Why salespeople hate CRMs

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Contrast these two lists of desires – both relating to people involved in sales:

List A

  • Control
  • Visibility
  • Keep all Contact information mine
  • Accurate data
  • More sales now
  • Build future sales

List B

  • Freedom
  • Invisibility
  • Keep all Contact information mine
  • No time on admin
  • More sales now
  • More sales now

No prizes for guessing that List A is what the sales manager or business owner wants and List B is what the salespeople want.

CRMs are implemented by the former and used by the latter.  No surprise when they don’t deliver the benefits expected then.

The one ray of hope is the only common desire – more sales now.  A CRM can help in two ways:

  1. Intelligent, imaginative computer-literate salespeople can devise reports and analyse the data in the system then use this to gain insight and spot new sales opportunities and..and strategies…and…ok I can see I’m losing credibility here so how about…
  2.  Management can do this and provide salespeople with a continuous rich stream of leads that they can go out and convert into sales

Get this right and it’s possible that salespeople will in turn feed the beast that provides them with leads.  Your CRM project should have dramatically increased opportunity generation as its primary goal.

If you must try to standardise a sales process and data completion by implementing a CRM then why not try an agile approach to defining these things (see previous banns in this parish) – then the sales team might own it and police themselves.  Then pay an administrator £15/hour to look after the data and keep your expensive salesforce in front of customers.

Otherwise, impose a CRM on salespeople as a means of enforcing your process on them and it will fail – maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and forever.

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