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Driving Productive Sales Meetings using Power BI

by Inforiver | Jun 28, 2022 |

Weekly sales meetings are common a occurrence across organizations. A Sales Manager relies on periodic meetings to keep a pulse on the team’s performance and validates sales pipeline to ensure that the team is on track to meet the objectives.

However, most sales meetings today are not run efficiently.

Let us explore this with an example.

The Weekly Sales Meeting – An Example

A typical weekly sales meeting goes through the following steps:

The Weekly Sales Meeting
  1. Review prior week performance: The sales manager reviews prior period performance with each sales rep, analyzes hits and misses, and validates the plan of action.
  2. Update current week projections: The team then shifts focus to discuss current week’s objectives and targets. The manager ensures that the sales report incorporates realistic estimates for the current week. These projections are usually captured in a spreadsheet, revenue management system or a forecasting system.
  3. Stretch goals / adjustments: Many times, the manager may not accept forecasts provided by the sales reps as-is. Often, the sales reps are asked how they can increase the closure rate, and whether providing additional discounts or making specific commitments can help close additional deals in the pipeline. The reps are asked to analyze possibilities further and revert with updated projections as soon as possible.
  4. Post-meeting conversations: After the meeting, interactions may continue between the manager and the reps through email or chat messages. There may be a sales rep or two who missed the meeting due to a customer call, and the manager needs to validate their inputs offline as well.
  5. Signoff: Once the manager is in agreement with the projections, the numbers are shared with management by email, often in spreadsheets or presentations. They may also be written back to a database or the firm's sales software.

If you observe the above,

  • Item #1 is typically handled in a CRM (or in many cases, a spreadsheet)
  • Items #2 and #3 are usually done in spreadsheets.
  • Items #4 and #5 are typically handled through email & chat messages

You can see that the typical process as outlined above is quite disjointed. This is surprising given that sales is the most critical function in any organization. You would expect the tools, process & technology to be a lot more integrated and seamless. Some of the reasons include the following:

  • One reason for this is that organizations have separate systems for managing sales (CRM), reporting (BI) and enterprise performance management (Planning). A reporting system does not have the ability to capture user inputs. Therefore planning & forecasting happens in a silo, even though it is based on data in the reporting system.
  • Another reason is that even forecasting applications designed to capture user inputs do not enable data-level conversations through the system. As a result, such discussions are relegated to emails & chat messages. It therefore becomes hard for a report consumer to understand why the numbers changed drastically since the last meeting. They end up resorting to offline interactions & conversations.

Thus the overall reporting, data capture, validation and communication process supporting weekly sales meetings is crude, time consuming and less efficient than what it can be. This drives down the productivity of sales teams.

Let’s now reimagine how Power BI can support a streamlined weekly sales meeting process.

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Weekly Sales Meetings with Inforiver

With Inforiver, you can seamlessly manage all elements of the sales sales process from your Power BI report.

Weekly Sales Meetings with Inforiver
Testimonial

Inforiver allows you to do the following:

  • let managers or sales reps update projections instantly and quickly analyze variances
  • add data-level annotations & commentary
  • perform user mentions using '@'
  • initiate data-specific conversations
  • assign tasks and send update notifications right from within the Power BI report
  • schedule periodic email delivery of reports in Excel & PDF
  • track changes made to the report using audit trail
  • … and more.

We will explore this new reality in detail starting from our upcoming blog, where we will explore how you can input, edit and update sales projections directly in your Power BI report.

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This blog forms Part 1 of the series on Driving Productive Sales Meetings with Power BI. Continue to other blogs in the series below.

Part 1: Drive Productive Sales Meetings with Power BI - Introduction

Part 2: Input, Edit & Update Data (sales projections) in your Power BI report

Part 3: Facilitate data-driven comments & conversations

Part 4: Write back and save your projections to an on-premises or cloud SQL database or a shared drive (e.g., OneDrive) and other considerations (e.g., email report scheduling, audit trail)


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About Inforiver!

Inforiver drives business productivity and business performance with faster time to insights inside Power BI through an intuitive no-code experience. The product is developed by Lumel Technologies (formerly Visual BI), which has a decade of experience in building add-on solutions on top of BI platforms (SAP BI and Power BI) with our suite of innovative products such as ValQ, xViz, and BI Hub
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