What’s the Real Forecast this Quarter? Your CRM Doesn’t Know!

February 4, 2021

Over the last few years, companies have spent billions of dollars on customer relationship management, CRM, software. CRM platforms like Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) have realized significant growth while transforming businesses into the digital age. Salesforce alone has acquired 64 companies as its market cap increased over 500% from $36.73B in January 2015 to $196.61B in August 2020. [1] This growth extends way beyond Salesforce itself by creating an enormous partner ecosystem of over 8000 sales, marketing, service, and human resources apps. [2]

And they don’t work well together.

Salesforce itself is a great product, but companies don’t use it straight out of the box. Immediately upon acquiring CRM licenses, you will need to customize, integrate, and train your employees to use it. Today there are over 16,000 open jobs on LinkedIn for Salesforce skills in the US. Once you start using it, you always have to reinforce its use and its value.

It isn’t easy.

According to LinkedIn’s State of Sales Report, sales reps spend only 37% of their time on selling activities. [3] The report also states data is more critical than ever, and 11% of sellers achieve quota with useful data. It’s essential to have good data, but it is expensive to create it manually. You can’t afford to remove your sales team from high-value customer interactions to become high-cost data entry clerks. It’s a poor use of resources. This time isn’t well spent either. If sales representatives do enter data, it may not be accurate or timely. According to an Experian study, ninety-one percent, 91%, of the company’s CRM system’s data is incorrect and or outdated. [4] Outdated or inaccurate information causes leadership to make misinformed decisions about the business. Business decisions made using insufficient data are costly. Management may improperly report sales forecasts and cause supply chain issues. Lack of sales execution data limits coaching opportunities or ways to improve the sales process.

Most importantly, insufficient data or cumbersome methods to obtain it creates an enormous issue for your call centers and customer satisfaction and support organizations. According to an IBM data study, bad data costs the economy $1.3 trillion per year. You can’t afford to lose customers over bad data. [5]

Sirius Decisions, a sales effectiveness company, acquired by Forrester, states that eighty-seven percent, 87%, of CRM implementation owners say, [6]

“It’s just not working.”

There is a better way to update CRM systems

Updating your CRM systems should be as easy as sending a text. Texting is something we already know how to do. It doesn’t require any training. Your sales reps and customer support organizations already know how to communicate this way. They text with family, friends, colleagues, and many others to send and receive short informational updates. Plus, texting is effective since open and response rates are the highest of any form of digital communication. Use these skills to update your CRM systems as well.

“Ninety-eight percent, 98%, of all text messages are opened. Ninety-five percent, 95%, of text messages are opened and responded to within 3 minutes of being delivered.” [7]

Imagine if your sales team updated the CRM system within three minutes of a meeting when information is fresh. Would your system be more accurate and useful? Imagine if this was an important meeting and several stakeholders are interested in the meeting’s outcome. Would it be more beneficial for the sales rep to text his update to the CRM system and have the CRM system distribute automated messages to update all stakeholders simultaneously? Of course, it would.

Removing barriers and constraints on any part of the business increases productivity and margins. If data is the new oil, then it’s essential to remove limitations on one of your most important assets — customer data. [8]

Imagine, if you will, data constraints in an episode of Star Trek. Captain Picard states verbal orders for maneuvers and tasks. Once a command is heard, a human, an android, or a computer executes the orders without delays. They are carried out immediately since data entry, and data lookups are actionable by verbal commands. Your CRM systems should work like Star Trek.

Update Your CRM Like You Talk With Your Reps

The most effective way to get information from your sales team is by texting. As we stated before, ninety-five percent of text messages are opened and replied to within three minutes–if you want an immediate response from a sales rep, you text.

A substantial secondary benefit from sending and receiving texts is it requires no training. You don’t have training classes or sales operations teams teaching people how to text. They already know how to do it. There are over eight trillion text messages sent every day. Five of the top twenty apps on Google Play are messaging apps. [9] People already have conversations in messaging apps. It’s best to use this to your advantage and use technology people understand rather than forcing people to understand the technology.

Update Your CRM with Intelligent Automation

Krista is a Conversational Robotic Process Automation platform that updates and finds data in your CRM or any of your enterprise systems. It enables management, sales, and support teams to find and update information by mimicking how we already communicate in conversations. Commands are precisely how you already seek information by conversing with colleagues and customers:

    • Did the Acme deal move to the next stage?
    • Which deals are greater than eighty percent to close this month?
    • Which sales opportunities are in danger of slipping to the next quarter?
    • Which of our customers are the best fit for this adjacent product or service?
    • How much inventory is available for this product?

If you can converse, Krista will answer your question. By utilizing existing communication methods in the form of a conversation, you take advantage of how we already communicate. You won’t need expensive services and consulting projects. You won’t need to train. You won’t need to maintain documentation on how to make people understand the technology. You are enabling technology that understands people—your very own Star Trek episode.

Krista converses with your CRM system and listens for conversations from anyone seeking or updating information. Krista maintains strict confidentiality and compliance standards when sending data to stakeholders. It is enterprise-grade software that is entirely configurable for data security, access, compliance, and privacy.

Krista enables IT services, manufacturers, logistics, and high-tech companies worldwide to eliminate constraints created by data silos. These companies spend less time manually updating systems for the sake of updating. Instead, they are providing valuable customer and sales updates to stakeholders as it happens in conversations.

Start a conversation with Krista today. Contact us for a custom demonstration.

 

Sources:

  1. Salesforce, Inc. acquisitions: https://www.crunchbase.com/search/acquisitions/field/organizations/num_acquisitions/salesforce
  2. Chiefmartech.com https://chiefmartec.com/2020/04/marketing-technology-landscape-2020-martech-5000/
    
  3. LinkedIn State of Sales Report: https://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/b2b-sales-strategy-guides/the-state-of-sales-2020-report
    
  4. Experian
    
  5. IBM Data Study: https://www.ibmbigdatahub.com/infographic/four-vs-big-data
    
  6. Sirius Decisions
    
  7. SMS Comparison: https://www.smscomparison.com/mass-text-messaging/2020-growth/
    
  8. The Economist: https://www.economist.com/leaders/2017/05/06/the-worlds-most-valuable-resource-is-no-longer-oil-but-data
    
  9. Top apps https://42matters.com/top-charts-explorer

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