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All The Tools You Need To Grow Better

Shahid Nizami, Managing Director, APAC - HubSpot
Shahid Nizami, Managing Director, APAC - HubSpot

Shahid Nizami, Managing Director, APAC - HubSpot

New technology comes and goes, and it can often feel like there’s a new app or piece of software every week that promises to deliver business efficiencies, meet customer expectations and help sales teams be more productive and effective. While the tools and tricks are evolving rapidly, they still serve a central, age-old function - one that’s becoming even more important as a business differentiator today - to improve the customer experience.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is the fastest growing software on the market today. By 2025, revenues in the industry are expected to reach more than US $80 billion. It’s safe to say that businesses globally are recognising that a CRM isn’t just a nice to have, but an essential software for your business to grow better, deliver exceptional customer service and support internal team alignment by providing a single view of the customer. CRM software is immensely powerful, incredibly useful and should be at the heart of your front-office teams (sales, marketing and services).

CRM software can be all of these things, if it meets the needs of your business, is easy to use, has the powerful features you need, integrates with the many tools you use, and when it’s implemented well. Research shows that around one third of all CRM projects fail at implementation, and even more fail to actually drive business growth. Why? There are a few reasons. One is adoption failure, another is that the software wasn’t built for the end user - it’s jam-packed with features, but difficult to learn and hard to use.

There’s no room for poor customer relationship management in 2020

2020 has been a year of leaps and bounds when it comes to digitalisation and remote work/living. More importantly, we’ve observed how quickly people can adapt to using technology to support their needs. Collaboration tools like Slack, Zoom and Asana have kept work going, while businesses have continued to evolve their commerce channels, be it managing their own online portals or through platforms like Amazon and eBay. In a time of social distancing, businesses are witnessing how connecting closely with their customers wants and needs can be a key differentiator.

There’s one change, however, that hasn’t evolved to where we, as business and sales leaders, need it to be - sales software. The way salespeople sell is changing, and has changed enormously this year, particularly in Asia as we’ve moved from face to face to remote selling, and our evolution in how we’re selling is being hindered by bloated software solutions, solutions that just aren’t suited to the rapidly changing business environment. New research, conducted by HubSpot, shows that nearly 50% of sales leaders don’t believe their current sales software is up to the task of helping them reach their business goals over the next three years.

Ease of use is the secret sauce for software success.

The CRM solutions that dominate today’s market are bursting at the seams with counter-intuitive features, leaving busy salespeople with a seemingly endless list of tools to learn in an already bloated platform. They have been cobbled together over years of mergers and acquisitions, leaving sales professionals with the unenviable task of knitting together data from multiple systems that weren’t originally built to work together. And they have been built to suit the goals of the people selling the software, not the customers it’s supposed to serve.

According to HubSpot’s research, 50% of sales leaders consider their CRM to be “difficult to use,” while a worrying 76% believe their teams only use a small fraction of their software’s capabilities. When critical software, like a CRM system, isn’t user-friendly, it costs salespeople, and their company, money - nearly one in five sales leaders report that they’ve lost opportunities or revenue as a result of their software being difficult to use.

Ease-of-use is the secret sauce of success with sales software. With it, comes adoption. With adoption comes understanding of a sales pipeline. With understanding comes better decision-making. And with better decision-making comes teams that are more successful.

It’s time to redefine the sales CRM category

When it comes to ease of use, sales software is decades behind the consumer products that we use every day, and this doesn’t stack up. Customers globally are asking for more - expectations are higher than ever, yet in many cases, sales teams, often the first touchpoint, are hamstrung by clunky software - in this new era for sales, it’s time to think about CRMs differently.

In 2020, and the future, sales leaders should be able to:

- Run their entire sales process with their sales software - you should be leaning into integrations, not bolting on expensive add-ons or reviewing your product roadmap year after year because what you built yesterday isn’t meeting your needs today. Today’s sales software should be much more than just a place to store contact details - there should be rich engagement tools, like live chat and 1:1 video, configure-price-quote features, and easy-to-use yet powerful reporting capabilities. Succeeding in the future requires us to be agile, and you can’t be that when your core tools are painful to use and not well adopted.

- Prioritise coaching their team, collaborating with colleagues and supporting customers, rather than spending the majority of their day creating reports from multiple systems or cleaning up data.

- And most importantly, find a sales CRM that equips them with enterprise-grade power, and consumer-grade ease of use in a solution that meets their business needs, and customer expectations, today and into the future.

The business world is changing. More than ever, we recognise the need for sales leaders to provide their customers with exactly what they need, and how they need it. And now, finally, we can treat sales leaders the same way, and provide them with the CRMs they need too.

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