How to Have Your Sales Team Love the CRM

For many enterprises the challenges begin after the CRM system is installed. The biggest challenge that they face is with user acceptance, especially that of the sales team. Most companies are driven by the performance of their sales team. But unfortunately, they are also the most unorganized workforce in an organization. As it happens, most of the sales representatives are still old fashioned. They believe in stick-on pads and address books and often possess average computer skills. But since the success of the CRM system mostly depends upon the data gathered by your sales department it is imperative to have them recognize the contact management software and maintain it. Here are eleven smart tips to have your sales team by your side in making your CRM efforts successful.

  • Ensure involvement: It is important to identify the key players in your organization who are going to play significant role in CRM adoption. Involve them from the beginning. It will help you in developing the best CRM strategy appropriate for your business.
  • Highlight the benefits: Most often CRM implementation is challenged by the question 'what is in it for me?' Playing up the benefits will help your team recognize their benefits in adopting the sales force automation software. Arrange demos for your team that will tell them about the benefits of contact management system. Don't make it look like a task; rather encourage your team to take advantage of its sophisticated features.
  • Arrange for training: If you think your sales team needs to be trained to use the CRM arrange for enough training sessions. However, the needs of training can be minimized by adopting simpler solutions. This is one of the reasons that many small and medium size organizations are inclined towards adopting SaaS CRM. These are simpler solutions, specially designed to fit in SMB environment.
  • Identify key users: Identify the people and the groups who are going to use the system most. You may also take into account the people who are most influential within the group. Form a core group of early adopters and involve them during the implementation process. Seek their feedback on improvements.
  • Trial phase: Some software vendors, specially the cloud based ones, allow users to run a trial phase by offering free cloud based CRM software. You can test run the software to confirm if your sales team is comfortable using it. This is one advantage allowed by SaaS vendors over legacy software providers.
  • Ensure mobility: Your sales team should be able to access the software on their mobile phones and tablets when they are out in the market. Light weight, web-based CRM solutions offer better accessibility to the data stored in the contact management software and also provide online backup and updated facilities.
  • Easy customization options: Adopting a CRM solution that is customizable will let your sales team personalize the UI according to their needs. They will be able to customize the dashboard and even the fields of the lists to make it more interactive and informative.
  • User brownie points: To promote user adoption you can promote interactive games through the CRM software platform. Sales representatives by nature are competitive and you can take advantage of that by engaging them through interactive games. Corporate gamification is an emerging trend which encourages businesses to promote healthy competition within the organization to leverage people's natural intuition to compete and achieve. Make it a fun by introducing badges, leaderboards, rewards, acknowledgments etc.
  • Adopt phased out implementation: Do not bombard your users with the most advanced features of the software at once. Phased out implementation is the most preferred CRM implementation technique. Also, do not over customize the system. Once your users are comfortable with the basic functionalities they will find it easier to upgrade themselves to the updated versions.
  • Round the clock support: During the initial phase of CRM implementation you may expect many hiccups. Ensuring technical support from the vendor will help in dealing with the issues faster. This will translate into earning confidence of your users and improve user adoption rate.
  • Integration: The CRM shouldn't look like cast away island. Your sales team may need the support of the other departments to process their deals faster. You must insist on creating a unified platform within the CRM for better data sharing and collaboration.
Installing a CRM system in your organization won't worth much unless and until it's being put into use. It is important to ensure that the data is regularly inputted in the system and the information gleaned is being used to drive in more business.

Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson> all articles
Paul is a CRM customization consultation service provider. For the past two years he has been working in Corelynx Inc., a Silicon Valley organization that is into designing and developing an entire suite of enterprise applications for small businesses. Paul has exposure in project implementation of CRM software solutions, POS integration, ERP and web application development.

He is also a successful blogger and has web presence through his numerous blog posts and articles covering various technical topics. He believes in seeking and sharing wisdom for the betterment of mankind and actively participates in various online communities.
  • /data/userPictures/2D9D22D6-D7C3-487D-BAD2-AE761F3EE556.jpgPaul Lowe9/23/2014 10:09:33 PM
    I remember when a CRM was first implemented several years ago. It was painful initially - but everyone has completely bought in. Great points!

  • /data/userPictures/9869208B-03D1-4FBE-91D9-2745FDA28AC7.jpgVincent Villamil4/23/2015 7:21:23 AM
    Thanks for this, Paul. Great change management brief. In my previous company, part of the adaption and adoption strategy we had was to include at least 15% of our KPI into the usage of our CRM. It did have some great results.