“If they’re not using the CRM, then you need to force them to use it or else we’ll start cutting their commission payments!”
That was the answer a sales operations manager from a big company gave when another manager mentioned his reps weren’t keeping their CRM up to date.
I had to laugh when I heard that, because having used the same system he was expecting his reps to use, I knew what a pain in the ass it was and how much other reps hated it.
Unfortunately, he’s not the only executive who thinks that way. But why don’t sales reps use the CRMs we put in place?
If you’re like the sales guys we know, then you’re probably familiar with these 5 most common problems with CRM systems.
1. “You Need to Spend a Lot of Time Administering the System”
This is really the biggest joke in sales. You’re expected to sell your ass off and close as many deals as you can. But the only tool that management gives you is one that sucks up huge amounts of time just to keep it updated and doesn’t add an ounce of value to your job.
It might make sense somehow to your higher-ups, but it sure doesn’t make any sense to you.
2. “You’re Conveying Information That Might Be a Week Old”
Your CRM takes time to keep it updated. Valuable time.
So you focus and prioritize on what will actually help you close your deals (hint: updating the CRM isn’t one of them).
But your manager gets angry when he sees that the data in the system isn’t up to date and forces you come into the office to update it (see problem #1).
What’s worse is that you’ve been using Excel sheets to keep track of your numbers (because the CRM is too complex, but that’s another story), so now you have to re-enter all of your data into your CRM.
3. “You Don’t Know if Delegated Tasks Have Been Taken Care Of or Not”
Your CRM comes with a built-in task manager. Awesome. It lets you create a task to staff a demo at the client and assign it to the right people. Great.
But when you check back to see the progress of the task you delegated? All you see is that you created that task a week ago, and nothing else. (Is there anybody out there…?)
So you end up relying on your #1 go-to task manager: your email account.
Ping-pong back and forth over and over just to get a basic idea of what’s going on, and you’ll realize for yourself why email is costing corporations billions of dollars a year in wasted time.
4. “Simple Things That Sales Would Need Aren’t Possible”
Having to jump from app to app and back to your CRM to handle your tasks, calendar, document storage and notes isn’t just a waste of time, it can be downright dangerous.
Where was that response to an RFP that your coworker sent a few days ago? Or what about the reference stories you need going into a meeting with a client? And what about the notes from last meeting?
Better start searching, because they’re probably lost somewhere between your company’s intranet, your CRM or your inbox. (And good luck finding those reference stories… your meeting is in one hour).
5. “You Have to Go Back to the Office to Update the System”
You just wrapped up your meeting and want to capture some really key information that came up.
But your CRM comes with a mobile version that’s basically useless (or has no mobile version at all).
Better scribble the info into your notebook and hope you remember it later, because you’ll have to go back to the office to enter it into your CRM. (Or you could just wait for Admin Friday, because you won’t have anything else to do then, right?)
What’s the common theme here?
CRMs are not enough.
They waste a lot of time and just aren’t designed with the needs of sales in mind. They turn reps into data-entering machines just to make sure the back offices get the reports they need.
Or, to put in the words of a former rep:
You guys in management sell the CRM as a productivity tool, but in the end I am tracking activity about what I have already done and entering information I already know! So what’s in it for me?”
We at iSEEit believe that more and more sales managers start to realize this and give their teams the tools they need to actually get their jobs done and have fun while doing it.
Ready for a change?
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It’s the first cloud-based sales & CRM tool that actually shows sales people where their deals stand and what the right next steps to closure are.
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