Marketers often complain they get no data from sales – carefully nurtured leads just drop into the “black hole of field sales.”
It’s easy to blame “lazy salespeople.”
But have you looked at your sales process – and your CRM?
I was told there would be funnel data . . .
Too often, the sales process and CRM implementation conspire to silence feedback from sales. While management is saying “give us accurate data,” the CRM system adds, “and you’ll be punished for it.”
This chasm costs enterprises dearly. Without feedback, marketing wastes money on bad lead sources. Sales then wastes precious sales capacity chasing down the bad leads. This mess weighs down revenue, sales productivity, and margins.
How does this happen?
Here’s a list of some common ways that the sales process and CRM actively suppress feedback from sales.
- It’s not your fault, so we’ll blame you anyway. Often, salespeople are aware that their managers look at won/loss percentage reports. So if a salesperson creates an opportunity, then figures out it’s a bad lead after the first meeting, it makes his loss percentage go up.
- Instant interrogation. When the salesperson marks the bad lead as a “lost” opportunity, the CRM system emails the whole management chain. Everyone then calls her up to ask if the lead was really bad, or did she forget to try some new sales angle?
- Let’s play 20 questions. Too often, when a salesperson hits certain triggers, tons of fields suddenly become required – many of which don’t really apply when a deal is revealed as a dud after the first meeting.
The lesson is unmistakable: It’s not worth creating opportunity records for bad leads, better to only create opportunities late in the cycle, when you know the deal is “real.”
Bridging the chasm between marketing and sales. We're all on the same team, you go first.
So marketing gets no feedback on the bad leads – exactly the opposite of what marketing and sales leaders need.
How can you tell if you have this problem? You can take our Sales Visibility Assessment – an automated assessment of your salesforce.com data. But you can also look for these signs:
- Do you have 10 percent or more of your opportunity records post-dated?
- Is a large percentage of your opportunity records created at a late stage in the sales process (like at RFP)?
- Do your salespeople log meetings on early opportunities (or on any opportunities) – allowing marketing to really tell the duds from the real opportunities?
The fact is that neither the sales process nor CRM are at fault. Your sales process doesn’t have to be annoying to be effective.
And, more importantly, your CRM doesn’t have to be a time sink to capture quality sales intelligence.
With great mobile sales apps, your salespeople can give you more feedback with a handful of finger swipes than by sitting down at a desk for 10 minutes.
Mobile can build a bridge across the marketing-sales chasm – and lift the effectiveness of the whole company.
Chris van Loben Sels
director, business development & marketing
Contact us to learn more about the innovative teams pioneering ways to turn their sales process – and CRM – into competitive weapons, not an administrative drag. Or click here for a free Sales Visibility Assessment of your salesforce.com data.