The very nature of what makes a person good at sales is often what will incline them to hating CRM. Yet Sales has entered the digital era and those sales people who adopt and adapt will far outshine those that sabotage and stagnate. In my career as a Salesforce consultant I have seen both. Sales is in the hardest job in any company, your company, my company any company if you doubt me give it a try. I deeply respect those people who suit up every selling day and face their selling day with a smile on their face. A lot of knowledge workers & tech folks do not truly appreciate just how difficult selling can be.
The personality types to do will in sales are people orientated fast paced, outgoing, spontaneous, social and big picture. Yet as a CRM professional I see CRMs that some techno Nerd took great pride in creating the maximum complexity known to man with validation rules the prevent any less the perfect triple verified record from being saved. One sits in a car in front of a prospect’s office trying to get the scoop on their prospect before the sales call the other sits in an air-conditioned office across the country pondering the patterns terabytes of data. Technologists tend to have personality’s that focus on getting things right, task orientation, take their time to do things right, process, and systems are their focus. They are polar opposites yet they both need each other.
Technology folks need to learn to listen to the Sales team and interpret their needs into usable software configurations. Sales needs to make the time to provide this vital support to the technology folks. Their input will also give them ownership and help them sell but they will never admit that. For the Technologist we need to focus on the fine art of maximum simplicity, minimum viable product that gives the Salesperson what they need with the least amount of work on their part.
A few simple suggestions: Watch them use the current CRM what data do they seek and use most. Next Create page layouts the put that data front and center (if that is where they want it) Next look at the pick lists they use, is the most commonly picked item defaulted or on the first pick ?? Are the working mostly on their Mobile Device, a iPad, a Laptop make sure the page layouts format well for all of those formats. Configure pick lists where it makes sense and saves typing, make it easy to do the right thing.
Also try to do the heavy lifting, if their data is in Excel, Outlook, Mobile device, Business Cards offer to gather it up into one list. That list gets cleaned up, formatted to match our existing data and spell checked. I do this selfishly because I will end up with cleaner data that way! By doing the heavy lifting you will be seen are part of the solution rather than another person taking time away from what they want to do …. Sell.