If we consider just how much pressure is on sales reps to meet quotas and hit other sales targets it is surprising that sales reps have a lower Salesforce adoption level in many organizations. Perhaps the biggest problem is that, in many cases, the CRM system is designed with almost no consideration as to how sales reps will use it, let alone how they would like to configure it in order to extract the kind of value that would encourage sales reps to use it in the first place. The proper methodology of implementing a CRM is to invest time and effort into studying the daily activities of all users, not just sales reps.
The biggest benefit of such a user-oriented culture is that the end user will feel that they have more ownership in terms of the process of finding the perfect solution to meet the needs of sales reps. This will help eliminate the perplexing oxymoron of top performing sales reps not keeping their data current. Here are some practical steps you can take today to increase adoption among sales reps.
1. Have a Pow Wow
This does not have to be a monumental gathering of all sales reps in your company, but what you should try to do is to talk to as many of them as possible and ask them about how they are currently using Salesforce. To put this into perspective, consider last year’s report by Bluewolf State of Salesforce which found that 79% of users were entering data into multiple systems. Is this something that goes on in your company? If the answer yes, this needs to be fixed ASAP.
In order to have deals constantly coming in, sales reps are always in motion so if you require additional, yet meaningful information from them, you will enable your sales reps to close more deals and empower your company to make better business decisions.
2. What’s in it for the User?
Whenever faced with a choice or a decision, we always consider the value of going one way or another. The user is asking the same question: what’s in it for me? We like to think that by simply telling users to comply they will, but in the real world they have a job to do and if the technology they are using is not providing them with the kind of value they need to do their job better, they will find ways to avoid it. This is a big obstacle that sales reps face.
While it is true that Salesforce provides users with value in the form of customer data, this does not necessarily mean that it helps them be more efficient. Once you figure out how the sales reps are using Salesforce, find ways, in terms of adoption, to give them more value and make their work more efficient and their lives easier.
3. Establish Work Habits of all Representatives
Not all reps are doing the same work and they may not be sitting in one location. For example, one sales rep could be out in the field, another one could be in the office, another could be working in customer support. If you would like to promote adoption, start small. This could be as simple as tracking daily appointments or filling in opportunities. This is designed to show the value of Salesforce, familiarize it and show support for Salesforce from the very top of the organization.
4. Choose a Process to Improve and Perfect
Pick one process, for example update the pipeline, and find ways of perfecting this process in terms of flow to the user with the goal of building trust by making sure that this process is seamless for the user. When they see how an everyday process they do can be made simpler, faster and better, people will jump on the bandwagon much faster.
5. Focus on Tools
Once you have studied and determined work habits, now you need find tools to leverage. For example, for the field reps that are constantly outside the office, they are most likely dependent on mobile apps so, in turn, you would need to invest more in mobile tools to leverage. I have assembled very handy list of tools sales managers can use to maximize their time when they are trying to find new leads and contacts, compose e-mails, schedule meetings and much more.
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the company to provide comfortable working conditions for their employees and if we take into account that top performing sales reps face a deluge of customer data, adopting and adapting Salesforce can reap huge benefits down the road. The key is to start small. Once everybody will see all of the benefits that Salesforce has to offer, it will sell itself.
We must remember that, in most cases, sales reps do not choose which CRM the company uses, so the least the company can do is adapt the CRM to fit the needs of salespeople as much as possible. This includes giving them the ability to customize sidebars and any other objects, eliminating unnecessary manual tasks and syncing e-mails, meetings and calendars with the CRM automatically. Always remember: you invested a lot of into your existing CRM – get the most values out it. The biggest value you can get is leads which, ultimately, turn into sales.