The CRM (customer relationship manager) has become a staple of business today. An estimated 92% of Fortune 5000 enterprises have a CRM, and globally the CRM software market will be north of $70bn in 2022.
Having worked for a range of companies, my experience is that most companies are not getting the value they want or expect from a CRM. This is even more true for the salespeople tasked with using it.
Beyond the salespeople’s complaints, the lack of customer conversational data in the CRM is an enterprise-wide problem.
The CRM is the “front-end” of many business processes and decisions. Opportunities in the CRM (often poorly) represent the aggregate sales forecast. Ideally, a relatively accurate forecast drives financial projections for executive management and investors. Forecast inputs for enterprise resource planning (ERP) to set inventory levels and manufacturing activities.
For a CRM to operate effectively, or at least more effectively, it needs data – timely and complete data, to be precise, about what customers and prospects are say (and aren’t saying).
The burden of “feeding the CRM beast” with information falls squarely on the shoulders of the sales team.
Over a range of communication channels, including phone calls, emails, video team meetings, in-person meetings, and increasingly, text messages, the sales team is the recipient of the fodder the CRM system needs and all its downstream symbiotics.
For the salesperson, the call/meeting/engagement ends, and now they must regurgitate the salient elements into a call/meeting notes summary within the CRM.
There’s certainly effort involved, to get connected and spend time summarizing then typing up notes.
Also, this is also a lossy process – information that might be important for different groups may not be captured. And the salesperson might not get around to typing up notes until hours or days later.
For the salesperson, all this data (re)entry does not make selling or the sales process more effective, and from their perspective, directly impacts productivity and revenue realization. There is little incentive for them to take the time to feed the beast.
And as a result, sales leaders and management often revert to punitive threats around call and meeting notes. This is a lose-lose situation that impacts downstream systems and organizational intelligence.
AutoPylot the process of feeding the beast. Automatically capture call and text data, and prompt salespeople to dictate notes, all from their smartphone – saving your sales force several hours a week in manual data input.