Ok. So you’ve implemented CRM believing that it would answer all of your forecasting prayers.
But it hasn’t. Not yet, anyway. CRM is a powerful tool, but only if your reps are actually using it.
It can be incredibly frustrating to roll out a program only to have your sales team meet it with resistance. Even more frustrating than that is to discover that the data being entered into the CRM platform is lacking or even incorrect. The good news is that a bit of course correction can be all it takes to turn your CRM headache into the beneficial tool that it really should be. Before you can fix a problem, you must identify where and why it exists.
To do that, start by asking yourself these questions:
Is the CRM itself easy to use or time-consuming and cumbersome?
Like many things in life, simple is best when it comes to CRM. Having an overly complex system in place can be intimidating to your reps and will ultimately discourage adoption. Keep your tracking limited to the handful of activities that pull the most weight, and if you’re having issues with compliance, consider polling your salespeople on the usability of the tool. Their input can go a long way in making any necessary adjustments.
Have you sold the CRM to your sales team as being beneficial to them?
Your sales reps will be more likely to use your CRM system when they see the value that’s in it for them. Resistance often comes when reps regard the CRM as a surveillance tool, rather than something that is convenient and beneficial for them and their day to day activities. Have reps that have seen success with the system mentor their team members on how to get the most out of using it.
Have you provided your sales team with adequate training?
It may be that your team is not using the CRM you’ve implemented simply because they don’t know how. Training should never be looked at as a one and done event, and to effectively condition your team for long term usage you must include adequate training along with reinforcement. Make sure that reps have access to training tools and personnel that can assist while they are making the new system habit.
Is implementation and compliance actually a sales management issue?
You might be placing the blame on individual contributors for an underused CRM system when your focus really should be directed at frontline management. Are your sales managers advocating the CRM and including its usage as a part of the sales strategy? Before you can expect sales reps to comply, it is vital that frontline managers have bought into the system, are properly trained, and are actively coaching reps to it.
Is the CRM system available in a convenient format?
Does your CRM reside in the most convenient places for your reps to have access to it? Desktop formats may be convenient to inside sales reps, but if the system is limited to in-office accessibility then adoption is less likely to be successful. Having the CRM available on mobile devices lessens the inconvenience excuse, and adds value to the tool as reps can access important client information when they need it the most. The most successful CRM implementation programs don’t focus on obedience, but make the system as easy for the reps to use as possible.
Asking yourself these questions allows you to see where any blockages might exist, and what steps you can take to get everyone moving in the right direction.
Published on September 15, 2015