What you'll learn

  • How sellers currently view their CRM
  • 5 ways that a native CRM can boost seller performance

The current relationship between sellers and CRMs

When reviewing sales performance and how sales deals are closed, most sellers find that they don’t get a lot of value from their CRMs. In fact, they often don’t see CRMs as a sales performance tool at all. Rather, sellers generally view their CRM as a data dump and a waste of time. To them, a CRM isn’t a technology that can help them; it’s a managerial convenience.

CRMs collect details on contacts, activities and opportunities, helping sales leaders forecast potential sales revenue. Of course, that’s not all CRMs are good for but because most CRMs aren’t optimized, their full value isn’t being realized. Less than half of sales teams report widespread use of their CRM, according to our Sales Operations Optimization Study.

When combined with native CRM apps, however, your CRM becomes more than a collection of historical data. Today’s sales technology can transform your CRM into an AI-powered prediction machine.

Native CRM apps are defined as an app that fully integrates your CRM with your internal seller tracking system so there is one flow of data. In other words, ensuring consistent, updated data as your sellers move through the lifecycle of a sale.

Your CRM may never be able to predict the future, but paired with the right apps, it can transform your sales organization. Here are five ways that native CRM apps can inform actions for sellers and boost performance.

1 Encourages use of your CRM

Your organization likely has a CRM. But it isn’t adding a lot of value for your sellers on its own. Its main purpose is to help sales management teams gain visibility into their deal pipeline. As a result, sellers view your CRM as an administrative burden that pulls them away from selling.

When sellers don’t get any value from your CRM, they’re less likely to use it. As a result, they don’t spend much time entering data into the CRM, so its data is incomplete and outdated. Only 27%% of sales organizations have high confidence in their CRM data, according to our 2021 World-Class Sales Practices Study. In turn, sales leaders stop using the CRM because it isn’t a reliable data source, further discouraging sellers from using it.

However, if you combine a native sales app with your sales methodology and technology, you can encourage sellers to adopt your CRM. That’s because your sales methodology is forward-looking: it shows sellers what actions to take to close deals. And when your sellers know your CRM apps will point them toward which action will guide their deal through the funnel, they’re more likely to use it.

Perhaps more importantly, a native CRM app helps sellers use their time more effectively. An effective sales app that delivers analytics and integrates with your CRM helps them plan their daily selling activities. It also suggests which deals they should prioritize.

2 Supports your organization’s sales methodology

A sound sales methodology gives sellers a framework that helps them decide what to do at each touchpoint in the buyer’s journey. It directs them towards the behaviors that are likely to help them win deals.

When you pair a sales methodology with a native CRM app, it transforms your sales methodology into a sales-producing weapon. An app can help sellers gain insights into patterns in buyer behavior, so they can position their solutions to attract more buyer interest.

For example, your app may tell your sellers that they need to secure buy-in from a certain number of buying influences. Or it may show sellers that it’s essential to pursue an internal coach by a particular stage in their buying process.

3 Enables you to predict wins

Many forecasts are built on a seller’s subjective thoughts about deal status. Often, sellers tend to be optimistic in what they enter into their CRM. This is because they don’t want their managers to hound them for not having enough qualified opportunities in their sales funnel. And these subjective reports make it difficult for sales managers to review their sellers’ forecasts for accuracy.

Further, CRMs store a lot of data about past deals. But this historical data is backward-looking. It can’t fully inform predictions about what will happen next in a sales pipeline.

When you combine a CRM with predictive analytics from a native CRM, however, you boost the accuracy of your forecasts. Today’s algorithms use artificial intelligence to study a variety of data points to study the health of a sales opportunity. Ultimately, sales analytics reveal patterns from previous wins.

As sellers and sales managers recognize trends, they can think more strategically. They’re more able to understand how likely it is that an opportunity will result in closed-won business. They can also recognize the techniques that sellers use to turn similar opportunities into wins.

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4 Strengthens sales coaching

Across the board, sales managers want to improve and scale the coaching they provide to sellers. But, in many cases, they lack the information necessary to help sellers move the needle on deal outcomes. Moreover, they can’t tell when the right time is to intervene.

Native CRM apps help managers improve their coaching in several ways. For example, some apps send real-time alerts to sales managers about deals that require attention. They also offer insights into what actions sellers should take to improve their win rates. Managers can focus their attention on these behaviors rather than reviewing data points that should already be (but aren’t) in the CRM platform.

Getting sellers to adopt a sales methodology is also a common coaching struggle. However, a native CRM app that integrates the organization’s sales methodology encourages sellers to follow the methodology. It also provides greater visibility into sales methodology, giving sales managers another way to ensure that sellers are putting methodology into practice.

5 Makes it possible to replicate success across the sales team

In sales, it’s important to win deals. But it’s more important to keep winning. That means sales leaders need to know why sellers are winning. Then leaders can translate those winning behaviors into repeatable, coachable behavior.

Pairing CRM solutions with sales analytics shows sales leaders the reasons behind wins and losses. It offers visibility into patterns of success, revealing which selling behaviors consistently generate better deal outcomes.

For instance, it can show which sales methodology-backed actions correlate most closely to closed deals. For example, your sales managers may learn from a native CRM app that sellers who contact a buyer’s CIO four times can quadruple the likelihood of closing a deal. Or they may study sales reps’ questions to learn which questions get the best, clearest responses from buyers. Sales managers can use this information to coach other sellers, generating better deal outcomes across the sales team.

Native CRM apps drive sales performance

On its own, your CRM wasn’t designed to benefit sellers. It was designed to benefit your sales leaders.

But native CRM apps were designed to supplement your technology, delivering actionable benefits to everyone in your organization. When you put predictive analytics and other sales tools in your sellers’ hands, you drive seller actions. You also change deal outcomes and increase the chances of winning across your sales organization.

To learn about our native CRM application, the Korn Ferry Intelligence Cloud, and how it can boost your organization’s sales performance, get in touch.