I downloaded a frustratingly sparse and primitive white paper the other day on ‘sales 2.0’ which, for all its banal pronouncements, did feature one juicy observation:
“Cold calling, qualification, appointment setting, and customer service are important steps in sales, but they are not the best use of highly paid sales reps’ time. Neither is filling out lengthy call reports or completing entries in an awkward and sometimes ineffective CRM system.”
There’s a good and a bad side to this though. On the plus side, yes, it is a tacit admission (from a technology vendor no less) that technology isn’t necessarily the answer. On the minus, it can smack of reps looking for any old excuse to not provide transparency on their activity and avoid their canvassing responsibilities.
One of the products I provide helps alleviate the non-compliance of sales reporting to unleash healthier knowledge that makes the killer info known only in one remote silo visible and actionable throughout the organisation. And my experience tells me that up to half of salespeople go to extraordinarily obstructive lengths to avoid (cold-calling and) crm-filling.
The intriguing thing about my findings, is that the hypothesis of most sales 2.0 vendors, namely (to quote SalesGenius as one) that a “new generation of sales professionals [who] bring expertise with technologies such as instant messaging, social networks, search engines, and email to the workplace” shall produce an evolution of reps more willing to input detailed activity, is a myth.
If you are a sales manager, what encouraged you to document your activity and info when you were a rep? If you’re a rep, then what do you hold in your personal system, the one that only gets seen on your laptop?
Start out from this micro level, and any macro-wide system is more likely to both gain accepted traction and promote the right kind of intel.