The 2 Keys for getting Sales People to buy into CRM

How do I get my sales people to use a CRM?  That is probably the question that I hear the most from our customers and it isn’t always an easy question to answer but there are two key areas that I really like to dive into when it comes to this.  There are ways to create buy in and it isn’t the “use it or we fire you” model but it is a simple approach to getting people involved with the process.

When you implement a CRM, it should be a beneficial process for management and the sales representative alike.  But, in order to get you (the management team) what you need, you need to make sure that the sales person is getting what they need.  Here are two key things to help you get buy in from your sales people:

#1 Find out what’s painful in their job

Sales people are in it to sell.  What they want to do is sell all day long, see the money roll in and make big deals.  They hate the idea of being bogged down by paperwork, process and meaningless conversations and meetings.   After all they were hired to sell and that’s really all they want to do.  The first thing you want to do with your sales people is understand what is painful about their job.  The most common things we hear from sales people is paperwork, invoicing and trying to keep track of things.

Once you’ve identified these painful pieces then you can start leveraging those things as a key starting point to freeing up their days.  Let’s say your sales people are burdened by a lot of paperwork.  The first thing to do is to look at the monstrous paperwork task and see if you can reduce the total time spent on it by automating a bit of using a CRM tool.  If it’s invoicing, then set it up so that all the sales person needs to do is input the Quote into the CRM then hit the big “magic” button to process the invoice to accounting.  The goal here is that you start create terminologies that get sales people excited about closing the deal.  We all know about the “Easy” button, so all we need to do is create or find one in your CRM.

#2 Find Champions & Roll out slowly

Every organization that I’ve worked with that has at least 10 sales staff likely have champions of new ways of doing things.  Let’s say you have a sales staff of 10 – 15 people.  Within that group you’re going to have a high performing sales person and then likely a younger up and coming sales person who is comfortable with technology.  The high performers are usually the ones that are always looking for that extra edge to make more money.  The first thing to do is rely on this person to help you tailor a CRM system to meet their needs and improve the way they sell.  All of sudden you have a star candidate that everybody else can look up to.  The other champion is the younger person who is comfortable with technology.  This person isn’t going to be the best sales person but they all of sudden become the key cog in rolling out the CRM system to the rest of the team.

With these two individuals, you utilize them during your pilot group.  They help tweak and improve the system before everybody else gets on the system.  In the meantime you also start tracking how well they are doing with customers and their own results.  At some point you will be able to go to the rest of the team and show how your top performer became even better than what he was doing before and you can also show the younger, newer sales rep is progressing and increasing his/her own sales simply by adding a bit of automation and organization.

It’s a start but..

Now, this isn’t the complete secret recipe to success.  Sometimes your top performer isn’t tech savvy and would rather leave with a pen and paper in hand but I’ve been finding more and more than your top performers want that edge over everybody else.  Embrace them as part of your project and roll out then you will just be a bit surprised to see how that progresses.

Same with your newer employee.  This person is tech savvy but they come armed with the ideas and potential for really driving up their own sales while using technology they can be comfortable with quickly.

Do it right and all of sudden you have two champions to help drive even more growth within your sales organization.