In sales productivity, if your customer relationship management (CRM) solution isn’t part of the solution, as the old adage goes, it’s part of the problem. According to recent research from Accenture, 55% of sales reps think their company’s sales tools are an obstacle instead of a facilitator.
If you’ve worked with AIM Technologies when implementing a customer relationship management solution, you have probably heard all about the four tenets of user adoption. We’re going to break them down into a multi-part blog. In this first one, we’re talking about CRM / sales tool value. In other words, what does the tool provide that the sales team can’t live without?
One of the most common questions business development leaders ask when considering a new sales tool is, “once we make this investment in implementing a CRM, how do we know the sales force is going to use it?” Often, business owners and sales managers are very doubtful that salespeople will adopt new tools. Right or wrong, in many industries, the perception is that salespeople are resistant to change or don’t have the technical skills to use the tools provided. And, if over half of your sales force does not believe there is value in using the sales tools being provided, guess what? Unless they are literally forced to use them, they just won’t.
How Can I Increase User Adoption of CRM?
So, how do you go about creating a CRM solution that provides value to your sales force? And drives user adoption? Here are some examples of critical factors for companies who are doing this successfully.
- For some sales professionals, opportunity pipeline, forecasting, and goal management are enough to drive CRM adoption. The ability to manage opportunities and plan activities from a mobile device and integrated with email and calendaring is key.
- In general, preparing proposals can be time-consuming and frustrating. Imagine one source for building proposals, quotes, and then following-up. Companies who can provide sales literature, pricing, templates, and everything else that is needed to build a quality proposal from within a CRM environment are delivering real productivity gains to employees.
- Imagine planning your day and your route with insight into how many miles between your meetings, approximate drive time, and map tools attached to your CRM activities. If you have a highly mobile sales force, providing this quick add-in could make a huge impact.
- In practice, most companies aren’t really doing anything except sales activities within CRM, but the whole point of a is visibility into the entirety of a customer relationship. With a 360-degree view of the customer, sales people are making phone calls and walking into a customer meetings armed with information combined from social media, customer service, customer satisfaction, marketing, and financials related to that customer and the people who work there. It’s a great confidence booster to know where you and the customer stand.
- Build meaningful business intelligence that drives sales. One customer recently completed a project that shows many facets of their business, pulling from a data warehouse (including the CRM) and then returning the data within CRM in the form of contextual, dynamic dashboards. Not only can they use the data to see what they are doing on the whole, but they can understand the position they have in their various regions, business lines, and industries. And, using that same data to show their customers and prospects how they compete, adding powerful metrics to proposals and marketing.
- We are just on the cusp of understanding how we can build AI into the sales process. Predictive modeling, virtual assistants, chatbots, lead scoring, and so much more can be built into sales processes and tools. Automating day-to-day tasks to allow more quality time for business development interaction will drive the future of sales.
In short, there are many ways we can add value to the sales process and every time we do, we increase CRM user adoption and satisfaction. One key to success is changing the mindset from viewing CRM software as a sales “people management” tool to viewing it a solution to enhance salespeople’s productivity. And then you don’t have to force anything.
Which CRM is Best?
Careful analysis of a customer’s business and sales team can help us determine which CRM can best serve an organization. The solution often depends on may factors, but primary among them are the types of salespeople, industry, type of products you are selling, and the existing processes. AIM Technologies specializes in two state of the art customer relationship management solutions – Acumatica CRM and Dynamics 365 for Sales. Once we help determine the best fit, AIM also provides customization, training, and ongoing support of the tools selected.
More Four Tenets
Check back soon for the next blog in this four-part series. We will discuss the role of usability in the path to user adoption and satisfaction.