Membrain uses sales lingo. Actually, quite a lot of it. To minimize confusion, we have provided a list of the sales terms used as well as an explanation of how to interpret these terms within the Membrain context.
A prospect is a company (or a contact in a company) that may be interested in purchasing products and/or services from you. In other words, it is a prospective client. If the prospect is a good fit for your offer, it can be converted to a sales project and at this time enter the pipeline. However, before conversion you need to do some "prospecting" - i.e reach out to the prospect contacts and determine whether their needs match what you can deliver. Do note that this can be both new and existing customers, the common goal is to generate a new, fully qualified, sales project.
Different prospects may need to be managed in different ways. An inbound lead completing a questionnaire on your website may need to be nurtured through automatic emails and the occasional telephone call from sales. A contact expressing interest in your services at an event may need a higher activity level. Membrain's prospecting campaigns allows you to set up different rules and structures around how to manage the different types of prospects you have.
Are all companies and contacts in Membrain considered prospects?
Potentially - it really depends on what companies and contacts you have added to the Membrain data base. However, best practice is to add the companies you want to actively pursue to Membrain's prospecting module. This way, you can keep track and separate them from the many companies you may have in the general data base.
Sales projects are often referred to as opportunities. In complex sales, the person managing an opportunity is not unlike a project manager. There are numerous stakeholders to involve, deadlines to meet and milestones to reach. Hence we have chosen to call them sales projects. A prospect is normally converted to a sales project if the qualification criteria are met and there is a real opportunity to close it within the time it would normally take you to close a deal - i.e your sales cycle.
SALES PROJECT TERMS
The probability of a sales project is measured in per cent. In Membrain, probability can be assigned to different milestones in the sales process. If you are in the second stage and have completed a second meeting, the probability may be at 25%, whereas a sales project in the final stage of negotiation may be at 85%. While the probability of a sales project can be amended manually, it automatically accumulates and grows bigger the more steps you complete and the further along the sales process that you are.
Each sales process in Membrain have between 3-5 defined stages. Each company sales process is unique and the stages can be allocated different names, such as discovery, needs analysis, negotiation or proof of concept.
In each stage of the sales process, a number of steps need to be completed in order to move the deal forward. The steps are visualized as checklist items in the sales project view. In order to complete a step and move it forward, the sales project owner may need to complete an activity, capture some vital information, identify the name of a stakeholder or upload a document. There are several tools can be used in these steps, and it's entirely customizable to fit your sales organizations needs.
When managing complex sales, each sales project will have a number of key stakeholders that you need to identify. A stakeholder is an external or internal contact with significant influence in the decision making process. Failure to identify all relevant stakeholders and ensuring the problem you can solve is elevated on their respective agendas may very well result in not winning the deal.
Apart from the stakeholders, a complex sales project will also involve a number of participants. Participants are internal or external contacts of importance to the sales project, even if they are not part of the decision making committee. For example, a pre-sales consultant that assists the sales project owner may not be a key stakeholder in the decision, but is still a very important player.
SALES ANALYSIS TERMS
In the Sales Analysis view, a number of sales metrics are used. Below are some explanations to these terms.
In simple terms - money in, or closed orders. The value of each won sales project is shown over time and visualized via the graph, either on a month-by-month basis or accumulated over time.
NEW SALES PROJECTS
This shows how many new sales projects that have been created in the time span you are looking at. In other words, how many new opportunities have been brought into your pipeline.
The weighted pipeline is calculated by taking the sales project value multipled by their probability percentage. The graph in the Sales Analysis view also takes the estimated closing date into consideration. This determines when a sales projects value will no longer add value to the weighted pipeline. Also, any sales project with a yellow warning state will not be included in the weighted pipeline graph. As an example, if you have two active sales projects with a value of $100,000 and a probability of 40%, the weighted pipeline is ($100,000 x 0,4) x 2 = $80,000
Win rate is presented in percent and is calculated by taking all the sales projects you have won, divided by the total number of sales projects won or archived.
The average length of a sales project in days, from the time it is created and enters the pipeline until it is marked as won.
Similar to the sales cycle, this metric instead looks at how long it takes to lose a deal. It looks at the average length of a sales project, from the starting date until when it archived. High performing sales organizations qualify out early and spend as little time as possible on deals that they eventually lose. This metric can be used to drive qualification efforts and to gradually tighten up a sales process over time.
CONVERSATION RATE (BY STAGE)
This specific conversation rate shows how well a team or individual converts their opportunities through each stage in the sales process. Essentially it shows you your expected win rate based on where the sales project is in the process.
ARCHIVED BY STAGE
The percent of sales projects that are archived in each stage.This can be seen as the "leaks" in your pipeline as it shows how many sales project in each stage that gets lost at that specific stage.
PROSPECTS CONVERTED TO SALES PROJECTS
This is similar to "new sales projects" but with the added twist that it comes from the prospecting side. So where "new sales projects" can come into a specific sales process, from any prospecting campaign. The "prospects converted to sales projects" graph tracks how many sales projects have been created from a specific campaign
NUMBER OF COMPANIES WITH ACTIVITY
While activity is important, it's also crucial to spend those activities with the right companies, and not over-invest in too few prospects. If those prospects are not converted to sales projects you run the risk of seeing your pipeline run dry. This metric can be used to balance the "total activity" or "sum of specific activity goals" with a number of companies that you interact with.
Number of prospects per sales project created
This metric works similar to a win rate since it looks at how many prospects that have been converted to a sales project divided by how many are disqualified. It's simply not presented as a percentage. This which can make it easier to create sales metrics and calculate just how many prospects is needed to create enough sales projects to be able to reach a sales target.
Activities per prospect before sales project created
Another perspective is how efficient we are at creating sales projects. This metric shows you how on many activities (notes, phone calls, tasks, emails, etc) are required on average to create one sales project.
GOAL SETTING TERMS
For the sales terms referenced under goal setting, see section "Setting sales goals"