How we’ve built a truly collaborative CRM

What do you really need in a collaborative CRM?

Today, every CRM boasts great team collaboration features. They provide you a great list of features to increase your team collaboration, help you synchronize your tasks, and more. But what features does one really need in a collaborative CRM? In fact, some people prefer that a CRM be NOT collaborative at all. Sales is many times a single-person effort, with the salespeople competing on deals and quotas.

Many times, we see teams of salespeople that are forced to use a complicated CRM, and they make minimal use of the CRM. What do they use? spreadsheets of course.

In fact, they prefer that the CRM be NOT collaborative and prefer to work on their own data in private.

Are spreadsheets the solution?

There’s always this clash between management and sales team regarding the visibility of each individual team member’s deal flow. The salespeople want to keep it secret. The team leader wants to have more visibility.

In the end, most sales teams settle on a solution that either includes a CRM or doesn’t. But it always includes spreadsheets. Or little notebooks. Or another note-taking App.

If a CRM is included, it is not really used to its fullest by the salespeople, who just fill it by the end of the month. If a CRM is not included, sales efforts are reported verbally.

Both solutions are mediocre.

What could be the solution?

We think that a mixed approach is necessary.

Spreadsheets have always been paramount to sales productivity, and this is not going to change.

We believe that salespeople should be allowed to keep using simple spreadsheets to track their leads.

However, the spreadsheets should be shared, and include many more features to allow better management for the team. Better tracking. Better nurturing of new members. Better synchronization with the calendar, better connection with the relevant e-mails. In fact, we believe that a spreadsheet should actually include most features of modern CRM solutions, just put it inside the spreadsheet — no new fancy interface.

Thanks for reading,

The Simple CRM System team

Posted originally at simplecrmsystem.com