Do you ever wonder why your reps have trouble making quota each quarter? Maybe it's because they spend their days updating accounts, writing proposals, tracking deal progression, and making detailed notes - in other words, they're spending more time tending to the CRM system instead of logging face time with customers.
If you want your reps to make quota, they need time to talk or meet with customers and close deals. That's not to say that administrative tasks aren't important to the good health of a winning sales team and the functionality of a CRM system. According to a recent white paper, "5 Competitive Advantages of Successful Sales Teams," sponsored by SugarCRM, it's not administrative tasks themselves that are to blame for a lack of face time with customers. What sales leaders must reconcile is "how to heighten the effectiveness of necessary administrative activities while eliminating elements that get in the way of sales reps who are trying to create value for the customer."
According to the white paper, it's possible to use CRM in ways that will result in a "30 percent increase in sales productivity and a double-digit improvement in the number of sales reps achieving their quotas."
That's because the best CRM systems have evolved along with today's buying cycle. In today's sales environment, customers do most of their research online before ever talking with a rep. Does your CRM system take advantage of this new paradigm by allowing your company to leverage its Website as an inbound marketing funnel? A CRM system should also be able to alert your reps when the customer support team takes a call from someone who is close to a critical renewal period or who might be open to new purchases.
In addition, Facebook-like news feeds, IM features, and threaded conversations allow reps to weigh in on problems and challenges in order to solve problems and share ideas as a group. Ideally, your CRM system will also pull in key data from social-media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to help your team qualify leads.
In the end, the point of a CRM system isn't to tie up your sales team with busywork. It's to give your reps the tools they need to allow them to have meaningful interactions with customers and get down to the business of selling.