Sales Secretary Re-Emergence?

I had a meeting with a chap called Francois tasked with setting up a new division for a firm that, in his words, provide software and services around ‘incident and warranty management’. This past decade they grew, mainly by acquisition, from 70 to 700 people.

They’ve recently rolled out one single crm platform (which happens to be salesforce, but that’s pretty irrelevant) across the whole company.

Can you guess what’s happened?

He made three startling observations:

  1. the worst offenders in failing to update are all the senior people (right upto the Board sponsor!)
  2. there are too many items that they’re supposed to fill-in that surely don’t matter (also meaning it takes far too much time to update)
  3. their management focus on the usage stats now available meant that people were spending way too much time trying to look busy for the report when they should be selling instead

The approach he’s implemented for his new team sees each group of four reps have weekly hour-long one-on-ones with their team PA who then does all their updates for them.

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