Why CRMs Are Not Enough

Jerry Casilli
Co-Founder, Head of Sales

CRMs are great tools that provide business and sales organizations with powerful capabilities. Learn why as a stand-alone solution, CRMs are not enough and how to boost your CRM's capabilities with Provarity PreSales XM.

Why CRMs Are Not Enough

CRMs are tremendous tools that have a lot of built-in functionality. By default, CRMs provide a contact management system, sales process buckets and opportunity reports that allow you to see opportunities by stage.

Out-of-the-box CRMs provide basic sales management functionality to help any business or sales organization. However, CRMs as a stand-alone solution in any implementation, are not optimized platforms for sales teams.

One of our clients in the Cybersecurity industry, recently communicated as much when discussing the difficulty in tracking pre-sales activities in the CRM.

"We found our CRM wasn't sufficient to address our needs with tracking presales activities, including POC/ POVs, and we needed real-time tracking of win/loss reasons and ratios to address product and process improvements."

We have found this pain point to be true with customers of different sizes and across different industries and one of the issues is not the fault of the CRM, but how it's set up.

Typically, people outside the sales team are responsible for the design and implementation of a CRM, making them prone to not being optimized for sales. It may be the IT, sales operations, or the marketing department, but the point is, other people are imposing a structure on the sales team not necessarily reflecting sales best practices.

Must-Have Tools

With all of its functionality yet potential for flaws, a CRM is a tool you must have. But, sales organizations need to understand that the effectiveness of the CRM is largely dependent on how you use and leverage it.

Most companies have, at minimum, a CRM managing their data and have defined their sale stages. The CRM provides a platform for contacts, prospects and opportunities. You can set stages, gates, and success criteria for moving from left to right through the sales process. Additionally, you can set up an opportunity to make distinctions between a prospect and an opportunity. And, of course, there are some reporting capabilities.

The basic implementation of a CRM is where most organizations stop. And we've found in speaking with leaders from sales teams, that the expectation is once the CRM goes live, everything is in place. But once you have a CRM, the focus should shift to implementing and refining how you manage data, track lead generation, manage opportunities, and forecast with clarity and accuracy.

While every solution presents challenges and problems, let's address a few CRM issues that impact sales organizations...

Lack of CRM Adoption

It's really hard to get reps and SEs to enter deal information in the CRM. Most reps don't see the value in using the CRM and believe they should focus on revenue-generating activities. Manually entering data in the CRM is not seen typically as one of those activities.

A lack of CRM adoption is a huge problem because, without the deal information in the CRM, it neuters the inherent power of the system. While most organizations require their teams to enter data in the CRM, typically only the minimal data is entered and this creates a data quality problem.  

Low-Quality Data

Low-quality data is one of the main reasons forecast projections are missed. Because SEs and reps don't enter data into the CRM, the output of data available to sales leaders and managers is unreliable and low-quality. As a result, sales leaders are not confident in projections and accurate forecasting is almost mythical without the right levels of rigor, process, and discipline.

Data Integration

When dealing with presales professionals, critical information may be spread over many siloed applications and services, including the CRM, messaging apps, spreadsheets, Word documents or file sharing services. All these applications create silos of information that need to be consolidated.

Despite a CRM's exceptional functionality, it lacks the ability to aggregate deal information and does not address common data aggregation issues such as data loss and duplicate or incomplete data.

So with a lack of CRM adoption,  low-quality data outputs and data aggregation issues, how do you leverage your existing investment and still get the most out of your CRM?

Give Your CRM a Boost with Provarity

CRMs are great tools that provide business and sales organizations with powerful capabilities. However, as a stand-alone solution,CRMs do not provide the data integration, automation and structure needed to optimize a sales organization.

Despite this, CRMs are not going away and will continue to be foundational tools for organizations. But how CRMs are used and optimized will be the next evolution. Companies that want to compete in this data-driven and fast-paced environment need collaborative, automated, purpose-built solutions like Provarity XM to edge the competition and drive revenue consistently.

PreSales XM focuses on the key areas that must be addressed and forces you to clearly define and articulate your organization's best practices and procedures. It doesn't replace your CRM and it doesn't want to. Instead, Provarity XM integrates into your existing system and provides a collaborative automation solution that is expressly built for PreSales.