In sales pitches with large companies, there is a common feedback that we hear at almost every meeting. It goes something like this:
“…Getting all of our customer conversations in Salesforce.com would be great… but there are some reps who just don’t like using Salesforce and they just never will…. They are doing great and they have their own way of doing things and nobody will ever tell them otherwise.”
We chuckle at this feedback. I often wonder if the sales leaders can hear what they are saying as they say it. Maybe I’m missing something. I agree that a rockstar producer should be given more flexibility perhaps, but making excuses about why they don’t share information about customer conversations in your CRM seems like a stretch.
In sales, (yes, even large, complex enterprise deals that take years to nurture and caress to a close) companies benefit from predictability. Process leads to predictability. Data is needed for a process to work. You can’t know if you’re in step 3 or step 13 without data. And yes, everything is a process. Even the softer side of caressing C-suite executives on the golf course, over cigars, or on a private jet to shoot birds in South America (you know who you are! #jealous)… it’s all a process that is leading to the same thing. A signature that means money will find it’s way to your company and your services will add value to a customer.
Even the big deals should be tracked. Everything should be tracked! What happens if your top producer is taken out by Dick Cheney on one of these hunting trips? Where will you find the status of the conversation with the countless contacts at the organizations they are working? Are you going to power through their years of emails and decipher who goes what and what goes where?
With the growth and expanding importance of CRM software to companies, I stand by our position that
piece of information about customers that you can track
should live forever in the CRM!!
Forever and ever, amen!