The Changing Role of CRM and the Sales Professional


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PictureSource: National Sales Executive Association

In our sales training sessions, we often spend considerable time on the use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for effective prospecting especially as it relates to task management and research.  There was a recent tweet from the National Sales Executive Association that showed that only 2% of all sales closed on the first touch and that 80% closed on the 5th touch. The lesson one gleans from this information is that multiple pieces of information and touches are required to get meetings and close deals with prospects. This is where we stress the importance of the task list and the description field in and other CRM systems.

As you do your research and find good “nuggets” to prospect with, save them in the CRM with assigned times to revisit these key pieces of information that will inform your 5 touches.

All of that said, it always amazes me that when asked during our session who loves their CRM and uses it, we get a mere 3% of the class who are fans. Most people roll their eyes and kvetch about it when management is not around with the main complaint being that the tool serves management alone and is the stick with which the rep is beaten into submission. The unrelenting drive to have a 3X pipeline and show that deals are moving from stage to stage leads many reps to falsify data entry in order to appease management. For all of these reasons, they just do not see how the tool can benefit them.

But I will always argue that your CRM system can and should truly be a tool that empowers us as sales professionals. We just need to determine how to use it effectively – from the VP of Sales to the sales rep to the CRM administrator. There are some really good tools and CRM platforms out there for sales people.

Tools like Brainshark’s new Sales Accelerator coupled with your account can arm sales reps with the content, process and mobile access they need to drive sales productivity and results. With tools like these, salespeople can easily search for and locate the “nuggets” of information required to empower them throughout the sales cycle.

As an example, when sales reps are preparing for meetings out on the road, they can take advantage of this technology to locate content based upon the stage of the deal or even the industry successes that will build instant credibility with prospects.  This content can be measured for effectiveness directly in the Sales Accelerator and correlated to the best sales practices that close deals. The Learning Locker in Sales Accelerator facilitates the conversation to ensure the rep can differentiate your company by always having the right information at the right time. This will increase productivity and qualification of prospects instantly.

When your organization can track content and align it to personas as well as deal stage and then correlate the activities the best reps are using to close deals, the insights into the deal process will inform the best path to sales success. Now the sales manager can use this and their CRM tools to educate new reps about the industry, typical deals and target prospects to ramp them up quickly. This is truly a new way to lower the cost of sales from training to deal closure.

Learn more about the Brainshark Sales Accelerator

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tim Haller
Tim Haller has over 25 years of sales and sales management experience. He has delivered training and consulting to Fortune 100 clients across a variety of industries, including technology, business services, travel/leisure and biotechnology. Tim has trained hundreds of sales professionals to close business through the use of effective sales prospecting, negotiation, and closing techniques.


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