Friday, June 3, 2011

Sales Tips: Cloudy with a 99% Chance of Sales

“Sunny days, sweeping the clouds away…” Has your company seen sunnier days?  Are you struggling to meet your sales forecasting goals?  Well, with cloud computing, the chance of sun and sales has just increased.  So go find some shade, because you sure are going to need it!

What is cloud computing you might ask?  Well, it is a way that applications and data are hosted in a cloud, which essentially is any number of computers and servers that are linked together and available over the Internet.  All activities are accessible via the Internet, rather than hosting them on a desktop or in a company network.  The main advantage of cloud computing is that staff members are no longer tied to their in-office computers in order to view important data.  In fact, anywhere the Internet can be connected, so can the employee.

Most businesses’ customer relationship management (CRM) initiatives include trying to market new territories, acquire customers, and build customer relationships.  Forecasting can bring about advantages such as deciding whether or not to launch new products or services, estimating sales revenue, and calculating profits.  A Web-based CRM strategy uses cloud computing to provide access to data in a simple, easy, and often affordable way. The on-demand option for businesses offers accurate and up-to-date information so that better forecasts can be made.  Real-time forecasting presents reports, pipeline data, and activity information at the click of the mouse.  Work can be taken anywhere and collaborated on with colleagues.  This can directly benefit any management teams discussing plans and forecasts.

Being able to execute forecasts based on the latest information can increase your company’s potential to meet goals.  Since cloud computing promotes updating data constantly, the management can view current statuses and alter and adjust as needed.  For example, amounts, categories, and closing dates can all be changed to reflect the reality of market.  Having flexibility gives the opportunity to customize your forecasts, therefore allowing success.

Furthermore, management can predict forecasts using accurate analysis.  Pipeline accuracy explains if sales representatives are meeting all opportunities and sales stages.  Cloud computing allows management to predict sales based on whether or not the sales team is working up to its abilities.  Since this data is available in real-time, management has the potential to spend less time collecting and analyzing, and can spend more time overseeing operations.

Understanding your company’s history can offer you a better idea of its future.  Whether or not past forecasts have been met, and what the deciding factors were, can help with making future predictions.  CRM systems can help you manage and organize that information in usable ways to assist you in forecasting accurately.
Management can access applications wherever they need to with cloud computing.  It could mean accessing it in the boardroom, in the office, or even working from home.  Being able to access information lets decision makers work at their own pace and when it is convenient for them.  Life brings lots of little surprises, and having the flexibility to work anywhere has its perks.

Typically, more advanced forecasting methods, such as those in the cloud, reduce the errors made in forecasting.  With rapid processing available in cloud computing, more forecasts can be made. As business grows, so does the necessity of making more forecasts and predicting the needs of products and services.  Since cloud computing is offered at somewhat reasonable rates, making a lot of forecasts can easily be achieved.

The forecast for your company can be sunny and bright, since cloud computing handles all the worries of bringing in more sales.  Its fast and up-to-date information managing systems organize the data so that accurate forecasts can be made and companies can expand.