When I started selling, my boss (who taught me most of what I know about selling – thanks Greg), was adamant about my using our CRM. A big reason I was able to get into a sales role was because the current sales team was mediocre at best when it came to actually using a system. Ownership & management had become frustrated with the perceived lack of customer service and missed sales as a result.

If you ask any sales person how solid their sales ability/processes are, 9.9 times out 10 they’ll tell you they don’t miss a beat. The reality is that’s simply not true – and we’re all human. Early in my career I was no different, I thought I could do everything the CRM did on a legal pad. I mean, why not? It was all the same in my mind. So for a period of time, Greg had to consistently remind me to enter customer information into the CRM.

Eventually, after enough “reminders”, I caved and started moving everything from my legal into our CRM. Initially I sounded just like anyone else – “this is a waste of time, this takes up too much time, I could be selling”. After a month, the results were shockingly clear: I clearly couldn’t do everything a CRM can on a legal pad. I was selling 3x as much. So even though I sat down every day and entered all of my handwritten notes into the system (~15 minutes max to complete the dreaded double data entry…), my production tripled.

Why did my production triple? There are a few reasons. First, I didn’t forget to follow up with customers. Research shows people will forget on average three things a day – and salespeople forget to follow up 48% of the time. The system eliminated that. It also automatically scheduled a few reminders for me as soon as a lead was created. At minimum then I had to contact each sales lead multiple times. This is important considering that 80% of sales don’t close until after the 5th contact with the customer is made.

The moral of the story? Now I know better – I wouldn’t be able to do my job without a CRM.