Sales controlling – key factor in sales

Sales controlling is the heart of successful strategies, processes and measures in sales. Controlling allows you to plan and control sales development based on facts. It also supports the most efficient use of resources in sales and marketing. For this purpose, relevant key figures must be available and also correctly analyzed and interpreted. What is sales controlling? Sales controlling is part of corporate controlling and is responsible for monitoring, evaluating and controlling sales processes and activities. It checks how well the sales strategy has been implemented and sales targets have been met. Using the data from sales controlling, sales measures and strategies can be continuously optimized. What are the tasks of sales controlling? One of the most important tasks of sales controlling is the targeted control of sales. Controlling provides structured information in reports, evaluations and recommendations for the sales strategy as well as sales and marketing measures. The areas of responsibility of controlling can be strategic or operational. Basically, the tasks of a controller in sales depend on the industry, company and products. The 5 main tasks include: coordination, planning, information, control and management. Specifically, this can include, for example: Information acquisition and information evaluation Analyze sales strengths and weaknesses Market and competition analysis customer analysis planning and budgeting Analysis of the products and services offered Evaluation and optimization of sales processes, strategies, measures and channels risk management Strategic and operational sales controlling It is often divided into strategic and operational sales controlling. Strategic sales controlling identifies potential for success, plays a key role in setting goals and strategies in sales and ensures that goals are achieved. Operational controlling focuses on short and medium-term planning, control and coordination and is primarily concerned with the implementation of measures . Why sales controlling? Controlling in sales focuses on the collection and analysis of key figures, which you can use to measure the success of your sales strategy. Only if you collect the right data and measure and analyze key figures (KPIs) can you determine which sales strategies and measures are actually successful. In this way, you can continuously optimize them and ensure the success of your company. In addition, the efficiency of the sales process is checked in sales controlling and potential for optimization is also identified here. What are sales metrics? Key sales figures are primarily result-oriented Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), German core target values, which are taken into account in operational and strategic sales controlling. Important key figures are: Sales (e.g. sales, sales development) Contribution margin (e.g. product contribution margin, customer contribution margin) Customers (e.g. conversion rate, customer satisfaction, customer retention rate, customer lifetime value, customer churn rate) Conversion rate The conversion rate indicates what proportion of the leads in the sales process are raised to a further phase or ultimately become a buyer. Acquisition (e.g. number of customer contacts) Orders (e.g. order intake rate, average order value) Quality (e.g. complaint rate, cancellation rate) Controlling in sales often plays a greater role in companies than in other areas of the company. This is partly due to the fact that variable remuneration systems are used, especially in sales. This means that the results from controlling have a direct impact on the level of remuneration for the sales staff. Tools in sales controlling In addition to measuring key figures, there are various methods and instruments in sales controlling. benchmarking Benchmarking refers to the continuous comparison of a company, or the products or services, with its strongest competitor. What is important here is continuity, being able to constantly improve sales goals and activities. There are three types of benchmarking: shadow benchmarking A comparison is made without the respective competitor knowing anything about it. The disadvantage is that this also means that less information is available for comparison. Functional benchmarking With functional benchmarking, only certain areas, such as departments or work processes, are compared. Therefore, comparisons can be made with companies from other industries and best practices can be adopted. Internal benchmarking Comparisons within one's own company are called internal benchmarking. For example, different departments or locations can be compared. Customer value management In customer value management or customer value management, the value of individual customers or customer groups is calculated for the company's success. The segmentation of customers according to their potential helps to optimally allocate limited resources. For this purpose, it is helpful to carry out a customer evaluation , for example using an ABC analysis, and to determine the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Key Account Management The results from Customer Value Management can be used in Key Account Management. What are key accounts? Key accounts are customers who have an above-average value for the company's success. Key accounts have a special position in the sales strategy. You will receive exclusive support and additional services such as discounts. This is intended to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. The aim is to turn the most valuable customers into regular customers. Sales controlling must check the profitability. Product Life Cycle Analysis A product life cycle analysis analyzes the development of sales, profit and sales of a product over the course of its life cycle. This allows you to create sales forecasts and align the sales strategy with the sales trend. GAP analysis The GAP analysis (German gap analysis) is a target/actual comparison between the planned and the actual KPIs and goals. The gap between planning and reality is called GAP. The analysis determines the strategic gap between the target planning and the best possible result, and the operational gap as the deviation of the real result from the optimal activity. Portfolio Analysis In a portfolio analysis, offered products are divided according to their phase in the life cycle and their market share. This results in product types that have to be treated differently. The most well-known form of portfolio analysis is the Boston Consulting Group's four-field matrix. This divides the products into four types: portfolio analysis Question Marks Question marks are products at the beginning of their life cycle. In order to develop them into a successful product, "Stars", constant investments are necessary. If the product cannot assert itself on the market, it becomes a “poor dog”. stars Stars are profitable products with a high and growing market share. Here, too, we continue to invest steadily in order to exploit the full potential and further increase market growth. cash cows Cash cows also have a high market share, but in contrast to stars, they have low market growth. These products generate the most sales, as only a small investment is required to ensure the product's success. Poor Dogs Poor dogs, shopkeepers so to speak, hardly bring any more cash flow for the company. They should be discarded as quickly as possible or optimized for a relaunch. Sales Reporting Reporting is the evaluation from sales controlling. All relevant key figures collected by controlling are evaluated and placed in the respective context. For example, the comparison to the previous month or year. Regular reporting plays a major role in sales. The results are not only used to optimize measures and strategies, but also to calculate sales commissions and bonuses. Sales controlling in CRM Effective sales controlling relies on accurate and comprehensive information and data. A customer relationship management system provides this information. However, CRM solutions not only offer extensive data, but are a tool for analysis and perform calculations in real time. E-Book Excel Reliable sales forecasts When it comes to sales forecasts, rely on facts and figures. Structured opportunity management in CRM makes sales opportunities more transparent for all employees and allows them to be tracked and evaluated efficiently. Targeted analyzes and a uniform database allow more reliable sales forecasts. In the CRM, you receive detailed evaluations of where further sales potential lies. Sales forecasts are calculated and created directly in the CRM system. Forecasts in the sales pipeline With the help of artificial intelligence, CRM solutions determine the potential customers with the highest order probability. This allows your employees to focus on the most important prospects, devote more time to customers with purchasing power and make optimal use of your sales resources. In addition, CRM solutions also display your sales funnel visually. You can see at a glance how many contacts, leads and customers are currently in which phase. You can also view the conversion rate. This indicates what percentage of the leads develop from the current to the next level. By controlling the conversion rate, you get insights into which phases in the sales process should be optimized. Information about prospects and customers Probably the first thing that many people think of when they think of a customer relationship management system is data on interests and customers. Who are your best customers? What percentage of your customers are repeat customers? Which customer groups are interested in which products? These are just a few examples of data that you can evaluate quickly and with just a few clicks in CRM. The CRM gives you a 360-degree view of your customers. Which key figures are interesting for sales controlling and should be evaluated in CRM depends on the company, products, industry and sales process. In order to receive the best possible support from a CRM, customizable standard platforms are best suited. This is also shown by the CRM study 2021. The big advantage here is that they already offer a good standard and can also be adapted to your sales process. This enables you to achieve the greatest possible efficiency in sales controlling. CONCLUSION: Conscientious sales controlling is a key factor for successful sales In sales, it is important to be able to react quickly to developments in order to keep customers or win new ones. Through continuous sales controlling, you can continuously optimize your sales strategy and measures. It is an important success factor in selling products and services. Professional CRM systems make controlling easier and make the relevant data available to each of your employees.

Sales controlling is the heart of successful strategies, processes and measures in sales. Controlling allows you to plan and control sales development based on facts. It also supports the most efficient use of resources in sales and marketing. For this purpose, relevant key figures must be available and also correctly analyzed and interpreted.

What is sales controlling?

Sales controlling is part of corporate controlling and is responsible for monitoring, evaluating and controlling sales processes and activities. It checks how well the sales strategy has been implemented and sales targets have been met. Using the data from sales controlling, sales measures and strategies can be continuously optimized.

What are the tasks of sales controlling?

One of the most important tasks of sales controlling is the targeted control of sales. Controlling provides structured information in reports, evaluations and recommendations for the sales strategy as well as sales and marketing measures. The areas of responsibility of controlling can be strategic or operational.

Basically, the tasks of a controller in sales depend on the industry, company and products. The 5 main tasks include: coordination, planning, information, control and management. Specifically, this can include, for example:

  • Information acquisition and information evaluation
  • Analyze sales strengths and weaknesses
  • Market and competition analysis
  • customer analysis
  • planning and budgeting
  • Analysis of the products and services offered
  • Evaluation and optimization of sales processes, strategies, measures and channels
  • risk management

Strategic and operational sales controlling

It is often divided into strategic and operational sales controlling.

Strategic sales controlling identifies potential for success, plays a key role in setting goals and strategies in sales and ensures that goals are achieved.

Operational controlling focuses on short and medium-term planning, control and coordination and is primarily concerned with the implementation of measures .

Why sales controlling?

Controlling in sales focuses on the collection and analysis of key figures, which you can use to measure the success of your sales strategy. Only if you collect the right data and measure and analyze key figures (KPIs) can you determine which sales strategies and measures are actually successful. In this way, you can continuously optimize them and ensure the success of your company.

In addition, the efficiency of the sales process is checked in sales controlling and potential for optimization is also identified here.

What are sales metrics?

Key sales figures are primarily result-oriented Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), German core target values, which are taken into account in operational and strategic sales controlling. Important key figures are:

  • Sales (e.g. sales, sales development)
  • Contribution margin (e.g. product contribution margin, customer contribution margin)
  • Customers (e.g. conversion rate, customer satisfaction, customer retention rate, customer lifetime value, customer churn rate)

Conversion rate
The conversion rate indicates what proportion of the leads in the sales process are raised to a further phase or ultimately become a buyer.

  • Acquisition (e.g. number of customer contacts)
  • Orders (e.g. order intake rate, average order value)
  • Quality (e.g. complaint rate, cancellation rate)

Controlling in sales often plays a greater role in companies than in other areas of the company. This is partly due to the fact that variable remuneration systems are used, especially in sales. This means that the results from controlling have a direct impact on the level of remuneration for the sales staff.

Tools in sales controlling

In addition to measuring key figures, there are various methods and instruments in sales controlling.

benchmarking

Benchmarking refers to the continuous comparison of a company, or the products or services, with its strongest competitor. What is important here is continuity, being able to constantly improve sales goals and activities. There are three types of benchmarking:

shadow benchmarking

A comparison is made without the respective competitor knowing anything about it. The disadvantage is that this also means that less information is available for comparison.

Functional benchmarking

With functional benchmarking, only certain areas, such as departments or work processes, are compared. Therefore, comparisons can be made with companies from other industries and best practices can be adopted.

Internal benchmarking

Comparisons within one’s own company are called internal benchmarking. For example, different departments or locations can be compared.

Customer value management

In customer value management or customer value management, the value of individual customers or customer groups is calculated for the company’s success. The segmentation of customers according to their potential helps to optimally allocate limited resources. For this purpose, it is helpful to carry out a customer evaluation , for example using an ABC analysis, and to determine the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

Key Account Management

The results from Customer Value Management can be used in Key Account Management.

What are key accounts?
Key accounts are customers who have an above-average value for the company’s success.

Key accounts have a special position in the sales strategy. You will receive exclusive support and additional services such as discounts. This is intended to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. The aim is to turn the most valuable customers into regular customers. Sales controlling must check the profitability.

Product Life Cycle Analysis

A product life cycle analysis analyzes the development of sales, profit and sales of a product over the course of its life cycle. This allows you to create sales forecasts and align the sales strategy with the sales trend.

GAP analysis

The GAP analysis (German gap analysis) is a target/actual comparison between the planned and the actual KPIs and goals. The gap between planning and reality is called GAP. The analysis determines the strategic gap between the target planning and the best possible result, and the operational gap as the deviation of the real result from the optimal activity.

Portfolio Analysis

In a portfolio analysis, offered products are divided according to their phase in the life cycle and their market share. This results in product types that have to be treated differently. The most well-known form of portfolio analysis is the Boston Consulting Group’s four-field matrix.

This divides the products into four types:

Question Marks

Question marks are products at the beginning of their life cycle. In order to develop them into a successful product, “Stars”, constant investments are necessary. If the product cannot assert itself on the market, it becomes a “poor dog”.

stars

Stars are profitable products with a high and growing market share. Here, too, we continue to invest steadily in order to exploit the full potential and further increase market growth.

cash cows

Cash cows also have a high market share, but in contrast to stars, they have low market growth. These products generate the most sales, as only a small investment is required to ensure the product’s success.

Poor Dogs

Poor dogs, shopkeepers so to speak, hardly bring any more cash flow for the company. They should be discarded as quickly as possible or optimized for a relaunch.

Sales Reporting

Reporting is the evaluation from sales controlling. All relevant key figures collected by controlling are evaluated and placed in the respective context. For example, the comparison to the previous month or year.

Regular reporting plays a major role in sales. The results are not only used to optimize measures and strategies, but also to calculate sales commissions and bonuses.

Sales controlling in CRM

Effective sales controlling relies on accurate and comprehensive information and data. A customer relationship management system provides this information. However, CRM solutions not only offer extensive data, but are a tool for analysis and perform calculations in real time.

Reliable sales forecasts

When it comes to sales forecasts, rely on facts and figures. Structured opportunity management in CRM makes sales opportunities more transparent for all employees and allows them to be tracked and evaluated efficiently. Targeted analyzes and a uniform database allow more reliable sales forecasts. In the CRM, you receive detailed evaluations of where further sales potential lies. Sales forecasts are calculated and created directly in the CRM system.

Forecasts in the sales pipeline

With the help of artificial intelligence, CRM solutions determine the potential customers with the highest order probability. This allows your employees to focus on the most important prospects, devote more time to customers with purchasing power and make optimal use of your sales resources.

In addition, CRM solutions also display your sales funnel visually. You can see at a glance how many contacts, leads and customers are currently in which phase. You can also view the conversion rate. This indicates what percentage of the leads develop from the current to the next level.

By controlling the conversion rate, you get insights into which phases in the sales process should be optimized.

Information about prospects and customers

Probably the first thing that many people think of when they think of a customer relationship management system is data on interests and customers.

  • Who are your best customers?
  • What percentage of your customers are repeat customers?
  • Which customer groups are interested in which products?

These are just a few examples of data that you can evaluate quickly and with just a few clicks in CRM. The CRM gives you a 360-degree view of your customers.

Which key figures are interesting for sales controlling and should be evaluated in CRM depends on the company, products, industry and sales process.

In order to receive the best possible support from a CRM, customizable standard platforms are best suited. This is also shown by the CRM study 2021. The big advantage here is that they already offer a good standard and can also be adapted to your sales process. This enables you to achieve the greatest possible efficiency in sales controlling.

CONCLUSION: Conscientious sales controlling is a key factor for successful sales

In sales, it is important to be able to react quickly to developments in order to keep customers or win new ones. Through continuous sales controlling, you can continuously optimize your sales strategy and measures. It is an important success factor in selling products and services. Professional CRM systems make controlling easier and make the relevant data available to each of your employees.

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