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Successful CRM Adoption by a Sales Team

As you can imagine, we often integrate our customized sales training processes into CRM tools (Customer Relationship Managers).

We often hear a familiar question:

  • "How can I get my team to use the CRM?"

As one VP of Sales said to me, "I know it will be successful when my team uses CRM as consistently as they use their paper calendars."

Getting your salespeople to use CRM in their day-to-day routine requires them to make it a habit. Here are a few best-practices we've seen smart companies use to get a kick-start:

  1. Executive-level support. Unless your C-Suite (and/or your VP of Sales) supports the effort, it's probably not going very far. This is because CRM is expensive and needs constant attention. It's not a once-and-done decision.
  2. IT serves sales. IT is a critical component of the development and implementation of CRM, but the IT team must recognize that this is a sales-driven initiative.
  3. Sales operations plays a key role. Sales operations can become the reality check for IT and the Executive Team. Sales ops is often in a unique place where they're able to see the world from the corporate and sales view. They should play a lead role in the development and rollout.
  4. Simple is better. Less is more in a lot of things...most especially CRM. Asking salespeople to do too much inside a CRM is the kiss of death.
  5. It won't be perfect from the outset. This means the rollout is gradual and everyone is willing to admit mistakes. It also means you test the tool as completely as possible. If it blows up once, your sales team might be okay with it. If it blows up twice...well...now you have a problem.
  6. Marketing and Sales agree on when a lead is...a lead. The two departments should get together early (and often) to be sure they're both on the same page relative to this point. Each definition should be the same (or, at least, complimentary).
  7. Accountability. There must be accountability for adoption. What gets measured gets done. Holding your team accountable for adoption is a critical -- and obvious -- component of adoption.

What other "best practices" exist for CRM Adoption?

- @JebBrooks