Susan J. Owens
Relationships boost sales. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an essential tool that can help you harness the power of relationships to promote sales, increase productivity, and make it simpler to engage with prospects. Getting every associate on the sales team to use the software is often a challenge, however. CRM systems can be a lifeline to meeting sales quotas, but there are significant downsides to using it. Filling in all those blanks takes time away from making calls. So, what’s the best way to ensure enterprise-wide adoption?
The Value of CRM
When sales teams begin using CRM software, its value becomes clear. With a return on investment (ROI) of $5 for very $1 invested, organizations see a 41 percent increase in revenue after adopting CRM. After using the software, enterprises see a 65 percent boost in sales quotas and a 41 percent increase in revenue. And, there are other benefits as well. Creating a central repository from scattered systems, which could include Post-It notes, CRM creates a single source of customer data that can be shared across the enterprise. A clear view of the sales pipeline helps with lead scoring and forecasting, all of which translates into greater productivity that simplifies the lives of sales associates.
How can you help your sales team embrace rather than reject CRM? The key to engaging your salespeople is helping them understand how using the software will make their lives better. Here are some approaches you can take to do just that.
Create a Compelling Vision for CRM
CRM does more than just help the team close deals and meet sales quotas:-It personalizes each prospect. With its ability to track customer preferences and evolving needs and wants, CRM data give the sales associates the opportunity to be a hero and offer meaningful solutions that build long-term customer relationships. People want to buy from people, not buildings. Help the team understand that CRM brings sales teams the ability to engage with customers in ways that are meaningful.
Start with a Smart CRM Platform
An intuitive CRM application that is easy to use and multiple-platform friendly is critical. Complex systems that require hours of training and pages of FAQs is a recipe for slow adoption. If you have such a system, be honest and admit that it’s time for a change. Before purchasing, invite the team to do test runs, ask for their feedback, and incorporate their insights into your next purchase decision.
Maybe They Need More Training
Whether you’re investing in a new system or just trying to encourage adoption, make sure that employees know how to use all your CRM solution’s features. The level of experience will vary by employee, depending on their level of technological expertise. Some might prefer online training, while others may prefer to learn from a live teacher. Gamification is another avenue to explore not only for training but also adoption.
Show the ROI Immediately and Consistently
Start using your CRM system’s in-depth reports to draw attention to the positive impacts the software is having on the organization’s and individual sales growth. Share the reports publicly to let everyone see the number of leads being closed and how quickly prospects are moving through the sales pipeline.
CRM Is All About Relationships
Businesses that thrive are built on strong relationships. CRM is a tool to help you grow and extend those relationships, but its value ultimately depends on whether it’s used. Adoption starts with aligned leadership that sets the direction for a culture that supports building relationships over meeting quotas.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Susan J. Owens is a content creator, building fresh insights into white papers, byline articles, and case histories for such clients as Disney, Coca-Cola, Lancaster Pollard, GenCorp, Kellogg’s, and General Electric. She is an analyst for Studio B.