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Is digital friction silently killing your sales productivity?

Is digital friction silently killing your sales productivity?

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By Dana Meschiany

Digital friction has a cascading negative effect on sales orgs. Could this silent killer of productivity be preventing your sellers from achieving, let alone outperforming sales targets?

Sales orgs turn to CRM applications, sales intelligence software, and lead gen and sales prospecting technology to help them sell more, easier, and faster. 

But instead of increasing productivity, the real world result of using these technologies is too-often digital friction – an abundance of complex digital workflows and administrative tasks that require extra time and effort just to get work done. 

A recent Gartner® survey identified that “two-thirds of employees encounter digital friction at work.”  

Gartner, “Future of Work Trends: Information Finds You”,  Stephen Emmott, Michael Woodbridge, October 15, 2021.

This is extra effort exerted to use technology wastes, on average, more than five hours every week, even under normal conditions.

What is necessary is a transformation of user experiences. Prioritizing strong adoption of your sales org’s most critical applications will prevent digital friction while boosting efficiency, engagement, and overall employee satisfaction.

When tech gets in the way of work

According to Gartner, “by 2025, more than half of users will resist using applications that deliver a poor user experience (UX), up from 40% in 2021.” And this resistance means your sales org will fail to capitalize on technology’s promise of productivity.

Gartner, “Cultivate the Voice of the User to Generate High-Value Adoption of Software Products”, Craig Roth, September 16, 2021.

When a user encounters a complicated workflow in an app that has a poor, counter intuitive user experience, they are more likely to defer to using minimal features, delay the task, or abandon it altogether. 

Some sellers even find themselves wasting more time compensating for an app’s deficiencies. A study of 200 sales reps by  InsideSales found that sellers spend 18% of their time in CRMs. And nearly 10% of their time (over half the amount of time spent in CRM) is spent in spreadsheets trying to more effectively manage CRM-related tasks.

Data integrity suffers when sellers don’t use the applications as they’re supposed to. Your CRM is no longer the single source of truth it’s supposed to be. Close cycles, customer journeys, retention, and, ultimately, revenue are all affected.

You need a better approach that puts your sellers at the center of the solution.

Give your sellers the digital experience they deserve

Historically, companies have overlooked employee experience in favor of improving customer experience and developing a more powerful tech stack. But your sellers’ digital experience shouldn’t be an afterthought.

Disruptions caused by the global pandemic fan the flames of (digital friction/employee frustration), further emphasizing the need to prioritize employee experience. 

Instead of adding more tools to fix the problem, it is time to reevaluate your approach and put your sellers first. Overcoming digital friction requires transforming user experiences. Develop and implement an effective digital adoption strategy guaranteeing your sellers embrace any new technology you put in front of them. 

Give your sellers a smarter, simpler selling experience. Providing smart tools that are user-friendly, intuitive, and increase efficiency combined with strong digital skills are key to improving engagement and retention. 

The new world of work has proven that it is no longer enough to be good at sales. Faced with the burden of digital friction, your sellers need strong digital and analytical skills to outperform sales targets. Effective adoption of smart apps will give your sellers the tools and confidence to unlock the potential of your sales technology, boosting productivity and driving revenue growth, faster.

Disclaimer- GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

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Dana Meschiany
Dana is a content and creative specialist, producing strategic marketing content for the masses. She helps WalkMe executives grow their professional brands and hosts the company podcast. After spending over a decade working in high-tech, she knows how important it is to form real human-to-human connections in a digital world.