What are some features or areas of improvement that CRM systems and other sales tools could do to help sales reps close deals, find better leads etc? What are features sales reps would love to have in a sales tool / app to help them do their job and close deals faster?
One of the most important things to have in mind is that every step in the process of entering data into the CRM should help the sales rep to advance in his sales process. To many CRMs are emphasizing on data for management and reporting on stuff that doesn't help the sale forward.
Having been a user and an implementer or both salesforce and zoho, I'd say the answer here is simplicity.
Most sales reps hate administrative burdens. The more the CRM can be set up to be useful and with as few taps as possible, the better. Leave the complex stuff to marketing and management.
My personal peeves with CRM:
1. No support for actually closing the deal. (Full disclosure, this is partly why I created Mimiran Online Proposals (http://www.mimiran.com)-- to get you from "can you send me a proposal?" to deal closed.)
2. Too much manual data entry (SFDC, looking at you). Too much time and effort having to manually track, vs actually trying to sell. Then the VP of sales wonders why the reports don't look right.
Good answers so far. I'm going to take apart the question though...CRM systems aren't to find leads or better leads. Remember it's a CUSTOMER relationship management program. There's great tools to help you find leads and make them customers.. I say this because it leads to the real role of CRMs in the role we leverage it, to be the "assistant buyer' to our customers. What I want to see in a CRM is what's important to them, not to me. In fact, if, like Linked In does, I could see on a customer's record, people in industries like him and what they're posting/tweeting etc, news stories important to those with his title as well of course as his history with my company, that's an ideal CRM. I'd like him to welcome every call and email I have because I've identified something important to him, sometimes before he does himself.