Why has 30 years of advancement in CRM and sales technology not lived up to its ROI expectations

Organizations have invested billions of dollars in CRM and sales tools over the past 30 years in response to the opportunities to benefit from technology advancements and promises made by vendors.  

However, the evidence indicates however that investments aren’t paying off:

- 30-50%+ of all CRM deployments have failed to achieve their objectives or fail outright

- Only half of middle tier salespeople make quota (including high performers) – its currently at the the lowest in 7 years. (CSO Insights)

- Sales team attrition is still running at 25%, and it’s the hiring company’s fault

Why? 3 simple reasons

(1) The technology is mired in data overload and administration, reducing the time available for selling.

CRM and sales technology is still plagued with data overload, reducing the time available for selling.

More than half of sales professionals believe that ease of use is the most important CRM feature for them (Inside Sales). However, on average, a quarter of sales professionals’ time is spent looking for information. Updating information can require up to 4 screens and 16 clicks to update or enter new information.  With the reality buyers are more information savvy and data overload in companies is acutely high.

CRM and sales technology is still mired in data administration, reducing the time available for selling.

Most CRM and Sales tool solutions have been designed with senior management in mind as the primary customer with stunning opportunity and pipeline graphics. Although many vendors have all worked to improve or simplify their products many are still mired in data entry for the sales professional. Without the sales rep inputting reliable and timely pipeline forecasts they have limited ROI value.  17% of salespeople cite manual data entry as the biggest challenge using their existing CRM and 29% of salespeople are spending an hour or more on data entry each and every day (HubSpot) which means reduced time for selling!!

(2) The technology does not provide the features or insights that sales people need

CRM and sales technology does not provide the features that sales people need

Mainstream CRMs and sales tools are plagued by an overwhelming number of functions and features. Unfortunately, the reality for sales professionals is that they use on average only 20-30% of the sales functions and features that are available to them. Hence, companies are overpaying for these solutions.

The insights provided by most CRM and sales tools are not relevant to what sales people need to manage their territories

The majority of mainstream CRM and sales technologies rely on opportunity and pipeline management insights, however 70% of businesses do not use formal pipeline tracking (Miller Heiman). Furthermore, almost half of all sales staff exaggerate or do not accurately maintain their opportunity stages, value, dates (Salesforce.com). It’s no wonder why garbage in and garbage out has plagued many CRM and sales tool deployments. 

(3) The technology fails to ensure individual sales people apply a rigorous operational discipline to focus their time on what matters most


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