Rethink Marketing: Why Does Your Sales Team Hate Your CRM?

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Why does your sales team hate your CRM software? And are you losing revenue because of it?

Adam Honig, the co-founder and CEO of Spiro  Technologies, believes typical CRMs are a time suck for sales teams, who dread the data entry required.

“I know salespeople who work at companies that they’re literally required by law to make a note every time they make a phone call because they’re in a regulated industry like finance,” Honig said. “You know what the result is? They don’t make more calls. It wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of these companies are seeing depressed results because of some of these policies they put in place.”

Instead, he says, his AI-powered company is continuously roadmapping your future customer’s engagement with you and proactively telling sales when to call, when to email, and more. 

We talked with Adam on the Rethink Marketing podcast. An excerpt of our conversation is below.

[podloveaudio src="" duration="19:27" title="Ep. 123 | Are CRMs Broken?"]

How do you get sales teams to love your CRM?

Nathan: I’ve seen sales tools adopted and then quickly abandoned. How do you guys break the cycle? What do you guys do differently?

Adam: Our vision is that, exactly what you said, the problem is that most companies have is that the salespeople don’t wind up using their CRM. There’s a lot of companies out there who are trying to fix that problem by making CRM easier to use, maybe making it work on mobile or look prettier or what have you.

Our approach is fundamentally different. We’re saying that Spiro is a CRM that nobody needs to use.

What we mean by that is when you’re emailing with a prospect, it looks to see if the contact record for that prospect is already in Spiro. If it’s not and you’re having a sales conversation with the prospect, it’ll add it. It’ll start logging your emails with that person. It’ll start understanding the context of the communication that you’re having with the prospect, both on the phone as well as in email to build a model of what should be going on with that account.

As you’re developing an opportunity and progressing to a sale at that account, it’ll be reminding you and proactively recommending when you should be reaching out to make sure that you are making that deal move forward. It’s a totally different approach to the problem.

Instead of making it rely upon the salesperson doing something, the system is proactive in reaching out to the salesperson to make sure that the right things happen.

Check out our additional related content:

10 Ways Sales Benefits from Marketing Automation

How does your CRM work when the MQL turns out not to be ready for sales?

NathanWhat about situations where it didn’t work out and what marketing thought was a marketing qualified lead wasn’t? What happens then?

Adam: Yeah, like with many things, you have to design what you want it to do but the most common use case in Spiro is that if a salesperson is progressing an opportunity and for whatever reason it doesn’t work out, that usually goes back into the marketing automation system for some sort of nurturing campaign.

We support a number of different ways to do that, including setting up personalized emails from that same sales rep to make sure that they’re still the ones that are in touch, automatically in touch with the prospect. That’s a very common use case for us.

Nathan: That sounds pretty cool. I’m currently working on a blog post about lead nurturing tips.

Adam: Yeah. It’s tricky though because sometimes somebody falls out of the pipeline because they’re not a good prospect, right. You really have to make sure that you’re segmenting the lost deals properly because there are some people who you shouldn’t be following up with because you’re just going to be annoying them because they know you’re not a good fit, you know they’re not a good fit, why should you be continuing to send them that message?

One of the things that we do in Spiro is we’re using … We use a lot of natural language processing in the product to do a lot of the things that it does.

Natural language processing, if people aren’t familiar with that, it’s a set of AI domain that basically uses the language in emails or other communication to form judgments about what’s going on.

In Spiro, like in many sales platforms, we have a reason lost field, right? We’re using natural language processing to help us understand what the reason lost was and categorizing it as somebody that you should be following up with or not to make that a little bit easier.

How does your CRM prioritize who to call or email next? 

NathanThat ties into one of the questions I wanted to ask about qualifying prospects as you go along. Based on the communications going back and forth between the prospect and sales rep, does Spiro help prioritize outward as far as maybe telling some people they need to call tomorrow, but maybe you need to send an email next week?

Adam: Yeah, we’ve done a lot of work in this area and there are all kinds of different scenarios that go into the proactive recommendations for your mix. I’ll just give you a couple.

Let’s say Spiro by default would like the sales team to make telephone calls, right? Because it’s just a more intimate connection than sending somebody an email. We’re going to recommend you call somebody and then you’re calling, you’re calling, you’re not getting them.

Spiro is going to know that so then it’s going to start recommending that you do some emailing.

If it sees that you had a meeting and you haven’t sent a followup email from that meeting, it’s usually going to recommend that, depending upon what the data is.

It’s also looking at the language that you’ve used in your communication with the prospect. It’s looking at the timing of the emails that you’re having as well.

There’s a lot of work that’s been done that shows the quicker that prospects respond to you, the more likely they are going to buy. We use that as a weighting factor to figure out who the people that you should be calling versus emailing are, and in some cases what the message is that you should be sending out to that prospect as well. There’s a lot that goes into the thinking behind that.

How does your CRM work with marketing automation software?

Nathan: Act-On is a marketing automation platform with the goal of generating leads for sales. Does your CRM integrate with marketing automation software platforms or other sales and marketing technologies, or is it a standalone product?

Adam: Almost every one of our customers has a marketing automation platform that they’re working with and quite a few work with Act-On as well.

One of the reasons why I’m so excited to be talking with you today. We’ve got a number of customers who are doing campaigning and generating leads with Act-On and those leads seamlessly get passed into Spiro that there’s a number of different ways that you can once a lead comes into Spiro that the sales team can be following up on it.

The most common is that when a new lead is generated in Spiro, Spiro puts out an alert to the salesperson to help them reach out to the new leads as quickly as possible. As we all know, timing and time to lead response is such an important factor that we’ve made that a priority in the product.