Congratulations! You've just implemented a new customer relationship management software solution! It's slick, it's versatile and it meets all your specifications... and in no time, it'll help your company become more efficient and increase sales. There's just one problem: none of the salespeople want to use it!
CRM – Management Tool or Sales Tool?
The C-Suite's biggest frustration with CRM is that it's less popular on the sales level than it is with them. Senior management has been told that it's a great tool for maintaining a database of customer information and using it to nurture relationships. But to salespeople, it just means changing their entire workflow and making things more difficult for them. It means data entry and that customer information goes into the new CRM database correctly. It's a lot of extra work, and they don't really see the point of it. So they simply don't use it, thus making it less effective for you. CRM is generally sold as a management tool, to help you organize your databases better and to give you a better sense of funnel health. And it's difficult for your salespeople to get excited about a new management tool that makes their job harder in order to make your job easier. But the thing to remember is that CRM can be just as an effective tool for salespeople as it is for management, but only if it's presented properly and used correctly.
Sales Frustration With CRM
While the majority of sales managers feel a CRM tool is helpful in improving the efforts of salespeople and boosting their overall results, they also feel CRM isn't designed to be consistent with the way their salespeople actually make sales on a day-to-day basis. Out of the box, the steps of the sale contained in the typical CRM package (such as SalesForce.com) doesn't reflect what literally happens when they deal with prospects and customers, and is therefore not effective, realistic or worthwhile for them to use. And what's more, they have a point. The C-Suite's frustration with CRM may be at least partly their own fault. They invest a lot of time and effort into implementing a customer relationship management platform. However, they don't take the time to make sure that they've got the right platform for their company that's flexible enough to acquiesce to their way of handling sales and other basic functions. Or maybe they have a great platform, but they haven't taken the time to configure it in a way that will benefit their salespeople and actually help to improve their workflow or their results. When oversights like this occur, it basically means that you're implementing bad CRM and expecting all of your salespeople to conform to it. You're responsible for their frustrations with CRM, which are, in turn, causing your frustration with CRM. So what can you do to avoid frustration with CRM? The best way is to get everyone involved in the process: both management and sales reps alike. Make sure your salespeople know that this isn't just a management tool, but that they can benefit from it as well, and show them how. Then, talk to them, to get a feel for what their average sales call is actually like, and how your CRM platform can accommodate it. Find out what they'd like to see and what would help them improve their sales. When the C-Suite is feeling frustration with CRM, it's generally because sales personnel are also feeling frustration with CRM. But if everybody works together, they can implement a CRM platform that benefits everyone and improves your company as a whole.