What Is The Most Highly Effective Component Of Your CRM Platform?

CRM PlatformA sales management team needs to determine the right technology for representatives to use. Once this decision is made, there has to be a succinct effort to minimize the amount of time that salespeople spend doing things other than prospecting.

CRM platforms are a necessity in today’s world of sales, but there has to be a system in place that helps representatives limit their time using this technology.

According to Heather Kivett, president of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm, the most effective component of a CRM platform is having someone other than the salesperson doing data entry.

“The effectiveness of a salesforce automation program is the quality and consistency of the data that comes out of it,” said the executive. “Not only the quality and consistency, but also the usability. A salesforce automation program does not stand alone.”

The program needs to be as user friendly as possible, for the benefit of all involved parties.

Kivett noted that “It’s kind of like, ‘We bought a Ferrari. Great. Now who’s going to drive it?”‘

The executive compared a salesperson inputting data to a NASCAR driver operating as the lead mechanic on the car in the middle of a race. When companies expect their representatives to perform these tasks, they are simply wasting resources, according to the executive.

“It doesn’t matter what CRM system you’re using,” said Kivett. “Yes, it should be customized to your company, workflow, sales process, etc – but the biggest hurdle that companies have is the information contained in the CRM not being accurate. You should have the fewest number of people doing data entry as possible because it minimizes corruption of data.”

According to the executive, a management team wants to put highly competent people in data entry and sales. This will result in higher efficiencies, because they will be trained in both aspects.

“I would rather have 3 people people that are highly motivated for their job and highly efficient rather than 20 sales people who aren’t,” Kivett noted. “This will result in inconsistent, inaccurate data in your CRM. It defeats the entire purpose of having a CRM if the data isn’t accurate and you’re not able to forecast and plan as a result.”

The important part of using a CRM is not the specific type or what components are in it. The question is who is going to manage this technology, and if the answer is the salespeople, then a management team is setting everyone up for failure.

“Usually the rebuttal to that is, ‘We can’t afford to hire a dedicated data entry.’ I respond by saying salespeople will be more efficient, enjoy their jobs more and have more time to prospect and close new business without the burden of data entry,” said Kivett. “Having 9 salespeople with someone doing data entry will be more effective than 10 salespeople who are burdened with the job of managing the CRM.”

If there are people who are hired exclusively to perform tasks related to data entry and CRM, sales will go up because of the time that is freed up for representatives. Profits will increase, and the hirings will likely justify themselves, according to the executive.

“Not one company I’ve worked with has said, “We’ve got a clean database”. It’s a major problem that needs to be addressed,” Kivett noted.