The CRM Fables – The Fox & The Stork

At one time the Fox and the Stork were on visiting terms and seemed very good friends. So the Fox invited the Stork to dinner, and for a joke put nothing before her but some soup in a very shallow dish.
This the Fox could easily lap up, but the Stork could only wet the end of her long bill in it, and left the meal as hungry as when she began. “I am sorry,” said the Fox, “the soup is not to your liking.”
“Pray do not apologise,” said the Stork. “I hope you will return this visit, and come and dine with me soon.” So a day was appointed when the Fox should visit the Stork; but when they were seated at the table all that was for their dinner was contained in a very long-necked jar with a narrow mouth, in which the Fox could not insert his snout, so all he could manage to do was to lick the outside of the jar.

One narrowly defined way of working does not help everyone achieve their potential. Hire good people and give them the environment, structure and tools (including a simple to use, easy CRM system) and let them do the job in their own successful way. If someone cannot achieve in this structure then quickly identify why and see if they can be coached through it.

The world would be a boring place if we were all the same. The fact that everyone is different in almost every way is what makes the world interesting, and challenging. As a Sales Manager, it is foolish to think that your sales team can all be the same – speaking the same words, in the same order, in the same way.

People buy off people. Whether on the phone, via web conferencing or face to face, it is a personal connection or an established trust that has to be built for a sale to take place. Given everyone is different, it seems crazy that most CRM providers, and hence a great deal of sales managers try to fully automate the sales process through software, down to the same script being used.

Just like there is no foolproof chat up line that always gets the girl or guy, there is no one-size-fits-all sales script that works exactly the same for every member of the sales team. Successful selling is all about establishing that personal connection. Removing or reducing the impact of that personal connection through technological automation actually makes the sales process less effective.

Therefore, when implementing a CRM system to help manage your sales team, think about implementing a tool to help each member of the sales team sell in their own style, to the best of their ability, within a loose framework of best practice. If it starts being a constraint rather than an aid, the salespeople become less successful and disillusioned.

Good CRM software can help give an already talented salesperson a framework and a base to spend as much time selling as possible. But at the end of the day, it shouldn’t get in the way and impact their natural style. A properly implemented CRM won’t make a poor salesperson good but it may help make a good salesperson great!

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