Many sales people are judged, ranked, bonused, graded, and their life-value determined based on simple stats generated from the CRM.
This is good. And this is very bad.
I think CRMs are very useful sales management tools.
Let me clarify this point: CRMs are very useful sales management tools for the sales reps themselves. In the context of determining how YOU are doing. Individually. As in, are you improving? Or not?
But unfortunately, they are not often used for that purpose.
Too often, they are used as clubs with which to beat someone over the head. As in:
“You aren’t meeting your numbers. Hit them or be sacked.”
“You are way behind others on the team.”
“You better haul ass to catch up with the rest of your team.”
Now, understanding your performance in the context of the rest of your sales team does matter, in terms of learning where you can improve.
But the punitive side of things I think is very damaging. And sadly, far too common.
I am guilty of this myself. I did it just this morning. My intention was to motivate my colleague, but instead, I injected poison into the process. I made it about our internal team rankings verses making progress helping humanity (aka our customers).
I made it more about competition. Not about serving and helping people. This is why I’ve always personally had problems with CRM systems and the stats and numbers and rankings they spit out.
Most sales people (and sales managers), me included sometimes, make it about rank and status, verses legitimate progress towards helping more people.
Most sales organizations pay you based on your numbers. They don’t pay you based on serving and helping people.
I think the problem is this:
Some sales organizations don’t see a difference between the two.
I think this is the problem.
The organization that sees these two as completely different are the ones who are thriving, building a long-term focused enterprise, and employing sales people who relish their work, and don’t dread hitting the pavement each morning….
To learn more about my take on sales, check out my book: The Zen of Sales!
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.