I saw this headline the other day and I was intrigued by this concept given the work we do with executives and sales leaders in the area of sales strategy and effectiveness. It was heightened by an inquiry we received from a rep from billion dollar plus organization. She was looking for tools to help her with her complex sales opportunities and improve her effectiveness, skills and win rate. Why would a successful enterprise sales rep be out shopping for tools?

The answer is interesting but not particularily surprising. In her organization, they have limited tools and she receives no appropriate training and no coaching from her direct supervisor {her words}. This may sound harsh or binary, but it is a fact in many organizations. I have a slight bias because when asked about sales tools, most people immediately default to CRM in their thinking. Although CRM is an important and essential tool, it will not help you be successful in complex, very competitive games of high stakes poker. 75% have organizations have a CRM tool in place and less than half of them actually use the tool or use it effectively. Investments are being made, but we certainly see where there are tremendous gaps.

Sales Leaders have accountability to drive growth and effective performance through engaged employees or partners. As we have previously written, enterprise sales leaders are on the clock from the day they are hired. Their average tenure is under 2 years. If you are a sales leader, how would you react to a sales rep bringing in their own app or tools? Like the BYOD debate, it poses interesting questions. I would view it positively in the sense that it speaks volumes about your people and their desire to grow. It also gives you an opportunity to Beta or see the effectiveness of tools in action. That said, the negative side poses questions about employees needing to make their own investments because the corporation will not. This is either because of the economics or more likely the admission that there is a organizational need to move away from the status quo.

On our side, we had not considered Sales Reps to be part of our target market. We still don’t because of obvious reasons re cost of sale and the ability to reach a large, fragmented market. That said, the Rep in question bought the software tools and it left us thinking about the volume of people in a similar position who would be prepared to make very small monthly investments to get access to on-line tools and coaching proven to increase win rates and make them more productive.

Our sense, given the volume of productivity apps that we all have on our devices [that we pay for and use], the Bring Your Own App discussion is likely to become more common and challenge leaders to think about the status quo.



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