It’s time for CRM applications to fulfill their promise
Twenty years ago, sales leaders around the world were sold on the promise of a new, cloud-based CRM that would replace the moribund legacy applications that ruled the roost. Fast forward to today and those same sales leaders — and many who came after them — are still waiting on a tool that delivers on those promises.
The notion of salesforce automation has been lost. CRM has become a system of record that reduces salespeople to administrators, rather than a system of recommendation that proactively helps them succeed at their job. With B2B sales becoming increasingly digital, we need better.
Just how short has CRM fallen?
The current generation of CRM applications simply don’t help marketers market or sellers sell. They do a poor job of aggregating data from sources outside their respective systems of record. They don’t proactively make suggestions that help marketers identify the right targets, or the right content, or even the right channel — let alone launch targeted ad campaigns.
It’s gotten so bad that marketers and sellers abhor their CRMs to a shocking extent. In a recent piece for Harvard Business Review, Denis Pombriant, managing principal at Beagle Research, shared the following half-joking yet highly telling survey results — two-thirds of sellers would rather do the following tasks rather than update their CRM: