Chapter 3

Create a seamless sales stack and unified user experience.

In 2017, salespeople spent only about one-third of their time selling according to a study by Forbes(5). So, where did they spend most of their time? Not in their CRM (only 17%), but rather in all of their other sales tools (62.8%). 

These “other” sales tools include email, spreadsheets, and one-off apps and software used to gather intelligence. The time spent collecting bits of information from each of these tools could be better spent reviewing the available information on hand, understanding how to better serve customers, and working with customers and offering actionable information about your products and services.

A better solution is to collect the information and processes from these other tools and integrate it with a CRM. From there, you can design a better and personalized user experience around the way sales wants and needs to work.

Once enterprises reexamine and adjust goals in their sales organizations and understand how technology should enable efficient processes they can reassess: is the current suite of sales software helping the organization achieve its goals? And if not, then what’s wrong with it and how can we fix it?

Defragment the enterprise.

In the ideal sales solution, users have streamlined, efficient access to high-quality, actionable data, tailored to their individual needs. 

According to one report, high-performing sales teams use nearly three times the amount of sales technology than underperforming teams. More technology can be helpful, and there is no shortage of software, tools, apps, and spreadsheets claiming to solve all of sales’ woes.

Often, companies with investments in a CRM solution turn to one-off sales force automation (SFA) solutions to solve a particular challenge. These tools and applications often only address a specific need within a specific sales role. So you may have a different app or set of apps for ISRs, another for BDRs, yet another for field reps, and so on.

Inevitably there is still a gap. And since the bottom line is results, salespeople often resort to finding their own solutions. This gives rise to even more third-party tools and software, which may or may not be sanctioned by IT, and creates even more schisms between data sources and user experiences.

It seems the easy solution is to consolidate all systems of record into one. Gold star for the idea, but it’s very difficult to implement. Companies have spent tens of millions of dollars performing extract-transform-load (ETL) processes and building data warehouses to understand what is truly happening across their enterprise. In addition to the financial strain, these unification processes can take years and rarely deliver the speed required to adapt sales processes as fast as the business needs to adapt.

Elevate the user experience and increase efficiencies.

The best enterprise sales apps are the ones offering a tailored UX for each user, whether it’s a BDR, an account executive, or someone in the C-suite.

“According to research by the CareerFoundry’s UXSchool, businesses will lose around $1.4 trillion globally due to poor UX. Conversely, good UX will bring in around $5.5 trillion in sales.”

UX certainly should be at the center of any sales tool. Unfortunately for salespeople and organizations as a whole, UX has evolved in a different direction entirely.

We’ve already identified CRMs as the tool of choice for organizations that need to understand their customers and prospects, visualize pipeline, and drive productivity. Ironically, many businesses find that rather than enabling better relationships with prospects and customers, an out-of-the-box CRM holds them back. That’s because most are designed with a “one-size-fits-all” model, offering a standard set of capabilities and views based on what’s most commonly needed.

So while you get the automation and consolidation of a great many things needed to better understand buyers and the buyers’ journey, standard solutions are just that, standard. They’re built for every business, not your business. 

With fragmented CRM functionality, rather than having a streamlined UX with actionable and easy-to-find information, users waste time clicking through a dizzying array of CRM dashboards, each representing a unique data source or system of record. The result of such disarray is that users spend more time in the system and less time putting its intelligence to work. The user works at using the system, rather than the system working for the user.

If the solution is not to scrap everything and rebuild from scratch or buy an off-the-shelf CRM and put a ton of difficult and time-consuming customization work into it, what is the best option?