Top 5 Problems Sales Leaders Want CRM to Solve cover

Top 5 Problems Sales Leaders Want CRM to Solve

Top 5 Problems Sales Leaders Want CRM to Solve

What are the top 5 problems sales leaders want CRM to solve? Are they the same problems that CRM makers are actually working on solving? We set out to find out and the responses will surprise some.

What’s in this Article?

How Did We Identify the Top 5 Problems Sales Leaders Want CRM to Solve?

First we had to come up with a list of sales problems to solve. To create this, we asked makers of CRMs. For reference, they’re all on our list of CRMs here.

The following makers of CRMs were asked for their input: 20NINE, Agile CRM, Copper, EASI, Hubspot, Kommo (formerly known as amoCRM), Membrain, Microsoft, Odoo, Pipedrive, Pipeliner CRM, Salesflare, Sellsy, Spiro, SugarCRM, SuperOffice, Upsales, and a few more. In total about 155 individuals from these CRM-making companies were asked to share their insights.

That got us a solid list of problems CRMs must solve. Now to the fun bit.

Over the next few months we asked fairly accurately 3000 sales leaders from all over the world. It’s key to make sure they didn’t just echo what CRM makers had been telling us was important. Therefore, we gave sales leaders an option to share own insights as well as vote for all previously shared problems.

5 Top Problems Sales Leaders Want CRM to Solve
Country contributing to insights on Top 5 Problems Sales Leaders Want CRM to Solve.

That provided us with a relatively short list of about 34 problems and a whole bunch of votes on all those sales problems. Undoubtedly we could come up with an even longer list, had we surveyed more people.

Also, we stuck with sales leaders and didn’t survey any CMOs, Account Executives, Field Sales, Sales Development Representatives, or any other non-senior sales or marketing role.

That’s why this article is about Top Problems Sales Leaders Want CRM to Solve. It’s about the challenges buyers of sales technology – in this case CRM – want sellers of the sales technology CRM to solve.

How Should Sales Leaders Reflect on the Top 5 Problems Sales Leaders Want CRM to Solve?

Also, the spread of challenges sales leaders want CRM to solve is quite broad.

Quite often the way investment in CRMs get going is NOT by identifying the top problems that need fixing. Instead sales leaders often survey their network for opinions on the best CRM.

This method is clearly flawed.

When investing in anything new, leaders should review first identify the problem(s) at hand. Then make a decision about whether or not to explore potential solutions. In other words sales leaders should start with the end in mind, instead of just loading another tool onto their sales teams.

Mapping the problems that must be solved for their specific sales process to succeed, enables sales leaders to pick CRM and other software. This approach delivers streamlined, accelerated growth for their specific offerings.

Sales leaders should thus keep in mind that the top 5 problems sales leaders want CRM to solve delivers an aggregate of the most common problems. This MAY not be precisely the problem their current company needs to solve. Which problems are in need of solving needs careful consideration. Miss the mark and the software investment may well be for naught.

Top 5 Problems Sales Leaders Want CRM to Solve

How did we do on finding out which problems need solving, then?

Well, we sent everyone a message on LinkedIn and may I add that it has been a slog.

Sometimes we had to explain what we were trying to achieve. At times people assumed we were trying to sell them stuff and that a pitch or a piece of clever marketing would capture them in a never ending sales funnel, filled with unwanted contact with sales people.

That’s really content for another article on how LinkedIn is developing as a tool for professional networking.

In the end we did get loads of solid responses about top problems sales leaders want CRM to solve. CRM makers, take note:

5 Top Problems Sales Leaders Want CRM to Solve
Top 5 Problems Sales Leaders Want CRM to Solve:
Big differences in the top problems sales leaders want CRM to solve.

Analyzing the survey response data set has been interesting. Already in early responses it became clear that there were a few front runners, and although the ranking did change over time, here are the clear winners of the

Top 5 Problems with links to articles about each:

  1. Storing and organizing customer data, voted on by 59,9% of responders
  2. Forecasting sales, voted on by 57,3% of responders
  3. Capturing client/prospect communication, voted on by 52,9% of responders
  4. Building and growing existing accounts, voted on by 51,6% of responders
  5. Provide Data & Insights to enable leaders and teams to know where they need to work, voted on by 50,3% of responders

This top 5 problems sales leaders want CRM to solve stand out. To give you an idea, the problem in 6th spot got more than 5 percentage points less votes than that in 5th. Quickly the votes on other problems move below 40% votes. About a third of the sales problems on the final list of top problems sales leaders want CRM were voted on by less than 1% of responders.

Clearly some of these challenges are either too specific to a few sales leaders or just not important enough to be a must-solve problem.

What’s Next for Sales Leaders?

Now that the top problems are known to sales leaders, they could start to think more clearly about which if these or other problems need fixing in their sales organisations.

Whenever they think about implementing new technology they should start by asking themselves: how does this help us solve a problem in sales, which we currently have?

If they don’t know, they should hold back on investment until the problems and the solutions to those problems are clear.

What’s Next for CRM Makers?

Helping sales leaders find problems, which put brakes on revenue and growth, and help customers solve those problems should be the main aim of any sales tech company.

CRM makers would do well to make this clear to their prospects and customers: help them identify all the problems the CRM maker solves. Either inside their own software or through integrations.

And also with them – or without. Not so sure CRM makers are willing to do the latter.

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