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Working in CRM


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. 

Does the system alert users to the fact that some important information is missing? 

Yes, in Salesforce, for example, you can set up your own validation rules to verify which fields should be mandatory to fill in. Once this is set up, the system controls this validation automatically. 

What are some do’s and don'ts from the management side on how to keep salespeople motivated?

Obviously, it’s good to have some incentives for the salespeople to work with the CRM. One of them for example is to dynamically calculate in the system their pay for a particular month based on sales. That works quite well as they will then be keen to keep track of their pay which is a huge motivation. 

Filling in the useless data can be indeed referred to as don'ts here as in most cases it truly has no value and moreover very demotivating for salespeople. The best way here would be to have an internal meeting between the management and sales, agree on the important data, and stop pushing people to put useless data into the system. 

What kind of analytical data should be monitored constantly by the salespeople?

We recommend in B2B business, monitor numbers and values in the open opportunity or pipeline as it is often called. Like how many open opportunities you have, at what stage they are, the value of each, etc. So first goes the lifecycle of the opportunity or the sales cycle. The shorter it is - the probability to win this opportunity is higher. The second one is the number of activities, like calls, emails, and meetings. And again the more activities you have the higher the chances of winning the opportunity. The 3rd one is the number of contacts the salesperson is dealing with from the prospect’s side. The more people are involved in the communication with the prospect, including the decision maker, the higher the chances that the salesperson will close the deal successfully. If these 3 KPIs are set up correctly there’s no need to monitor the value of the closed deals because it comes automatically.