Someone showed me how they use Oracle’s Sales Online the other day. Or more accurately, why they don’t bother with it. Part of a $500m technology-related business, founded in Chicago back in 55, all their global reps are expected to use the system. Yet none do. Whenever the Brits moan about it, the response from Corporate is simply “it works in America”. How helpful.
Then I saw the very front screen they log onto. It was worse than a spreadsheet. A very software-looking listing with columns for; opportunity name, value, status & likelihood. The screen I was shown even had opportunities still live which had been won, and the most common value was virtually ubiquituous, $50,000, and every status was set to ‘open’. They’d asked for a couple of mods, but 12 months later still no appearance.
Not much use and not much used.
And then I spoke to one of my long-time customer’s that I really think are moving in the right direction and have a lot of time for. They use Saratoga’s Avenue. Their head of sales dropped the bombshell that no-one uses it, and he was getting grief from HQ in Europe about it. He responded he’d asked for a couple of mods, but 12 months later still no appearance. Sounds familiar…
So I spoke to both chaps about their view of crm. It’s heart-wrenching. Along with me, they are both huge fans of what crm should accomplish. Yet it never gets anywhere near success. Martin summed it up really well something like this:
‘What sales guys need is a sales tool, and all they ever get is a management tool. And the sales guys know this. The only thing they get consistently asked for is their ‘number’, so the only thing they really ever input is what the finger-in-air value of deal will be and roughly when it’ll hopefully come in, so management can create a pipeline spreadsheet and everyone’s off their backs for another month.”