Businesses accelerate their operating potential with the support of a good CRM. Unfortunately, CRM project failure is a reality many businesses face.

Despite the significant resource and financial investment, the biggest boulder to success can be the team’s engagement and adoption of the software. Unfortunately many CRM projects fail due to sales team adoption of process and CRM. Why? Commonly, sales teams are filled with strong, dominant personality types who have the misconception that as long as they are selling, then nothing else matters Their primary goal, achieving sales targets. Like any project, it is doomed to fail if there is no alignment between goals and the standardisation of processes. Inarguably, CRM implementation requires the support of the sales team. In this article, we explore the three critical patterns which guarantee CRM implementation success.  

1. Start the conversation with your Sales Methodology

How you start your CRM journey with the sales team is everything. Early adoption starts with inclusion at the beginning of the process. This means starting the dialogue with CRM selection and involving the sales team in the conversation. To make the conversation not only productive but conducive to user adoption, start with mapping out and evaluating the sales methodology. A sales methodology is the tools, processes and people involved to drive revenue and business growth. Creating workshops to map out the sales methodology builds confidence that the CRM will be a system aligned to existing processes. List out all tech stacks used across sales and marketing, and identify how the tools interact across your sales engagement workflow. During this process, different levels of staff from sales managers to sales reps will provide an opportunity to voice their inputs.

Their input is important!

Inputs from sales rep will include how data is entered, how the current process is viewed and will reveal inconsistencies across data entry and management of sales performance. Sales managers focus on pipeline visualisation, reporting for performance metrics while sales reps want to focus on activity, opportunities and prospect profiles, this can create friction from both points of view that are not aligned. Working through the sales methodology is an opportunity to evaluate current processes and to optimise workflow. This mapping and evaluation process also involves aligning the new CRM to match your sales methodology. A good CRM implementation will create alignment of sales methodology, sales representative activity, and sales forecasting.  

2. Attitude is everything, creating a positive CRM context

Many CRM projects start with sales forecasting and become overall focused on improving reporting. While this can form part of the project objective, it is the corporate objective. In reality, most sales reps see forecasting as a chore that takes them away from the act of selling. Instead, focus the conversation on the CRM benefits and make it clear how these benefits improve and support day-to-day performance. Walk your team through the benefits with a sales rep centric lens in mind:
  1. Shortened sales cycles. A completed sales cycle equals a faster commission payment. Intelligent data unified between sales and marketing means clear visibility of the customer’s preferences. Sales teams are equipped with social media information on prospects and the customers past transactional behaviour providing greater insights to inform sales tactics and deliver customer value.
  2. Improved visibility across the pipeline. Clear visibility of the prospect’s engagement across the opportunity qualification is invaluable in saving a sales reps time. Salespeople are chasing the close. Knowing where to focus their attention, which tactics to use to enhance relationships with prospects saves not only time but motivation. The sales team can work faster to achieve their set targets and performance due to the clear visibility of their pipeline.
  3. Reduced administration. It’s common for salespeople to avoid CRM administration as it’s often viewed as less time spent engaging the prospect. Reducing manual dependencies such as lead follow-ups, field updating and logging data is a big sell to your reps. Not to mention streamlined and automated reporting increases valuable time spent communicating with the prospect.

3. Invest in training

The importance of training can not be understated for effective CRM adoption. While two half-day training sessions are common for CRM deployment, businesses sell their CRM short by not adequately supporting their sales team with a strategic and structured training program. As a result, frequent errors, frustrations and lack of adoption are key signs that training hasn’t supplemented requirements and there is disillusionment amongst users. Time spent scoping workflows and creating a positive context for the CRM will have been wasted if users do not feel supported by the new processes.  

The solution?

Commitment to ongoing and targeted training and system optimisation, which creates a positive re-enforcement of outcomes. Essentially training is ongoing when optimisation is adopted as a business process improvement initiative. Constantly improving use and configuration will improve user adoption. Similarly, end-user training needs to focus on the business processes and not functionality alone. Often when the sales managers become responsible for CRM training the experience is top-down and one dimensional, it is best if a power user is tasked with ongoing training. Using the experience of an expert deployment partner will ensure these principles are consistently applied from the beginning of your CRM project. The experts of Klugo know how to navigate the common complexities of teams and how to maximise your operating potential. Schedule a call with Klugo to set your CRM project up for success.  

About Klugo

NetSuite + NextService

Klugo’s vision is to unlock the full operating potential of our customers to maximise the value of their business. We do this by helping our customers achieve operating excellence using NetSuite + NextService, the world-leading cloud ERP and FSM business platform for small-to-medium-sized businesses.

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