I don’t recall ever hearing any sales person crediting their sales success to the leads they get from the CRM – Marketing. Most Sales people will say it was their hard work that got the sale and they knew all about that customer long ago. You don’t often hear sales people praising CRM systems. Given that most CRMs are set up by Technologists who at best have mixed feelings about sales and at worst look down on sales people it is not surprising. Most Salesforce Admins and Technologists would rather crawl over broken glass than make cold calls. The personalities chariteristics that succeed in sales don’t work well as a Technologist, and visa versa. Yet these two groups must work together to make an effective, efficient CRM System that works.
First off they need to walk a mile in each others moccasins. They need to at lease get a feel for the challenges the other faces to hit their goals. Sales if hard and you hear NO a lot. Your job depends on hitting the numbers not entering data at a keyboard. On the other hand so far there is no technology that will read minds either. A good approach on the user interface when designing for dales items is to keep the data entry to the bare minimum. We need to know who the customer is, their contact info, what products – services they need and the size of the deal. As technologists we must focus on setting up Sales for success by making that as easy and simple as possible. Use the least number of fields needing data entry. No Sales manager is going to pay commission bases on a numbers scribbles and a damp bar napkin. Most importantly getting Tech and Sales to talk, and agree on what this all means is critical.
Here is my list of what can help further this transition.
- All Sales meeting is done from Salesforce. Nothing like having to present your numbers infant of Management to get your attention to detail.
- No Get out of Jail Free cards for anyone anytime EVER. No one gets out of putting their data in on time, everyone presents their report based on what is in Salesforce.
- Not in Salesforce It does not exist. That means no commission on any sales the are not in salesforce. (well till next month anyway)
- Leads not updated followed up on base on your standard number of days for follow up, are given away to someone else. No exceptions.
- SF Admins Grease the skids make it easy to do the right thing. Here is where Tech helps get the ball rolling by creating Report Templates for Sales to use, initally imports their data, trains them. (even some hand holding is ok but no data entry)
- Make it easy and simple to do the right thing. Tech needs to get early feedback on navigation, pick lists and improve them to make the user interface better
- You will probably have to make some changes to your team. Some folks will not adapt. I once had a Sales VP with 30 plus years of allegedly Selling, (Actually Order Taking as fare as I could tell) Say it was creepy to cold call a web lead who gave us their contact info. Sorry No Sale… what he was really saying it was he afraid to cold call.
- Inside sales competes with outside. Split leads between inside Sales and Outside Sales mix up your model you may be in for a surprise. Give the inside folk a good financial incentive to sell.
- Guided Selling Salesforce and guide even newbies through sales process with prompts and offers as they progress through the sales cycle. We can share what your best sales team member are doing to win with they whole team.
- Provide quick fast support early on or for the new folks. Training and fast tech support will smooth over a lot of issues and speed adoption by sales.
- Limit required data. Keep it simple put as much in pick lists as possible so they don’t have to type anymore than they have to. Put the most commonly used items at the top of the pick list.
- Whats in it for them…? What does it Do For Them? Do a ride along watch what they do now and incorporate a better way in the CRM. For example do they do a daily call list? Automate a Report for them so every morning they have their top prospects right at hand.
I can’t imagine any of my readers are having challenges getting their sales team to adopt a CRM on the off chance there is a need feel free to contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org