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Why CRM is bad for sales agents?


crm is bad


Imagine you are a Michelin chef and you are asked to spend more time writing recipes than doing actual cooking.


Imagine a teacher is required to document every interaction with students including time spent in addressing each question and comment.


Also what if a musician is asked to document each number of notes played in a session along with time spent on each musical piece?

It is crazy right?

Cooking, playing music and teaching are a type of art. When you force an artist to do work other than what it is required you are up for big disappointment. A person is bound to lose its artistic taste and instinct. You can't expect mouth watery cuisine, playful teaching, or soulful music by doing this.


Now what about selling.


Is selling an art?


Definitely.




Selling is nothing but understanding human psychology, behavior and motivations. Selling is like playing flute with notes that touch both heart and mind. It's nothing less than magic.


Just imagine convincing someone to pay you their hard earned money in exchange for something that makes their life better. Though it sounds simple, this is indeed one of the greatest forms of human art.


But what if sellers are asked to spend more time documenting and logging their interactions with customers than doing actual selling? Can you expect a Mozart level of music coming out of the flute of this seller?

No.


Almost all sales agents are expected to log their activities in badly configured CRM and at the same time build relationships and close large deals.


For the case of a chef, teacher or a musician this sounds absolutely absurd but for the case of sales agents why have we normalised this?

Let's understand this issue in detail.


Technically the bad CRM is a glorified notepad or excel spreadsheet to structure & information for the company as an asset.


I know many will come in defence highlighting the benefits of CRM. Definitely it is useful, but is useful for the organisation employing these agents not for the sales agents themselves.


Mike is a dedicated sales rep working for a reputed org. Let's see how a typical work day of Mike looks like.



Mike's Struggle: A Sales Rep's Daily Battle with bad CRM


As we follow Mike's journey from the moment he wakes up until late at night, we'll see how these challenges are intertwined with the frustrations related to CRM.


Morning - The Day Begins


The alarm rings at 6 a.m., and Mike starts his day. He's eager to dive into selling and building valuable relationships with clients. But before he can even have breakfast, he's pulled into the world of bad CRM.

Challenge 1: Misuse by Leadership

Mike receives a text message from his sales manager, Susan, reminding him to log every interaction he had with clients from last night. Susan emphasizes that if it's not in the CRM, it doesn't exist. So, even before the day truly begins, Mike is tasked with data entry, taking time away from his early-morning follow-ups and rapport-building opportunities.

Mid-Morning - Juggling Multiple Tools


Mike's morning is a flurry of calls, emails, and client meetings. As he juggles multiple client interactions, he realises a concerning issue:


Challenge 2: Data Duplication and Tedious Data Entry


Mike's organisation uses various tools, such as Salesforce, Outlook, Outreach. Each requiring the same data to be entered separately. After a successful client meeting, he spends 15 minutes duplicating information in different systems, frustrated by the inefficiency and time wasted.


Lunchtime - A Quick Break

Mike takes a brief lunch break to refuel. He chats with a colleague, Sarah, about their common struggle:


Challenge 3: Poorly Designed bad CRM Workflows

Sarah, a fellow sales rep, complains about how the CRM system requires her to input repetitive information that doesn't add value. "It's like having to answer eight unrelated questions just to send a single text message," she says. Mike nods in agreement, knowing that such cumbersome design hinders their efficiency.

Afternoon - Accountability and Value Dilemma


Mike continues his client meetings and product demonstrations throughout the afternoon. Yet, he can't help but feel the weight of a familiar problem:

Challenge 4: Lack of Accountability and Value


His diligent work often goes unnoticed. He knows that the CRM is underused, and his sales manager, Susan, prefers to ask for updates directly. Not only that they even want everything on excel spreadsheets. This makes Mike wonder why on earth he is using CRM if anyway he has to submit updated excel to his boss. This lack of trust in CRM data makes Mike feel undervalued and raises questions about why he's putting so much effort into data entry.

Late Afternoon - Data Entry Overkill


The afternoon slips away, and as the sun starts to set, Mike is feeling overwhelmed.

Challenge 5: Overemphasis on Data Entry


The growing pile of data entry tasks is becoming unbearable. He has to record every little detail of his interactions, even those that don't directly contribute to his sales efforts. The time spent entering data feels like a waste, especially when he could be closing more deals.


Also Mike is now wondering what outcome does updating Salesforce causing? Is that helping anyone in any way?


If the updating fields doesn't do anything other than updating the field, they wasted developer time and sales rep's time. While he is changing an opportunity status, it should automatically trigger an email. When he is updating a deal value, it should automatically update the ARR and anything tied to it. If he adds new products, it should automatically update the value.


Evening - Frustration Peaks

As the evening approaches, Mike has another issue to grapple with:


Challenge 6: Inefficient Data Management

Mike's organisation operates in silos, and the lack of integration between departments leads to extra work. To get a full picture of client interactions, he has to enter data across various platforms. It's frustrating and time-consuming.


Late Night - The Ongoing Struggle


Finally, as the clock strikes 10 p.m., Mike prepares to wrap up his day. But there's one last task on his to-do list:

Challenge 7: Poorly Aligned CRM with Business Goals

He know that personal touches like late-night calls or early-morning messages are crucial for this. But then, his bosses tell him that if these interactions aren't logged into the CRM, they won't be recognised. This means all those late-night and early-morning conversations don't "exist" in the company's eyes, unless he spends extra time recording them. This can be frustrating because it takes time away from building trust.




Mike's daily journey illustrates how these CRM-related challenges affect his performance. The constant data entry and under utilised CRM data make it difficult for him to concentrate on his primary role: selling and building trust with clients.


As he drifts off to sleep, he can't help but hope that the next day will bring some relief from these frustrations and allow him to focus on what he does best: being a sales rep.


May god bless Mike :)



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