game) in the United States this month and we are getting great feedback.
We get some challenges from people too. We classify bad forecasters (who forecast high and close low as "unlucky". Someone today pulled me up on the idea of "luck" in sales. It is there. We all know that it is but he was questioning if someone was "unlucky" if they forecast a big number and fell far short of it. The week before someone told me that they get their reps to recite the mantra "I own my territory. I have supreme control over it. Everything that happens in my territory is because I made it happen or I let it happen". He didn't have a military background. I asked because he called me "Sir". He explained it was his wife's Southern influence.
Can reps be unlucky or lucky? Of course they can but forecasting is a great way to see who is making their own luck and who is not. Not landing a big deal is painful for anyone but having a strong feeling that you were going to win it and getting sucker punched by a prospect can often by a sign that there was a gap in understanding. People who forecast accurately are better at closing that gap in understanding early in the sales cycle and dealing with people who can improve their ability to read an account.
PipelineCheck measures forecasting ability and it measures engagement with the customer or potential customer to see which reps are in supreme control and which are bystanders in the game.
PipelineCheck is entering the sales game in the US. Cormac our COO is in Boston scouting for likely beneficiaries of our applications. If you are a salesforce.com customer or know of one in the US who would like to turn the lights on their CRM system please let us know.