Lessons from a Bear: 8 Clues Your Sales Software Is Costing You Occupancy and/or Sales Revenue

Let’s face it. Sometimes we hang on to things or people or mindsets that are not good for us because they are comfortable. Or because the “devil that is known is better than the devil that is not known”. Or maybe because we don’t want to stick our neck out on a risk. Or maybe the pain of change is too great.

Clock head

Years ago I heard the story of a bear in a zoo that was sitting on a log in his pen howling in misery. A visitor to the zoo who witnessed the scene for a while finally approached the zoo keeper and asked why the bear was howling. The zoo keeper replied that the bear was sitting on a nail.

“Why doesn’t he get off the nail?” asked the visitor.

The zoo keeper replied, “I guess it doesn’t hurt enough.”

We’re not so unlike the bear when it comes to change. Until the nail we’re sitting on becomes more painful than the discomfort of making a change, we will just complain but not make the effort or be willing to take the risk required for change.

The danger is, sometimes we may not know the hidden damage that the nail is causing us until it’s too late.

For example, let’s talk about your sales software. I’ve met with a high profile Sales VP who actually told me, “I know that our software doesn’t do anything for us, but our people have been using it for 20 years and they are not going to change”.

Really? Does that statement worry anyone else but me? What if that was the excuse for not trading in a horse and buggy for a motorized car? How “left behind” would you be today?

I’ve also heard, “I’m new in this company and don’t want to take any risks that might jeopardize me.” Perhaps your company brought you on hoping you would bring fresh perspective and ideas to the company! Can you afford not to find ways to improve results?

Here are 8 clues that your current software may be costing you occupancy and money.

1. It is nothing more than a “rear view mirror” of your sales. In other words, it can only track what happened after the fact, it can’t make anything happen. And it certainly doesn’t do anything to facilitate or drive your sales for your team.

If your software is a ball and chain rather than your valuable assistant – prompting and laying things out for you – then it falls on the liability side of your business.

2. It doesn’t take advantage of new online/internet communications technologies.
87% of Prospects check you out online before they contact you. And - statistically - contacting a web lead within 5 minutes of their inquiry means you are 100 TIMES more likely to reach them than if you wait 30 minutes. Is your software automatically starting the communication process with your web leads?

3. It does not enforce or complement your sales training systems. In other words, you have to do manual entry and actually work around your software to track your sales training requirements and information. Hint: If you’re using more than 2 outside excel spreadsheets to track your sales info…you have an expensive issue.

4. It isn’t doing anything to give you a competitive edge. If it’s nothing more than an electronic rolodex, your savvy competition will surely beat you to the sale.
65% of managers cited “Follow up” as their #1 business failure. If your software doesn’t address that head on, you know you’re losing money and missed occupancy.

5. It doesn’t help with your communications to Prospects, Family Members or your Outreach programs to Referral Sources. Besides a deliberate one to one email, can your software mass communicate with your different categories of contacts with relevant messages?

6. Is hard to use! If only I had a dime for every time I heard this one. Today a client used the term “so easy even a caveman could use it”. If your team can’t or don’t use it, no software on earth can help improve your results. We believe in designing PhD systems – Push here, Dear!

7. It creates work for your team. Manual forms, duplication of efforts, paper, paper. Paperwork time eats into selling and relationship time. And wasted time costs your most precious resource: human. If your software costs more time than it gives you back, it’s time to re-evaluate it.

8. Doesn’t keep up with you or your needs. If your software isn’t releasing updates that keep up with your industry needs, or isn’t there to support you when you call, or treats you like are a bother to them – they are most certainly costing you money!
If your software pleads “guilty” to two or more of the above, it might be time to think about getting off that nail.


Competition isn’t going to ease up anytime soon. Your prospects are only becoming more savvy. And your team isn’t going to be able to work any harder. The best thing you can do – sooner rather than later – is make it possible for them to work smarter, communicate better than your competition and provide relevant information through consistent follow up.

Yes, getting off the nail can be scary but staying on it can be fatal.