“Not Your Grandmother’s CRM.” I heard this phrase the other day when someone was referring to Salesforce. I started thinking, “You’re right! It is definitely not my grandmother’s CRM!”
When you think back to older versions of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Solution, most likely a glorified Rolodex comes to mind. There was not much in solutions back when they first started to really come out. You had the business name, contact name, address, and phone, along with minimal note history for the account. The older CRMs also did not integrate with a wide array of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or accounting solutions. It truly was a struggle to keep all the information regarding your accounts organized. You had Excel documents tracking your opportunities, Word documents for proposals and quotes, let along an email to track your written communications. At a minimum, Sales Reps were looking in four different locations to piece the whole picture together. This was truly inefficient when a colleague popped up at your desk asking, “How is ABC company’s proposal coming along? Did they have any questions on it and by the way, did you list that in your opportunities to close this month?” Good luck searching to ensure the proposal was sent out, when it was sent out, looking for the last email from them inquiring about a different price, and not to mention opening your opportunity spreadsheet for this month to make certain it was in your numbers to hit your quota.Fast forward to 2017…
Fast forward to 2017…
Salesforce is a solution for success in any business and for any Sales Rep. While I have had my fair share of Sales Reps tell me, “Salesforce has ruined my life…”, I wholeheartedly believe the complete opposite. The amount of data in Salesforce is beneficial in numerous ways. For instance, Sales Reps can use Salesforce 1 to locate other accounts in the area, while visiting a new account. Considering the old way might be to reference a binder full of accounts, or call someone back at the office and spend 20 minutes on the phone to determine that account is too far away from the current location.
Another great example, Sales Reps can use the Kanban feature on opportunities to update the opportunity with a drag and drop in an instant. I am baffled how this feature can ruin a Sales Reps life unless the opportunity does not close when expected in your pipeline. In that case, a rep will run into this situation no matter what CRM solution they use. Furthermore, all the information is at your fingertips. To get the information needed, you do not need to go to great lengths to find it, especially with it all being in one place and a few clicks of the mouse.Dashboards within Salesforce can be intimidating if you are not a competitive player on the team. Nonetheless, if you are competitive, then you will be spending every waking minute figuring how you can win the annual trip to Hawaii for beating out other reps. A trip to Hawaii or an annual bonus, and so on? How does this ruin a Sales Reps life by being competitive and winning? In this instance, not only does the Sales Rep win, but the company wins in gaining more business from those closed opportunities.
Dashboards within Salesforce can be intimidating if you are not a competitive player on the team. Nonetheless, if you are competitive, then you will be spending every waking minute figuring how you can win the annual trip to Hawaii for beating out other reps. A trip to Hawaii or an annual bonus, and so on? How does this ruin a Sales Reps life by being competitive and winning? In this instance, not only does the Sales Rep win, but the company wins in gaining more business from those closed opportunities.
With AI or Artificial Intelligence, such as Salesforce’s Einstein, you can take full advantage of working smarter not harder. Who does not want a lighter day at the office while accomplishing those sales quotas, contacting all those clients, and assistance on what’s next on the “to-do” list?
In contrast to Grandma’s CRM and with some examples of today’s Salesforce, we have surpassed the look, feel, and capabilities of an antiquated CRM for a modern and efficient means of CRM.