Salespeople by nature are highly individualistic and tactical. Implementing Salesforce.com can become difficult without buy-in from your team into a system. After all, that is what this CRM system is about. It is a system for selling which transcends the individual, though it ultimately benefits the individual salesperson.
What Salespeople Want
Salespeople do not want a CRM system as an end in itself. However, they will use it if it helps them:
- Close more deals
- Be more productive
- Track their progress
- Get more sales meetings
- Help them remember
- Have freedom
These are the reasons your sales team will use your custom system. Often when launching, you may experience resistance because they cannot see the connection between this software and what they want. Managers want something different.
What Managers Want
Managers are bought in because it helps them with the things that help them do their job. Salesforce.com helps them to:
- Track activities in real-time
- Forecast revenue
- Create predictability
- Keep accountability
- Measure performance
- Improve process
It is a different set of interests. Salesforce.com is the ultimate management tool with regards to the things managers want.
There is a disconnect for what appeals to managers and salespeople. Aligning sales requires a focus and leadership around the things that salespeople care about. Otherwise, adoption can be hindered from a lack of enthusiasm and usage.
Salesforce.com Is Only Good If…
Salesforce.com is only as good as the data that is put into it and the timing of the data. Zig Ziglar stated, ““You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want” In the case of getting what you want – sales adoption – help your sales team get what they want by ensuring the customization of your systems and process are clear, simple and useful.
Build the system as you go. Avoid developing in a silo. Salesforce.com is a platform that can be changed ongoing in real-time as your sales team uses it.
Leadership is also required. All requirements are not necessarily good requirements. There needs to be a guiding framework and roadmap to keep things simple in design and effective. Mindlessly adding new fields as you go can encumber adoption as well.
The challenge is creating a system which is desirable to use and adds value to your salespeople. Great design will do much in the way of helping managers get the information they are seeking. They can trust Salesforce.com for making decisions and plans.
We have seen our share of sales organizations work through alignment. If you see a lack of alignment and adoption, then focus on the usability and design of your system before driving a top-down management mandate. It will serve you well.
How well is your sales team aligned?