Sales Teams Bemoan Limitations of CRM in Providing Accurate Forecasting

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Sales Teams Bemoan Limitations of CRM in Providing Accurate Forecasting

Despite the widespread deployment of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, relatively few sales professionals have a high degree of confidence in the data produced by these tools, according to a recent survey from CSO Insights. The resulting “2018 Sales Operations Optimization Study” conveys similarly discouraging sentiments about whether CRM actually improves the productivity of sales teams. What’s more, survey respondents said their current state of tech limits the accuracy of their sales forecasting, in addition to a lack of comparative, historic data. More than 300 global sales professionals and managers took part in the research. The following slide show presents highlights of the survey, with charts provided courtesy of CSO Insights.

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Data Dominates Sales Priorities

Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents cited the need to better deliver key, decision-making data to executives as a “high priority.” Two of four said the same about the need to continuously improve efficiencies via automation, and nearly 37 percent said this about the need to better connect tools and tech to the sales organization.

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CRM Strategies Firmly in Focus

More than 72 percent of respondents said they are at least “regularly involved” with customer relationship management (CRM) strategic updates. Nearly 47 percent said they are no less than “heavily involved” with this.

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Tool Adoption on the Rise

Nearly 46 percent of respondents said more than 90 percent of their salespeople have adopted CRM. In 2013, just under 39 percent said 90 percent of their salespeople have done so.

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Systems Fail to Meet Expectations

Just one-quarter of respondents have a high degree of confidence in their organization’s CRM data. The same, low proportion feel that their CRM system “significantly” improves the productivity of their salespeople.

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Customer Analysis Part of the Routine

Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they are at least “regularly involved” with customer analysis and reporting. And 38 percent said they are no less than “heavily” involved.

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Forecasting Tops Analytics Duties

When asked to break down the kind of sales performance analysis they do, forecasting and pipeline management ranked No. 1 (with regular involvement on the part of about 80 percent of respondents). Seller performance metrics ranked second, cited as a regular duty by just over 76 percent of respondents.

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Organizations Push to Automate Marketing Functions

Nearly 49 percent said they are at least “regularly involved” with the management of marketing automation. Just over 18 percent said they are no less than “heavily involved” with this.

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Limited Tech Hurts Forecasting Efforts

When asked to name barriers to accurate sales forecasting, one-quarter cited the limitations in the technology they use to manage forecasts. Roughly the same proportion cited the lack of comparative, historical data.

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