Motivate your team to get the most from your CRM and sales department by understanding that it’s about the process as much as the product.

It’s hard to recruit great salespeople. Harder still to keep them great.

It’s important that you get the most out of your CRM and sales team. While CRM can do it, the product is only half the story.

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To get the most from Customer Relationship Management, you have to get your salespeople not just using it, but liking it.

Liking the way it delivers sales targets. Liking how it helps them succeed.

Here’s how.

Show them that not all old leads are cold leads when it comes to CRM and sales.

Cold doesn’t mean dead. It just means someone wasn’t ready to buy yet. What if:

  • You know which “cold leads” still click every newsletter?
  • You know it takes 21 calls to get an appointment – and 500 cold leads are on twenty?
  • You know cold leads warm up after their annual trade event?

Many CRM applications can provide such out-of-the-box insights. They’ll get your salespeople warmed up as fast as those unexpected prospects.

Remember KISS – Keep It Simple, Sales.

Complexity gets in the way. There’s no surer way to hamper adoption than to make users think the old way was easier. So double check:

  • Main charts and functions are reachable with a click.
  • Any journey through a task is easy to understand.
  • Everything integrates with the natural application for that task – such as Microsoft’s Outlook for email campaigning.

Today, some of the best lessons in ease-of-use within CRM and sales come from mobile app design.

Get that data to go with mobile access.

Salespeople are big mobile users. So a CRM application that plays well with their phones and tablets – especially those they own at home – will see greater use. It enables:

  • A sense of ownership. Mobile devices are all about the personal.
  • More work hours to be put in as staff can now log in from anywhere.
  • A sense of empowerment – you’re letting them do things their way.

And maybe, just maybe, all that leads to greater sales numbers. Make CRM mobile.

Find the boring bits and take them out of the loop.

A powerful application makes it easy to load up on menial tasks too. So actively look for things to automate. Here are some ideas:

  • Keep in touch. Set follow-up calls automatically.
  • Campaign chasers. Calling people who clicked the newsletter? Deliver lists to salespeople’s desktops.
  • Event dates. Find the big trade days in each sector and automatically schedule appointment-setting calls a few days before.

A great deal of sales can seem quite time consuming. The best CRM practices will save you a vast amount of time.

Show them opportunities in social media.

The formula for happy, successful salespeople is simple: keep them supplied with quality leads that you have found from various places. There are many opportunities for this, such as:

  • Getting your prospects’ social media handles.
  • Connecting not just to prospects, but prospects’ customers.
  • Looking for common denominators in what they click, post, share and follow.

The best CRM applications know social media backwards – but many companies underuse it.

Say it in pictures, charts and graphs.

A good chart or graph can foster understanding in CRM and sales that drives double-digit jumps in conversions.

  • Ask your people what information from the weekly report they use most and give it to them on-demand, in real time.
  • Choose graphics that can be used by easily by both Team Leaders and Sales Executives.
  • Don’t limit yourself to pie charts and bar charts – scatters and circumplexes have clinched many a consultant’s sale too.

When you need to present data, do as much as possible in graphics. A good CRM setup will give you the tools.

Demonstrate the power of all in CRM and sales.

Imagine you have ten salespeople:

  • If two are using CRM, those two will find it hard. Usage will drop to zero.
  • If five are using CRM, that five won’t get full value. They’ll use it under duress.
  • Once six are using CRM, it’ll persuade those who aren’t to get on board.

The outputs of a CRM system – ideas, insights, opportunities, conversions, closes – are only as good as the data you put into it. So take care to get every lead and every action where it belongs and make it easy to do so.

It’s the process, not the product.

Above all, remember CRM isn’t a product.

For the people who use it – nurturing leads, chasing closes, maxing-out conversions – CRM is a process.

So when you choose your CRM partner, make sure they focus on how things are done within your organisation. Match product with process and your results from CRM will be sky-high. Ready to look up?

Now your team is motivated – make sure they have the knowledge to make the most out of your CRM system. Download this eGuide and increase your sales. The ultimate guide to: upselling and cross selling

This blog first appeared on the Redspire blog.

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