When times are tough, one would think that the sales industry would be hit the hardest. However, this actually couldn’t be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, the sales industry can actually excel in tough economic times. This can only happen though if people are receptive to change. Change is inevitable and when it comes to sales, change is always happening. Customers are the lifeline of sales so ensuring that you provide outstanding customer service is vital. CRM software can be very beneficial to your sales reps. What does CRM stand for? That’s easy….Customer Relationship Management. This software will keep customer information in an easy to understand, organized format. With CRM software, categorizing customers and their needs is simple. Even better is that your sales reps will be able to run specifically targeted reports. This will make it easier to determine customer’s needs. CRM software makes the world of sales and customer service easier than ever before.
The sad fact is, sales reps have a low threshold when it comes to change. When something’s not broken, they wonder “why fix it?”. In the world of sales, it’s all about making the sale happen quickly and effectively. To a sales rep, a CRM program seems like a waste of time. This is because similar systems may have been limited in their functionality. In addition, a CRM program requires current, up-to-date information. If only a portion of your sale reps are using this system then your company is not getting accurate results.
When sales reps are effectively trained on the CRM system, sales reps then become more effective producers. This makes the process work for everyone. Traditionally, sales is a dog eat dog world but in the end it’s the company that matters. So the one question of concern is “What can I do to get my sales team to use CRM software?”
Below are the Top 21 ways you can get your sales reps to use a CRM system:
- Automate Your Systems – whenever possible automate the lead and prospect systems. This could, for example, be as simple as adding a “Contact Us” web form to your website.
- Sales Pipeline Reports – implement monthly sales pipeline reports right away. Leads coming in and how they are distributed are shown via the Sales Funnel system a.k.a Pipeline reports. These steps include informing the potential customer, persuading them, overcoming their objections and so on until the customer reaches the narrow part of the funnel – closing the sale. Pipeline reports show how many leads come in and where they are in the process. Future sales can be determined by these reports.
- Setting Goals – Set small yet specific goals during sale meetings for using the CRM program.
- Focus on the Essentials – Be sure to focus on the essential and main functions of the CRM program. This will show your reps the most important systems within the CRM system to use.
- Knowledge is Power – You can’t always assume that everyone in your office knows how the system works. Verify their knowledge and confidence in using the program. – Provide Training – If a member of your sales team needs training on the system, provide it for them in a private setting when possible. You don’t want a member of your sales team to feel singled out.
- Increase Commission Frequency – Paying commissions more frequently is an added incentive to your sales reps. To make administrative processes easier, many organizations pay on a quarterly basis.
- One Step at a Time – When implementing a CRM program into your company, implement one thing at a time. If you try to implement all processes at one time you will send your sales reps into overload and this can scare them away from using the system.
- Keep it Simple – Find a CRM system that is easy to use for everyone. The system does you no good if only a few people can use it.
- Review and Analyze – Consistently monitor the sales reps data. This can show you their strengths and weaknesses.
- Seek Assistance – While your sales reps will hesitate using the system, assist them by having an assistant import any historical data into the new system. This makes things easier as the sales reps are only responsible for current data.
- See the Big Picture – Be sure your sales reps can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Give them reports that show them how this software can benefit them in the end.
- Beware of Overlapping – Make sure the CRM system doesn’t become a tool for other departments to offload their tasks. This is a system for your sales team.
- Show Me the Money – Be sure that the system can accommodate your commission agreements. Making the numbers accessible to each rep will help them a lot; they like seeing the numbers.
- On the Web – choose a program that is web accessible. This will make it easier for sale reps to gain access from wherever they are.
- Remind – Automate email reminders and new leads where possible. This will assist in building interest from your sales reps and will keep reminders so a customer is never lost in the abyss.
- Develop Email Campaigns – by implementing regular email campaigns to send out to prospects, you can assist in gaining leads for your sales reps. His is typically done by a marketing team.
- Look Over the Data – By reviewing contacts and numbers within the CRM system, you’ll be able to see the big picture from both sides. Contacts often benefit more then the actual numbers. This information will assist the sales reps in being more effective.
- Acknowledge the Team – You’ll also want to use CRM data to showcase individual accomplishments during dales meetings.
- Reprimand When Needed – If your sales reps are hesitant to use this new system, stand firm and stress the benefits of the system and how everyone will benefit from it in the end.
- Cross Check the Data – By checking the CRM system’s data with data from other sources, you can compare areas of strengths and weaknesses. This is a great thing to do before each sales meeting.
- Connect to Success – CRM software should be an integral part of your business. You can use the CRM system to show your reps how they can use the system and be even more successful.
A CRM system will play a major role in the success of your sales reps which in turn helps the growth and profitability of the company as a whole. While they may be hesitant to use such a system in the beginning, once they see how this system will enhance their work and in the end their sale – they’ll come onboard.
By Pete Kilby