I read ClearSlideâ€™s blogÂ â€œ4 Reasons why itâ€™s time to re-boot technologyâ€ with great interest and enthusiasm. In a most concise (a mere 291 words) and convincing way, they outlined the importance of finding new ways to put technology to work for sellers.
The post listed several startling stats. Some of themâ€”like salespeople spend less than 35% of their time sellingâ€”are familiar. Others are not. Hereâ€™s a real eye-opener. According to Gartner Group, Total Worldwide CRM Software revenue in 2012 wasÂ $18 Billion. Shockingâ€¦ yes. But get ready to shake your head and drop your jaw; the same report reminds us that CRM adoption is less than 50% (poor adoption is around 74%). That means that $9 Billion worth of CRM investments in 2012 alone Â face a questionable return.
If your money can be counted among those dollars, at least you know youâ€™re not the odd man odd. Thatâ€™s perhaps the most shocking. Just how many companies are caught on the wrong side of this debacle?
In November of last year, I wroteÂ â€œThe Achilles Heel of CRM Adoption (and How to overcome it).â€Â Itâ€™s where I first talked about the time-spent-selling in the same context as poor CRM adoption. The 65/35 efficiency factor highlights the reason why reps recoil from CRM. It just takes up too much darn time, with not enough benefit to the rep. (seeÂ â€œThe Two Biggest Reasons Sales Tools Failâ€).
If youâ€™ve got the Salesforce.com adoption blues, you will want toÂ attend tomorrowâ€™s 30 minute webinarÂ of the same name hosted byÂ LevelEleven. Youâ€™ll learn how Gamification is coming to the rescue and helping companies recoup their piece of the $9billion.
Much of CRM resistance is due to a natural reluctance to learn new habits and work-styles. This is especially the case for sales repsâ€™ apparent aversion to the CRM â€˜learning curveâ€™ which requires an inordinate upfront investment of time and energy. LevelElevenâ€™s gamification platform rewards reps throughout the process thereby increasing the odds of institutionalizing consistent CRM usage.
If your sales organization is highly mobile, CRM may no longer be the best tool for the mobile rep to use. Not that you should ditch CRM altogether, just donâ€™t make your mobile Salesforce use it as their main interface for inputting or retrieving data. Use a tool likeÂ Front Row SolutionsÂ to move the 65/35 efficiency needle to a more balanced ratio that will deliver more revenue. Use your CRM more like the database it is. Feed it with data that reps enter from their smart phones or tablets.
If you havenâ€™t yet decided on a CRM system, now is the time to think about what you need a CRM system to do for you and how it can and should help all users (especially salespeople). Look for next generation sales tools like Pipeline Deals and Membrain that each bring unique advantages.Â Pipeline DealsÂ takes minutes to install and brings together features that todayâ€™s teams need like leaderboards, and social selling tools with an easy to use interface. Do not underestimate the importance of ease-of-use if you want salespeople to use it. To learn more about why, read â€œThe 8 Buying Considerations CRM Vendors Donâ€™t Want You to Know Aboutâ€ (hint they all have to do with USEABILITY).
While usability is there,Â MembrainÂ CRMâ€™s specialty is pipeline management for complex B2B sales. What would those types of salespeople want in a CRM system? Something that actively helps them qualify and move deals through the sales process. And thatâ€™s what Membrain does. It actively focuses attention on outcomes, milestones and activities based on your (readÂ any) sales methodology.
The key take-away here, as it was in ClearSlideâ€™s post, is that itâ€™s time toÂ reallyÂ put technology to work for sellers. Technology isnâ€™t working for your sellers if they arenâ€™t using it. Implementing a CRM system (or any sales tool) isnâ€™t the point, in fact it can actually be counter-productive in many cases. Investing in tools that actually address sales rep productivity is the only approach that will keep your company from losing itâ€™s shirt in a 9billion debacle.
Author, Nancy Nardin is the foremost expert in sales productivity tools. As President of Smart Selling Tools, she consults with many of the top sales productivity software vendors as well as end-user organizations looking to select the right tools.Â Click to get Nancyâ€™s What & When weekly digestÂ with invitations to complimentary webinars and informative publications. Follow Nancy on TwitterÂ @sellingtoolsÂ or subscribe to herÂ Tool Talk blog.Â Nancy can be reached at 916-596-3035. To schedule a free 30 minute consultationÂ click here.Â Visit:Â www.smartsellingtools.com
Stop Press: JF is back tomorrow to explain why buyers are currently confused and why sellers are even more so. It’s a great w/e read not to be missed