Why is this?
I think the following may have something to do with it:
1) Time of sales people are under-appreciated
2) Cost of leads are under-appreciated
Time of sales people are under-appreciated
CRM software has a cost, from $15/month/user for something like Pipedrive, to $260/month/user for Salesforce's highest tier. $260 is around PhP11,000, which is near the allowance of entry level sales people in some industries. Plus there is the investment in time to train the organization in the CRM, as well as the initial upload of data into the system.
This investment does not make sense for organizations where there is a constant flux of hiring and churning of sales people. Nor does it make sense for organizations that pays the lowest salaries in the market.
However, for organizations that retain their sales personnel for years, and compete in the upper regions of market salaries, equipping sales teams with tools that help them sell better makes a lot of sense.
Cost of leads are under-appreciated
For sales-driven companies, marketing efforts can be measured by cost per lead or cost per sale. This is difficult and expensive to compute for traditional channels like TV, print and radio. Among traditional channels, only events (like exhibits) have an easy way to compute cost per lead.
With internet-based lead generation solutions (like Leadfunnel), this computation is straightforward. Once organizations see the cost per lead, they are more likely to try to maximize their revenue from each marketing investment. The first step in achieving this is to not let leads just fall off the attention of the sales team: following-up until there is a clear Yes or a clear No, or until the right time comes. With hundreds to thousands of leads in the pipeline, this quickly becomes a headache with just Excel.
Managing leads with a CRM also allows a comparison of cost per lead and, more importantly, cost per sale of each marketing channel. We love to compete at Leadfunnel, so we like it when our clients compare our cost per sale to other channels. Sales organizations will always have more than one sales channel, but our goal is to have the best ROI among those channels (because smart companies spend more money on the channels with the best ROI).
What will make CRM mainstream in the Philippines?
If my logic is correct, higher salaries of sales professionals should make CRM and sales acceleration software make more sense. The growth of outsourced sales in the Philippines, which is a huge part of the BPO industry, should impact the demand side for sales talent.
Experience in sales pits of US organizations also trains the newer generation of sales professionals in metrics-driven sales.
CRM is also becoming more affordable. We are currently testing Hubspot CRM for a client and it seems pretty robust. Will Hubspot's free CRM bring it to the mainstream the same way Yahoo made email mainstream in the Philippines in the late 1990's?
The younger generation of sales leaders, who grew up with tech, would probably be more open to using software to make their work more efficient and effective.
Lastly, solutions like Leadfunnel will make it easier for organization to measure returns of marketing investment.
All these factors combined should make CRM mainstream. What do you think?