Ignore what is being sold to you. Buy what you need.

When I am speaking with a potential Customer, I find that it is often useful to agree with them first on what it is they want to purchase.

I have yet to meet anyone who really wants to buy a CRM, sales enablement tools, artificial intelligence, machine learning .. in fact any information technology at all!

Typically, in my conversations with Customers they are actually looking for one or all of the following,

  1. Revenue growth
  2. Productivity/Efficiency improvements
  3. An accurate pipeline/forecast
  4. And possibly clean data from sales people, without which decision can’t fairly be made about reductions or expansion on team size.

That’s about it!

Can you buy these?

Now, with this lens, lets take a look at what is available to you, if anything can be bought, to provide answers to one or all of these four,


Firstly, the usual go to for anyone wanting to buy those three above is an investment in CRM. Lets do it.

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Source : IBM.com

Definitely a CRM seems like a popular choice and the spend continues to grow. In fact, spend on CRM is expected to continue aggressively rise hitting $82 billion by 2025..

After CRM, maybe you need to consider artificial intelligence and sales enablement tools.

Many enterprises are diving in to this investment. Spending on sales technology solutions has increased from $2,546 per sales rep in 2014 to $4,581 in 2017.

Almost doubling!

Seems like these must be the obvious choices for driving revenue & improving efficiency/productivity!

Unfortunately there is an inconvenient truth.

Despite all of these products being a tempting (albeit expensive) go to, the one that loads of other firms are turning to but unfortunately they don’t seem to be delivering.

Let’s look at the same CRM growth figures laid out earlier and overlay sales outcomes.

The red line below is the % of sales professionals delivering quotas.

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So spend on CRM has more than doubled from $18 billion to $36 billion over the past 5 years.

Spending on sales technology solutions has increased from $2,546 per sales rep in 2014 to $4,581 in 2017.

But sales team effectiveness (by delivering quotas) has dropped by 20%?

It appears that many firms are spending more and more in this space and getting less and less results?

One of my favorite fairy tales is The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Well I am determined to say the obvious what no-one is saying.

Spending on information technology will not give you want you want to buy!

Focus on what you need, not what they are trying to Sell to you!