How to implement a CRM and convince your employees that it improves their sales performance?

We’ve already had the discussion about what the advantages of a CRM software are, but we realize that no matter how efficient a business tool might seem, clearly it’s going to receive a lot of distrust and scepticism. So there will come a time when you need to “face” your team and explain to them how the whole system is going to represent a boost in their productivity and is going to make things a whole lot easier.

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A guaranteed way to increase your company's sales is to have a system in place to manage your sales activities. Having a custom relationship management (CRM) system that is easy and gets used by the sales team is a great step towards that goal.

How to make your employees warm up using a CRM software

Businesses are constantly facing the challenge of convincing sales teams to adopt CRM as the daily vitamin for their sales routine. The sales force is likely already aware that CRM is a valuable and effective tool that can optimize the sales process and help strengthen customer relationships. The challenge is getting employees to accept new applications and processes in spite of feeling uncomfortable with the prospect of having to change their habits and conform to an unfamiliar system.

Only, sometimes it doesn’t turn out to be that simple. Employees often prefer to use what they’re familiar with, and might reject your grand ideas of a new CRM system. One of the biggest reasons CRM implementations fail entirely is because everyone isn’t on board.

1. Keep it simple

If a CRM solution takes too much effort to learn and use, sales people will resist incorporating the extra work into their already busy lives.

The ideal situation that’s going to be key for this procedure’s success is when the CRM solution easily integrates into existing daily routine. Whether this happens by purchasing a product that incorporates into an already familiar application, or integrates into an existing system in some other way will make the implementation of a new CRM package less painful for all the people involved.

2. Involve employees in product selection

Speaking about people involvement, even if you have a product in mind already, it’s important to involve at least some key stakeholders in the process in order to make the ultimate selection of a product a group decision that everyone feels comfortable with.

Ultimately, you need to determine the specific functionalities and features that will make it easier for your employees to do their jobs.

Zimplu CRM software, for example, offers you the possibility of testing it out for free for a whole month, before you need to make a definite decision. Ask members of the team who will be using the CRM often to try it out and then get feedback.”

3. Offer training

Even if they’ve already seen it and used the CRM functionalities for a bit, it’s critical that you provide adequate training so everyone has a chance to learn about how the various tools and resources work. While you don’t want to take shortcuts, this isn’t the time to explain all of the complex features of the system.

Focus on covering major concepts on the front end, and worry about higher-level features in the future. The preparations for integrating a CRM shouldn’t be targeted only to the sales team, but the whole company, that meaning you should also include at least the customer service, marketing and IT departments in the process.

4. Answer the "What's In It For Me?" question

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the primary beneficiaries of the CRM software should be your employees so you need to demonstrate clearly to those involved that the new system being proposed will be actually helping them out them.

They should understand that the CRM isn’t going to be a tool that the management uses to spy on them, but actually a tool to actually help them sell more or be more efficient at solving customers’ problems.

5. Do the CRM software implementation gradually

Don’t overwhelm your whole salesforce by rolling out every bit of the new software.

Start with the basic steps of entering sales contacts, conversations, creating opportunities and maybe even generating some basic reports.

Do this until they have gradually begun using every function of the new solution in their daily routine.

6. Centralise the information

It's critically important to move customer information from different systems into the CRM, so the one-view customer profile is in one central location. By centralizing the information, all parties involved can find up-to-date customer information they need, where and when they need it.

By enabling all the teams to access all information they might need from a single place, the sales process can be streamlined and less daunting.

7. Use gamification

Why not turn your CRM adoption process into a game? Reward those who have achieved an important departmental goal while using the CRM software, or create a monthly competition that involves using the CRM system.

Rewards tend to create good vibes around the whole CRM implementation, while punishments for not using the system are less likely to sit well with staff. Highlighting wins made using the CRM will also help to reduce skeptics among the workforce.

8. Do constant audits in the company

Once the sales team is working effectively within the CRM application, it is important to consistently assess their results against expectations that have been set. Invite the sales team to review weekly or monthly reports and share feedback. Doing so will not only build a healthy relationship between the product and the employees, but also between the manager and the employees. CRM user adoption rates will rapidly improve as the sales team begins seeing and reaping the benefits of this innovative technology.

It is remarkably easy for businesses to fall into a rut, neglecting to change practices and habits that will provide tangible benefits. With so many aspects to consider when running a successful business, innovation can sometimes take a back seat to more pressing issues.

However, implementing a quality CRM solution is one of the simplest ways to induce dynamic change in an organization. Understanding and utilizing these tips will also help this transition develop as smoothly as possible.