Hey, is that guy taking our data?
There is no CRM worth its salt that doesn’t promise great customizability. Every business is different. Every year brings new challenges. Who wouldn’t want to adapt their CRM to gather the information that will power those critical insights you need?
Which competitors are the big problem? Which deals have the most strategic product? Did the deal result from our new positioning? Who is the most influential contact in the account? Who wouldn’t want to know these answers?
Well, sadly, CRM experience teaches that this hope isn’t always fulfilled. “The guys in HQ” add a bunch of great custom fields, and wait for the data to roll in, and the insights to flow.
And wait … and wait … and wait.
Ultimately, the fields never get filled in. They slide into the CRM graveyard of dead, empty fields. And when data doesn’t flow, you get a different insight: It’s hard to use CRM to get the data you want.
Why is it hard to get great data?
Because it’s hard to input the data.
It’s amazing to see how buried “that really strategic field” is in most CRM implementations. The Opportunity record often has over 150 fields – sometimes twice that – a number that hasn’t changed much in the last ten years.
Worse yet, it’s even harder to enter the data that salespeople actually need to sell well; tasks like: tracking which of contacts attended the last meeting, keeping notes of who is an ally or an obstacle in an account, or recording the best customer qualifying questions.
Salespeople commonly find it’s ten times faster to use Excel than CRM for this kind of actual selling information.
Common reaction from
the sales field when HQ
tells them to fill out more
And on top of that, the salesperson must – to keep his or her job – keep their forecast up-to-date. So all of the time a salesperson has for mucking about with CRM is already taken up by this mandatory task. Hence, the salesperson leaves the custom fields empty – because they’re always less important than the forecast (no matter how much ‘the guy in HQ’ insists otherwise).
Back from the dead.
So is it time to give custom fields up for dead? Hardly.
We’ve found that mobile CRM can get the data flowing again. But it’s not as easy as it looks – there are many mobile CRM apps out there that have slid into the graveyard themselves.
Here are the principles that have made a difference for our customers so far – and we’re still learning …
If you want salespeople to help you, help them sell. Selligy focuses first on giving the salesperson useful data – and helping them record data they really care about – when they are out in the field, not back at a desk.
Incremental is not enough, it takes a fundamental change in usability. At Selligy, we aim for 5 to 10x improvement in the time it takes to interact with a system; it’s a high bar, but until you hit it, you won’t see a significant change in user habits.
Context is king. The Selligy app focuses on the salesperson’s daily flow of tasks – preparing for meetings, going to meetings, following up and planning next steps.
But wait there’s more …
Great sales operations folks are one of the key factors to bringing CRM back from the dead.
Great sales leaders know the questions that CRM should be asking salespeople. They’re the questions that good sales managers are asking their teams. They’re the fields that will actually help salespeople prioritize their efforts. Picking these questions – and making them easy to answer using mobile CRM – is key.
And that will help bring CRM – and new sales insights – back to life!
Chris van Löben Sels
If you’re a visionary sales leader, drop us a line for a demo and to discuss a pilot!