Good CRM Data is the Secret to Better Sales Performance

Everyone has the secret to higher conversion rates and more closed deals, right?

Reps that say THIS WORD close 10x more than their peers.

Leverage pre-call research and you’ll book 30% more appointments.

This script will get the meeting every time!

None of these claims are unfounded. Language, pre-call preparation, and specific call structures all play into performance, but it goes deeper than that.

My take is that you need good relational CRM data if you’re going to increase your team’s success. Otherwise, how can you use calls to improve performance? You’re missing a big piece of the puzzle.

The State of CRM Call Data

Erol Toker at shared some shocking stats with me that illustrate the problem with CRM data:

Half of all phone activity data never makes it into the CRM.

Only 27% of phone activity data is tied to the right records in the CRM (accounts, opportunities, cases, etc).

What does this mean?

All of the calls your reps are making or taking aren’t being logged in a meaningful way to your CRM.

Instead, you have a ton of orphan tasks that can’t be associated with any record. Even if your reps are manually entering data and associating it with the correct records, you’re not getting much more than “Call.” That’s about as helpful as putting “Weather.”

How Siloed CRM Data Affects Your Sales Metrics

Think about how you measure the success of your team and your reps. Your metrics probably include things like:

  • The number of outbound dials or inbound calls taken
  • Talk time and/or call length
  • The outcomes of those calls such as leads passed, pipeline generated, closed deals, upsells generated, customer enquiries resolved, etc.

These are all great things to measure and it’s relatively easy to get the data. What you’re missing, however, is what’s in the middle: information about the quantity and types of conversations. Which means you don’t know your team’s batting average–the relationship between the activities your reps are having and the results.

Consider the following:

Rep A takes 200 inbound calls and converts 20 of them into one-call closes.

Rep B takes 100 inbound calls and converts 15 of them into one-call closes.

Who is the better rep?

Rep A has a 10% conversion rate, but Rep B is converting at 15%. If you have Rep B take more inbound calls, they’ll sell more and have higher sales productivity than Rep A.

But there may be more variables to the equation. What if one advertising source generates better inbound calls that are routed to a specific rep? What if the reps are offering different products?

Let’s revisit the first example:

Rep A sells a product worth $1000. Their 20 sales generate $20,000 in revenue.

Rep B sells a $500 product. Their 15 sales generate $7500 in revenue.

Now, who’s the better rep?

This is why attaching relational data to call data in your CRM is SO CRITICAL. Without knowing more about the calls, how could you possibly know which rep is performing better?

The key to increasing performance is to understand the number of meaningful conversations and conversion rates RELATED TO other data fields that you already have in your CRM.

These are some data fields that help paint the full picture:

Lead Source/Marketing Campaign

Some campaigns or lead sources generate better conversations than others. The call disposition will help sales and marketing quickly dial in what’s converting better.

Lead Status

This field is critical to understanding lead quality and whether or not reps are sticking to your lead workflow cadence.

Buyer’s Phone Number

Direct lines aren’t just about getting a hold of the prospect. The area code is incredibly valuable for understanding the region they’re in.

Call Duration

The length of a call or multiple calls provides additional insight into how a conversation went.


In organizations with multiple product lines and offerings, it’s mission critical to know what accounts, contacts, and leads are being sold. This affects everything from reporting to reps’ target metrics.

Opportunity Stage at Time of the Call

Conversations and activities look different across each stage of the sales process. Knowing where an opportunity is when the call was placed sets expectations for the call’s content and desired outcome.

Current Opportunity Stage

Knowing where a deal currently stands affects pipeline reviews and reporting. It also helps you see how activities and calls are impacting a deal’s progression.

Opportunity Price Point

Deal size helps you and your reps make informed decisions when prioritizing their workflow. It’s also critical to deal reviews and reporting.

Call Disposition/Call Outcome

You cannot measure the success of a call without knowing what came out of it. Call disposition can also help illuminate if certain dial windows are more or less effective, if reps are having conversations, and whether or not those conversations are successful.

If you use conversation intelligence software, you can dive even deeper into the data and look at:

  • Talk-Listen ratio
  • Interchanges (back and forths in conversation)
  • Number of times a topic or keyword comes up

When you marry high-quality CRM data with call recordings, it gives you an incredibly powerful 360° view of your sales organization. There’s no more guessing–you can take a hypothesis such as “Reps who mention 2nd degree LinkedIn connections on the first call close bigger deals” and drill into the data to uncover the answer. This ultimately gives you the power to improve performance and drive more revenue without guessing.