The end of CRM
A provocative article on why CRM systems as a way to increase sales performance is a one way street. 100.000 ´s of euros are spent on useless systems that few people uses. With use of Iphones, LinkedIn and emailboxes thr "UnCRM" could deliver what we want: performace metrics, customer data, forecasts and collaboration tools. But not the traditional way.
- SalesMakeover + 46 8 651 25 00 Fredrikslundsvägen 2 firstname.lastname@example.org 168 34 Bromma, Sweden www.salesmakeover.se The end of CRM Why would a company spend 100.000€1 to implement a CRM system that less than 26% of the sales people are using?2 Why would you use obsolete data (25-40%) in the CRM system to make important business decisions?3 And what good does it to a sales organization when more than 70% of CRM implementations fail?4 Based on my 25 years of sales management experience I would recommend you to unsubscribe your CRM license today and delete the software on your computer. Or, if you don’t know how to do that, never open that CRM program again. Because it will not increase your sales performance! CRM as we know it is dead. CRM means “Customer relationship management”. It is supposed to be a tool that helps customer get better service, sales people ability to manage & plan their sales work and managers reliable forecasts. Why? To create more and better results. If these goals were to be fulfilled with the CRM systems we see today (2014): why do most sales people refuse to use them?1 Since managers do not trust forecasts done by “the system” they send out XLS-sheets every week to stay in control. And why do you think IBM reduces the sales peoples salary if they do not have their CRM updated?5 The concept of CRM as we know it is dead. Here are 4 reasons why: - Sales people do not update the CRM. Since CRM is no more than a register, a database, of customers, activities and opportunities is requires input to be updated. Without constant MANUAL input it goes obsolete in days. Sales people do not have the time to update. In order to meet their sales goals they have to spend every minute on the field. Why? To sell! - Customer data can not be updated at the same speed as they change. People change positions faster than ever, local buyers are now global buyers, viritual buyers- organisations in cooperations - are complex, if not impossible, to capture and information about company data are not longer accessible through the traditional sources5. This means that the data in the CRM always is obsolete. The question is to what degree. - Sales people do not need the CRM to sell. They have better, more acceible sources of the information they need. Customers are found on LinkedIN, the phone numbers and e-mail addresses are stored in their IPhones.
- SalesMakeover + 46 8 651 25 00 Fredrikslundsvägen 2 email@example.com 168 34 Bromma, Sweden www.salesmakeover.se - Sales people of today are self managed. Most sales people know what they have to sell, how far off they are from the target and how much commission they will make this month. They use XLS, not a complex system that will take hours to update. CRM systems have failed to understand and cope with the four reasons described above. The focus has been else were: 1. They have nice dash boards. (Obsolete) Information are easier to view (but still needs tools like Qlick view to be manageable) 2. They are cloud based. You do not have to install anything, and that makes them mobile (with reduced functionality since Iphones are not built to operate SQL databases) 3. The are for rent. So you will end up paying more money for the same system than before (but it feels cheaper). Nothing I have seen so far have cured the four reasons why CRM does not work. Not yesterday, not today and certainly not tomorrow. This leads me to the 1000.0000€ question: Why do companies still buy a CRM system that requires manual input from so many sources? Not only that: The information in the system, no matter how fast and how often we update it, is always obsolete! Would you fly an airplane if you knew that the pilots were acting on flight data (speed, weather conditions, fuel, altitude) that was one week old? UnCRM your self. Lets´ go back to our basic needs and see how they could be fulfilled. Next question: How technology can support that? So what does sales people want? Leads: When they are hot and looking to buy Increased performance: Goals achievement. With data at hand I can improve them. Look at any sport. Improve sales effectiveness: Tips and advice to be more effective. Prompt me to do the smart sales activities I should have done If I had remembered them Hold customer promises: That I have fulfilled my promises to my leads and clients Provide data to my organization: Give input to sales forecasts, marketing and finance. And the teams that are working on the same sales cases. I would like these data to be based on REAL TIME INFORMATION, not information that was hot one month ago.6 I would like to use my Iphone, Ipad or any mobile device access this information with one click.
- SalesMakeover + 46 8 651 25 00 Fredrikslundsvägen 2 firstname.lastname@example.org 168 34 Bromma, Sweden www.salesmakeover.se If I was a salesmanager, a CFO or a CEO I would like to do the same. Because “C-Level” people are also involved in selling and customer relations.6 And if the chairman of the board wants to know the sales forcast – give him an Iphone too! How can technology support this “unCRM”? I have tried XLS, note pads, word and even my memory. Over time tools like this don’t scale, communicate or are accessible to other than the owner. We need to do better than that. Why not take a look on what is available 24/7, free and always updated? If we can build an “UnCRM” on these sources it should work. 1. Information about sales activities I use my computer and phone every day, 100 times a day. Every meeting is stored in my calendar. Who, when and why. All my emails are to be found in my mailbox. Who, when and why. All my phone calls are logged in my phone. Who and when. That information is always updated and available. That information should go automatically to the “UnCRM” without any manual interaction. 2. Information about customers In my phone I have the latest phone numbers and e-mailadresses. Why not use them? And LinkedIn provides free information about the people and the organisations that I want to do business with. This information is updated by the customers, 24/7. Why not use that instead of buying lists based on old databases? 3. Information about leads Customers are looking for interesting products, services and vendors. Research shows that more than 60-90% of even “C-level” buyers do that before they decide to buy. And when they visit your website you can track them.7 These are the hot leads you should call today. Information about then should go to your “UnCRM” and be in your phone at the same time. 4. Information about sales Ok, in order to get something, would you be willing to give something? I have not been able to come up with a tool that can scan your brain. Yet. You still have to log your sales cases and click “sold” when you won. But to save time the “UnCRM” could suggest actions, sales stages, based on your activity history? If your logged sales cases were connected to the calls, mails and meetings you did when you won your last case, and combine that with a little “artificial
- SalesMakeover + 46 8 651 25 00 Fredrikslundsvägen 2 email@example.com 168 34 Bromma, Sweden www.salesmakeover.se intelligence” based on sales performance research like Solution Selling, The collaborative Sales – could that help you to do smart things in order to advance the sales process? I think so. The information is entered by using the mail, phone and calendar. LinkedIn data can be accessed and shared. If someone outside sales are modifying data – than be sent back to the sales people as “updates”. Is this a dream, a vision, like the submarines of Jules Verne in the great novel of ”Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”? I dont think so. But the first step is to ”UnCRM” your self. If not – you will try to modify a system that is not built for 2014. That will only cost a fourtune and in the end fail. Finally: Why take a risk of stepping into the unknown? The old saying goes: Doing the same thing and hoping for a different result is insane. I am a sales person, I want to sell more and create more happy customers. If I was as “connected” to therelevant data as I am to my mailbox, I could double my performance. That is not only valuable for the single sales rep, such as myself, but also for the CEO of any sales driven company. Many sales organizations have been downsizes over the last two years because the cost of sales have been too high, not defendable anymore. The sales performance have not increased despite CRM, sales trainings and faster computers.8 Why? Two major trends: - The speed of change have increased. It is impossible to have updated systems - Customers are looking to buy, googling 24/4. They will call you, not the other way around. Good luck with unplugging! Jens Edgren About the author: Jens Edgren holds the position of CEO with Sales Makeover, a Solution Selling partner. Jens have over the years trained thousands of sales people, managers and consultants at companies like Microsoft, Oracle, Visma, Schneider and Tieto all over the world. One of his best selling books “How to sell the answer to a problem, great ideas that will boost your sales” is available at Amazon.
- SalesMakeover + 46 8 651 25 00 Fredrikslundsvägen 2 firstname.lastname@example.org 168 34 Bromma, Sweden www.salesmakeover.se Sources: 1. Cost for implementing Sales Force / Microsoft CRM in a sales organization with 200 sales people/ users (50€/month + integration to ERP) 2. Nancy Nardin; 2013; The Achilles Heel of CRM Adoption, an article available at: http://www.smartsellingtools.com/blog/2012/11/the-achilles-heel-of-crm-adoption-and-2- ways-to-overcome-it/ 3. Christopher J. Bucholtz ; 2013; “Keeping Data Up to Date Is an All-Hands Evolution”, an article available at http://www.crmbuyer.com/story/78376.html 4. Michael Krigsman; 2009; CRM failure rates: 2001-2009; an article availabe at: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/projectfailures/crm-failure-rates-2001-2009/4967 5. Jens Edgren; 2014; Interview with an IBM salesmanager who choose to be anonymous 6. Jens Edgren; 2010; “SalesMakeover, how to develop a solution driven sales culture?” available at www.salesmakeover.tictail.com 7. Keith Eades; 2014; “The collaborative Sale” available at Amazon.com 8. CSO Insights; 2013; available at http://www.csoinsights.com