In the 90s, when I first started in sales, it took some doing to get a person’s name and number. There was no LinkedIn, not much internet, and there were no CRM systems. So veteran sales guys would protect their contacts and business cards very carefully. Then CRM systems came out, and those plus LinkedIn have truly been the bane of Decision Makers.
I had lunch with my former Sales Rep S yesterday, and he is with a new company. He was telling me the people he is calling, which are the same people we were calling from our previous company. Meanwhile, I am with a new company so am calling those people, and our old company is still calling those people — all because their names were entered in a Sales CRM system. It is making it challenging to get doors open (not that it ever has been easy) since soooooo many reps are calling the same people. Honestly, I am not sure CRM systems have made anyone’s job easier, but harder all the way around: harder for the AE who has to enter the data and is competing with so many other people calling in, harder for the managers who have to scrutinize reports and worry about data quality, and harder for the Decision Makers who are getting called so much.