Categories Articles, Sales and Marketing

For most sales managers, getting your sales team use CRM correctly and consistently is like pulling teeth. Almost every day, you remind your reps to accurately input data into the CRM, but they’re just not doing it. They drag their feet, tell you it takes too much time, and say they’d prefer going back to the simpler way of selling without software.

Unfortunately, an unused or improperly utilized CRM is a useless CRM. Without your sales reps constantly entering information about sales opportunities, you can’t analyze data to find improvements for your team or create more accurate sales forecasts. You end up paying for the software, but seeing very few benefits from it.

There are a number of reasons your sales reps hate CRM, but with just a few fixes, they can start to use it effectively and maybe even start to appreciate it!

No Set Process

No matter how many times you ask your reps to fill out fields in the CRM after a call with a prospect, they’ll only do it if they understand how, when and what they need to do. CRM training should be an integral part of your onboarding process for new reps, no matter how experienced they are. If you present it as another separate aspect of the job, reps will be less likely to consider it an afterthought in the selling process.

Create training documents, official processes, and guidelines for correct CRM usage for every step in the sales process. If your reps don’t understand when to convert an opportunity to the next stage, you won’t get any accurate information from the CRM. You need to define specific and detailed criteria for moving opportunities down the funnel, as they get closer and closer to becoming a deal.

Inconsistent Enforcement

If you’re not enforcing the CRM rules and processes you’ve created, no one is going to take them seriously or follow them consistently. You don’t want CRM use to be a joke among your sales reps – it needs to be a requirement for a job well done. While it’s great to recognize reps who are already doing a good job with the CRM, you really need to push the reps that continue to resist change.

You’ll get fast results by enforcing CRM use – whether you prefer offering a carrot or a stick is your choice. But either way, you can’t emphasize the CRM one week and then forget to mention it for the next month. You have to be consistent in your expectations for your team, and CRM should not be a minor concern. You obviously want your reps to hit their numbers, but you also want them to use CRM.

Wrong Sales Funnel Stages

Funnel stages matter immensely for CRM usage, and unfortunately most companies aren’t doing it correctly. Many sales teams track the buying process according to a rep’s activities – such as “Needs Analysis” or “Proposal”. But it’s much more effective to have stages that focus on the buyer. For example, you’d like your buyer to go through something like these stages:

  • Initiate
  • Educate
  • Validate
  • Justify
  • Close

When the sales funnel stages mirror what your customer is doing, you’ll be able to get better insights out of your CRM. Instead of just learning what your reps are doing during the sales process, you’ll also start learning what your customers are doing and when your reps activities are successful. This information can be incredibly valuable to you as a manager, and can help you better coach reps to become more effective at moving opportunities down the pipeline.

Lack of Understanding

Once you start using sales analytics to glean insights from your CRM, you can begin to make changes on your sales team based on the information. Data can back up your efforts in coaching your reps to help improve their results, push your team to go after deals of a certain size, and more. You should be open and transparent with your team, showing them exactly how you came up with a new strategy and how it is based on the activity they’ve been inputting daily into the CRM.

This is the real way to get your reps to buy into the CRM and understand the benefits of a little extra work. Even if they’re not excited about inputting data into the CRM on a daily basis, they’ll see why it is so vital to the overall business. Your team will see that it’s impossible to argue with data showing an increase in sales after CRM adoption increases.

 

Now that you know what’s holding your team back from becoming enthusiastic users of CRM, you can make changes to fix it. By creating a CRM process, enforcing usage, changing your funnel stages and sharing the benefits with your team, you’ll see more cooperation with your goals. Proper CRM use can help you understand your sales process and help increase your sales.

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