Yep that’s what I heard during a planning workshop at a new client by just about the entire seasoned sales team. Although not said out loud very often, this is not an uncommon emotional reaction from many sales people when it comes to capturing information on a Sales Force Automation Solution (SFA).
Why stop at just this one negative aspect? Let’s highlight a few more. Sales people should be selling and not capturing every miniscule detail in a system designed to track my every move. I just don’t have time for this! I’m so tired of being challenged about my opportunities based on CRM data! I’m going to capture the bare essential data for this lead! I lose valuable hours during the day just updating the SFA system! And the list goes on. Sales people inherently are not overly keen on what is perceived as additional minimum value admin work, especially if it’s used to track activities, specifically those that highlight a perceived weakness.
A common perception is that a CRM system just adds to the already admin heavy sales process. With the requirements to create and maintain account plans, go to market strategies, proposal and quotes, training, seminars, client meetings, client entertainment, market research, industry research, document reviews, chasing up on pre sales, following up support calls, Cold calls, presentations, KPI reviews, internal sales and company meetings, etc. It just feels like you don’t have the time to sell anymore.
A CRM solution is a multi-faceted platform where all things crucial to customer relationship development and retention are stored. Without the support of a CRM solution, business relationships look and function dramatically differently.rehabilitation.
Although the above statements are a sales perspective reality, the SFA solution does not have to be a burden. In fact, if implemented correctly with the required input from the actual team selling, the system can be a huge time saviour, and more importantly, an efficient method of finding those uncovered leads from multiple channels and converting them into opportunities, ultimately increasing sales commissions and contributing positively to targets.
As mentioned, the above sentiment is a reality for many sales people. How did this become such a common issue? CRM/SFA has been around a long time, with a credible and measurable track record of success for sales, but why doesn’t it just work the same in all companies? That’s simple, not all companies are made the same. Different companies implement different measures for success. Each SFA implementation has to be implemented with the end goal of being customised to that company’s processes and culture.
What is the end goal? What are you trying to measure? What processes are you trying to automate? Where is the immediate value to be gained by the SFA solution? And importantly, will my sales staff want to use the system? In other words, what do they need from the solution to make them more successful? So there’s a compromise that needs to be defined between the executive MIS requirements and the sales staff measures of success. Find this balance and the likelihood of a perceived CRM/SFA project failure with be greatly diminished.