CRM is broken. What was once designed to make life easier for sales teams, has long ceased doing that. Let me give you two quick examples.
A while back I ran a software company called Flypaper. When I got there we had three salespeople using a leading CRM. I was stunned to discover we were required to run the enterprise version to get what I considered to be only basic functionality. Really? The enterprise version for just three people? I even tried it myself for a day. Cluttered, bloated, confusing, expensive and ugly. One day was enough. I couldn’t believe the leading product could be that bad. It should come as no surprise to anyone that my salespeople pretty much only used it to track deals, and even then, they would eventually put the data into Excel to forecast.
They used their email for everything else.
CRM shouldn’t be this hard
My second example stems from when I served on the board of directors of a leading small business marketing app. I loved the people, but the product was very difficult to use. They have improved it since, but it’s still way too hard for their chosen marketplace – five users or less. Jigsaw Health, my nutritional supplement company adopted it until one employee actually threatened to quit if she had to continue using it. How bad is that? So we stopped. Not surprisingly, I was subsequently “invited” off the board because I was such a pain in the ass for pushing to either make the product easier to use, or at least focus on companies who could actually handle how complex it was.
I continued to try new CRM products when they came out, but I didn’t like any of them. The very simple ones were OK, but they were, well, too simple. Little more than databases for demographics and deals. So, after more than 35 years creating and working with contact management, sales force automation and CRM, I found that, like most members of most sales teams today, my CRM of choice was – email!
CRM is broken. It’s time to fix it. More on how in my next blog post…
It was obvious to me and to others, anytime you talk to anyone using any CRM system, they weren’t happy with it. Even my own old product Act!, I stopped using it in 2006. They re-wrote it in 2005 and, in my opinion, lost the very essence of what was Act!. So I stopped using it.
I looked around at all the various products that were available. I thought they were all terrible. They were nothing that I would use on a daily basis. So I ended up just using what I think is the number one contact manager, the number one CRM system, which is Outlook and Gmail. I mean, if that’s the best that the industry can do, there had to be a way to do something much, much better.