Why The Sales Rep Says,
"Help Me Sell Or Get Off My Back!
The fact is, everyone is in sales. Whatever area you work in, you do have clients and you do need to sell.
-- Jay Abrahams
Gimme more! More accurate sales forecasts! More detailed customer profiles! More deal closure status! More updated contact lists!
Alright, all this is information that matters to a sales rep whenever it is fastened to the compensation that he receives from his employer. And all of it is captured in one single document: the purchase order.
With a purchase order in hand, a rep has documented all the past, present and future of significance for his employer, until the employer, for whatever reason, begins to hunger for more. Then the existing documentation stops sufficing, and the rep begins to hear the rumblings of displeasure.
"But Im making my quota! What else do you want?
What else indeed! Who knows better about making deals than a successful sales rep? Such a person knows not only that you cant get something for nothing, but that you shouldnt be expected to give something for nothing either.
Whats an employer willing to give a rep in exchange for more information than it takes the rep to make a sale with?
The most resounding complaint Ive heard from CRM users has been that the system doesnt show the rep how to sell more, which is not only what the rep is accountable for doing but also what the rep is more apt at doing.
In my experience reps are awful at data entry. They tend to prefer speaking to reading, and listening to writing. Generally theyre not cut out for routine clerical work. Theyre independent, dynamic, confident and remote from the mothership. When they synchronize with her, they do it out of necessity. They need to get paid, after all.
So, unless management assigns them to the singular task of taking down customer orders, the way a waiter does at a café or an inside sales rep does at a call center, it blocks them from exercising their primary strength closing deals! Yet a typical CRM environment aimed at managing the process of field sales does precisely that.
Instead of helping reps sell more, some CRM's attempts to convert them into clerks, and clerks are not known for living in the fast-track and making six-figure incomes. Ask successful reps inadvertently to become clerks, and youre asking them to render something for nothing one good reason for an ambitious sales rep to tell you Get off my back!
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