A carpenter is nothing without the tools in his belt. But armed with patience and the right instruments, he can shape anything to perfection; and enterprise software sales is no different.
Right out of college I worked for a telecommunications company that used SalesForce as their CRM. Being a bit of a maverick, I snubbed my nose at it. “I don’t need that, I’ve got my own system”- this consisted of post-it notes, a homespun web of Word documents and a quick key lookup from the finder. Fortunately (or unfortunately), my management looked the other way because I was consistently hitting my number. I thought I had tricked the system.
But it wasn’t until my laptop was stolen at a bar (my mother’s first response was, “what were you doing at a bar with your laptop?”) that I realized the only one I was fooling was myself. The harsh truth of this, is a salesperson without their CRM is a sinking ship- and forgetting/losing info from clients is like a boat taking on water. I quickly realized that my stubbornness to leverage resources provided was causing me to leave money on the table.
This turned out to be a bit of a paradigm shift for me; rather than just being one source of truth for client/project information, SalesForce is actually a platform that aggregates an entire teams information – providing analytics for proper decision-making and forecasting. Technology sales may seem like a ‘me’ game, but it’s actually a ‘we’ game. If part of the team doesn’t succeed, nobody does. The new measure of intelligence is not what you can recall from rote memory, but how efficiently and accurately can use the resources around you for success. It’s your QB playbook. Your flight coordinates. A 360 Degree view of your customer. Does SalesForce have room for improvement? Sure. But it’s a whole lot better than post-it notes.