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Guide: 15 ways to motivate your sales people to use the CRM more

“How do you motivate salespeople to use a system they do not necessarily want, but which is necessary forthem?”

Selling is hard work, and few of us have such a unique service or product that it has no competitors. The best way to succeed in a competitive market is to take care of the customer experience. A functioning and efficiently organised sales process plays a major role in this. To manage and organise the sales process in the best possible way requires a CRM system. As a sales manager or leader of a sales team you are also responsible for getting the sales team to use the CRM system.

Although the number of companies using a CRM system has increased dramatically in recent years (56% in 2018 and 74% in 2019), the utilisation rate within companies is not rising at the same rate. According to a study by Merkle Group Inc., 63% of CRM system deployment projects fail.

Why?

“Because sales do not use the system.”

 

Download the full guide and read 15 practical ways on how to motivate  salespeople to use the CRM system

 

A CRM system brings a lot of benefits!

For sales and sales teams, correct and regular use of a CRM system brings at least the following benefits:

  • Automation saves time
  • All customer-related information can be found in one place
  • Document management becomes easier
  • Predicting sales is easier and more accurate
  • Marketing can better be part of sales and help where needed
  • Customer satisfaction improves
  • It is easier to develop operations

These are just a few of the clear benefits of a well-used CRM system.

When customer data and activities are in good order, customer relationships are easier to manage. Information related to contacts, transactions and organisation can be found in one place instead of salespeople’s personal notes on several different post-it notes or notebooks.

Salespeople can be certain that things are under control and recorded. Things will move ahead even if a salesperson has to take sudden sick leave; others will know immediately how things stand with a customer.

Automation helps take care of many small everyday manual routine tasks automatically, so that salespeople have more time for managing customer relationships and for sales. In general, it can be stated that CRM provides salespeople with an opportunity to take their sales process to a new level. But the challenge is still how to make sales see the benefits and use the CRM system on a regular basis.

So why is CRM not used?

Many sales organisations continuously struggle with salespeople’s inadequate CRM entries. Failure to make entries may be unintentional and when in a hurry, entering an individual activity or even updating a sales project may not be the first thing on one's mind. Then, however, the overall picture of the work done in sales may remain hidden, which in the worst case can distort the future outlook for sales.

Salespeople can sometimes be picky, especially when it comes to the systems in use. The most experienced and successful salespeople, in particular, may find it challenging to face new things. For years, they have honed their sales strategies, and they have no interest in shaking things up for nothing. Approximately 60% of salespeople say that when they find a way to do things that works for them, they will not change it. And this is quite understandable; if it ain’t broken, why fix it?

Perhaps there is no fault in the process itself, but none of us has likely encountered a sales process that cannot be improved in one way or another. Sometimes it can be about insufficient training, which leads to frustration with the entire system and the benefits it provides. If a salesperson needs to learn how to use a new CRM system by themselves, you can be sure that it will not be used efficiently or at all.

Deployment of the system is change management

CRM deployment is a big change in a salesperson’s daily work. That is why it is perfectly natural that new systems or their renewal may provoke strong resistance among salespeople. According to a study, sales use currently 17% of their daily working time for entering information into different systems.3 Is there really a need for yet another new system to enter data into, and why? Sometimes it can be about insufficient training, which leads to frustration with the entire system and the benefits it provides. If a salesperson needs to learn how to use a new CRM system by themselves, you can be sure that it will not be used efficiently or at all.

CRM often comes alongside other ingrained habits, and the same customer data is then entered inefficiently into many different places: sticky notes, Excel spreadsheets, CRM, the calendar... Incorporating the new system into daily work will take time, as will replacing old habits with new ones.

The introduction of the new system cannot therefore be handled as just a notification, with the expectation that everything will roll out naturally. You cannot expect results or benefits to be visible immediately. So, how do you motivate salespeople to use the system long-term so that its benefits become clear to everyone and the results of the regular use of CRM can be seen?

The initial enthusiasm is often temporary. If entering data into the CRM does not become a habit to start with, entering data carefully may prove to be a short-term phenomenon. And then old habits return, customer data is stored in Excel sheets, email, post-it notes or a notebook.

“What’s in it for me?”

According to the study, the deployment of a traditional CRM system takes about six months. And from that point, it still takes three to five years for the company to race a good ROI. Since benefits only show as measurable data at the level of the entire company over the longer term, who has the patience to be motivated by a seemingly futile change? Is the management prepared for the change with the patience it requires before switching to the new system? The introduction of the CRM probably requires changes to the entire sales process and the way of managing sales.

An ideal situation would be that the salesperson would open CRM first thing in the morning. A CRM system well-equipped for the needs of the company makes it possible that in practice, the salesperson no longer needs to open their email or calendar: everything can take place via CRM. But only if the database is regularly updated and activities are entered consistently. A CRM system does not function if data is not regularly entered in it and old customer data enriched.

If the sales team is unwilling to use the CRM system, this guide provides a few ideas on how salespeople can more easily see the answer to the question:

“What’s in it for me?”

 

Download the full guide and read 15 practical ways on how to motivate salespeople to use the CRM system

 

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