My last encouragement to sales ops and marketing teams was: get your SKO resources into the pockets of your sales reps. (It’s been three weeks — any progress yet?)
At that time, I encouraged a three-step plan:
- Put Sales kickoff (SKO) materials on rep phones — and find ways to build the best thinking into daily selling.
- Add to that library: put all rep tools and resources on their phones.
- Make it easy: avoid the silo diving by making everything accessible in two or three taps and design for simplicity and immediate use.
Read my previous post here.
I also made a couple of forecasts: first, that #3, designing for easy and frequent use, might take an extra 20% effort, but that was trivial compared to the 400% increase in use it can deliver. I also — only slightly tongue in cheek — suggested your reps were already wishing you would start. And the good news was, I promised you could start small.
Today, I’m going to encourage you to take another step: make the mobile information flow with your reps two way. Not only should you put all info reps need at their (mobile) fingertips, you should also make it easy for reps to get their deal-progress into the CRM system.
When tracking progress is easy and fits between other meetings, reps embrace it. When it’s hard and requires going home and logging into a laptop — sucking up evenings and Sundays — we know what happens. More often than not…nothing.
The solution almost always means a cloud service integrating a phone/mobile application designed for reps on the move. It should allow reps to easily capture deal progress in a simple, natural way while a system automatically updates the CRM.
That’s right. No more logging into the CRM for routine use. And I suspect I don’t have to tell you how much reps hate logging into any system!
Or for maximum productivity, use a tool (Clari may be a nice place to start looking) to automatically observe the progress and update the CRM. Even if you haven’t seen Clari yet, it’s not a stretch to imagine how automatic capture and updates can include meetings, calls, demos, proposal or NDA delivery, and more.
It’s true: making it painless and natural for reps to track their deal progress can be a little more involved than simply making all resources available to sales reps’ phones, but both can (and should) build from small pilot projects. And as a long-time sales team leader, I can tell you the payoff is extraordinary, making life so much better for sales reps and sales ops alike.
Imagine a future where reps stop complaining about the time CRM data input requires, where sales managers no longer need Sunday night phone calls to get reps to update deal progress before the Monday pipeline meeting, where reps can spend an extra half day a week selling instead of filling out online forms, where managers inside and outside of sales have the visibility into deal progress they scream for almost daily. That’s a future where the sales team delivers more deals, sales ops focuses on major productivity initiatives, and managers know where coaching and support will matter most.
Immediate two-way communication came to email ten years ago. It’s time it came to CRM. You know this is going to happen. Do you want the advantage of being early or the desperation of being late?