Customer Relationship Management, in one form or another, is at the center of every company’s revenue model. If your customer relationships are shaky, your business is shaky. This isn’t a new concept—strength in customer relationships has been the lynch pin of business viability since the conception of marketplaces. But in the 1990’s, with the advent of the dot-com era, Customer Relationship Management, or now more commonly referred to as “CRM”, turned digital. Now, the Saas model fuels thousands of vendors in an industry that is expanding rapidly. In 2015, the market spend on CRM software exceeded $24 billion and this number is expected to grow for years to come.
But why does this matter to you?
Because you and your organization are probably part of the $24 billion noted above. And if you are, I’m sure you’ve also realized exactly how much you’re contributing to that number. CRM solutions can be expensive—they can range anywhere from $25 to $150 per user/per month. At a large organization, these CRM contracts can sometimes be worth millions of dollars per year.
When a company forks out millions to a software vendor, the check doesn’t float out of the door quietly. The company often scrutinizes the investment to ensure it sees an adequate return. Many people in the company are tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the platform. Sometimes entire teams are brought on to ensure the CRM platform is adopted and administered effectively. Even with these efforts though, the industry average for effective CRM adoption sits right around 19%.
When sales reps are forced to live in an overwhelming system, into which they must manually record every customer interaction they conduct, they tend to push back. When leadership exhausts a department’s budget on a CRM solution in order to bring more predictability, standardization, and visibility to revenue related activities and results, but fall short due to dismal user adoption, they tend to get irritated.
So, somethings gotta give, right?
Naturally, leadership, with more power and authority, mandates CRM adoption, makes it part of compensation, or even penalizes compensation if sales data doesn’t find its way into the CRM. We’ll often hear statements like, “if it’s not in the CRM, it didn’t happen.” Initially, in the short term, this methodology works. But in the long term…you’re in trouble.
Think about it. We’re telling highly skilled sales reps to become mindless data entry robots. If they sell more, they must enter more. If they must enter more, they have less time to sell. It’s quite the conundrum, doesn’t it?
When reps are presented with this conflict, they normally take one of two routes:
- They continue selling at the same rate and take time out of their leisure to enter CRM data.
- Spend less time in front of prospects in order to adopt the CRM.
In either scenario, your reps are less happy—I mean, have you ever met anyone that would like to make less money and/or spend less time enjoying themselves? Yeah, me neither. As a result, you usually drive your reps up a wall, and they often start to take shortcuts. They enter data for the last few hours of a Friday. They go purely off of memory, or maybe if you’re lucky, they sit down with their notes. They enter what they think is important and leave out many of the details. Sometimes they inflate their pipeline in order to appease management, or hold out on entering opportunities in order to sandbag. But, hey, we’ve got adoption, and we’ve got data.
Awesome, now management has a picture as to what’s occurring at the front line. The visibility they’ve been yearning for is there. They feel more confident in their forecasts because it’s “data-driven.” They can now better manage their sales team’s performance because they’ve got insight into rep behaviors, sales cycles, opportunity situations, etc. They can effectively implement sales technology that leverages historical data (AI and machine learning) to optimize sales efforts. They can finally join the big data world we live in. Right?
Wrong.….no, they can’t.
In this scenario, leadership doesn’t realize the lack of data quality because there’s no real way to validate it. Regardless, everyone feels more confident in their decisions because they’ve got more data. Leadership drives boldly into the night, giving seemingly data-backed recommendations to sales managers and reps, only to continue to miss quota. In this situation, some might say that misinformation is even more dangerous than no information.
Imagine a friend that shares with you their location and asks for directions to San Francisco. They accidentally share the wrong location, effectively telling you they’re in LA. Confidently, you give them directions from LA to SF, but, oops, they’re actually in San Diego. They’d get lost…or throw out your directions altogether.
Your friend’s misinformed location parallels the bad data in a CRM. Leadership is under the impression that they’ve obtained more visibility, when in reality, they’ve only got a misleading and incomplete picture.
So, what’s the solution? I mean, we live in 2018, right? We’ve sequenced the human genome, built self-driving cars, and connected over a billion people through a pocket computer phone. But your reps still have to manually log their emails and phone calls into CRM? No, absolutely not.
When you look at sales analytics solutions, pay close attention to how they solve, not only the missing data problem, but the bad data problem as well. Do they simply plug into the CRM and call it a day? Or do they focus on creating a real source of truth first, and then apply their analytics, AI, and/or machine learning. With the CRM Supercharger, we pay attention to the needs of the sales rep as they pertain to both the input and the output of the CRM. In other words, we automate the input of data by integrating directly into the systems in which they conduct their prospect/customer emails, phone calls, and meetings. On the output, we provide powerful visualizations, next step recommendations, and real-time coaching to first give reps and managers a clear view into what is currently happening and then a clear set of directions on how to move forward.
You want more data, more visibility, and more insight, but we want to give you clean data, real insights, and true visibility.