Many companies struggle with CRM adoption in the flield. Managers want visibility and sales reps complain with the CRM hampering productivity. Is a well-known problem.
So, management goes on to spend great wads of cash in a CRM implementation, such as Salesforce, and customizes it to tailor their preferences and needs. Sales reps are not involved at all in the decision to buy a CRM, and often very little in the implementation of them. Rather an internal “CRM admin” that is trained to lay down the gospel on them. That makes reps with feeling CRM is management’s “thing” to control them and makes them naturally resistant to adopting it as a part of their day-to-day. Now management has a CRM adoption problem.
The problem is worse for Account Executives (AEs)
While everyone on the sales team can suffer from top-down push for CRM usage, AEs are the ones who suffer the most. There are tools for everything in Salesforce to increase productivity for everybody else:
Sales Development Reprentatives (SDRs) (The people cold calling and cold emailing leads) can use PBX/VoIP integrations that let you call prospects and integrations to let you use Salesforce right inside of your email client.
Marketing Response Reps (MRRs) — the people following-up to sign ups on a website, webinar, trade show, etc — have tools like HubSpot and Salesloft to help them automate their emailing, and prioritize leads.
Account Executives though, get the stick. They have to log into the CRM and do the dirty work themselves.
Example 1: A week in the life of an Account Executive
· Monday: Go to the office. Follow-up on emails with accounts he’s working on, research on the clients he’s meeting this week, team update. Leave for customer visit in the afternoon after a 2 hour drive. Get home at 6PM, spend 30 minutes logging meeting notes and follow-up actions into Salesforce.
· Tuesday: 3 customer visits, 1 hour apart by car. Get home at 7PM, spend 1.5 hour logging meeting notes and follow-up actions into Salesforce.
· Wednesday: 2 customer visits, 2.5h drive in between them. Call other accounts from the car and from home office. Spend 1 hour logging meeting notes and follow-up actions into Salesforce
· Thursday: 3 customer visits, 1 hour apart by car. Get home at 7PM, spend 1.5 hour logging meeting notes and follow-up actions into Salesforce. Spend another hour creating a proposal for a client.
· Friday: Customer visit in the morning, with a 1 hour drive. Go to the office in the afternoon, spend 1 hour updating Salesforce with meeting notes, and other events that happened during the week. Catch up with the rest of the team, and have a drink. Get home by 8pm.
Total time filling in the CRM: 5.5h/week, 22h/month
The best way AEs can optimize their time while driving from one appointment to the next, is by using the phone. As long as they have a hands-free kit in their car, they are free to contact colleagues and other customers to follow-up and keep in touch.
Our friendly AE from the example above just spent 10.5h driving this week. He probably didn’t manage to fill all that time with productive things. What if he could have used that time to fill-in the CRM? CRMs are usually web or mobile applications that talks to AEs on the phone, and fills in the CRM for them.