startup-594127_1920-1024x683Google the terms “salespeople” and “crm” together (after you’ve finished reading this blog, of course) and you will find an array of articles explaining why salespeople hate/loathe/despise/abhor CRM. Now don’t get me wrong, this is an important topic; in fact, it’s so important that I recently put together a blog on this subject (which you can check out by clicking here). But shameless plugs aside, studies show that of the many organizations that implement CRM software, sales is by far the most likely to have the system deployed in their department. This fact becomes problematic when you consider that salespeople despise/detest/deplore CRM. Today, we’re going to address this problem (especially for organizations considering implementing a CRM, or those with a newly implemented system) by providing some reasons why CRM systems benefit salespeople.  

Salespeople, Management and CRM

When it comes to a salesperson’s feelings towards CRM, generally speaking, the major cause of their negative opinion is the increased accountability and oversight that comes with their work being stored in a system that can be easily reviewed by management. So, to quickly address this concern, it’s important to state some truths:
  • Yes, in some shape, form or fashion, management will use the CRM to gain insight into the way its sales team operates.
  • Yes, management having more insight into the work of the sales team will bring about increased accountability.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s essential to note that a successful CRM deployment requires management implementing a system that is not used as a tool for increased oversight. Instead, the CRM that any organization deploys for its sales team should be an indispensable tool that includes functionality which enables its salespeople to sell more. With that in mind, here are some important reasons why CRM systems benefit salespeople:  

Why CRM Systems Benefit Salespeople

  1. Streamlined Sales Process
mark-516278_1920-1024x723A common characteristic of organizations without a CRM system is their salespeople often develop their own processes for selling. The problem with running a sales organization this way is that there’s no way to ensure that everyone’s methods are producing the best results possible. Statistics show that organizations with unified and repeatable processes overwhelmingly generate more revenue. For example, in 2015, the Harvard Business Review published the candidly titled article, Companies with a Formal Sales Process Generate More Revenue. This article sites research which found that organizations with effective pipeline management had a growth rate 15 percent higher than businesses with ineffective management of their pipeline. A major benefit of CRM is that it allows an organization to develop universal processes that can be mapped out from lead to close. For salespeople, this may mean having to alter some of the strategies they’ve become accustomed to; however, in the long-term, it means adopting strategies that enable a salesperson to sell more efficiently and effectively.   2. All of Your Data in a Single Location
  • Email messages in Gmail and Outlook
  • A cellphone
  • Loose notes from calls and meeting that have been written down
  • Excel spreadsheets
  • Browser extensions and other various tools to attain information
What do these items have in common? They’re all places where a salesperson may have important information housed. For anyone conducting sales in this manner, there’s a better way. A CRM will allow you to integrate data from many of the tools you use for selling, and this information can be stored in one easily accessible place. Archived emails, interactions on social media, data from sales prospecting tools and much more can all be stored in your CRM. Additionally, a CRM will allow you to store more traditional data like contact information and notes from your interactions. If you want to know the last time you called someone, that information can be retrieved from your CRM. If you want to review your notes from a meeting held a week ago, a month ago, or even a year ago, it can be retrieved from your CRM. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you’ve never heard a salesperson say that they have too much information about a prospect. Compiling data in a CRM allows a salesperson to gain a historical overview of their contacts, which enables salespeople to have more insight into these individuals and lets them determine the personal preferences of their contacts. Having this sort of information can be invaluable, especially for salespeople with longer sales cycles. Lastly, the data stored in your CRM will never be lost due to an unexpected occurrence. Incidents like a crashed hard drive, losing a phone, or mistakenly deleting an email can all cause a salesperson to lose valuable information. This will never be the case with a CRM, as your data is stored and backed up, and can be accessed whenever necessary.   3. Spend More Time Selling clock-407101_1920-1024x683In 2014, Cirrus Insights released a study which found that in a typical 40 hour work week, a salesperson spends approximately 24 percent of their time actively selling. This statistic highlights many of the administrative tasks that salespeople are required to do. A CRM allows salespeople to dedicate more time to selling by automating many of the tedious tasks that would have to be conducted manually, otherwise. Things ranging from sending follow up email messages to creating quotes can be automated to save time in the day of a salesperson. Other ways CRM systems save time in the day of a salesperson includes:
  • Document and content repositories that reduce the time needed to find information
  • Having customer and contact data easily accessible in the system
  • Carrying out streamlined processes in the CRM
  • Being able to prioritize work by reviewing information in the system (e.g. knowing the most important leads and opportunities to contact)
There are many other benefits that salespeople get from using CRM, including:
  • Mobile functionality that gives a salesperson access to CRM data on the go
  • Faster onboarding for salespeople in new jobs due to processes being mapped out in the CRM
  • Increasing the number of contacts a salesperson can effectively manage
  As you now see, it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to CRM and salespeople. While the hard feelings that salespeople often have towards CRM have been well-documented, an organization that deploys a CRM which meets the needs of its users, that isn’t perceived as an oversight tool, can indeed be popular with salespeople. If you have any questions or comments about this topic, please leave them below, we’d love to hear from you.