Long after the inception of Charles Dickens’ infamous tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, and millennia after the beginning of Christmas, the family tradition of the Elf on the Shelf was born.
Created a few years ago, by now the tradition has become a household name and is penetrating the holiday season with that charming account and polyethylene smile.
But for those who don’t know what the Elf is all about, here’s a quick rundown: The Elf is one of Santa’s little elves who is personally assigned to your house as a liaison for the big guy himself. He reports back to the North Pole every night to tell Old Saint Nick if your kids were naughty or nice that day.
Of course there’s the part about how your kids can’t touch him or he’ll lose his magic and good deeds are what brings that magic back, and whatnot, but that’s the gist of it.
As simple as you might find it to be, having an ever-present, ever-watching figurine helps keep kids in order knowing that their deeds will have lasting effects (less presents, or the dreaded coal).
So the question I now present you is: do you have an elf on your CRM shelf that will help you get the most out of the ultimate productivity tool for sales and project management?
Who Will Be Your Elf In The Office?
Plastic and felt aside, it’s extremely important that every organization have a CRM evangelist. You know, that guy (or gal) who roots for CRM in every meeting, the one who’s reminding you during water breaks to use it, and the fellow who does the training to make sure everyone is on the same page.
You NEED someone who has the expertise, or who has the time and drive to search out the answers and help everyone to understand how the CRM works, know the process is for using it, and realize the benefits of using the CRM daily both for each user individually and for the company as a whole.
This is, in fact, your elf on the shelf. You must appoint this “watchdog” to make sure that everyone uses the CRM, knows exactly how the company as a whole is using it, and that they’re getting the most out of it.
Find that elf, put him (or her) on the shelf, and make sure they’re helping you get the most presents you can.
Who’s Your Papa (Noel)?
You’ll have to bear with me here, but if you’re the boss running the place: you’re Santa.
Now, Santa and Elf should, and must, be two different people. You can’t be the watchdog and the decision maker at the same time. You don’t have the time for both, nor will you be able to have as much of an impact in helping your team to realize their full potential in the CRM space.
This is because most people will feel more trust and confidence with a peer, as opposed to an overseer. When you’re the elf, you’re a lowly worker just like them, but if you’re Santa then you’re, for all intents and purposes, “the big guy.” You’re playing on a different field, so it’s harder to get into the trenches and do the most good.
But it’s not all cookies and milk, I’ll tell you what.
Being Santa is just as big of a job as being the elf. You need to hear the elf out, listen to everything that’s going on, learn how each employee is doing with their training on the software, make sure everyone is using it properly, and together find ways to help those that are falling onto the Naughty list.
And, perhaps most importantly, you need to reward those that are on the Nice list. These are the presents your little employees are looking forward to all year, as they say. It’s the time when all your employees get to reap the fruits of their labors.
These rewards can be big things like bonuses, raises, promotions, extra vacation time, and things like that, or they can be smaller things like free swag, a day off, a gift card, or a dinner with their spouse.
But regardless of the one-time gifts, you should also bestow on them the gift of knowing that their hard work in the CRM means something very big for the company at large. They’re helping one another to achieve goals greater than what would be possible without it.
Only you can show them that magic.
Presents vs. Coal
It’s very easy for a child to see they want presents instead of coal in their stockings, which is an impulse to do good and behave.
Psychologically speaking, a reward/punishment system helps our forgetful human minds to remember that we have to do good things to get good rewards. It’s a life lesson, and it’s a lesson we get from life itself.
But, even when we already have the good deed/reward system in place for life, we can still forget or get lazy. At that point we start losing the benefits and we can choose to correct our behavior after the fact.
We know that if we use the CRM to track our sales, we’ll get the presents of being more organized and having easy indications on what we need to do next. We’ll lose less information and we’ll likely win more deals and, thus, more customers and referrals.
But what if we could get a warning before making those mistakes or omissions? That would prevent us from losing the reward and would help us to avoid the punishment and would help us to be that much more ahead.
That kind of prevention is another job for the elf and will help assure CRM success for the company.
If everyone falls through… let me tell you that that is the quickest way to derail your CRM and set yourself on a course for failure.
A Very Merry Conclusion
If you don’t have an elf for your workshop, get one.
If you’re the elf, make sure everyone is on the Nice list for CRM use.
If you’re Santa, start making everything merry and bright to incentivize your workshop with cheer for a new year of CRM usage.
And remember: Christmas may only come once a year, but Santa and his elves work year long to make miracles.