The primary purpose of a CRM system, even if they don’t believe it, is to help bring control to their sales lives. Control time, reduce use of spreadsheets, track hundreds of prospects, reduce the need to remember appointments, important dates, and ultimately close more sales. Why do salespeople resist CRM systems? The reasons are common but fixable:
- Too little training
- Resistance to change.
- What’s in it for me attitude.
- A poorly customized CRM system installed without salespeople’s opinions and input.
- Ignorance of management about the customers buying process or the salesperson’s selling process.
- Lack of input from marketing about their needs from a CRM system.
And yet salespeople are often forcing management to replace good systems. I have seen companies spend five or six figures on a CRM system and after a few years replace it because they say the salespeople won’t use it. And then inexplicably, a few years later they go back to the original system they left before.
But I think there is another reason. Most issues and especially the CRM issue can be resolved with leadership.
All right, before you decide I am jumping on the leaders for another failure consider:
- Leaders must be as involved in the implementation as the salespeople and IT.
- Leaders have as much if not more to lose when salespeople do the preverbal leg lift
- Leaders waste the cost of the purchase and installation of the software.
- Leadership loses the productivity and sales gains it hoped to achieve.
- Leaders lose hundreds or thousands of man hours as salespeople struggle to use the software.
- Leaders lose the information it expected to gain from using the software: forecasts, reasons for sales losses, reasons for sales gains, accountability for marketing lead generation spending, etc.
I think the most successful thing leaders can do is to be sure the CMR system is installed in compliance with the company’s sales and the customers buying processes.
Yes, it takes a specialist several days or maybe if the company is large enough, several months to set the CRM system up according to your selling needs.
Katie Bullard on Marketing Intelligence Software: How it Improves Marketing ROI
Lydia Sugarman on Venntive CRM Product Review
Brian Trautschold on Should Incentives Be Used to Get Salespeople to do Their Job?