One of my partners, Dave Knopfler, is fond of saying "CRM is a tax on salespeople." Really, who likes taxes? I think he's absolutely right. Technology was supposed to help salespeople compete, however, it never fulfilled that promise which is why 74% of organizations report low adoption. For sure it's added some value for management in terms of pipeline management and forecasting (even though average forecast accuracy is still below 50% and the odds at a Vegas craps table are better).
How about we turn CRM on its head? Instead of asking sales to fill out forms that roll up to management, we use technology to deliver the real time knowledge that salespeople need to compete TO THEM! In their Next Generation CRM report Chief Sales Officer Insights reports that CRM needs to move from individual user to collaboration and from process tracking to guided selling. We agree.
5600blue has launched the first ever cloud based CRM that delivers TO salespeople the knowledge they need to compete, at every phase of the sales process from qualification to close. Leveraging technology in this way not only benefits sales but allows leaders to deliver real time market data to sales, exactly when they need it so sales can make selling decisions in alignment with management strategy.
In his book Aligning Strategy With Sales, (Harvard Press) Frank Cespedes asks a key question; "What happens to all the analysis, vision, planning and strategic direction when your people are in front of a potential customer?" Without leveraging technology as a conduit between strategy and tactics we would venture to guess there are a whole lot of conversations that are being made up, real time. If you have 200 salespeople having 300 customer conversations a year, this is 60,000 chances to add to or withdraw from execution of your strategy and your brand equity.
Interested in more on this subject, check out article 1 in the 5600blue Selling at the Speed of Change series.