December 22, 2016

Does Your CRM Hurt or Help Sales?

If you use a CRM to measure your sales team’s performance, you may be missing out on the whole picture. To know if you are getting an accurate view of what’s working and what’s not working for your sales reps, check out Eric Esfahanian of Gryphon Networks’ podcast interview with Ian Altman of Grow My Revenue.

Listen to the interview here!

When I asked Eric what are the biggest hurdles he sees sales managers and executives struggle with regarding sales, he had a simple answer. He sees too many organizations focusing too heavily on volume.

They spend too much time looking at the number of calls made and/or appointments held, versus what is actually happening during those calls and meetings. He believes there is much more opportunity when you look at other lesser known performance indicators. When you look at these they will tell you how effective a rep is.

He recommends measuring other KPIs, like how frequently does the rep reach out to the prospect? How long are their conversations or how short are they? By focusing on the conversational aspect of the communication you can get a clearer picture of what is working and what is not.

This is where CRMs can actually hurt business. Unless you make sure the metrics the CRM is recording are very comprehensive, you shouldn’t be basing decisions off of it. Reps are inputting information by hand, and being optimistic in many cases. Then managers are rolling that optimistic information forward, and some companies are basing budgets off of those projections. And they are doing so without looking into how valid and accurate the information in the CRM actually is!

Instead, Eric suggests salespeople should not be writing up reports. They don’t want to be data clerks, they want to be making sales! So your CRM should be able to capture the phone calls they are making without the rep having to do it.

The CRM should be automatically gathering data like how many calls are being made, how many conversations are had and what happens in those conversations. With that information, you can coach the reps on how to handle objections, how to deal with customers, etc. You can identify what to improve in their performance, and what to showcase that is going well.

A good CRM will also help you track patterns to gather quantitative data, this is how you find out what the most successful reps are doing and you can see what is working. For instance, you may find your best reps make 10-20 calls between 4 pm and 6 pm, 5 days a week. Now you know you should schedule all your reps to be making calls at that time every night.

Also on this episode, Eric explains why recruiting, hiring, and training are the critical areas to getting the best out of your sales staff. We wrap up today’s episode with an example of how to create peer-to-peer relationships between your sales reps and your prospects, and how doing so creates win-win solutions for everyone. Listen in for all of that and more on this insightful edition of Grow My Revenue.