Most employees will readily admit that data is hugely important to business. In fact, many companies will list it as one of their primary and most valuable assets. It fuels most revenue generating and sustaining activities: marketing, sales, finance, product/service delivery, customer service, HR, and on, and on. Of those functions, sales is one of the most crucial linchpins in the data chain. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that most organizations are willing to invest heavily in technology, like CRM, to improve their ability to manage sales-related data.
Even given the importance of data and the CRM, there’s a common complaint heard from sales reps: “Our CRM doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t have the information I need.” You might not always be able to respond to this complaint with a Sir Paul McCartney-esque deep thought: “In the end, the data you take is equal to the data you make.” But the fact is, sales reps do need to commit to putting data into Salesforce in order to get the insights, value and productivity gains that are possible.
Salespeople justifiably struggle with spending time entering data into CRM. They’d rather be interacting with customers and selling. But with improvements in tools for automated entry, mobile apps, and even intelligent systems, the excuses are holding less and less water these days. If you still need some convincing about the need to stop hoarding your sales information, here are our top 3 reasons:
1. Get help making money
Many sales reps hoard because they’re wary of other reps, managers, or even other departments having access to account, contact or lead records. They might be hedging their bets against the chances of that prospect falling through and not becoming a realistic opportunity. By including those records and background information in the CRM, you’re more likely to be able to connect the dots to other parts of the business. You have a central, shareable source of information, and you can more easily get help maintaining and developing that opportunity. You also make it available for tracking in a larger context so management and other departments can help discover trends and improve strategy.
2. Tap into the power
Others might hoard because they’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the application. They’ve used spreadsheets, notes apps, or other methods in the past and have been able to maintain or even thrive. Trying new methods can be scary, but with the innovations and maturity of the Salesforce platform, the productivity and performance benefits are too great to ignore. Simply entering a new account into Salesforce can instantly unlock information and intelligence that would take hours to gather and organize otherwise.
3. Spend more time closing
Because they’re comfortable, some reps may feel like using their own methods for storing data are more efficient than the CRM. With tools for automated entry, cleansing and enriching—like those offered by Data.com—entering gobs of data manually is becoming a thing of the past. Reps also spend a good chunk of time—more than 20% according to CSO Insights—scouring the Internet for information, researching prospects and customers. The thought of having to organize and parse through all that info can be paralyzing, and many reps just don’t bother preparing for calls. Unfortunately, buyers can tell, and are voting with their companies’ budgets. Luckily, with sales intelligence solutions built into the CRM, reps can greatly reduce the need to scour for nuggets to help them understand a prospect’s business. They can have detailed company, industry and competitive information all attached to the account record, right in Salesforce.
There are, no doubt, many other reasons to stop hoarding data. What benefits have you seen from making sure your sales data is entered and available in the Salesforce?
We’ve outlined a few other tips for Sales, and other business functions, that can help them become data strong and build a data-centric culture. Download the e-book here »