As a 30-year veteran of sales, sales ops, sales management, marketing and business development, I have watched and participated in the evolution of SFA/CRM technologies. I have personally used over 10 different technologies and implementations.
In all of these projects and the countless others I have seen as a consultant, there is one underlying equation that determines success or failure of the project. The key metric is top sales rep adoption.
The reason for this is that if the highest producers are the best adopters, it indicates that the tool is saving them time and helping them close deals. Unfortunately, at so many companies this is not the case. The SFA is cumbersome, time consuming and delivers very little new value to the sales rep. It is a tool for sales management to micromanage and delivers additional work to reps.
Top sales reps are not ordinary people: they are master convincers and very fluid politicians. They have to be, in order to succeed in modern markets. They know that their time is precious and must be spent wisely. They know they can cut a deal if internally it goes something like this, "I will keep bringing in the most money if you leave me alone about using that tool other than the bare minimum to get paid." As soon as management accepts that proposition from any top rep the CRM initiative fails, or loses momentum as other reps see they can get away with under adoption. This has a ripple effect across the sales process with data quality, pipeline visibility and forecast abilities that are compromised.
Our partners at Clari started with this basic understanding. The app has to sell itself to top producers first before any other benefits will materialize. Clari does this in a spectacular form, as I have witnessed the delight on the faces of sales reps as soon as they see their own deals in the Clari platform.
Not only is it faster to update deals, but with Clari you are getting valuable insights and suggestions that can help close deals more predictably. When we show the management analytics and how past performances can be tracked, our clients can understand that closing most of their deals two days after they are entered and forecasted leads to problems meeting that demand.
At this point the psychology involved changes dramatically. The tool is now viewed as a time saver, an ally and a way to solve problems delivering on sales commitments because the organization has better insight into what is coming down the pipe. The top reps become forecast champions and the rest ramp up their game to match them.
The Clari platform makes the Sales Ops and Forecasting processes as un-intrusive and efficient as possible, while ensuring teams are maximizing their existing CRM investments. Join us for our August webinar to see an interactive demo of Clari's platform and to learn more.