<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1773847172642569&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

Practical Solutions to the Sales Operations Data Dilemma

There is a definite love-hate relationship between Sales Operations folks and the corporate CRM system.

They love it, because it brings the promise of much needed rigour to the sales process. The kind of rigour that will allow them to drive up forecast accuracy and ensure the sales number is achieved. The CRM system also promises to bring the detailed operational sales data they so crave. Data that will allow them to help the business leaders to make sensible investment decisions that support planned growth.

The hate part of the relationship comes about because the CRM system totally flatters to deceive. It makes these promises then completely fails to deliver against any of them. Leaving the sales ops team in a mire of daily or weekly exports into spreadsheets. Hour after countless hour is wasted trying to stitch these spreadsheets together. Best guess extrapolation starts to become the decision-making norm as data gaps big enough to drive a horse and cart through are exposed.

And to compound it all, the level of engagement the sales team have with the CRM system is at an all-time low.

You can feel the heat of blood boiling over from here!

If this sounds like your poor beleaguered sales ops team, then it’s time to deliver them a New Year’s gift. Imagine if you could make all of that pain disappear in a trice?  Well the reality is, you can. Allowing you to drive far greater levels of engagement with your sales process and to deliver the sort of sales performance insight that will remove the need to ever venture towards another spreadsheet.


sales operations


CRM Systems Weren’t Designed to Deliver what the Sales Operations Team Desire 

CRM systems were designed as operational tracking systems, primarily used by sales managers to report on pipeline status and deal activity.

They show a point in time picture of a deal without any context of the journey that the deal has travelled. They do not track detailed information about deal history. To compound this, CRM systems really only track and record ‘sales activity’ (i.e. a sales call was made), which is a very weak indicator of deal health.

The ability to readily show today’s picture of the sales pipeline is one of the core strengths of any CRM system. It is also one of their biggest weaknesses. Your CRM system will struggle to show a historical view of the pipeline and more importantly how and why it has changed. And this is where tracking complex ‘sales behaviours’ comes in.


The Difference between ‘Sales Behaviours’ and ‘Sales Activity’

Sales behaviours are the good (and the bad) habits your sales reps exhibit every day. These are the behaviours that really contribute to moving deals forwards or conversely dragging them back. Often time bound and usually complex in their nature, these behaviours have a huge impact on the health of your pipeline.

And if you had full clarity into this correlation, you could begin to influence its outcome. 

Let’s look at the example below:

- On your forecast, you find a late-stage deal that, on the face of it, looks healthy. The main details have been captured, projected value entered, and a future-dated close date identified. There appears to be sales activity logged. It looks all set to close this quarter.

- Now, what if we told you that the close date on that deal had lapsed into the past? In fact, the close date has been in the past multiple times during this quarter alone and the deal value has been modified numerous times in the last few weeks as well.

Would you still have full confidence that this deal was set to close?

The answer is probably no. The CRM system presents us with today’s view of the deal, with this crucial supporting insight lost in the midst of time. If you possessed such insight, then you would call into question the level of control the sales team have actually got on the deal.

In defence of the sales team, the CRM system did report that there was ‘sales activity’ logged against the deal.

And again, this is where the CRM system lets you down. In the world of CRM this is really translated as the recording of a simple action undertaken by a rep, no matter of the actual benefit on the final outcome. So, for example, sales reps are often applauded for managing to place 80 sales calls in a day. What is hidden from view is that it’s highly likely the vast majority of those calls ended up being conversations with answering machines.

Awarding sales reps for leaving 80 voice messages every day is unlikely to see them hitting their target. It’s clear that sales activity does not equal sales success.

CRM systems alone are not able to tell these two very different metrics apart.

Track & Motivate the Complex Sales Behaviours that Drive Sales Success

However, what if you could track patterns of behaviours such as these?

  • A sales call was placed

  • The call lasted longer than 10 minutes

  • It was to a senior job title

  • It was for a deal that is forecast to close this quarter

  • This is the 20th such call made today

These are the high-value sales behaviours that drive success. And if you can track them, you can motivate more of them. Motivating more of them essentially leads to greater adherence to your sales process and an increase in sales engagement with your CRM system.

This is precisely what SuMo helps our customers to achieve, including Vodafone, Shell, Roche, UBM, SIG, Post Office and many more.

Some of our customers use SuMo to track what is happening in their sales team. This allows them to generate sales performance data that is not otherwise accessible. This insight exposes which reps adhere to the sales process, uncovers exactly what top performing sales reps actually do and highlights where friction points in the sales process are. This is SuMo Insight.

Some of our customers use SuMo to motivate more of the complex “winning” high-value sales behaviours. This is SuMo Motivate.

Most of our customers use SuMo for both. By doing so, they create a continuous cycle of improvement that iterates between ‘sales performance insight’ and ‘sales improvement action’.

Let’s take a quick look at just a handful of typical sales behaviours that the sales ops team would love to track, sales leaders would love to motivate more of and the underlying complexity they present. It goes without saying that the CRM system alone cannot achieve these.


‘Sales Behaviour’ Example

SuMo Platform Capability


Opportunity Next Steps field has been updated (where the associated Account is an ‘Enterprise’ Account & the Opportunity Owner is in the ‘UK Sales Team’)

Complex Relationship Criteria

SuMo can evaluate data spanning multiple objects in real time.

In this example data spanning the Opportunity, Account and User objects.


50 Leads are converted each business week. Each Lead must have been converted within 24 hours of its creation.

Relative & Business Dates

SuMo allows you to bring 3 areas of complexity into one.

1. Aggregation over time (50 leads)

2. Within a specified ‘business’ period (each business week)

3. Check against relative time (within 24 hours of creation)


The Opportunity Next Steps field is updated with a length of greater than 200 characters

Formula Based Criteria

SuMo provides a formulaic way to check and validate text length in a given field on the fly


The Opportunity Amount field has been increased by greater than 10%

Current vs Previous Value Check

SuMo can compare new field values versus previous values in real-time, as the record is being updated.


Track Opportunities that have not been updated in the last 20 days

Time Delay Tracking

This moves beyond behaviours triggered in real-time by user input.

This requires schedules that wake up at specified times and look backwards at data.


Achieve a cumulated value of £200K across Opportunities that have reached Qualified stage during this quarter

Aggregate Behaviours

This relies on the ability to track a ‘count’ or ‘sum’ of a numerical field and trigger when an aggregate is met. It also requires that only certain deals should be counted towards the aggregate if a condition has been met within a specified business period.


£200K of Opportunities reaching Qualified stage this quarter within 10 Opportunities

Bounded Aggregate Behaviours

Similar to the above, but in this instance restrict the number of repetitions in which to complete the aggregate


A sales rep coaching session has been completed

Custom Objects

Provide support to track behaviours that span custom objects including other native Salesforce apps


Add a Contact Role of ‘Decision Maker’ to an Opportunity

Non-Trigger(able) Objects

The ability to track behaviours against salesforce objects where a trigger cannot be added (such as Contact Role, Opportunity Competitor etc.)


Opportunity Close Date pushed out by greater than 30 days or Opportunity Stage moved Backwards

Undesirable Sales Behaviours

The ability to monitor for careless sales behaviours as well as positive ones


Motivate a sales rep for the first 20 ‘Follow-Up’ Meetings

Limit by User

Limit a user to a max number of rewards for a certain sales behaviour.


Trigger only the first time that an Opportunity is placed into the ‘Qualified’ stage.


Single Reward by Record

Trigger only once for a single record


Reward for every time that the Opportunity Amount has increased

Multi Rewards by Record

Trigger multiple times for a single record


Reward the Sales Rep when the Opportunity is closed by Sales Operations

Reward any User

The recipient or beneficiary may not be the person updating the record. The recipient can be any user field on the record, including custom fields.


Reward for a daily Chatter Post

Specify Wait Time

Place a specified delay between when a user can get rewarded for the same behaviour again


Reward 3 points for each £1,000 of Opportunity that reached Qualified stage for the SME team and 1 point for the Enterprise team

Reward Value Formulas

Within the same sales behaviour vary the reward value based on certain conditions. In this case the condition is one held on the user record (the team they are in).


The Opportunity Amount > £10K AND (Stage = Qualified OR Stage = Prospect) AND (Type = ‘New Business’ OR Type = ‘Renewal’)

Complex Criteria Logic

Provide the flexibility to specify a complex set of chained attributes through ANDs, ORs, NOTs and brackets.


When a record is created

When a record is edited

When a record is edited and did not previously meet the behavioural criteria

Multiple Evaluation Conditions

Requirement to specify the action to trigger tracking and rewarding.


Reward when a Task record added only if it’s related to an Opportunity

Polymorphic Field Support

For example, only trigger when task record is added that is related to an Opportunity


Group Behaviours that match broad pipeline activities

Qualification, Deal Management, Deal Cadence, Deal Closure, Account Management etc.

Behaviour Grouping

Behaviours can be grouped into areas for tracking and reporting purposes


Built by a team of ex-Salesforce & Siebel CRM veterans, SuMo brings a fresh approach to the common and very real issues experienced by today’s sales leaders. Imagine if you could track & motivate the high-value, winning sales behaviours that allow you to:

  • Rapidly build a clean & healthy pipeline by identifying deals you should qualify out of

  • Know with certainty that you will hit your committed target & forecast

  • Identify and address the weak areas in every sales rep

  • Drive reps to follow your proven sales process

  • Dramatically improve adoption and use of your CRM system

  • Reduce ramp-to-revenue time for new sales hires


Learn why UBM tied revenue & sales behaviour attainment together. Discover UBM's journey towards successful CRM adoption. 



Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!