Do you log every call / email? Why/why not?

A customer asked me the other day about getting their work mobile to automatically log every inbound and outbound call to Sugar. I explained how the native apps worked - they prompt the user to log a call after you dial that person, and the view automatically prefills date/time and then you can use dictation to get your notes in. 

But.. that wasn't good enough. They wanted every inbound and outbound call to be automatically logged.

I dug into this topic - "Why?"

"Because that's how I'm measured."

"But why?"

"Because management believe that unless I'm doing a certain number of calls/day, I'm not doing my job/working hard enough."

This customer is not alone. I regularly hear managers asking about automatic call logging, automatic email archiving - all from a view of "if we get it all in there, we know our team is doing their job properly!". I have two comments on this matter:

1. Does management care about output or input?

It should not matter whether you made 1 call, or 4 calls to a prospect. What should be important is whether you advanced the conversation. Has the deal moved down the funnel? That's what counts. With that in mind, that is what should get logged - the calls that make an impact.

2. What does the next person need to do their job well?

Another argument for automated logging of everything is that if staff is away (or leaves), everyone has a history of what has happened. However, having 20 emails with the same subject, to agree a date for a meeting, does not help the next person work out what is going on in the account. I'm a fan of good naming conventions for your activities - so that when someone does look at a customer's history, they can put together the narrative quickly and efficiently.

In summary - I vote no to logging every call/email. I believe common sense ought to be exercised to identify key conversations/emails, and for those to be the ones that get logged. However, there does not have to be a right/wrong here - we all have opinions based upon your experience.

So - what is your take?

  • Hey we are using Salesloft that is integrated with Sugar Sell via Sugar Integrate. We log each call and email which is important but it is even more important to track the opportunities that we create for the sales team and the pipeline we build! 

  • Adam,
    thank you for touching this sensitive question -we have seen this situation so many times for more than a decade in this business...

    We found, that like any human being, people of management are eager to get the information they consider key for themselves as soon as possible to get a full picture and achieve awareness of the situation for managing it.

    In case they are unable to retrieve that key information fast from the spammy thread of others' notes/mailings/ calls & meetings held, etc, they follow the simplest and wrong approach while seeking for the path to increase the outcomes of the team - they start calculating the number of actions. Driven by that, they set new performance indicators for the staff, focusing them on registering each action, which, consequently, only increases the flow of the spammy thread of activities that management was hoping never-ever read...

    And we found Sugar solutions may help management to break this circle with just two simple steps:
    a) use CJP to set up expectations for each stage in the form of a checklist
    b) describe (then get configured) the list of custom key events they like to be aware of, gaining the ability to fast and easily stay on top of things with key events collected on the Accounts'/Contacts'/Leads' Timeline in Sugar

  • Adam, quality beats quantity every day for me,  In my experience measuring only quantity metrics drives entirely the wrong behaviours in teams. Finding quality metrics is much harder to achieve but, there are useful proxies for quality, these I find are dependent on the particular use case and probably warrant a whole thread in their own right!

  • This might slightly depend on roles within a company.

    As a BDR, I do see some benefit of calls being logged automatically.

    1. Quantity reduces risk. In other words, getting your (likely inexperienced) BDR team to make many calls will allow them to not get every call right. And If they´re making many calls, you can save 1-2 clicks by auto-logging.

    2. Trust. Now, you can let your BDR team tell you what they did. And manage trust. But that´s a lot of pressure, on both sides. Or you can let them show you what they did. And build trust from there. 

  • For me, its about staying organized, and ensuring I am tracking various discussion points with customers.  Right now, because I find Sugar clumsy in this area, I am struggling to with two CRMs. One my company uses (Sugar) and my own so that I am not using a notebook to track my client engagements.