Why CRM Doesn't Have to Be a Cringeworthy Chore

Hearing a sales professional say they love their CRM system is about as rare as them saying they love getting their territory realigned or their quota raised. The truth is that the CRM systems available today are useful for sales managers, execs, and in many cases, the people in sales ops trying to squeeze the last dollar from each rep. For the reps, however, CRM systems are described as a “burden,” “colossal time sink,” and often “painful.”

It’s crazy that this has lasted so long - decades even. Imagine if basketball players were asked to do the live commentary of a game and keep track of every time they touch the ball, all while they actually play - how many athletes would comply? The CRM Sales "athletes" dread the time they have to spend on updating CRM manually - cutting into selling time or worse, personal time, to type calls, emails, and meetings into a web form. Can it really be worth it if it’s a cringeworthy chore?

Sales managers know the problem - but don’t think they have an option, so call quotas often become part of everybody’s quota, measured in the CRM system. And in the battle of wills, the manager is going to win because, afterall, they set the quota. But there are changes happening - because of the impact of social networks, that make every employee a spokesperson.  Employees have more say on technology, with their own choices of device (BYOD), and more recently, that same selective choice applies to software.

What does this mean for sales professionals?

A study from CSO insights has reps spending only 60% of their time actually looking for and talking to customers - and a quarter of their time is spent on admin tasks like updating their CRM system. During the time they are talking to customers, the CRM system doesn’t help - it doesn’t even help them dial a number. So when we were designing AppMesh, we wanted to solve the challenges facing the reps by:
  1. bringing all the data together and making it active, to enable each rep to get more out of the 60%
  2. recording customer touchpoints automatically, so the 25% goes down, and they can spend more than 60% on customers
  3. integrating with the apps they use (and that benefit them!) such as the calendar so that we can pre-fill the data -- further reducing the 25% and clerical work

The AppMesh Approach

These three pillars - organization (agenda, tasks), communication (emails, calls, meetings), and information (all the data available about the customer) - are the differentiator between a successful, efficient, organized rep and a frustrated, time-crunched, underutilized rep. With a mobile device, all of the pillars happen on the same device, in the rep’s pocket. At AppMesh, we are constantly re-imagining what “automation” can really do for the sales force and then innovating to bring that to life.
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