CRMs Are Still Relevant – How to Keep Benefiting from Them

It is tough to meet your sales quota. This will be reflected in your numbers. Miller Heiman released a statistic which revealed that only 53% of quotas were attained in 2017. About 5 years ago, this number was 63%. What is the reason for the big 10% drop? The simple answer is… time management issues. It seems that sales representatives do not spend nearly enough time selling. In fact, they spend hardly any time at all dealing with CRM software. Does that mean CRM is not relevant anymore?

Sales representatives must possess a variety of skills if they are going to be successful. One of the most important skills they need to have is time management. Recently, a study was done by Labs which involved as many as 721 different salespeople. The purpose of the study was to find out how sales representatives spend their time, specifically on conducting sales tasks versus using the sales systems.

The results of the study showed that 64.8% of their time was devoted to performing non-selling related activities. Meanwhile, merely 35.2% of their time was devoted to selling. As you look at these statistics, you are probably wondering why only 35.2% of sales representatives’ time is spent on selling. How come they aren’t spending more time on selling?

This question was given to salespeople that participated in a survey about this issue. They were asked which activities and system they were using the most. In response, it was discovered that the sales representatives spent most of their time on 13 specific tasks. Out of all them, 14.8% of the salespeople’s time was devoted to administrative tasks. In second place was 14% for customer meetings.


Sales Systems That Have the Most Effectiveness

In the survey, participants indicated their time was spent in 17 primary systems. The top 3 systems which they used the most was 32.5% for email, 9.1% for spreadsheets, and 17.9% for CRM. Below these, sales representatives spent time utilizing sales technologies, such as social media tools.

Does something seem strange about these 3 main systems having the most time spent on them?

Email is not a surprise, but how can 17.9% of sales representatives’ time be devoted to CRM? That is about 7 hours per week just for CRM. This is quite a bit of time.

To show you how strange this is, sales representatives are spending 30% extra time on CRM management versus on conducting customer meeting tasks. This wouldn’t be so bad if their time was effectively being utilized here. The problem is that sales representatives indicated their time was not being used effectively on CRM. In fact, out of all the systems they spent time on, CRM was not even one of the top 5 in terms of time effectiveness.

To lose leads is the biggest problem for each sales rep and CRM is an important thing that tracks all your deal, what means you can not deny its using at all. The solution is automation tool that allows to manage deals twice faster: you are able to focus on the most promising deals, always get reminders about coming meetings and, what is extremely important for us, you can run CRMs via chatbot interface – no more browse clicking. While interviewing a dozen sales representatives, they were given a basic sales process map and were told to rate each of the various sales tools throughout the process. They could rate them either neutral, positive, or negative.


Is Email Better Than CRM?

As a result of the interview, it seems like sales representatives had nothing good to say about CRM at any point throughout the sales process. The sales tools received negative ratings and the sales representatives expressed their frustration withusing them. Most importantly, the tools did not help them meet their overall objectives.

Some of the sales representatives stated the following:

– CRM is difficult when it comes to recording activities and establishing tasks.

– It is easier to use a color-coding system in Excel for keeping track of people that I may want to contact in the near future.

– My performance is much slower with CRM. There is too much to fill out.

– CRM is merely a recordkeeping system. It does not help me figure out the next tasks of the day.

Therefore, how will these systems advance beyond this? The answer is… Artificial Intelligence System of Growth. This is a system which utilizes AI to assist sales representatives in generating more sales. It does this by figuring out the target customer base and the best way to engage them.


CRM & the Artificial Intelligence System Growth

AI is getting a lot of attention. In 2017, “AI” was the most popular marketing word used in that year. Some people may roll their eyes when others talk about artificial intelligence, but it is actually going to be revolutionary for CRM and salespeople. Right now, there are already thousands of salespeople currently using artificial intelligence in CRM and achieving great results.

Loads of salespeople prefer Closer bot – a sales chatbots that was given an award for Great User Experience 2018 by FinancesOnline. It allows to manage CRMs twice faster via Slack, so a user can save time and focus on the most important – on sales.

Artificial intelligence is making future predictions by understanding historical behavior. Then it will attempt to change future behavior so that better outcomes can be achieved. When it comes to an AI System of Growth, high-performance sales teals can be produced from it. The technology used by sales representatives captures information in a standard-type format. A machine with AI technology will use learning models to study this data and then make the most accurate predictions possible based on the results. Accurate predictions depend on how much data is available.

The AI System of Growth is connected to the growth of a company and the revenue it generates.

Here is an example. If a big corporation wants a smart sales software program to assist in their sales growth, they will utilize an AI system of Growth rather than a CRM to increase their yearly revenue and the size of their average deal. Furthermore, they will reduce the cycle of the sales too. As a result, the corporation will have a 28% revenue boost within one quarter (3 months).


Guest post courtesy of  Vlad Goloshchuk

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This is a post from a CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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