Admin Burden Overload

I’ve a client that has highly expensive sales software across the globe.  Their management has long lamented that the reps never fill anything in on it.  Not only should it have detailed transactional reporting of what happened on calls, but it should also hold key intel on what the prospect currently has in place which they can replace and add to.

Two things have happened since the start of the year that the reps are unhappy about.  The first is that an analysis of user habits revealed that much of the updating was done in what they consider to be prime selling time.  Like 1120 before lunchtime.  An edict has apparently gone out saying that such input should take place outside key selling time.  The reps clearly see this as an attempt to pressurise them into evening and weekend shift patterns.  Now, winning reps don’t follow the 37½hr week of course, but still, when turning the blue-chip millstone there are limits for many an upstanding corporate citizen nonetheless.

Then there’s a new layer of reporting.  Dashboards must now be filled in on spreadsheets with data such as days in the month left, how their budget is split between deals and what’s the progress month on month and with slippage.  The reps are expected to spend one day a month on such info.  So that’s 12 less selling days.  Or around 5% less time.  And what makes it even worse, is that their spangly crm should be able to pull out this kind of stuff anyway.  But of course, it cannot.

Another example of crm analysis paralysis, the reps say.  Naturally, this type of parallel reporting shouldn’t be new to most of us, but steps should be taken to lift the monitoring burden off reps without rewarding them for laziness or non-compliance.

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