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Is Your CRM System Blocking Sales?

It's a complete myth that CRM automatically makes sales teams more productive. In fact, there are many cases where CRM has made it much more difficult for sales teams to actual sell.

Here are the five red flags that your CRM system is more bother than it's worth:

  • Red Flag #1. Nobody on the sales team wants to use it. It's a bad sign if the sales manager has to pressure the reps to use tye system - like by threatening to withhold commissions if they don't. RULE: Sales reps ALWAYS embrace technology that helps them sell and ALWAYS resist technology that wastes their time.
  • Red Flag #2. The system enforces somebody else's "best practices." No single set of "best practices" is right for a large range of companies. RULE: Your company is unique, so it needs a CRM system that models what works for your company, rather than your competitors.
  • Red Flag #3. The data in the system is frequently in error. This can play real havoc when it comes to closing business. And once reps know that the CRM system can't provide reliable information, they're not going to trust anything that's inside of it. RULE: If CRM data is not 100 percent correct, it's a customer disaster waiting to happen.
  • Red Flag #4. There's a "real way" things get done. Reps may be entering all the requested data into the CRM system, butstill have their own way of getting things done. RULE: Unless the CRM system is the primary way of tracking sales, it's only leaching productivity.
  • Red Flag #5. The system isn't available when needed. Nothing is more demoralizing -- or more likely to create delays -- than a system that's up and down all the time. RULE: If your CRM system isn't available 24/7, people will inevitably ignore it.
The above is loosely based upon a conversation with the CRM uber-guru Barton Goldenberg of ISMGuide. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, take it. He's an interesting guy, and a very "deep thinker" about all this sales technology stuff.
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