CRM/SFA: More Benefits for Managers or for B2B Sales Reps?


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A few weeks ago, we wrote about the question of whether CRM provides more benefits to sales managers vs. sales reps.

We also shared this question in the Sales Ops Council (SOC) LinkedIn Group and received perspectives from both sides. Here are some excerpts from this lively debate:

“It’s important to balance [SFA/CRM] so everyone can achieve a benefit. When developing your roadmap for CRM/SFA changes, ask this question and then be sure to include some of each in the priority list. Even if the change/enhancement is for the benefit of management, see how you might communicate a rep benefit also.”

“All energy needs to be towards helping the rep to sell. If they feel the purpose of the CRM is to help to sell, they will adopt the changes and everyone wins. If they feel the benefits are for management, they will rebel. If the reps are using the system, the managers will get more information than they know what to do with.”

“CRM/SFA benefits the reps more than management. We all know that many of our reps will take the “I don’t need CRM”[approach] but in many cases that’s what makes them great reps – independent attitudes and a solid level of confidence. However, the ability to provide a great tool for managing information really saves them time in the end. And a secondary benefit is the ability to transfer leads, transfer customers, territories etc., without having to start from scratch because an ex-sales rep took all his information with him, is a big benefit to all reps who have to take on a new client/territory/line.”

“The answer is simple… if the sales team uses the CRM the way that it’s designed and intended the managers benefit more. If they don’t use it that way no one wins at all. You can sell without it but you can’t be a world-class sales organization with bad data. Garbage in, garbage out.”

“Account research and planning already eats up 20-30% of a typical workday, and this figure is actually going up as sales reps confront a torrent of internal and external information about their accounts and contacts. Imagine if this raw data avalanche could be harnessed to extract the most compelling sales insights for each account – – the key nuggets that will enable sales pros to identify the most receptive customers and engage them with the most compelling messaging. When these insights about whom to contact, when to contact, and how to contact are presented to reps on an ongoing basis in CRM, you see a marked change in their attitude towards CRM. It’s now a tool helping them sell more. It’s cutting their research time down by 20%. It’s helping them make the most of their daily customer-facing selling hours.”

Let’s continue the conversation here or on LinkedIn.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Alicia Brayboy
Alicia Brayboy is the Online Marketing Associate for Lattice Engines, a company specializing in B2B sales intelligence software, where she manages the company's online community engagement. Prior to that, Alicia helped execute the social media strategies for SimpleTuition and IBM Rational. Alicia holds a B.S. in Advertising from the Boston University College of Communication.


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