When it comes to customer relationship management (CRM) applications, there seems to be a lot of disagreement over what the purpose of the app is between the people using the software and the people who actually paid for it. Senior managers generally view CRM as a way to gain better visibility into the sales pipeline. Sales people, on the other hand, are often hesitant to share that information, because it creates a level of expectation that from their perspective is unreasonable.
In fact, the problem many sales people have with CRM software in general is that it is designed more to help the senior managers than to help people involved in sales. To address that issue, Retriever Communications has launched Barking Lead and Barking for Sales, two mobile computing applications designed specifically to make sales people more efficient.
Barking Lead is a free app for Apple iOS devices that helps sales people organize their opportunities. Barking for Sales lets users create tasks and set priorities, find customer reports and manage lead follow ups, and it integrates with calendar and email functions. Retriever Communications CEO Mary Brittain-White says both applications provide access to a local database, which gives sales representatives control over the types of data they want to share with others.
Brittain-White says organizations can force sales representatives to enter data into a CRM system. But much of that data is not going to reflect the true state of a sales opportunity. Sales people are more likely to share that data when it’s organized to their benefit in the first place, says Brittain-White.
The degree to which that statement is true is naturally a focus of much fiercer debate within many organizations. But like it or not, most sales people are reticent to share data with senior managers for a variety of reasons—not the least of which is ownership of the account. But what is certain is that, regardless of the visibility into the pipeline, all parties agree that it is in their mutual interest to make sure sales people are as productive as possible.