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Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) – Micromanaging or Gold Dust?

dan-stalpDan Stalp of Sandler Training Sharpens Your CRM Strategy

As a sales coach and facilitator, I have witnessed more companies “do CRM” poorly rather than well, especially as their use relates to leveraging this valuable software tool for their sales professionals.   CRM is a useful tool, but like any tool, it has to be used appropriately in order to get the results you’re hoping for. If you expect your sales team to utilize CRM to its fullest, here are a few of my lessons learned:


1. Just because I have a CRM does not mean my sales professionals will magically track prospect/client information.

CRM software allows you to do whatever you are doing faster and more efficiently. Assuming my salespeople have the discipline and wisdom to track what is meaningful to their business, this process will be easier and more efficient using CRM.   What CRM will not give your sales professionals is the discipline to track this information. The best candidates for CRM are companies who are already tracking key behaviors –whether manually or using an obsolete software program.


2. Less is more when tracking prospect /client information.

I have seen many companies include “everything but the kitchen sink” in their CRM program. This is cumbersome, overwhelming and punitive to their sales professionals. At the end of the day, their sales professionals will not track at all or they will input bogus information. Because the data is so cumbersome, management is not able to quantify what is real and not real. This is a total waste of time and money.


3. Tracking what behaviors lead to sales is about “accountability,” not control.

Many companies mistakenly believe asking their sales professionals to document the behaviors that lead to sales is controlling. Other companies don’t believe this initially, but they allow their salespeople to convince them otherwise.


To be clear, as a company, dictating not only the sales quota but also the behaviors needed to make those sales is controlling. Coming up with sales behaviors which the sales professional personally have control over and which they have agreed historically have led to success is, however, accountability.


The “net, net” of this article is:  once you have the discipline to track and collect prospect/client data, and it is meaningful data, and you are holding each of your sales professionals accountable to previously agreed upon behaviors based on historical data—now you have the recipe for sales “gold dust” as it relates to tracking behaviors in your CRM.   Great selling to you!


Dan Stalp is CEO of Sandler Training, a sales facilitation and coaching firm located in Overland Park, Kansas. He can be reached at or 913-451-1760. Or you can visit his LinkedIn page at LinkedIn.

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