Clark Buckner, host of the Technology Advice Expert Interview Series Podcast, interviewed SalesNexus CEO,
Craig Klein on how CRM, marketing automation and lead nurturing technology can bridge the gap between the marketing and sales teams.
Here are a few of the highlights from our conversation:
TechnologyAdvice:What’s unique about making software for salespeople?
3:04 CRAIG: Well, a salesperson is a unique animal. We all know that. One of the greatest problems that any technology partner faces is that getting salespeople
to adapt to your technology is a real challenge. In fact that’s the biggest reason that still even today 50% of CRM implementations fail and most often
it’s because sales people just don’t want to use the darn thing. What they say most of the time is that it’s too difficult to use and what that really
means is that there’s too many steps. They want to maximize the time they spend talking to customers.
TA: Salespeople always need to focus on the human connection. How can technology encourage that?
4:58 CRAIG: Yeah, absolutely. In fact, I was lucky enough in my previous life to go through some pretty valuable sales training courses. What they teach
you is to work on asking questions and listening rather than showing up and throwing up, as they say, and talking about your own product all of the
time. And that’s really hard for a lot of salespeople to do.
It’s kind of human nature when you’re in front of somebody you don’t know. It’s your first time meeting. You get nervous and you just start talking and
you can’t stop yourself. So in my view, CRM software should help a customer focus on what the right questions to ask are.
In other words, instead of just having fields for me to put in, the phone number and the address, give me a field that lets me put the answers in to the
questions that I really need to ask this prospect. In that way, I’m sitting there looking at a script of what to ask. So that goes to customizing the
technology to guide the person to really focus on connecting with their prospect by asking them questions and listening to what matters to them.
TA: How has CRM technology changed the way that sales teams work, or changed their strategy?
8 :06 CRAIG: …The growth in the industry really is inside salespeople. I need people that can respond to those incoming inquiries on my website. Not
people out there hammering on doors. I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in a group called the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals which is a great group. …That trend means that you have to have technology to manage the connection with a customer that just submitted a form on
If you’re going to call that conversion on your website, if you don’t call within thirty minutes, the likelihood that you’re going to connect with them
and actually sell them something has decayed by about 80 percent. So if you don’t have technology in place to make it easy for that sales person to
win the call and who to call very quickly, you’ve already lost before you ever picked up the phone. So that’s driving a lot of adoption of CRM technology,
sales automation technology in businesses that traditionally have been old fashioned and sort of good old boy sales organizations.
TA:A theme in today’s call is the relationship between marketing automation software and CRM. Do you think
there has to be a relationship between the two?
15:59 CRAIG: Oh yeah. Absolutely. We’re constantly in the middle of that typical division between marketing and sales in an organization. …It’s amazing
how those two teams within one organization can very often be on totally different pages and the marketing guys sort of want to throw things over the
wall to the sales people and it’s like they’re a bunch of lions that they’re throwing meat to and they don’t want to see what happens over there. But
if you can make the two worlds work together, then it enables all that personalization that we were talking about a minute ago. That vastly improves
the experience for the customer and that’s where you win.
Listen to the entire show above in order to hear our full conversation, or download the show to listen later. You can subscribe to the TA Expert Interview Series via Soundcloud in order
to get alerts about new episodes. You can also subscribe to just the CRM category here.
This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice. Interview conducted by Clark Buckner.