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Is Your CRM Designed for Managers or to Help Salespeople Build Relationships with Buyers? With Andy Fowler [Episode 497]

In this episode, we discuss CRM technology.

Andy Fowler, Co-Founder and CTO of Nutshell CRM, joins me on this episode.


Marketing and sales have a proliferation of tools in their stacks. On the sales side, so many tools over-promise, but deliver little utility. Many reps spend more time typing and tracking than they do relating with people.

Nutshell CRM reminds reps what they know about the person on the other end of the phone line. It is a good memory device. Steve Jobs described computers as bicycles for the mind. They help us move faster to get things done.

The other promise of CRM is a tool to command and control reps. That’s the easier promise to deliver. But what’s best for the business is a CRM that helps the rep in building relationships. Nutshell launched in 2010 to help reps.

Andy has learned you need to understand the goal of the person using your product. Who is using the CRM, reps or managers? He also learned the importance of tool integration. Nutshell was the first CRM to integrate with Google Apps.

Andy moved into the CRM market to address three specific areas: product UI design, API access, and mobile (both on iOS and Android). In 2010, mobile was a wide-open space. The Nutshell ICP is small outbound sales business.

There are different ways to determine ROI of CRM, but more emphasis needs to be placed on the human relationship. The process should exist to make the interaction higher-value and more impactful.

Nutshell refers to the CRM as where you put things, in a nutshell. The name preceded the product.

Nutshell is more than a notebook for sales. Andy uses it on every phone call, and it shows all conversations of all team members with that customer, in a single timeline, sort of like a Facebook newsfeed.

Andy builds a relationship with the prospect, usually the owner of the business, who is adept and expert at the work they do. Andy educates them on how software can help them keep track of their customers better.

Most new Nutshell clients are either not on a CRM, or they are on a competitor, and don’t like how it works.

Salesforce may be great for companies of 100-1,000 sales reps, but companies should find the tool that works for their team now. Nutshell offers a 14-day free trial. People usually understand right away if it fits their style of working.

Andy suggests directions for the future of CRM. Some are going to data science and AI/machine learning. Andy sees more competition from products that really understand the human relationships you build, more than being data-centric.

The Sales Enablement Podcast with Andy Paul was formerly Accelerate! with Andy Paul.