Incentivize Sales to Use the CRM

by | Mar 25, 2016

We’ve all heard that 50% of CRM implementations fail.  And the #1 reason for failure is that the sales team won’t use the CRM.  Click here for a review of studies and statistics on CRM failure.

On the bright side, 50% of CRM implementations succeed too!  To ensure your CRM implementation ends up in the success column, getting salespeople on board is crucial.

How can you motivate your sales team to use the CRM they way you want?Incentives for Sales to use CRM

First, here are some best practices to set the table for CRM success:

Get the sales team involved in the process early and often.  Helping them feel like they’re part of the process gives them a stake in the success of the effort.  Let them be part of the selection, implementation and planning.  Sometimes allowing reps to volunteer to be on a committee to set requirements and make decisions can be constructive.

Start measuring immediately and sharing results.  Even if all you can measure on day one is the number of logons or the number of new accounts entered, start there and then add more meaningful metrics as things get going.

Recognize their contributions!  Salespeople respond to public recognition.  Praise them for the little things like just getting their contacts and deals into the system attending training, etc.

Get very clear about expectations.  Management won’t get the reports and data that they want if the entire team is not following at least some minimum set of requirements consistently.  Make sure everyone knows exactly what is expected.

As for incentives, I like to stick to 3 basic rules:

    1. Keep it simple – schemes that the sales team can’t remember and understand easily won’t work.
    1. Be creative – have fun with it and get the team’s input.  Don’t get stuck on one approach, things may need to evolve as adoption of the CRM evolves.
  1. Don’t over do it – you don’t have to put a ton of money into incentives.  Little things and public recognition go a long way without busting the budget.  You still want their primary motivation to be making sales 🙂

The CRM adoption process has some typical basic milestones:  Training, loading contacts, adopting workflows and processes and entering and keeping pipeline up to date.

Provide incentives for tackling each of these milestones.  The first person to complete the process can get a reward.  Sales team meetings should focus on progress and shine light on the accomplishments of each individual.

Actual incentives can be simple rewards for specific things like gift cards or privileges or the can be commission kickers – extra percentage points or bonuses on sales IF you’re complying with the CRM processes.

Be sure that the incentives are commensurate with your team’s overall compensation.  Starbucks gift cards probably won’t be very exciting to reps knocking down $150k a year!

And, the ultimate incentive is to manage through the CRM.  Sales coaching calls and pipeline review meetings should start with the CRM.  Stop asking the salespeople “how did things go?” And start asking the CRM that question.  Your conversation with the salespeople should change from “What happened” to “What we do next” because all of the what happened info should be in the CRM.  Be sure you build reports into the CRM that will empower these conversations, making you a better manager and your salespeople more effective and efficient.