It is still all about the ‘How to Do’

Recently we held a ‘Think Tank’ where we asked our key customers and some ‘non-users’ to help us determine our next phase of product development. On the agenda was a list of applications and tools that we thought the market needed to take us to the next stage of sales effectiveness.

While those attending acknowledged the need for new tools and features, the overriding consensus was that sales people’s adoption of CRM was still the primary issue and the number one ask was for help in making that happen.

When we launched SalesMethods five years ago we saw an opportunity for delivering the ‘how to do’ of selling to the ‘what to do’ of CRM. Our experience of implementing CRM and ERP systems in an array of business environments had taught us that while organisations normally benefited from improved management information systems (MIS), operationally the linear business processes these prescribed was often seen as a hindrance rather than a help. We set about developing and marketing solutions that engage the sales people to the benefit of the organisation as a whole.

It appears however that our job is not yet done. As we strain at the leash ready to launch new offerings our customers are saying great – but we still do not have the confidence of our users. We need to give them something back – payback for using the system.

So what is the issue?

We might all be ready to intellectualise about the benefit of say a territory management platform but our people are saying what is the value of all of this? The fundamental requirement still seems to be how to engage the salesperson, not how can the tool make them perform better.

We know that sales playbooks work, that tools such as organisation charting tools are a real benefit in terms of customer relationship development but we need to look further as a community of solutions providers.

  • We need to focus on the interface, the workflow, the call to action and reporting so that our sales people are not moribund by the additional workload in administrating their system.
  • We need to ensure the sales person is the primary customer of application and tool development.
  • We need to continue to ensure that there is only ever one version of the truth (not one on the CRM and one on PowerPoint)!
  • We need to make sure reports are generated at the push of a button.

SalesMethods will continue to deliver a world class platform for delivering high performance sales, introducing ground breaking applications and tools to fit our customers environments – not built to mandate a pre-determined workflow. Following our ‘Think Tank’ we will make sure however that we first and foremost have the salesperson in mind in terms of how these both benefit them and how easy and engaging they are to use.

Michael Conner

Michael Conner

Michael has operated at executive board level in publicly quoted companies and has led operational activities across worldwide organisations. Michael has extensive experience of change management and implementing business transformation programmes (turnarounds and repositioning) throughout disbursed businesses. He is an expert in sales (direct and channels), marketing (including product management), general management, making acquisitions and worldwide markets. He is CEO at SalesMethods.