Who is a CRM software solution for, really?
Who is it that actually creates customer relationships in the first place?
That’s right, it’s the sales force.
It could be the title of a really bad horror movie, but oftentimes the reality is even worse than a Hollywood b-film. A company adopts and implements a CRM software solution. The sales force begrudgingly checks it out, and finds out it doesn’t help them at all in tracking their sales and managing their pipelines. Management gets mad because sales team aren’t entering all the data they should in CRM. Stern warnings are issued. Salespeople begrudgingly comply. There is screaming, weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Yes, it’s “The CRM Software Solution vs. The Sales Force”. While not necessarily coming to a theater near you, it’s probably going on right this very minute in a cubicle just down the hall.
But here’s the key question in all of this: Is it really an “either/or” proposition? Must there be some sort of contest between the sales rep and the CRM application, for which there must be a “winner”?
All Things to All People
Part of the problem stems from the fact that CRM software solutions have been designed as “top down” applications. Meaning, CRM is meant to help synchronize customer activity between various departments, including sales, and to assist management in monitoring and managing the sales force. It is generally not designed to be of any real assistance in getting sales made.
In trying to be all things to all people, CRM solutions have actually succeeded in only being a partial solution to some. Sales reps are required to laboriously enter data into CRM—but can they count on CRM to provide the help they need in managing their pipelines and tracking their own sales? For that answer, just ask any salesperson.
The Sales Force Is Customer Relationships
Who nurtures customer relationships along? Who is it that actually causes those prospects and customers to purchase your company’s products or services?
Sales force! And the outcome to the “sales force vs. the CRM software solution” battle isn’t more enforcement, more data-entry clerk duties for sales reps, and more salesperson frustration. It’s a CRM solution that actually assists salespeople to sell. It is logically and intuitively developed and implemented, so that it makes sense, is easy to use, and most importantly empowers salespeople to sell more—to meet those all-important company quotas. .
Interestingly, when a CRM is so developed and implemented, it also becomes far easier for the rest of the company to use, too. It becomes an agreed-upon pattern for the whole enterprise. Data can be entered and in the places where it makes the most sense, and easily retrieved. Reports are a snap. Everybody is happy.
So turn your version of “The Sales Force versus The CRM Software Solution” into “The Sales Force and The CRM Software Solution”. A partnership succeeds far more effectively than a battle. And so does your company.
Watch for more articles in our series on empowering your sales force.