CRM adoption is like the Holy Grail of sales teams. It’s crucial to the congealing of the team, strategic initiatives and processes and underpins every goal for sales growth, marketing success and customer service brilliance.
But, like Monty Python’s King Arthur clapping coconuts together to simulate the sound of horse hooves, sales managers often end up making parodies of themselves by preaching to the sales team about using the CRM.
“All I’m asking you to do is put your new leads into the CRM and add some notes about what happens next with them and where the lead came from.”, seems like a reasonable request. Not to mention that the marketing team is offering to send lead nurturing campaigns to every lead entered into the CRM.
Nonetheless, every time it comes up, the diverted glances, rolled eyes and whispered quips during the sales meeting tell the tale. The sales team seems to think the entire CRM effort is just another superfluous management initiative.
And thus, the sales manager feels like every effort to encourage CRM adoption takes the respect she commands with the sales team another notch downward.
After all, it’s impossible not to appreciate the point of view of the sales team. In the end, it’s the relationships they build with customers and the sales those relationships generate that matter. Documenting it all in CRM software is a secondary, means to an ends sort of thing…
But, do the ends justify the means? Well, of course in some sales teams they do… Just watch movies like Used Cars, Glenngarry Glen Ross or Boiler Room. There are certainly still old school sales teams like those out there in the real world, where anything goes so long as the revenue goals are met.
If your company is implementing a CRM solution, then it’s a safe bet that you have a more long term view. In a sales organization that values the length and strength of customer relationships, success with CRM adoption carries with it extremely valuable payoffs like…
- Increased Revenue per Customer
- Lower Customer Acquisition Costs
- Greater Revenue per Salesperson
- Improved Customer Service
- Reduced Operational Costs
These are powerful objectives for any business to strive for. And so, the fight goes on.
In the end there is one silver bullet that any sales manager can leverage to encourage CRM adoption that works every time it’s tried.
If It’s Not in the CRM, It Didn’t Happen
Next time a salesperson strolls into your office to spin a yarn about the great new prospect they just uncovered, stop them and say, “What was the name of that customer? Let me look them up in the CRM so I can look them over while you’re telling me about this.”?
Of course, 9 times out of 10 the salesperson will say, “Oh, well I haven’t put them in the CRM system yet. I wanted to tell you about it first!”. And the sales manager’s response is then “If it’s not in the CRM, it didn’t happen.”
If the sales people have daily or weekly goals for outbound calls, new leads, proposals, meetings, etc. Use the CRM to measure those goals. Here are some great pointers on what sales metrics to measure and how.
And in the weekly sales meeting when you review the team’s performance against those strategic measurements, “If it’s not in the CRM, it didn’t happen” is the response to every attempt at obfuscation by the sales team.
CRM Adoption Sales Team Excuses
- “I made 30 calls from home after my doctor’s appointment on Friday but, didn’t log them in the CRM yet.”
- “I got 10 leads at that trade association happy hour Thursday night but, left the business cards in my truck.”
- “I sent 5 proposals out last week while I was traveling and just haven’t had time to put them into the CRM software yet.”
CRM Adoption Sales Management Responses
“If it’s not in the CRM, it didn’t happen.”
Clearly, these are real world situations that do cause some friction for sales people in CRM adoption. The solution is not to accept the excuses, thereby undermining the entire CRM effort. If having up to date customer and sales information is essential, then it’s essential.
The solution is the ensure that you’ve selected a CRM that is sufficiently fast and easy to use. The imposition on the sales team’s time should be minimized. Implement the CRM solution such that doing the critical data input is optimized for speed and ease and available where the salespeople are, not only in the office.
Are you able to say “If it’s not in the CRM, it didn’t happen.” to your sales team?
If not, we’d love to know why not? Working to make CRM adoption simple, easier and faster for sales teams is a core objective of SalesNexus. Leave us a comment about what’s making it challenging for you. We’ll use your input to try and lessen that challenge in the future.