Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lies, Damned Lies, and CRM Reports has just released a report by CSO Insights, on how to benchmark your sales force. This report is called the "Sales Performance Optimization Report."

A year ago, I would have read this report much differently. Through the lens of "The CRM Dilemma", it was like listening to Michael Scott from "The Office" speak his words of wisdom. I had tears rolling down my cheeks I was laughing so hard. The assumption is now that CRM is fast, mobile, and user friendly, sales reps will tell you every activity they are doing. This activity data can be used to evaluate their performance through the wonderful charts, graphs, and reports available in today's CRM. This is known as "Magical Thinking."

Does anyone really think that sales people will faithfully provide their activity data, so their performance can be optimized?

Talk about "Carrying the stick you will be beaten with!"

CSO Insights put a lot of work into this report. Like all CRM sales documents, they use the word "Can", like it is actually the word "Will."

Sales data from your ERP system is usually pretty reliable, so go ahead and make charts, graphs, and analytical reports to your heart's content. Why did we ever get the impression that sales reps would provide all this data that can be used against them? I am amazed now that I used to think they would, and I was a sales rep.

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