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The World of Sales Demands Change: Part 3

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What You Need to Know

  • The author makes the case that CRMs do more for the CEO than they do for the sales rep.
  • He sees the idea of the reps entering their own CRM data as insane.
  • He says sales reps need to have data updated automatically, in real time.

Last time, we looked at how the tools we need need to develop our team (virtually), engage, and convert prospects (virtually) and round the corner to hitting our numbers.

Here, in this part, let’s take a critical look at CRMs. You know, with the Work-From-Home and all that we’re encountering, right?

CRMs were developed years ago to give management some visibility into what is happening in current deals.

In the Salesforce movie “The History of Sales” (still on the Salesforce website), respected sales consultant Neil Rackham said that CRMs were never done to help the sales rep – they were done to help the CEO keep his job by giving him forecast numbers for his board of directors that he would meet or exceed.

Where the Numbers Come From

I have heard sales managers refer to the data in CRMs as the “Sunday Night Funnies” because too many reps wait until Sunday night to update their CRM in preparation for the Monday morning Sales Team meeting — limited by what they remember and limiting what they enter to what they want their manager to know.

In the Zoominfo September announcement of their $545 million acquisition of call recording company Chorus.ai, a senior exec at Chorus said you can’t believe data that is manually entered: “and on the left (referring to a chart shown during the webinar), you see Salesforce,” which today is still the source of truth for your deals, your opportunity for everything that’s going on.

And it’s really insane to believe that the data in Salesforce is purely relying on manual input from the reps. When they finish a call or at the end of the day, go to your CRM and update it. That’s how companies get the latest data. And it’s completely insane that even today, that’s still how the process works. And we all know that makes the data inaccurate. You basically have absolutely no idea what’s going on in mid funnel, how the deal’s progressing, whether it’s going to close, it’s just a black box.”

Sale people need their data automatically updated, in real time.

Imagine today’s rep being able to click on what is being discussed during the call to indicate what is being discussed, starting a time to track the duration of the discussion?

Isn’t duration a point is discussed the best indicator of the points importance to the prospect.

Sales managers are now routinely having their reps record their phone calls (and now popular Zoom Calls) to give them a way to know what is happening on the reps phone calls.

Here’s the thing, recording the calls and meetings does not give the managers the time to listen to anything but random samples of the recordings.

What if the manager could just click on discussion points of interest in a Story-so-Far (a sort of visual “call map”) showing unambiguously what was said — not relying on error prone key word recognition- but instead seeing forecasted deals to in a 3D view of the call — seeing the faces in the meeting, hearing their voices, and reading the transcription as they are hearing the words of the discussion points of interest, indicated by the subject and the duration.

The Change in Coaching is Already Here

This Work-From-Home environment makes it challenging for managers to coach their reps or suggest strategies to close deals.

What if it was easy for the manger to make specific suggestions to the reps, ins both notes in the lead record and documented suggested action items.

We need to make it easy for the manager to follow up to see if their suggestions are being implemented.

These suggestions should also automatically be emailed to the reps with a link back to the lead record to make it easy for the reps to implement the suggestions.

Finally, next time, we’ll take a forward-looking view at training and coaching.


Lloyd Lofton (Photo: Lofton)Lloyd Lofton is the founder of Power Behind the Sales and the author of The Saleshero’s Guide To Handling Objections.

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(Photo: Erik Snyder/Shutterstock)