Yes, you read it correctly. In my humble opinion just about every CRM out there, and there are hundreds and hundreds, all suck!

 

CRMs, like all technology based solutions have to work hard to try and keep up with today's disruptive changes in methodologies and processes to allow for a streamline 'automated' sales process.

It's not good enough to tell our salespeople they have to be writing contributing and committing to content every day without a method or a process to simply and quickly do so. This is not only critical to their success but also to that of the organization.

So it's not hard to understand how CRM’s or any system can quickly fall behind as things change. Whether it's keeping up with the mobility of its customers, new disruptive technologies, or just that customers are creating a new buying paradigm, it’s tough to maintain relevance.

All that said, enough with the excuses. They simply have not kept up in any way with, “Social”.

Social in and of itself is a large topic, but when it comes to a CRM the sales and marketing aspects have been wholly missed. Worse, they've been ignored, and are not even considered as yet in most CRM environments. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few that make passing reference and or allow some focus, but as to implementing a real process around social sales and or marketing, not even close.

Having written many articles about how important traditional sales process still is and why it will always be so, does not change the fact that without lead generation the sales process is irrelevant.

This is where the rubber hits the road and sadly I've yet to see a see a CRM truly on the road.

Social sales, social marketing, and content marketing are all critical phases of lead generation that are not yet present in the vast majority of today’s CRM solutions. This means that the single most important and expensive part of any organizations sales process is missing!

All social channels should be directly integrated through a CRM to allow for tracking and automation. Any marketing platforms in use, likewise, to allow for one automated and streamlined system to manage, nurture, close and ultimately to maximize the account.

In today's actual customer journey and as all the traditional sales methodologies lose their impact, it’s imperative that we develop productive and integrated tools. It's not good enough to tell our salespeople to keep all their leads on this spreadsheet or that spreadsheet or in this other system or that file…

It's not good enough to tell our salespeople they have to be writing contributing and committing to content every day without a method or a process to simply and quickly do so. This is not only critical to their success but also to that of the organization.

Most of today’s CRMs seem to be more focused on features instead of “Value” so they have lost sight of what their true value is. Let me provide a hint, it’s not just about your revenue / user. The value is to provide a solution that helps organizations automate and streamline Sales and marketing processes to improve the customer experience, not hamper it. In so doing, sales team will be far more productive and engaged with customers. I could go on, but you get the point.

It's a tall order I understand, but to be truly effective I put the call out to all CRM solution providers and Developers. This to come clean and provide a simple unified platform in combination or separately to assist today’s B2B social selling organizations who will flock to your door and buy your solutions!

Just as one final addendum, this rant came about based upon our experience working with sales people globally. Seeing the challenges they have in implementing and actually running social sales, there are too many tools scattered across the landscape to help -- but trust me, currently a completely effective CRM is not yet one of them.