It’s human nature to be resistant to change. But it’s not impossible to embrace change. When implementing CRM for the first time – or switching from another system – users can be the most challenging part of the process. However, you can ensure a smooth CRM adoption by having the right strategy in place. To make sure you succeed, here are 5 ways you can help your sales team adopt a CRM.
What you will learn in this article
- 5 great ways to encourage sales staff adoption of CRM
- How these hot tips work
- How they apply to you and your small business
- The next step
- Getting started with CRM
5 great tips to encourage CRM usage by your staff
Showcase the benefits of CRM
One of the biggest hurdles you need to overcome is the sales staff’s fear of change. The unspoken worry is their fear of losing data and opportunities. So this is likely to be preventing them from using the CRM system. Showcasing the benefits and addressing issues will ease fears and people’s natural resistance to change. However, another frequent concern is that CRM will expose staff whenever an opportunity slips through their fingers.
The best way to tackle these barriers is to assure your sales team there won’t be any data loss and demonstrate the benefits for the sales team. It would help if you flagged up the following:
- CRM will help each sales rep better understand their prospects and engage with them in a more meaningful way.
- Explain, too, that having better conversations with prospects helps build trust, credibility, and longer-lasting relationships.
- Document the most common tasks into a quick step-by-step guide.
- Set up regular in-house demos and create or source short videos demonstrating the CRM’s functionality. When employees see the system in action, they will quickly realize the potential.
- Appoint a CRM champion to help encourage uptake of the system. It would be helpful if the champion presented the importance of CRM to your sales staff and explained what’s in it for them.
Offer extensive training
Even though cloud-based CRM is user-friendly and intuitive, always offer training sessions. You do not want your sales team to feel you are throwing them in at the deep end. You should use regular training sessions to get sales reps up to speed on CRM concepts and offer hints and tips.
Your training plan could look like this:
- A general overview of CRM, its functions and features, the benefits including getting more deals closed, better follow-up, automation of routine back-office tasks, and improved customer experience, and so on.
- Train people on the four or five things you want to be adopted first. This could be logging client visits, calls, emails, and setting up reminders, etc.
- Monitor the sales team’s usage of what you covered in training. Find those people that appear to be struggling and offer one-on-one training.
It’s best to keep things simple for the first two weeks and then expand the training to look at the CRM system’s other features. Don’t expect to achieve 100% uptake as some sales veterans will want to stick with their tried and tested methods. You can address this on a one-to-one basis.
Turn negatives into positives
Some of your sales staff will be reluctant to let go of their spreadsheets and adjust to CRM. Conduct regular catch-ups with your sales staff to discover what challenges they are encountering. You can use the feedback to adjust the CRM to work for them. Involve staff in a fix, and they will become CRM champions. Another tactic is to draw up a chart that links the old process directly to the equivalent CRM feature.
Incentivize your staff to use the system. Your incentive plan should be careful not to reward the same people repeatedly. This can demotivate others. And can leave staff with the impression that those being rewarded are the only ones being successful with CRM. Instead, incentives should be aimed at getting staff to reach an achievable bare minimum benchmark. This reinforces positive behavior and promotes a willingness to use the CRM system.
Make CRM usage mandatory
Eventually, you have to call time on the old way of doing things. A hard stop on the previous system will set expectations and help ensure 100% adoption by your sales team. Do not make exceptions and, if necessary, make CRM adoption mandatory. It may be the nuclear option, but dissident sales staff will quickly fall in line when commissions are based solely on CRM data.
How to get started with CRM
Getting buy-in from staff is crucial. So too is buy-in from senior management, who need to be seen as advocates and daily users of the CRM system. If senior management is not using the system, how can they expect staff to use it? If you are new to CRM, take your time to find the right vendor. Then, organize a few free trials to get a feel for the tech and how you can use it within your company.
Pro tip: If you are a small business owner, dismiss on-site solutions in favor of cloud-based CRM. These are affordable, easy to implement, and can grow with your changing business requirements.
The value of having staff on side cannot be overestimated. For any CRM implementation to be a success, the users have to be sold on the idea. Regular training sessions and how to guides will encourage CRM adoption, for sure. Contact us, the small business cloud CRM specialists, today. We can help you get everyone on board and make your CRM implementation a success.