I came across an interesting blog post the other day about the evolution of sales CRM called, “SFA 15 Years Later: Now Every Rep’s Best Friend”. I don’t know that we are yet in the “best friend” stage with most salespeople and sales managers, but the industry sure has evolved rapidly.
When I walked around the expo floor at Dreamforce the last couple years, I saw countless companies with amazing technology to make a sales organization more effective. Tools that can be installed into a Salesforce org that help a company operate more efficiently, market themselves better, get better insights, cleaner data, etc.
But it’s mostly “under the hood” stuff. I figured I would find all kinds of complimentary tools to our app that we could take to market jointly. But I was surprised how few existed. I see more tools that sales reps and sales managers get their hands on every day as the next big evolution of sales CRM.
Here are a few predictions that I think will help improve sales performance:
Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm is used to determine which content is most likely of interest to you based on affinity (how active others are with your content), weight (quality of your content based on how other interact with it), and time (recency of the post). Put these concepts into action with Salesforce Chatter based on which content is most positively affecting salespeople, which salespeople are having the most success, and content about your customers (similar to how you “follow” a brand).
There are some incredible technologies that look at data inside of Salesforce to help predict your sales pipeline. But, with Salesforce adoption such a challenge, the data it’s analyzing can be limited. We can keep hammering salespeople to get the data into Salesforce, but what about tools that combine data inside AND outside of Salesforce? This could be email activity, phone logs, mobile activity (using GPS to know if you were at the client site), social interactions, and client company data. So a salesperson focuses on selling, and the software assesses it all for them. I just learned of a company called Foretuit that is entering this space – it’s a great idea.
Internal Sales Campaigns
Technology firms are continuing to create self-serve advertising tools – it’s one of the fastest growing categories of the online advertising industry. Think Google AdWords, LinkedIn Ads, Facebook brand pages, and countless other tools for small businesses to create and market a website. How about moving this concept inside a company to allow a sales manager or VP of marketing to create internal campaigns? This could be as simple as running their own ads inside of Salesforce, building email campaigns to educate and train on new products, target sales training tips and content based on employee tenure, close rates or the profile of an opportunity.
What Do You See?
I know there are many firms starting to touch these concepts, and many of them could evolve into the ideas above. It’s an exciting time. The world of sales CRM has been around for a while, but it’s just getting started.