From emails, meetings and prospect calls to sales targets, analytics and communicating with other departments. Your sales reps are juggling multiple daily tasks. Additionally, they need a structured way of gathering, analyzing and retrieving this information. A CRM platform should be your sales reps best bud in keeping this operational hassle to a bare minimum. Even so, many companies still find that their field teams are hesitant to use such platform. This way, the whole organization might lose a competitive advantage. We’ll show you why your reps still don’t take CRM seriously, and 5 tips to solve that.
Choosing the CRM that fits the objectives of your business equals 50% of the platforms’ success. But how do you choose the right one? First, involve your sales team in deciding on the right CRM. They best know the struggles of selling, and they can tell you their wants and needs for the platform. You need a CRM that solves the specific problems your sales reps identify. Involving them in this decision gets them on board. This prevents misunderstandings and hostility towards the platform during and after implementation.
Second, don’t forget to involve other departments that will use CRM, like your marketing or service team. Discussing what each of them needs, results in a better synergy using the platform. Keep in mind here, that the platform with the most integrations or highest price tag is not necessarily the best one for your business. In the end, the optimal CRM varies according to your business size, budget, objectives, and your employees.
Not seeing the value of something new can be a reason why your reps still don’t take CRM seriously. They might feel like the system is stealing away their know-how, leading to them maintaining contacts outside the platform. Not surprisingly, ESNA reports that 79% of all opportunity-related sales rep data is never entered into a CRM. That’s why it’s important to communicate towards your sales reps that CRM is a supportive tool, rather than a replacement of traditional sales. Account planning, a 360-degree view of their customers, forecasts with Salesforce’s Einstein and dummy proof dashboard building with the Lightning Platform are only a few of the advantages a CRM platform can offer them without the manual hassle of an Excel spreadsheet.
Additionally, crowdsourcing the pipeline stages and touchpoints among your salespeople increases the likelihood of CRM flows being aligned with their sales process.
A word of advice: make sure your CRM system is flexible. Your sales reps are on the road a lot, and on-premises platforms are not an option for them. Invest in a cloud-based platform that employees can access via a smartphone or tablet application, and choose the right mobile-specific functions from the Salesforce AppExchange, like geolocation, data sync and automatic call logging.
Sh*t in is sh*t out. It’s blunt, but it’s true. Your reps are the ones feeding your CRM platform. Therefore, if they are not trained or not eager to:
chances are the value of your CRM is totally lost throughout different departments. This then gives employees an excuse not to use it. Alternatively, if marketing and service teams are not picking up the sales input, your CRM will cause nothing but frustration.
Some CRM platforms are more expensive than others, but one thing is sure: committing to either one is an investment. You need to put money and time into training your employees to effectively use your CRM. Ideally, this is an ongoing process so that people grow along with the platform as it changes. This might seem more expensive than doing it the good ol’ way, but investments pay themselves back. Well-trained employees make for a well-oiled CRM, cross departmental synergy, more time for strategic tasks and the ultimate benefit for your customer and business alike. You can check out the Salesforce Trailhead platform and see for yourself how easy CRM training can be.
One of the strengths of sales reps is that they’re competitive. Accordingly, you can use this trait to your advantage to make them see the added value of your CRM. Instead of pressuring them, use an encouraging approach and turn the implementation process into a little competition. Find your early adopters and make them advocates towards other employees. Celebrate successes publicly through emails, chats, and meetings and reward the people who use the platform or exceed their targets. With employees as competitive as your sales reps, this will help them see the CRM platform as a solution, rather than a tech trend.
Sales reps hold on to previous ways of maintaining customer relations. They have been in the field long enough to know what works for them, or they prefer to stick to old methods because the companies they worked for all used different platforms. Though it’s important to trust your sales reps in what they’re doing, it’s equally crucial for them to see the bigger picture. Using a CRM platform not only allows them to meet their own sales targets, but also helps other departments perform better.
In other words, using CRM as a supportive tool benefits not only the sales rep in the long run, but the company as a whole and eventually, the customer. Consequently, a streamlined, personalized approach based on Buyer Persona and cross departmental synergy boosts morale both in and outside your organization.
You’ve tried all the above tips, but even now, you’re wondering why your reps still don’t take CRM seriously? Then think about how you evaluate them. Do you calculate their commissions and do you reward their performances based on CRM systems’ data? Leadership buy-in also means clarifying the link between platform use and the evaluation of those who use it. You can explain to your reps that outside such system, sales efforts are not always noticed. A CRM platform keeps track of every action your employees take, which makes it easier for managers to positively evaluate performance. After all, celebrating their achievements is a crucial part in making CRM work for you and your team, like we mentioned in Tip 4.
Involve your employees in the CRM selection & communicate the exact purpose of the platform to prevent misunderstandings and hostility, and to make sure the platform meets the needs of your different teams.
Invest in a cloud-based platform that your reps can access via a smartphone or tablet application to get rid of any physical limitations in using the platform.
Invest in training the different departments that will use CRM to avoid the sh*t in, shi*t out
Use your reps’ competitive nature to your advantage to challenge them. Celebrate successes openly and use advocates to convince people to use your CRM.
Make salespeople see the bigger picture and convince them that using CRM benefits not only them and their targets, but the customer and the company as a whole.
Keep in mind that the best CRM platform for your business varies depending on your objectives, budget, size and employees.