For salespeople, it is crucial to have all activities and related data written in CRM. As the saying goes, ‘What’s not in CRM, didn’t happen’. Sometimes for salespeople, it’s really hard to explain that some kind of administrative work, which they are usually trying to avoid, is actually useful for them. Even small talk with a prospect needs to be recorded and stored in the system. When the management sees that the opportunity is open but there’s no activity within it for a while, the supervisor makes the conclusion that no actions were made to win it. But in reality, the salesperson was careless or distracted and did not put the data into the system.
And it’s related not only to phone calls but emails as well. There are many tools that record emails coming into your inbox regardless of whether you are using Gmail or Outlook. These tools integrate your inbox with Salesforce and both incoming and outcoming messages are stored in Salesforce automatically.
There are 2 ways of doing it. The 1st one is when the customer wants all communication stored in Salesforce. In this case, it can get messy because looking at the activity history of the related contact, Salesforce stores all emails, even those which are not really useful. And certainly, it complicates the process of finding data that is actually important.
The second option that we recommend is letting the salesperson decide what email they want to be stored in Salesforce. The management tries to make as much automation as possible in order to save users the trouble of thinking about it. But we as a consulting company, try to explain that automation of these processes is not necessarily the best practice, and quite often users need the freedom to make the decision by themselves. So the crucial point here would be to find the balance between what is really useful and what is a waste of time.
And this brings us to activities. It’s not only about activities either, it’s also about keeping your data fresh and updated. For example, when the opportunity status needs to be changed, and the salesperson forgets to update it, the management is not aware of it and assumes that no actions have been made in regard to this customer. To ensure that the salesperson updates the data, management uses different approaches. The first one is of course financial motivation, meaning when a salesperson receives a bonus for updating data into CRM in a timely manner. Another approach that works in the opposite way is reducing the payment of the salesperson for not keeping data updated.
Lots of companies struggle with how to keep the data up-to-date because looking into the wrong data leads to making wrong decisions. Still, it’s worth mentioning that the biggest problem in keeping data updated lies in the sales department. Salespeople by nature are more creative and find it extremely boring to fill in the CRM. For this reason, some companies choose to hire sales assistants, and some motivate salespeople with bonuses - each company decides what works best for them.