There continues to be resistance within many sales teams to regularly entering and maintaining important prospect and customer data in a CRM software app.
Getting clear benefits from customer relationship management software is the first step in overcoming this resistance.
Here are ten ways to increase CRM usage within your sales organization to help get the maximum value from your business software investment.
1. Integrate CRM and Email
Most salespeople live in email.
Salespeople can create and update CRM records without leaving their email client if CRM features and data are available as a side panel in Outlook and Gmail.
Email communications with Leads and Contacts should be automatically logged into matching CRM records.
Regarding mobile device integration, apps are also available for capturing salespeople’s text exchanges with prospects and customers in CRM.
2. Ensure Users Have Anywhere Access to CRM
For increased access to browser-based CRM applications, which represent most of current CRM technology, provide users with a 5G wireless device to access CRM when there’s no available WiFi.
Allow users to expense WiFi access on airlines. These extra expenses can be justified based on the value of the information that salespeople can obtain and update more easily.
3. Incorporate Your Selling Processes In CRM
If your sales process involves a lot of dials, make sure that your CRM system is optimized for dialing and that it is at least as easy for salespeople to make calls from CRM as it is to dial through a list from a spreadsheet.
If your selling process involves quotations or proposals for your products and services, make these easy to generate within the system — this will reinforce CRM’s role as a valuable tool for managing sales-related tasks.
4. Lead By Example
Make sure that sales leaders spend time learning and using your CRM system.
C-level adoption is a bonus. If the CEO checks CRM directly for sales pipeline information, then salespeople are likelier to keep opportunities up to date.
5. Include Your Salespeople in the CRM Selection Process
If you’re looking into a new Customer Relationship Management system for your company, involve some of your sales users in the selection process.
Not only will these end users help guide what CRM solution will have the highest usage rate, but they will be more bought into CRM through their involvement and, therefore, more likely to use it.
6. Create Internal Competition
Let salespeople know the total value of their peers’ pipeline by periodically distributing reports to all users.
Many salespeople are naturally competitive and will be motivated to move to a high position on the list. Also, a salesperson may not want other salespeople to see if they have out-of-date information.
7. Give Salespeople Tools to Enrich Prospect Data
CRM should not be a self-contained island of information. Many CRM systems now have hooks to external data sources, allowing for record enrichment and giving salespeople better access to prospects.
Contact information can be added and updated from social media sites, AI-driven buyer databases, and traditional database services.
8. Make Data Entry Simple
Resist the temptation to create a lot of data fields and especially resist creating too many required fields. Provide salespeople with tools to automate data entry from email signatures and Web sites, for example.
If a salesperson is a poor typist and detailed call notes are important to your sales reporting, make sure they have speech-to-text software.
9. Hand Out Rewards for Usage
Using an adoption report, determine which salesperson has added the most [meaningful] data into CRM for a given week or month. Provide that salesperson with a reward, such as a gift certificate or tickets to a sporting event.
10. Provide Multiple Training Options
Ensure that new salespeople are properly trained in using the CRM tool.
Remind users where to find online training resources to get their questions answered quickly, at any time.
Use a tool like Vidyard to create internal how-to videos.
If all else fails, you can resort to using a stick. This approach isn’t for all companies, but some organizations have the mantra, “If it isn’t in CRM, it doesn’t exist.”
This means a salesperson won’t receive a commission if an opportunity was closed but not entered in CRM. However, we’d recommend starting with the above ten suggestions for higher CRM adoption before reaching for the stick.
Co-founder at CRM Switch
Steve has over 25 years of experience working with CRM systems and has been involved with more than 150 implementations. His current focus is content marketing and SEO.