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Market Voice 16 Nov 2020 - 2 min read

The world has changed, CRM systems haven’t – and that’s a big problem

By Kevin Ackhurst - ANZ Enterprise Sales Director, HubSpot

Your cobbled together, clunky CRM system is killing your productivity and hurting your customers’ experience. Take a look at your software to thrive in a business environment that has irreversibly changed, says HubSpot ANZ Enterprise Sales Director, Kevin Ackhurst.

Research shows that around one third of all CRM projects fail at implementation, and even more fail to actually drive business growth, something Australian marketers appear acutely aware of. But 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. 


Poor CRM software: time to go extinct

2020 has accelerated digitisation and remote working in leaps and bounds. We’ve seen how quickly people adapt to Slack, Zoom and Asana. Meanwhile, businesses have rapidly built out and evolved commerce channels to keep pace with our new reality.

But amid this evolution, there’s one conspicuous missing link – sales software. A business's sales team is critical to the experience your customers have, they’re one of the first points of contact, yet are often under-equipped with software that’s not meeting their needs, let alone their customers. 

The way salespeople sell has changed enormously this year, yet they’re still  being hindered by bloated software solutions that have failed to adapt to the shifting business environment.

New global research conducted by HubSpot, shows that sales leaders have mixed feelings about their CRM software. They understand the value of a CRM’s features, but report that their own software isn’t easy to use. Almost 50% of sales leaders are very confident that their CRM allows them to deliver the buying experience their customers expect. However, 80% agree that their current CRM isn’t powerful enough to meet their business goals for the next three years. 

With customer expectations higher than ever and continuing to grow, businesses need to look for CRM software that’s powerful, yet easy to use, and one that will scale as their team and business does.


Make it easy, win

The CRM solutions that dominate today’s market are bursting at the seams with complex features: instead of supporting prospects and customers, or actually selling, sales people are left with an endless list of new tools to learn in an already bloated platform.

They have usually been cobbled together over years of mergers and acquisitions: and they leave sales professionals wasting time knitting together data from multiple systems that weren’t originally built to work together, instead of spending time helping customers. In Australia, over 40% of sales leaders surveyed are using a CRM, but a quarter report that they’re dealing with clunky systems - and it’s a core challenge. 

CRM software is at the core of an exceptional customer experience, it’s the tool that empowers not only your sales team, but every customer-facing individual and team in your business. 

As the world’s best technology brands have figured out, ease-of-use is the secret sauce of success with all 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 motivated and productive teams, and businesses, that are more successful. 


Dragging CRM software out of the past

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. It’s way past 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 no longer cuts it. 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, powerful reporting capabilities. Succeeding in the future requires us to be agile. You can’t be agile when your core tools are painful to use and ill-adopted. 

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

  • Most importantly, find a sales CRM that equips your team 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. Sales leaders have to evolve with it. Arming them with the right tools will define success or failure.


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