A grey area around appointments

Whether it is physical, telephone or now video, in business, everything starts with the meeting. It is at this pivotal moment that projects and their deadlines are determined, that meetings are made and that decision-makers and influencers are identified.

However, there are many grey areas around meetings. Often the preserve of the salesperson who wants to control his or her deal from start to finish, little information is available about what happens between the first meeting and the sending of the first sales proposal (calls, emails, follow-ups, etc.).

In contrast to marketing and customer management, which exploit data and have established metrics for their acquisition and retention strategies, sales organizations remain the poor relation of data-driven strategies. Every year, tons of information is exchanged between salespeople and their prospects, both before they get it and after they convert it. Unfortunately, only a few of them reach the CRM.

This graph (made by EverReady) compares the volume of data available in the CRM throughout the customer journey. The period between the transmission of the lead and the sending of the commercial proposal is the one during which there is the least amount of data.

Tools for sales teams

What tools do salespeople need to be successful? For most of them, the answer is this:

  • Email to communicate with their customers
  • A phone to engage and converse
  • A calendar to schedule their meetings
  • A solution to manage their pipeline and opportunities (Excel, CRM…)

If the first 3 tools are essential and well anchored in their daily life, the CRM has more problems of adoption when it comes to recording calls, emails and appointments. According to Salesforce, less than 20% of sales activities are actually recorded in the CRM.

Why these figures?

1/ It’s time consuming. According to Introhive, a salesperson spends an average of 5.5 hours a week on CRM entry. A salesperson would rather spend this time on revenue generating tasks
2/ It is a low value-added task
3/ The information is already available in his tools (see the first 3 essentials).

The point here is not to accuse salespeople of withholding information, but rather to provide them with pragmatic solutions to make their daily work easier and to help managers see things more clearly.

An untapped source of growth

Not using business data is a risk for the company. Gartner has studied the issue and quantified the loss of revenue, from 12 to 20% depending on the company. The capture of business activity data (customer interactions, feedbacks, contacts) in the CRM is a significant performance lever that acts on several fronts:

  • The organization and management of teams => Are the teams at the right speed for the objectives? Are they spending time on the most profitable accounts?
  • Productivity of sales teams => Complete and centralized information allows for greater efficiency
  • Marketing operations ROI => Thanks to the creation of contacts in the CRM, the addressable market increases and so does the quality of campaigns.

Solutions like EverReady automate the data entry in the CRM allowing sales teams to save time on a daily basis and their managers to have insights to optimize their management.

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