The one complaint you always hear from salespeople when using sales CRM tools is that they take too much time to manage. As for sales executives, FastCompany says the average executive wastes 6 weeks a year looking for stuff. What kind of stuff? Phone numbers, papers and files, notes, checklists, or items to put on our checklists. According to productivity experts, your IQ drops 10 points with this type of multi-tasking – such as searching for paper notes to give you the information you need while figuring out why the sales report you’re looking at doesn’t really tell you what you need to know. All of these issues come from the same source: your CRM isn’t making your job easier and working with you, it’s making your job harder.
One of the best examples of the issue of wasted time and useless data are weekly call reports. Sales consultant Paul McCord says he’s spoken with hundreds of managers about call reports and almost all of them agree that call reports are one of the most pointless traditions management clings to. The reports are filled with fictitious information, and the information that is truthful is frequently of little value.
But what if you could see the information weekly call reports are supposed to include in a useful way that doesn’t punish your salespeople, but gives you the information you need to coach and support? What if call reports were a natural feature of your CRM system and dashboard? One great use of your CRM dashboard design could be to turn the dreaded weekly call report into a non-event for salespeople and managers. You can design the dashboard in a way that will work for new salespeople and veteran salespeople alike.
According to Leslie Stretch, columnist for Destination CRM.com, “When sales teams aren’t encouraged to sell the way you need them to sell — that is, to sell products and services strategically, in order to meet business goals — they’ll inevitably fall back on their own goals to guide them in the sales process.” The concept is: design the dashboard to align your sales strategies with how the salesperson naturally works, emphasizing their strengths in addition to the sales pipeline and enterprise-wide sales and marketing concepts.
Leslie discussed the unplanned sales strategy that unfolded when the iPhone was first released back in 2007. AT & T sales staff at stores carrying the high-demand phone told customers that they had to sign up for numerous add-on accessories. The sales reps had been given the goal of selling as many accessories as possible, but they weren’t mandatory. The behavior occurred because the reps were being negatively “punished” if they didn’t sell lots of accessories as reflected on their reports. The issue was eventually discovered, but the unintended sales strategy caused negative results, from customers walking away in stores to later cancellations of contracts.
Make sure your sales CRM dashboard components clearly show and numerically measure your key objectives. Design the CRM dashboard to reinforce the behavior you want and performance you want.