The Sales Leadership Guide to Improving Your CRM Adoption

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1 The Sales Leadership Guide to Improving Your CRM Adoption

2 Author Tim Lynch For more than 15 years, I have been applying my skills in marketing, research, behavior and digital strategy. Combining experience - driven knowledge with a passion for technology, I help organizations stay abreast of marketing trends, set worthy goals and achieve objectives. I m currently putting my skill-set to work as the VP of Marketing at Applango, a software company that analyzes the usage of key SaaS applications.

3 Introduction Salesforce (SF) is an extremely valuable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool for your organization, but will only reach its full potential with successful user adoption. A low CRM adoption rate negatively impacts your ROI and can signal deeper problems like a broken sales process or poor data quality. Even a small CRM adoption problem can derail a successful implementation for your organization and keep you from reaching your goals. That s why we reached out to people in sales leadership positions to find out how they ve successfully improved CRM adoption.

4 Overcome Sales Team Resistance With Communication & Training Employee resistance is one of the biggest challenges organizations new to Salesforce face. Some users are complacent, satisfied with their current system and processes. Others are generally averse to change. Additionally, there are those who don t understand the value that a Salesforce investment brings to them and the size and importance of that investment to their organization. Strong communication is critical for gaining the acceptance of your sales team. You need to check in with end-users and make sure they understand both the value and benefits of Salesforce and the importance of adoption to your organization. If they are not willing to give Salesforce a try, you need to understand the reasons for their resistance. From the start, clearly advocate for, and show the value of, using CRM across your entire organization.

5 Overview of Managing Sales Team Issues Don t be afraid to ask your users what their concerns are. Most often, there s a way to overcome their perceived challenges. For example, if there s worry about whether individuals will be able to easily use the new system, host pre-launch training sessions. Get everyone comfortable with Salesforce before implementation with a strong introductory communication Invest in proper pre-launch training to make for a smooth adoption process Have private meetings with individual intended users to walk them through their current processes, point out the value of Salesforce and address their concerns head-on Your goal should be to show users the positive difference Salesforce will make to your organization from the moment you decide to invest in CRM software. Sources: Salesforce Nuvem Consulting

6 Tactical Ways To Overcome Top Challenges With regular use of Salesforce, you can accrue accurate data about how your team is using CRM software and whether it is indeed impacting your bottom line as desired. Solving for common issues before they occur will quicken the CRM adoption process and get more people using CRM regularly. There are three common problems to avoid in order to launch and use SF successfully in your organization: lack of management support, lack of user training and features irrelevant to the end-user. GAIN MANAGEMENT SUPPORT TO REDUCE CAPITAL WASTE It s vital to get everyone in your organization on board with using the system. Salesforce only works when people actually use it. When they don t, you re wasting money and also not collecting valuable data to determine the impact on your bottom line.

7 Tactical Ways To Overcome Top Challenges The most successful CRM software adoption program managers have secured buy in from the top down. Bring top executives in on the plan early, you can leverage their power to influence others and help overcome resistance to a new system. By having them reference CRM data and dashboards in sales meetings, they can demonstrate the value CRM can offer the entire organization. When people see the value of something, and how it will positively impact them and the organisation as a whole, they will be more apt to give the new system a try. And you ll prevent capital waste. TRAIN FOR GREATER ACCEPTANCE AND QUICKER ADOPTION The key to getting Salesforce running quickly and effectively is training. The more training you can provide your team, the more adoption problems you ll be able to avoid and the quicker your team will begin to use Salesforce. You can look to the AppExchange to find a training program that might work for your organization. Or, you can speak with your Success Manager to identify a training consultant. Success Managers are familiar with many resources and they want you to succeed so they ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

8 Why Improving Adoption is Vital Once your employees have the proper training and feel confident and comfortable using Salesforce, you ll see more acceptance, user engagement and a stronger ROI. EMPOWER WITH RELEVANT FEATURES When designing your Salesforce system, you should focus on your primary end users most likely your sales, customer service and marketing teams. While Salesforce comes with basic features you can customize e.g., different lead objects for the various sales groups within your organization. When a system clearly has the needs of end - users in mind, employees are more encouraged to start using it. Explore your sales team s needs; what would benefit them the most. Data and features meant for accountants and managers won t help your sales team. Design your Salesforce system for a practical application of what employees do every day. Creating dashboards and workflows that are relevant to each team will help the teams see the value for them in contributing to the success of the system.

9 Improving Salesforce Adoption: Advice From Sales Leaders We reached out to several sales leaders to get their advice on how to improve CRM adoption. The following tips and advice will help you and your team start moving towards a more streamlined process inside CRM. We ve included links to follow them on social media to continue to get insight on how to improve your adoption rates, get better results from CRM and improve your sales team s performance! We talked to the following experts to create this Sales Leadership Guide to Improving Your CRM Adoption. Jason Jordan, Sales Management Expert and Author Dane Lopes, US Head of Sales and Distribution for Everest National Insurance Company Mark Birch, Founder and Co-Organizer of Enterprise Sales Meetup John Barrows, Sales Trainer for J. Barrows LLC

10 Rationalize your reports. If there s one thing that disguises the value of CRM, it s the reality that there are hundreds of reports washing over the sales force, most of which have no particular value to anyone. Smart companies are dramatically reducing the number of reports in CRM, which requires them to identify the sales activities that are actually important and then design reports that focus the sales team on doing the right things. Once that s done, train your sales managers to use those reports in meaningful coaching conversations. CRM adoption will not only skyrocket, so will sales results. Jason Jordan Sales Management Expert and Author Follow Jason

11 Don t make it optional. You re either using it or you re not. Don t make it optional. Avoid keeping redundant legacy systems active once your CRM has been launched. There can be no other way we conduct business and no workarounds. The other key is that there can be no wavering on what goes in the tool and what doesn t. Additionally, a key to success is integrating the CRM platform into your existing tools and processes to eliminate or reduce any rekeying of data. Make it part of the way you work. Also, once the CRM platform is in place, never allow another spreadsheet data call within your organization. Otherwise, why do you bother having a CRM tool? Dane E. Lopes U.S. Head of Sales and Distribution Everest National Insurance Company Follow Dane

12 Give reps something they actually would use. The biggest challenge in CRM is getting reps to use it on a consistent basis. No amount of training, cajoling, or threats will change that. Instead of changing the behavior or molding the CRM into something reps might use, give reps something they actually would use that is integrated into what they are doing already, which is and their mobile phones. There are plenty of tools that plug into CRM easily that do much of the heavy lifting of data entry and that reps feel actually eases their workflow. If you make it easy for reps, they will be using the CRM without the pain of using CRM. Mark Birch Founder & Co-Organizer Enterprise Sales Meetup Follow Mark

13 Show the reps the benefit and bring them back the reports and data. The reason reps don t use it as much as they should is because they rarely see the benefit to them and almost always see it as management oversight. The best thing that managers can do to increase adoption is to show the reps the benefit and bring them back the reports and data to show them how to improve. Ask reps to track a limited amount of things that you can then use to help develop individual coaching plans around to help them improve. For example, if you track different prospecting approaches in CRM and then run a report that shows which approaches yield the highest response rates for reps and which ones are the lowest they will start to see the benefit of tracking and therefore increase adoption. John Barrows Sales trainer J.Barrows LLC Follow John

14 Conclusion Improving Salesforce adoption rates should be a priority for your company. Make sure you aren t underutilizing the licenses you spend a considerable amount of money on. Make sure employees are being as efficient as possible with their time and efforts. Make sure you are following best practices with your Salesforce installation and implementation program. Integrate Salesforce with Applango to help boost your efforts, getting the data you need to make the best possible decisions. We can offer you a 30-day health report that will measure your actual usage behavior and give you clear picture of what users or groups need the most help. You will also know which users are your biggest users and would be good advocates to help you improve adoption in your company. If you re ready to explore the potential, click the button below to request a personalized demo and get your 30-day health report. LET S TALK

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