This post originally appeared on LinkedIn by modern sales rep, Brandon Baisch, Customer Success Account Manager at Gradle.
I hate updating Salesforce. It’s not just Salesforce - pick your favorite CRM system. Every time I have to update Salesforce I’m pretty sure another fairy just lost their wings. I know that I’m preaching to the choir but CRM data entry is by far the biggest time suck of my day. I should be focusing on what I’m good at - pursuing high-quality opportunities, closing deals and making my current customers happy. Instead, I’ve become a highly-paid data entry clerk.
Modern sales reps need to be data-driven
But here’s the rub. As a salesperson, I really need information to be centralized and housed in a CRM system. Not just for my manager’s sake, but for my own. Data is becoming the cornerstone of how we become better at sales. The more information we have, the more accurately we can determine who the right prospects are and the right methodology to convert them into paying customers.
The net-net is that data is crucial to our jobs and instead of complaining about it, it’s about time we take ownership of it. We are entering a new era in which we should be gathering and leveraging every last piece of information that can help us close a deal. As Bob Dylan said, “These times they are a-changin’.”
AI is now for sales reps too
So we don’t want to deal with CRM data entry but we want the benefits of the data. Such a conundrum. It’s time that salespeople step into the twenty-first century and take a look around at all of the options available to streamline the sales process - on their own terms. In particular, artificial intelligence (AI).
For example, I use Robin, an artificial intelligence assistant developed by SalesHero, that sends me a daily email with all of the Salesforce tasks it can complete for me. With one click, Robin just logged emails and calendar events to their respective Salesforce accounts, created new contacts for existing accounts, and updated contact information. And, because we use account-based marketing, what’s incredibly helpful is that Robin offers up missing account information like the number of employees a company has, the company description, the annual revenue, and other useful tidbits. This would have taken me at least an hour each day to source myself. Now it’s delivered right to my inbox for my approval and then synced to Salesforce every day. One hour condensed into one minute!
AI lets salespeople take control of their data without putting in the grunt work. It’s no longer just for sales ops, sales managers, C-level executives, or marketing. And it doesn’t have to be unapproachable with the words “deep learning” and “algorithms” floating menacingly nearby. I’m sure there’s a lot going on behind Robin’s curtains but all I have to deal with is a friendly AI assistant that offers to do my boring sales tasks for me.
Because I’m getting my data entry in with Robin, sales ops isn’t trying to convince me to use one of their bloated tools that just adds to my tech stack; I don’t need manager buy-in because it’s not expensive, and there’s no download for IT to be suspicious of. It’s a tool for the sales rep - for me.
Welcome to the modern-day sales rep - one who embraces data (though not necessarily data entry).
Plus, I don’t have to hide anymore from my manager about Salesforce updates.
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