Everybody’s using Customer Relationship Software (CRM) today. Everybody. And although it’s become such a commodity, average sales quota attainment has fallen each year, for the last five years.
The CRM’s ability to deliver on its promise of improving the sales process has stalled. It’s not built to address the challenges of today’s complex buying environment.
In our connected economy, buyers educate themselves through online information, peer references, and crowd sourced reviews. They are making decisions in a non-linear and recursive way, and the approval process varies by company.
Many buying decisions can be made with no sales rep involved at all.
The CRM software organizes sales efforts in a linear construct, following a single-threaded, phase-based path towards a close.
so how can a sales rep trained in a single linear selling process possibly know the course of action that will suit individual prospects the best?
CRM Isn’t Enough
In this world of non-linear, buyer-driven sales processes, CRM is not suited to answer the questions:
Who should I engage with?
How should I engage them?
You might know the answer to these questions if you are an experienced sales rep – or if you sold in that particular company before.
But these answers are not within your CRM.
Even “Smart” CRM is Not Enough
Lately, CRM software have added features that attempt to answer these questions with the data they have available. However, not even the ‘smart CRM’ approach using predictive features (with Artificial Intelligence models) is not enough anymore.
This is because the data only speaks to what is already there. The AI analyzes your past to predict your future.
But what if you could analyze everyone’s experiences to chart your path forward and not limit yourself to things you’ve already experienced?
Answer: your level of success would significantly improve.
We now face the challenge, as organizations, to coalesce and organize a critical mass of Neural Sales Data for revenue functions. Every company that subscribes to the model can leverage AI in more meaningful ways for their own desired outcomes. Given its underlying silo’d CRM architecture, Salesforce is unlikely to deliver on this future.
Ken Krogue on Forbes Magazine
I wrote a detailed article in Forbes Magazine recently, analyzing the status quo of the CRM industry, and explaining why it’s no longer adapted to the sales landscape of today. This article was written in collaboration with my colleague Dave Boyce, Chief Strategy officer for InsideSales.com (as well as a board member at Forrester Research) and Justin Lindsey, SVP of Analytics for BamTech Media.
Read the full article on Forbes Magazine to understand:
- How data siloes are hindering AI’s ability to predict sales outcomes
- How B2C companies use AI, and why B2B companies are following suit
- Why the future of sales technology is moving beyond CRM, to AI systems of growth.