I’ve mostly surprised by how successful CRMs are as a category of sales enablement tools. Most startups make early investments in CRM as their first go-to solution to think about sales management.
We figure one reason for it is that it helps technical startup founders who’re unfamiliar with sales structure their thinking around the sales process – something that very often lies outside of their traditional comfort zone. For larger companies, it’s just about managing data flows across large sales teams.
Whatever the motivation, all CRMs are doing is simply providing a data store and a “view” of leads across the pipeline. It’s like a file cabinet and a blackboard from the 1960s zapped into the internet age 😊.
It’s the reason why almost everyone starts off their sales processes on excel and email. It’s only when we need to share data with a team, and look at the pipeline to get a sense of how things are going that we make our first tentative steps into the world of CRM.
Gartner puts big box CRM adoption at just 30% of the market, and the fact that they’re missing something important for customers is baked into those numbers.
For most of us, it’s a painful experience, but just “the way things are done”. We’re still left holding the bag when it comes to the heavy lifting of driving results on sales performance. The endless pain of making calls and visits, conducting training and reviews, and building teams that deliver results remains with sales leaders. The worst part is that CRMs also don’t reduce our work – it’s yet another “thing to do”. What’re we getting out of it? Data so we can transition leads when teams change?
There’s got to be a better way to answer our most pressing questions on the state of our sales effort. Something that’s real, verifiable, intuitive and reliably predictive. Something that’s built on a foundation of the core customer interaction. Something that’d help sales reps get better, not just keep score.
It’s been one of our core drivers at Salesken – making something that’d help with the heavy lifting of real sales – the last mile of customer interaction, and build the entire experience around that central insight.