I have been selling or managing sales, to some degree, for longer than CRM has been existence. I began my career at Xerox and throughout it all, I have observed that sales professionals typically hate CRM. On rare occasion, a statistic might appear that would (somewhat) prove my observation. Like this one from the CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study:
41% of sales executives report a CRM adoption rate of more than 90%.
It was enough for Jim Dickie, CSO Insights partner, to write a Destination CRM article entitled, “CRM Might Require an Internal Sale – to Salespeople.”
(I suppose when your publication is supported by billion-dollar CRM corporations, you’re not going to jump at the chance to point out their product is being avoided by the very people who should embrace it.)
But last week, my hypothesis was proven to be correct when InsideSales.com released its Time Management for Sales Study featuring in-depth research of more than 200 sales professionals. In a news release about it, InsideSales.com president, Lindsey Armstrong, stated that “CRM was called out by respondents as the most frustrating technology surveyed.”
The study showed that reps were “only” spending 18% of their time in CRM. Put it this way, 18% of an eight-hour day is only 16 minutes less than two hours. I don’t know about you, but I would rather spend that time (one-fourth of your workday!) winning customers instead of entering data. It’s no wonder the news release announced that sales reps spend just 37% of their time “on revenue-generating activities.”
This realization could not be more piercing: Stop torturing your sales reps with CRM.
Especially because there’s no reason to anymore.
Sales managers and marketing teams can stay streamlined with sales activities, with far more detail and accuracy, by using sales engagement technology. The best automatically records real-time updates, in both CRM and marketing automation, detailing how reps are interacting with prospects in the field, and precisely how prospects are responding, both during and after the sales call. The sales professionals just need to document the size of the opportunity and the next step in the CRM and that’s it. That should take an hour a week at most, instead of nearly two hours a day.
It’s this kind of technology that sales reps at cutting-edge, successful organizations (think Caterpillar and Toro) are eagerly embracing. One national sales manager even commented about it saying, “This is an incredible tool! Crazy Good! #GameChanger.”
Don’t be a statistic. Release your sales professional from the bondage of CRM. Find out what that did for Caterpillar and Avella Specialty Pharmacy.