What It Really Means When CRM Isn't a Sales Force Priority

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 @ 14:02 PM

It's rare when a company isn't using something for CRM, even if it's an old version of ACT.  In most companies, it's not whether they are using CRM, it's which CRM they have chosen to use and whether the CRM has actually been adopted.  The CRM application of choice is completely useless to management unless the entire sales force is using it as intended.

The management dashboard, metrics, charts, graphs, tables, pipeline, forecasts, reports and anything else you can coax from today's feature-rich CRM applications will not contain up-to-date and accurate information unless every salesperson is committed and held accountable to updating it - DAILY.  Some CRM applications make this easier than others.  Landslide is a good example of easy because they provide VIP support to salespeople who aren't at a computer or mobile device, or to those who are computer-challenged.

But today's article isn't about adoption.  It's about the companies that fear CRM or any other important sales tool that requires selection, installation, training and adoption.  When companies fear providing tools, they are unknowingly saying that they are OK with their sales force being at a disadvantage.  Their competitors are using it.  It's a very similar scenario to companies that don't provide sales training or won't use sales assessments for selection.  They are sending a message to their sales leaders and salespeople, but it isn't the right message.  They are afraid of rebellion.  They are worried that, "If we demand that our salespeople use these tools, they will become upset, stop performing and leave our company."  Now, would that be such a bad thing?  Do you really WANT salespeople that would become upset and leave if you introduced and required them to use tools to help them sell more effectively and efficiently?  Salespeople rebel when their time is being wasted, not when they are being supported appropriately!

Selling has changed; it has become much more difficult.  Prospects are more resistant; there is more competition.  Margins are shrinking; sales cycles are taking longer.  As a result, salespeople are working harder, longer hours, dealing with more rejection and disappointment, and have less to show for their efforts.  Tools are their salvation!  Tools help them navigate the more complicated environment in which they find themselves.  Today's tools are integrated.  They are must-haves.

My rant is done.  Would you like to contribute?  Please add your thoughts below.

Also, the February issue of Top Sales World News (I'm on the cover, but not sure why) is available for download.  Inside there's a link to a short interview with me on the topic of, "Are Salespeople Still Cold-Calling?  The Ugly Truth".

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales performance, crm, jonathan farrington, sales assessments, sales tools

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned awards for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog for eleven consecutive years and of the more than 2,000 articles Dave has published, many of the articles have also earned awards.

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