Time is money for a rep. You need to know the most important thing to do right now, and what to do next. If you’re not clear on which opportunities are accurate, you’re relying on your memory to know which ones need work. As you take on a bigger book of business, with more opportunities, quarter after quarter, relying on your own memory means mistakes and wasted time.
If you only have one deal, it's not an issue. But if you're responsible for more deals than you can remember, you need a way to manage sales pipeline and sort them. Ideally, you’re always spending time first on the deal that needs the most attention now, which is usually the one that’s about to close.
Maintaining rigor in CRM is also a proven best practice of the most successful sales organizations on the planet. Bravado and confidence are often a good thing in sales, but are you willing to bet your commission check and career against best practice? You will also need to use opportunity information, like stages, to communicate to others where a deal is and where you need help. Other peer groups will use that information to make decisions about how to spend their valuable time. You may need help from an engineering team, product management, or even marketing. Inaccurate or missing information could mean your deals are de-prioritized. It could also mean you miss out on the support that could help them progress.
There can be many reasons reps might avoid keeping opportunities updated. You may think your managers are lording over you, wanting to inspect your work and micromanage. You may not want them in the weeds of your deal, or are worried about deals being slowed or needing extra approvals at each step. Opportunity management rigor requires trust and creates accountability. Giving your team, including your managers, visibility is an occupational hazard in sales. Remember, sales is a team sport.
In my experience, 95% of the time, reps are not “sandbagging” or hiding details so they can show a sudden, unexpected burst of performance. They just haven’t yet built the strong muscles of paying attention to detail and adding rigor to the management of their book of business. In the long run, more people are successful by being transparent and getting additional help and support on a deal, than they would be by hoarding it.