It’s a never-ending battle, fought as long as CRM has been available: how can you get your sales team to use the darn thing?
Statistics say more than half of you reading this have asked yourselves that same question, perhaps more than once.
Maybe you’ve tried setting up a process and you’ve harped on your team but nothing is working.
As makers of CRM software, this concerns us. A lot.
We build CRM because we know how much it can help you get the data you need and your reps make the sales that they need with the tools that make it happen.
If your sales reps aren’t taking advantage of these tools, then something needs to be done.
To help you make that happen, we’ve put together a list of things you can start today to help your reps get the most out of the CRM you’ve chosen.
Use These 6 Techniques To Improve Your CRM Adoption
1. Simplify Your Process
Aside from choosing and implementing a simple CRM solution that meets your needs while not exceeding your team’s abilities, simplifying your process is a good place to start.
You might have, in an effort to get more info and solidify a detailed process, created too many steps that end up complicating the sales process for your reps.
Give your process another look, walk through it, try it out yourself and see if there is anything you can cut out.
Make sure you don’t overbear them with fields to fill out. Sales reps don’t like adding more fluff to their process, so make sure that the fields you make them fill out are absolutely necessary.
Waste is a burden. Take out the garbage and you’ll remove a lot of that burden off your team’s shoulders.
2. Train Them Well
You can’t expect your team to be gung-ho about a new tool that they don’t even know how to use.
Nor can you expect them to use it.
Even the simplest CRM needs to be learned, especially when referring to how your existing process should be carried out in your new software.
Take the time to train your team and make sure all questions are asked and answered as soon as possible.
3. Encourage Collaboration
Sales reps do best when they can help each other succeed. Sometimes, standard training materials, webinars, and videos are no match for some classic one-on-one time with someone who gets it.
Make sure your team has a champion who is able to invest time into helping others to succeed. That kind of collaboration can take just about any CRM forward.
4. Invite Input
While this is #4 on the list, you shouldn’t be waiting until this point to get feedback.
I’m sure you’ve gotten some feedback already by way of grunts and moans, but that only confirms the fact that CRM is a collaborative process and input should be had from the sales team from the very beginning.
Your sales team should have been with you from the beginning in the decision to find CRM software and it should have been there to trial and approve the software of choice before making a decision.
And, since they’re the ones using the software most, you should be asking them how things are going and leaving the door open for them to provide ideas on how to improve the setup or the process.
5. Provide Incentives
Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool and, when compared to the monetary benefits that you gain from consistent use of CRM, giving a little incentive to your reps will pay for itself.
This can be a point system related to the fields they fill out, the amount of contacts they add vs. the leads they’ve taken, etc.
That can turn into bonuses, treats, prizes, and more. Get creative and offer things that you know will motivate your reps. Things they’ll bend over backwards to get.
You bend, they bend.
6. Make It Fun / Gamify It
CRM isn’t usually considered the most entertaining piece of software, but that doesn’t mean it has to be dull and dreaded.
You should find ways to make using the CRM fun.
This could go back to the points system that you set up as incentives, or it could spring from achievements like first contact, 10th contact, 3rd phone call recorded, etc.
You could have a leaderboard, though you want to make sure to not discourage those at the bottom. Find ways for them to boost their way up to the top through special promotions, daily extras, and more.
Get creative with it and you’ll be able to find ways to turn a tough system into an office-uniting experience.
7. Be An Example
You can’t expect your sales reps to use something you’re not willing to use yourself.
You should be in your CRM, not just looking at the occasional report or checking up on your rep’s.
Find ways to track your own contacts and interactions in the CRM and make it a point to learn it better than anyone.
That example will go a very long way towards making sure your team is on board.
A crew follows a captain who’s willing to get down and scrub the deck alongside them. Ahoy.
Some Things That Won’t Help CRM Adoption
Threaten to fire
You might be down to your wit’s end with trying to get your employees to use your CRM and you might resort to threatening to fire anyone who doesn’t use it.
There’s something to be said about drawing a hard line. “This company will use CRM and part of your job is to use it,” is by no means an unfair statement.
But this can grow into a “leading by fear” mentality that might take you somewhere, but it won’t take you far and the destination won’t be pleasant.
Make sure that your solutions to increasing CRM participation are positive ones. This will encourage the team to perform better instead of discouraging them.
Make poor performance public (with names attached)
Showing poor performance in terms of numbers can be a way to mark room for improvement as a team.
But if you’re going to show numbers, be sure to make them anonymous and hard for one employee to feel identified if they know their own performance.
And don’t ever, ever mention names. This goes back to the fear-mongering that won’t get you where you want to be.
Conclusion: Don’t Give Up
And above all, don’t give up.
The advantages of CRM are huge, but they’re only had if you stick to it and make it happen.
Take the time, get it right, make it work.
It’s worth it, I promise you.
Have you had difficulties getting CRM to work for your team? Were you able to find a good solution? If so, please share in the comments below.
For more help, see our blog post 6 Steps To Get Your Team To Use CRM.