By SugarCRM:

In a recent survey, we asked sales executives to list all the tech tools (both hardware and software) they provide to their teams to help make them more effective. To my surprise, more respondents told us they rely on their CRM than a laptop or smart phone. Here’s the full results for the 11 most mentioned categories:

Obviously 99.9% percent of sales teams use smartphones heavily and 95% utilize a laptop. So what gives? I think it the results lie in how the question was worded. Here’s the full question (bold emphasis is mine): Which of the following technology tools does your organization utilize to increase the effectiveness of your sales team?

Now the results make more sense. Sales reps are so familiar with hardware that it has become commoditized. It’s simply the tool they use to access what is really important, which is the software tools listed above. Software has become your favorite TV show (though hopefully with fewer dragons); the hardware is simply the television in your living room. It might be a 70 inch high-def UHD box , but it’s just the tool that gets you to the data you really want.

Our survey also asked respondents to rank how valuable they find each SalesTech tool they regularly use. Once again, CRM came out on top:

82 percent of respondents said they found CRM either somewhat or extremely valuable. That’s compared to 80 percent for laptops and 77 percent for smartphones. It’s a narrow margin, but a victory nonetheless.

CRM is only part of the modern sales reps tech ecosystem, but it’s clearly being viewed as valuable, if not indispensable. For an industry that has deservedly taken it lumps for not offering a great UX, this is encouraging data.