I ended my last blog on CRM’s dirty little secret – email is really the #1 CRM used by sales teams. Effective, but extremely inefficient. For email to be the best we can offer is pathetic.
And I oughta know.
Prior to writing what became the prototype of ACT!, I spent 11 years carrying a quota and a bag. I know what salespeople want because I’m one of them. Always have been. Always will be. I love selling! I knew salespeople and sales teams would want to use ACT! and SalesLogix because I wanted to use them. Who can say that about the CRM they’re using now?
The truth is if you’re like most salespeople, you use the CRM you do for one reason – because you have to. More to the point, you use it because you are forced to. Well, sort of use it.
If we’re being honest, what you’re really using is Outlook or Gmail, then inputting the data into your CRM – only to later export the data to Excel where it get’s sliced and diced. Contrary to popular belief, sales teams don’t hate CRM, just CRM that wastes their time without adding much value to their jobs or lives. Contatta, like ACT! and SalesLogix, was conceived out of my dissatisfaction with the status quo. And the status quo is the problem, because CRM as it exists today is simply not very useful to sales teams. It’s an OK data repository but it doesn’t really help salespeople do things better or faster. In fact, it slows them down.
CRM Sales Teams Will Use
The bottom line for me was this: if a CRM product is so ineffective that the best it can do is drive sales teams to the inefficiency of email, I had zero doubt I could do better.
That’s when I began to discuss the problems of CRM with Adam Ross and my son Patrick. Both had worked at SalesLogix. Both had spent their professional careers working in CRM and sales. And just like me, both had turned from CRM and were only using their email. Together we began to sketch out what we would do if we were to build a modern CRM. A better CRM. What we wanted was one with email at the core of a contact, calendar, communication and collaboration CRM platform that brought everything and everyone into one place.
So that’s what we did, and in our efforts to fix CRM, we fixed email as well.
Imagine, a simple, sophisticated, seamless CRM that a sales team actually lives in all day long because they love using it! That is why we built Contatta.
Let me give you a little bit about my background. In 1985, I began to build what became ACT!. ACT! was obviously a very successful product. It created a category. It sold eight million copies, and it’s now over 25 years old. Think about it.
How many products still are in existence 25 years later? It’s a pretty amazing accomplishment. SalesLogix started actually a decade later, 1995. It grew from 0 to $108 million in five years. Incredible growth. Now, two years ago, I started building Contatta. And it’s easily the best thing that I’ve ever done.