When savvy sales people put on their success pants in the morning, they know it’s all about how fast they rake in the revenue. Sales productivity sounds straightforward—you up the ante and get speedy with your selling, closing sales and improving outcomes right? In theory, it is simple, but in practice, it’s not. Why? Because bottlenecks. Those sneaky areas of internal logistics, old school processes, and general miscommunication that hinder progress and kill your sales productivity vibe. Sales bottlenecks, though pesky, are relatively easy to clear with the right tools. Our tool of choice? A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Here are four common sales bottlenecks and a look at how a CRM clears the chaos. Bottleneck 1: Leads, leads, where are the leads? Finding the time to fill your prospect pipeline can feel as elusive as finding the Ark of the Covenant. You’re not Indiana Jones, for one thing, and your to-do list just won’t allow it. Social media is a fantastic lead-generation source, and, when used properly, can boost performance by 78.6 percent (PDF). “But how will I ever find the time to socialize?” the harried salesperson cries, fist shaking in the air. Yes, it’s impossible to keep track of the social sentiment all on your own, and yes, it would be a huge blow to your sales productivity to do so. Technology to the rescue! Real-time social data in your CRM system does all the social sifting for you, serving up juicy morsels of social insight goodness. Your salespeople can keep tabs on relevant keywords and the customer conversations surrounding those keywords. Armed with this curated data, your sales team can chime in to customer conversations at the right time with the right message to warm up those leads and fill up that pipeline! Bottleneck 2: Too much information, too little time Nothing kills a sale like not knowing what you’re talking about. But nothing kills your productivity like spending hours sifting through customer data trying to keep track of it all. A CRM solution solves this problem by aggregating everything you need in one place—client history, past interactions, appointments, contacts, etc. It’s kind of like your personal sales assistant, keeping you organized. With everything at arm’s reach, you’re locked and loaded before every customer interaction with oodles of know-how to wow and win. The more you know, the more you grow. Bottleneck 3: Information silos Sales team chaos escalates quickly, and miscommunications lead to mistakes and lost revenue. The black hole of email tends to suck time and eat up valuable bits of information, spitting it all out into the cosmic void never to be seen again. A CRM system alleviates communication chaos, giving sales teams a shared virtual workspace. With everything in one place, sales people can juggle the pipeline by sharing to-do lists, co-editing proposals, and updating the team as prospects move through the sales funnel. With a shared pool of skills and contacts, sales teams are empowered to stay agile and work like a network to win sales. Bottleneck 4: Missed opportunities Sales wait for no one, and the pipeline never sleeps. If your sales team isn’t equipped for mobile sales, they’re missing out on primo opportunities. A CRM solution puts your sales force smack dab in the cloud, giving them everything they need on any device, any time, so they can keep the revenue flowing and the conversations happening. Additionally, a good CRM provides touch-first mobile apps that let you update calendars, contacts, and invites while getting real-time insight on metrics as they happen. With the right CRM solution in hand, your sales team will turn into the Flash Gordon of sales, zeroing in on the deals destined to close fastest and reeling in the revenue.