LLMs will kill traditional CRMs

There are many implications to LLM technology.  The way we conduct business in the future will be different, likely removing many tools from the workflow that we use every day. The CRM is one of them, lets dive in to what a CRM-less future entails.

I've been the CRM Data Cop before and basically built my career off of my ability to manage and automate data using Salesforce. Salesforce, in the revenue context, or ATSs in the talent context, provide two functions:

1) Pipeline Management / Forecasting

2) Structured Data Storage for prospecting

For either of these functions to work, you have to be diligent on your data entry. As the Data Cop (Sales Ops), I diligently reviewed all incoming data, met with team members to ask probing questions, facilitated large meetings to bring consistency and alignment to what structured field and pick lists were defined as, and I automated a bunch of annoying emails that would go out when the data was not being updated. It's a lot of work, and even though I was top of my game, I still felt like we were only 50% the way there in terms of building a data asset for the future as well as just knowing what revenue would look like for the quarter 30 days out.

LLMs are going to change the game here. Data acquisition was always important, but having to structure it all to provide value was cumbersome and ultimately made us shift our focus from "get as much of the data as possible" to "get as much of the data we can structure as possible".

The future is ruthlessly focused on data acquisition.  That is going to be the prime directive for Sales Ops and Talent Ops teams going forward. Get the call transcripts. Get the emails. Get the publicly available data from LinkDB or Crunchbase. All of these data sources are going to live in separate places, and that's okay. Today, we can take it all and make sense of it programmatically without needing our teams to fill in fields or make decisions like "is this going to close in 15 days or 30 days?".

In this world, the UX for the CRM changes. Editing records will be a thing of the past, and will mostly live in the background. What will be on the foreground is the information you need (dashboards) and the activities you need to do now to hit your goals. Building outreach pipelines, agonizing on forecasts, and structuring your written notes in to arbitrary fields will go away.

Basically, everyone is going to have their data lake that will have tools the work on the backend to take data from the lake and structure it for search, forecasting and other insights. Team members will be focused on their customer facing tasks and gathering data, without the need to input it anywhere.

With this in mind, every company needs to be thinking about the tools they are using and if they are currently gathering as much raw data as possible. That is step one. Step two will be finding the right tools that allow the company to make efficient use of the data so they can close more deals or find more folks to hire. Those tools are in the early days, but today you can start thinking about your data strategy and how you are going power these tools with the data you acquire. Without the data, you wont be able to use the new tools.

Learn more about what we are building at Threaded here: https://www.threaded.app/

Trent Krupp

Founded Threaded: The personal rolodex built from your existing data. Previously, Head of Product at Impact, a market network serving the entertainment industry as well as Head of Revenue at Triplebyte and Hired. Founded an agency in my 20's, sold it to Hired and became employee 5. Recruited for VCs, growth and public companies. Helped the founders of recruitment tech startups Shift.org, Trusted Health, Terminal and Beacon in the early days.