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CRM Has Failed in the Past. But How is it Helping Today?
Blog / All About CRM / Feb 16, 2016 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 1274 

CRM Has Failed in the Past. But How is it Helping Today?

In this series, we’ve covered why CRM has failed in the past, what is really needed for a CRM today and what we at Pipeliner are doing about it.

Now let’s take a look at how and why Pipeliner factually and practically empowers salespeople. If you utilize CRM anywhere at any time, this could be very valuable information for you.

Lowered Value Across the Boards

As we’ve gone over, traditional CRM applications were crippled by technology available at the time of development, plus the incorrect approach of turning the user into a data-entry clerk without providing any kind of return on all back to that user. In other words, for all that data entered, they were provided no help in making their sales. CRM was basically put there so management could monitor sales, but not so salespeople could be better or more efficient at selling.

Because salespeople abhorred CRM, they were entering the least amount of data possible. They didn’t care all that much—they weren’t going to get anything out of it anyway. The result? A CRM application that cost the company a great deal of money, time and resources that was anything but a return on investment.

The real irony is that the CRM application was supposedly there for management. Yet if you go into just about any organization running traditional CRM, you’ll find sales managers chasing all over the place to obtain up-to-date information about sales: calling and emailing the reps, and holding lengthy sales meetings to get the latest—instead of getting this data from CRM, simply because full information isn’t in CRM. So CRM hasn’t even fulfilled the purpose it was put there for.

Reverse Approach

When we set out to develop Pipeliner, we knew that CRM was not assisting salespeople, simply by the phrase we heard from them again and again: “CRM sucks!” We decided then to reverse the approach of CRM, and make it more of a bottom-up than a top-down model. In other words, we were out to develop an application that would truly empower salespeople, and make it totally worthwhile for them to use CRM.

We knew that if we did so, the quality of the data being input into CRM would be greatly enhanced. That meant that not only sales reps would benefit, but sales management would have a single, central real-time repository for sales data, to which they could look at any time and gain instant understanding of the current sales scene. Or, as we like to say, instant intelligence, visualized.

The Daily Assist

From the beginning, our approach to Pipeliner development has been highly practical. We continually ask the question What helps the individual on a daily basis? The answers to this question have evolved into every feature and benefit we see in Pipeliner today, from its visual pipeline, timeline, dynamic target, account, contact, and KPI views, right down to its powerful reports.

At any time, a user can take a very rapid look into Pipeliner and totally grasp where they stand in relation to the target.

As an example of Pipeliner’s flexibility, a user can look over the opportunities in a pipeline and quickly exclude opportunities that may not come in, or are too much of the target to be counted on with confidence (the target will fall completely flat without them). Or, other opportunities could be included to see how closing them could boost the target. Of course, sales management could do this also.

Another very practical feature is “Recently opened”—which I like to call “Monday morning.” In this feature they can see which accounts, contacts, opportunities or leads they’ve recently opened. That’s why I call it “Monday morning”—a user can come in on Monday and see what they did on Friday. Immediately they know what to do.

We also have a “star” feature to mark your favorites, just as you would in a browser.

In addition to all of its major, very practical functionality (of which there is much more to come), we’ve also paid attention to details that might seem unimportant. For example from just about anywhere in Pipeliner a user can write a reminding note, something like “Bring a bottle of wine to the meeting,” that wouldn’t necessarily need to be in CRM proper, but something rep would not want to forget.

Assumption of Love

Overall, the assumption is made with Pipeliner that the user will love it, its functionality and usefulness. The core understanding is that as much as the salesperson is liking, using, and actively involved in the product, the data becomes highly useful for the rep, the manager and anyone else that needs information from CRM.

And from what we hear from customer after customer—we’re totally succeeding in this mission.

What is that makes Pipeliner CRM so incredibly practical and useful? Find out! Download a free trial today.

About Author

A 30-year veteran of the computer industry, Nikolaus has founded and run several software companies. He and his company uptime iTechnology are the developers of World-Check, a risk intelligence platform eventually sold to Thomson Reuters for $520 million. He is currently the founder and CEO of Pipeliner Sales, Inc., developer and publisher of Pipeliner CRM, the first CRM application aimed squarely at actually empowering salespeople. Also a prolific writer, Nikolaus has authored over 100 ebooks, articles and white papers addressing the subjects of sales management, leadership and sales itself.

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