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Frustration among salespeople: 66% of them would rather clean their bathroom than maintain their CRM



Inside sales managers today work harder than ever before. However, their customer relationship management systems do not work for them. This leads to frustration among salespeople about CRM. Exactly this development is shown once again in a new study of the Beagle Research Group in cooperation with Oracle. Oracle study Salespeople frustrated.

Also interesting! Already read it? The Muh-Group Study. It also points out many of these problems.

This study, called “Getting Past the Breaking Point of Yesterday’s CRM”, provides insight into the feelings of over 500 salespeople in Inside Sales in the USA. In the course of the study, the researchers discovered the following:

Most respondents are frustrated by the time-consuming, manual and non-software integrated tasks of their job.

In addition, the results cast a spotlight on the numerous detours that salespeople have to take in order to achieve their goals. And all this under difficult conditions. Because the main complaint of salespeople is: they do not have the necessary tools.

An interim conclusion: The CRM systems used in practice are inadequately adapted to the needs of the users or are becoming increasingly outdated to meet the requirements of an increasingly digital sales force.

You can find the complete study at Oracle here.

Frustration among salespeople about CRM: They prefer to clean their bathroom instead of maintaining their CRM system!

The responsibility of salespeople has grown in recent years. However, their CRM systems, with which they have to work every day, got stuck in the past. These increasingly slow down the user in performing their tasks. This is especially true for strategic sales projects:

90% of sales people complain that parts of their tasks take up more time than they should. The most complained areas were:

  • entering notes in the CRM system (35%)
  • updating or working in multiple systems (34%)
  • too much sales training (32%)

86% of the respondents are particularly frustrated in their job by certain time eaters. The most frustration occurred when performing repetitive administrative tasks that could be automated (43%). Keeping the different systems in sync, which could be linked, was considered frustrating by 38% of respondents. 38% of all respondents are frustrated with a prospect they know is of no interest. (Author’s note: For most of them the system cannot do anything for this, this is a management question or adjustment task in the system itself) For another 35%, re-entering an e-mail address or calendar data in their CRM system leads to a high level of frustration.

85% of all Inside Sales Managers have already made an embarrassing mistake due to the incompleteness or incorrectness of their CRM database. The most common mistakes were calling a wrong number (33%) and a conflicting understanding of the needs of their counterpart (29%).

The frustration among salespeople with CRM is great. 66% of those surveyed say that they would rather spend the time they spend on these tasks in the queue at their local traffic licensing authority, in traffic jams, at jury duty, their dentist, or even cleaning the bathroom.

Other important results are: The majority of all sales managers suffer and do not use their CRM system regularly!

A salesperson prefers to spend his time selling, yet they are slowed down in their daily routine by tasks that take up more time than they should. CRM systems promised to solve this problem when they were purchased. In practice, this promise is unfortunately too often not kept and this leads to frustration among salespeople on the subject of CRM.

  • On average, sales people change between up to eight tools in their daily work. The most common are e-mail, Internet, smartphone, video conferencing and Word documents.
  • 55% of all sales people rely on a combination of applications. A significant proportion of these are not integrated into their CRM system. This means manual offline solutions such as Post-It notes or scratch pads.
  • 46% of all sales people have found a detour or non-standard shortcuts in their CRM system to achieve their goals
  • Only 47% of all sales people use their CRM system regularly. And only 40% of this group use these systems as intended

The work-life-balance of all Inside Sales Managers suffers and makes them wish they had super powers

Outdated CRM systems have a significant impact on productivity, forcing inside sales managers to conduct business outside working hours to meet their quotas. This compulsion leads them to the desire to have super powers to do their job successfully.

  • The lack of effectiveness of CRM systems often prevents salespeople from fulfilling their quotas, for example the number of sales calls, within their actual working hours. As a result, salespeople are phoning in increasingly unusual places to meet their quotas:
    • 50% of these calls take place on vacation or are made at the dinner table (40%). The telephone calls at parties (33%), in the bathroom (30%), the fitness studio (24%), or even at a romantic dinner date seem more bizarre; here a fifth of all respondents stated that they had had such a conversation in the meantime.
    • Almost every salesman (98%) wishes he had superhuman abilities that would help him to successfully cope with his everyday life:
      • The most common wish that was expressed was to be able to look into the future (30%), to have a perfect memory (19%), but also the wish for a kind of “super-focus” (16%). The respondents would also like to have the ability to know the mood of the other person (13%), to have an optimal organization (12%), or simply to understand the thoughts of their manager (8%).

This compulsion to conduct sales calls outside the office shows the frustration of salespeople with CRM. The desire for unrealizable superpowers shows the deep desire for a way out.

Why Inside Sales needs to invest in intelligent and digital tools

Sales has always been a difficult job with obstacles. And this will probably remain so for a long time to come. Especially in a current situation with ever smaller budgets. In addition, it is expected that by 2025, up to 80% of all business-to-business sales interactions will take place through digital channels.

Conclusion: Free the employee from time eaters and success from chance

One of the most difficult tasks of salespeople remains to operate in a chaotic and random environment. In coping with this, not much time should be taken up by manually entering and maintaining data in order to prepare important sales meetings. Modern CRM systems must be linked to digital applications and capture new information in real time.

For a successful salesperson, it is therefore important that their various CRM tools support them especially in documentation and organization. With this help, they can concentrate on their ability to assess their counterpart, so that they can anticipate future developments and be able to act accordingly.

In dealing with this chaos, AI in particular can provide a lot of help. A Robotic Process Automation supports the sending of recurring mails, such as for birthdays. On the other hand, modern software can automatically capture contact information from mail signatures and create it as a new contact in seconds.

Unfortunately, all of these tools in a salesperson’s toolbox are new and initially skeptical. In contrast to this, a rethink is needed, which should not take too long, in order not to miss the future development.

The core tasks are therefore: to address the question of tool optimization as well as to motivate salespeople to rethink and to make it worthwhile to “adopt and use new tools. Only both together lead to success – and free it from coincidence.


Note: This is a machine translation. It is neither 100% complete nor 100% correct. We can therefore not guarantee the result.


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