Making CRM What Your Sales Staff Wants

Get to know your staff

No two sales staffs are going to be exactly the same. No two reps on your staff may be the same. In order to achieve the level of acceptance that you want, you have to make the system do what they want. That means getting to know your salespeople.

My job is to make sure that 60 reps across three franchises in both sales and service utilize CRM. Roughly four months into our CRM implementation I would by no means say that we have it all figured out, but we’ve made some huge strides.

Get help. Get Ready.

Excel can sometimes be the frenemy of CRM. It provides a great blueprint on what is important to the rep (if a sales rep is going to take the time to make an excel sheet, it must be pretty important stuff for them to track). However, Excel is that safe, familiar security blanket that reps coming running back to at the first moment of indecision or doubt with CRM. If you can convince the reps that organizing in CRM is better than their own Excel sheet, you’ve won. ~Chris Zeppenfeld, Charlotte Hornets
We are fortunate to work with some extremely smart people at KORE Software to help make our system the best it can be. They offer a sounding board to bounce off ideas to see if what one rep wants is feasible and will help others achieve goals. We talk frequently with the Charlotte Hornets (Chris Zeppenfeld) and Utah Jazz (Adam Grow),  who have plenty of experience and offer great ideas.

If you’re just starting to implement a new CRM solution, don’t expect to be done when launch day arrives. We spent months thoroughly preparing and thought we were in pretty good shape, but since Day 1 have adapted almost daily to tweak things to work the way the reps want. Some days it is as simple as adding a box for favorite player. Other days it’s sitting down with a rep to figure out how to put everything they once had in Excel in CRM.

Train, Train, Train Again

If I have learned anything in the last four months it is this:

You can’t tell a room full of people something one time and expect them to remember it.

Train, train often, train one topic at a time. When we began training we did it in each department’s weekly meeting. That can quickly turn into a conversation with one person about one really weird situation while the rest of the room tunes out. What does work?

  1. Pick one topic.
  2. Go to the area where that teams sits.
  3. Walk them through what they need to do.
  4. Explain how it helps reach their goals.
  5. Send a follow-up email with the links to screenshots for reference.

While this takes more time on the front end, it gets results. The reps retain the information much better. Once we began these 30 minute sessions in the department’s area, reps started to buy-in and become more productive.

Conclusion

Changing the way someone operates is never going to be easy. It will take work; a lot of work. But when you find the way to train and motivate employees to do something that helps them reach their goals, we all enjoy the outcome. The thing to remember is that not everyone, or maybe anyone, will want to look at something the same way or to complete the task the same way. You have to learn and adapt with them.


Cover photo courtesy of Andrzej.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email