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How One Movie Changed the Future of Sales Technology

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The story of Spiro began with a movie, but we’ll get to that in a minute…

In 2013, one of Spiro’s co-founders, Adam Honig, sold his company that he had spent 15 years building to a very large firm. And he found himself in a job that wasn’t completely satisfying.

This dissatisfaction stemmed from the product he was working with – Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

The company did CRM consulting, and having deployed CRM to hundreds of thousands of salespeople he knew one very hard truth: salespeople hated CRM.

When you are trying to implement a system that people describe as: a total waste of time, soul-sucking, over complicated beast of burden, it’s hard to really like your job.

He knew there just had to be a better way for salespeople.

So he quit. And went to see a movie.

Reflecting back on that fateful day, Adam said, “Inspiration for me came at the movies. I watched a movie called ‘Her’ set in the not-too-distant future. Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with a new intelligent “operating system” on his phone played by Scarlett Johansson. And that gave me an idea.”

In case you haven’t seen the movie, Scarlett’s “character” is not just some computer program. She helps Joaquin organize his life, keep him on top of his work and social duties, and basically guides him through his day to be more effective.

Now, the plot of this movie gets a little strange, but the basic premise inspired Adam. What salespeople needed wasn’t CRM, it was Scarlett Johansson. (So to speak.)

Adam left the movie, called up two former coworkers and they started dreaming up, what is now, Spiro.

In 2014 Spiro was officially incorporated with Adam Honig, Andy Levi and Justin Kao at the helm. With more than 20 years of CRM experience under their belts, they were ready to revolutionize the way salespeople sell and create a CRM built for them.

Related: 5 Non-Obvious Ways to Improve Your Sales

Why You Need to Use CRM

Most companies with a salesforce agree they need a way to manage their contacts, track their activities, and forecast their deals. So they invest in CRM.

And studies show that CRM is an important investment. According to Nucleus Research, if used properly, every dollar spent on your CRM will give you $8.71 return on investment. Who wouldn’t want that ROI?

However, many companies aren’t able to get their salespeople to adopt, and use, their CRM. The numbers are a bit staggering. In fact, Forrester Research said 47% of CRM solutions fail.

What we end up with are companies spending millions of dollars on CRM and not getting anything out of it, except for frustration.

What CRM Should Be

Salespeople excel at selling. That’s why they are hired, that’s what they come to work for every day, and that’s what grows your business. Unfortunately, to keep track of all your deals and accurately report to your manager on the state of your pipeline, you have to keep your data somewhere.

The problem is that salespeople are bad at data entry. Well, maybe not bad at it, but they just don’t like it.

Spiro’s co-founders believed that a CRM should:

  • Be built with a salesperson in mind
  • Be fun and interesting to use, not boring time wasters,
  • Not require data entry, and
  • Help salespeople sell.

If managers wanted an accurate forecast, and companies knew there was a return on investment if they utilized a CRM, they just had to find a CRM salespeople would use.

Spiro’s CRM is Radically Different

Spiro uses artificial intelligence to eliminate virtually all data entry and guide a salesperson through their day. It connects to a sales rep’s email, and alerts them to possible new deals not already in their CRM. Spiro then automatically adds in the contact, company, and opportunity, appends it with social data and even pulls in prior emails associated with their prospects.

Spiro then prioritizes reps’ deals and,based on an algorithm trained by nearly 20,000 salespeople, creates a daily to-do list of what calls, emails, and activities each salesperson needs to focus on to move all their best deals forward. In essence, Spiro uses AI to guide salespeople through their day, similar to Scarlett Johansson’s role in ‘Her’.

Beyond eliminating the headache of data entry, at Spiro we’ve taken it even one step further and created a CRM that you can use without even logging in. By having a simple email conversation with Spiro’s CRM, salespeople can add and update records, set reminders, find out what is going on with their deals, and run a variety of reports. Managers can quickly ask Spiro what their team has been doing, and Spiro responds with a detailed email on all their reps’ latest activities and opportunities.

We have created a CRM that takes the administrative labor intensive tasks out of salespeople’s lives, allowing them more time to focus on what they do best: selling.

In fact, when our customers use Spiro, they see:

  • They were able to speak with 47% more prospects per week.
  • Their average deal size increased by about 30%, and
  • Their average win rate increased by about 20%.

The Future of CRM

Today Spiro’s AI-Powered CRM is helping thousands of sales teams to increase effectiveness and deliver more accurate business insights to their companies.

Spiro’s vision for the future is to radically change the way salespeople do their job. We plan to continue pushing the boundaries of how we view, and use, CRM, providing a solution that actually assists salespeople in selling. A CRM that works for them, not the other way around.

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