November 10, 2014

[Whiteboard] Why CRMs Offer Task Management

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Everyone loves whiteboards. Whether it’s someone talking about the Cloud in their basement or the high-fashion lighting of Moz’s famous Whiteboard Fridays, knowledgeable people talking in front of whiteboards is an official Internet thing.

And new research shows why. Watching a whiteboard video can increase information recall by 15 percent, which is astounding given the relative difficulty of achieving between 5 and 10 percent.

(We all like to remember what we just watched, right?)

With that in mind, we’d like to proudly introduce TechnologyAdvice’s Business Technology Whiteboard series, or if we’re talking Twitter, the #BTW.

In this episode we examine why customer relationship management products are starting to offer task management features.

Over the last several years, CRMs have grown to offer a much wider range of features than simply contact management. Salesforce, for instance, now offers an entire suite of enterprise features, including identity management. More common features include email marketing, social media integrations, and as we just covered, task management.

CRM + Task Management

Building task management – not to mention other project management features – into a CRM is a logical progression. Building relationships with customers is a process. If sales reps view each sale as a project, then there will always be a series of tasks necessary to accomplish each goal.

That means you’re going to need task management.

For example, a sales rep may need to:

  1. Prospect/cold call
  2. Update data about each prospect
  3. Set appointments to follow up with each prospect that showed interest
  4. Research each prospect who’s given an appointment
  5. Record the research in a CRM so the sales team can use it
  6. Deliver on the next appointment with the prospect and try to move them down the funnel

And this sales rep hasn’t even gotten near closing a deal. The entirety of this process is taking place in the top of the funnel. However, it’s important for their managers and teammates to see how this sales rep has been spending time. This makes it easier to measure productivity, encourage collaboration, and promote accountability.

Sales Gets Organized          

 Hubspot sales meme











 The image of the freewheeling, shoot-from-the-hip salesperson who can talk any customer into a purchase is an antiquated idea of what sales is about. Salespeople need to use data just like the rest of us to make better decisions on how to approach each call.

Sure, sales is still an emotional game in many respects, but it has to be organized. Smart CRM vendors know this, which is why they’re supplying the market with tools such as task management.

For many organizations, taking the next step from just recording information about contacts to treating sales as a series of processes under a larger project represents a large shift. To make it work, you’ll need a platform with project management features, of which task management is the simplest and most widely applicable. 

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