Why Your Sales Staff Won’t Use a Lazy CRM

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You have invested in an expensive Customer Relation Management system but your sales team refuses to use it. Sound familiar?  In every company there are sales staff that refuse to follow the rules and adapt to change. In my experience, salespeople don’t use their CRM because it doesn't add value and consumes their time. Essentially, it’s the CRM that is lazy, not the sales team.I have personally walked the walk as a sales warrior and after putting in an 80 hour week, I know the last thing sales people want to deal with is a clunky, unaccommodating system. Successful CRM technology is designed to fit the salesperson, is efficient and adds value. A strategically developed CRM design will focus on automating what the end user truly needs to bring in leads and close more deals.  

Four tips for a successful design: 

Understand the day and the life of a salesperson. The person responsible for your CRM design should be intimately familiar with how your sales team works from initial lead generation to closing an opportunity. By taking the time to understand the sales process and what slows it down, technology can be designed to support sales efforts. Through this process, many insights are gained that help to transform a business by streamlining price quotes and order processing. 

Make simplicity your first objective. Simplicity saves time. Don’t overcomplicate the screens in your system or require your team to input redundant information. There are several free CRM plug-in applications that will integrate Outlook and webmail so your team can add a new contact with a few clicks rather than through time consuming manual entry. Your team will be much more willing to use a system that works in conjunction with the sales process and doesn’t create extra, time intensive, work.

Keep it clean. Avoid dirty data like the plague. When an organization is transitioning from using Excel spreadsheets, LinkedIn and email as their CRM it’s critical that the data is cleaned up and current before it is imported into your CRM.  Keeping data clean is not a one and done activity. It requires creating data standards from the beginning and continually monitoring data quality. 

Create a sense of ownership.  Invite key influencers from sales and marketing teams to weigh in during the CRM customization stage as you build the screens, workflows and reports that they will ultimately use. Allowing key influencers to contribute to designing the CRM increases the likelihood that the system will be developed in a way that adds value.

What you can expect when your CRM is properly designed and executed: 

  • Organizations will prosper. A well-implemented CRM system can expect a ROI of 800%.
  • Salespeople will be able to stay organized, prioritize their effectively, and track their sales more efficiently and accurately.  The bottom line: it will minimize administrative tasks and give opens up more time to sell. 
  • Employees will have access to key information from their phone and iPad. Mobile access is the new norm. CRM adoption rate will increase if your sales team can make updates conveniently from their phone. Sales teams will also be able to receive breaking news about their prospect and on-demand access to key contract and pricing insights from their mobil devices.
  • Most extensively, sales leaders will be provided with meaningful analytics that will help them to understand valuable information such as:


                             ·    Is the sales cycle slowing down or speeding up?  
                             ·       Where are deals getting stuck in the pipeline?
                             ·       How often are sales people discounting products?
                             ·       Are win rates increasing or decreasing?

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