The sales cycle is broken. The connection between marketing and sales is fractured; the hand-off from marketing to sales is fragmented and messy. The foundational elements of the sales process — who to call, when to call them, and what to say — are unclear to sales teams. In an effort to modernize sales, marketing, and customer service — the three pillars of CRM — many of the large CRM vendors have dropped the ball.
Modern CRM solutions have lousy contact-management capabilities and an outdated user experience, and they require too much customization to support the modern sales and marketing process. What was supposed to be about relationship building has been hijacked by bloated systems that emphasize measuring and reporting rather than personalization and user experience.
A new generation of contact-management capabilities is required. Solutions from companies like Contactually, Nimble, and Introhive point to how the market needs to evolve:
- Information architects and technologists need to focus on where the touchpoints happen — at the user-experience layer — and understand data ownership.
- What should be innovative features and functions embedded within the large vendor applications are actually provided by small, agile new vendors. For this reason, these capabilities sit on top of or next to the current generation of CRM applications.
- The contact-management tools that translate raw data into insights about the buyer by adding context will offer the most value to salespeople, not just management.
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