With limited time, how do you prioritize initiatives?  We will discuss how your sales organization can prepare to utilize technology effectively.


Garbage in, garbage out


Many sales organizations are using new technology to automate broken processes.  Why?  They are looking for a quick fix.  This leads to a lack of faith in the technology.  


We will discuss the following:


  1. If your processes is ready for emerging technology
  2. How to build an infrastructure to support technology


Download the process maturity tool to determine if your process is ready for new technology.


 Blog Visual Maturity 


I recently worked with a client that believed technology was the answer.  They had 27% quota attainment within their sales force.  Their opportunity win rate was 14%.  I learned they had no idea how to fix these problems.  They knew quota attainment was poor.  They knew conversion rates were awful.  They knew leads weren’t converting to opportunities. 


Why didn’t they fix these issues?  They were always chasing the new shiny ball.  They implemented the best new CRM system.  They purchased the best marketing automation solution.   Why did they invest in new technology?  They wanted to track more customers and prospect data.  They thought the technology would drive more leads and help with forecasting accuracy.


This client wasn’t executing the fundamentals.  Technology alone won’t fix their quota attainment problem.  It won’t convert more opportunities to customers.  They weren’t being honest about the true problem.  Both the technologies they purchased can be incredibly powerful tools.  But first they needed to fix their internal processes.    


CRM Data Integrity Issues – this client didn’t reinforce process usage.  Many customers in the CRM system only had 1 or 2 contacts listed.  Email addresses weren’t populated consistently and much of the contact information was outdated.  Forecasting was forced at the field level and not based on real numbers.  Executives used the field rollup, but deviated from the technology.  Sales people would guess as to what stage each deal is in.  Proxy close rates were applied to each stage.  This was really a systematic approach to ensure inaccurate forecasting. 


Marketing Automation Not Fully Utilized – the system was being used to track and capture leads.  This data was used to launch mainly new logo marketing campaigns.  Current customer campaigns were neglected because sales professionals blocked marketing from contacting them.  Sales leaders allowed the field to “own” their customer contacts.  80% of this customer’s growth came from upsell and cross-sell within the base.   How much incremental revenue were they leaving on the table? 


Technology alone won’t solve your problem.  It may help support a solution.  Solving the problem starts with people and processes.  Don’t invest in technology as a quick fix to a complex issue. 


Sound familiar?  Try to following instead – Build an infrastructure to support technology


Before Marketing Automation


  1. Accurate customer and prospect data – you can’t drive leads without accurate contact information.  It is very important to have a customer marketing program as well.  Driving leads is not just about prospects.  To drive leads within the base you first need accurate contact information. 
  2. Integration into CRM – determine how the two systems will work together.
  3. Buyer Research – marketing automation will be more effective if your messaging is relevant to customers.
  4. Lead Management Process – you are going to be driving demand into the technology.  How do you separate the real leads from the fake? 
  5. Content – marketing automation will not be effective without great content.  The content should be built based on your buyer research.  What do your customers respond well to? 


Before investing in a new CRM


    1. CRM expectations – data integrity expectations need to be clear to all stakeholders.  Data entry progress should be tracked and rewarded. Some sales organizations will make CRM data integrity a scorecard item.
    2. Sales Methodology – if the process isn’t built into the CRM, reps won’t use it.  Build your sales methodology into the CRM to drive adoption.
      1. Ensure clear demarcation between sales methodology phases
      2. Track sales methodology phase progression statistics based on historical performance
    1. Leadership reinforcement – a CRM will only be used if leadership uses it.  Forecasting, pipeline reviews, and deal reviews should all be done with CRM data.
    2. The Sales Team should live in the CRM- Here are a few examples:

      • Sales Process execution
      • Embed sales methodology tools
      • Force usage to move deals forward or add to forecast
      • Calendar management
      • Knowledge management


We discussed a couple technology options that will make you more effective.  Don’t waste money investing in technology before you are ready.  Technology will not replace execution by your people or world class processes.  It will help make them more effective.  


Call to Action


  1. Perform customer research
  2. Download the Process Maturity Tool to assess your processes
  3. Implement best in class processes
  4. Hire the right resources to execute and own them
  5. Find technology that can make both more effective


How do you utilize technology to Make the Number?



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Scott Gruher




Scott Gruher

Orchestrates and designs the perfect project strategy, one engagement at a time, to ensure that every SBI client makes their number.

Scott joined SBI in 2010 with years of hands-on experience in sales leadership and enterprise selling. Since his arrival, he has helped dozens of organizations dramatically accelerate growth, from Fortune 10 organizations like Phillips 66 to fast-growing cloud service organizations like InfusionSoft. Scott specializes in cross-functional alignment. He helps leaders align around the growth goal and design the right processes to bring the strategy to life. His unique combination of real world experience and a pragmatic approach to problem solving have made him one of SBI’s most demanded resources.

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