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Can Modern Sellers Drive Sales with Outdated Systems?

Erin Ollila
December 04, 2020

3 minute read

It’s common knowledge that outdated tech doesn’t perform as well as modern tools. So why are so many sellers still struggling to drive sales while operating with old tech, systems that aren’t sharing data, or tools that don’t allow for automation? Oracle recently partnered with Beagle Research Group to interview 500 sales reps for the Getting Past the Breaking Point of Yesterday’s CRM report to learn how their jobs transitioned as they moved into what has become an increasingly digital role.

Here are four concerns they shared about the business impact of working with outdated systems.

Productivity drops when juggling multiple systems

Toggling between multiple applications that offer different selling tools is taking a toll on the modern seller. And they can’t be blamed for not following their organization’s defined sales methodologies, either. 72% report that they follow the methods their organizations outlined. However, only 37% believe those methodologies are supported by a well-integrated suite of applications. The majority — 55% — waste time by using a combination of digital applications and manual tools to complete their jobs. Sellers searching for the notes they jotted onto last week’s Post-its® can’t productively drive sales.

Manual updates waste crucial time

CRM technology has been an important part of the sales process for some time. However, 86% of sellers voiced frustration about certain elements of their job, and two of the biggest complaints include tasks related to the CRM — entering notes and re-entering email data.

To drive sales in a digital environment, sellers view their CRM as an outdated system that requires too much manual updating. Only 47% of respondents consider their CRM as a “go-to tool.” Worse, 66% of sellers claimed they’d rather engage in unpleasant tasks, such as being stuck in traffic, waiting in line at the DMV, or participating in jury duty than update their CRM systems.

Sellers face “ghosting” from prospects

42% of respondents shared that competitors were snatching up their prospects. Why was this happening? Sales professionals don’t have the tools, like modern configure, price, and quote (CPQ) solutions, to allow them to close the deal. In fact, 58% expressed their frustrations around obtaining approval for quotes and deals. This lack of an integrated and automated system leads to more manual work for the sellers. They spend so much time trying to gain internal approvals for quotes and sales that it’s leading to missed opportunities and deal loss.

Job stressors force sellers out

Not yet convinced that working with outdated systems or wasting time manually updating software majorly impacts the business? Let’s talk about how job stressors affect the modern seller. 90% of sellers voiced concerns that aspects of their job take much more time than they should. This wasted productivity tanks employee morale and engagement—so much so that more than a third of the respondents admitted they were actively considering the possibility of changing careers to something other than inside sales.

When barriers like manual updates, waiting on approvals, and toggling between systems are removed, employee engagement and job satisfaction will increase. Technological advancements, such as integrated cloud-based systems that offer machine learning, proposal, AI, and more, reduce the workload for modern sellers, freeing them up to do what they do best — drive sales.

For more insights, download the Getting Past the Breaking Point of Yesterday’s CRM report. And don’t stop there! See more articles like this:

Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. After a 12+ year career in human resources, she's jumped headfirst into digital strategy. Erin is a geek for SEO and all things social media.
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