Sales coaching for increasing CRM adoption
Just like how you find thousands of success stories of CRM adoption, you will also find enough stories of failed CRM implementation in enterprises. A Harvard Business Review study suggests that at least one third of all CRM implementations are termed as failures – they do not make any significant impact on the revenues earned. Salesforce, the world’s #1 CRM company came out with survey results compiled over the years, showing alarming failure rates!
CRM Failure rates as recorded by various research companies since 2001 (Image Source: SKUId)
However, whenever the reasons for poor CRM adoption are analysed in these companies, one reason clearly stands out. The CRM system fails when the most obvious user of the system does not use it effectively – the Sales person!
CRMs today serve a lot of masters – from top management executives, technology team, marketing, finance, and, oh yeah, sales. All the other categories of users are seen to be more adept in using the CRM features meant for them. The executive management effectively uses the top level dashboards to get sales overview data and make top level forecasts. The finance team utilizes the CRM system’s payment interfaces. Even the sales managers are happy because they can monitor sales activity of every team member. But when it comes to the sales person, who is supposed to the primary user of the CRM system, there are some obvious bottlenecks for successful adoption.
Top reasons for poor CRM adoption:
(As stated by sales persons during interviews and surveys)
- They had to enter a lot of information that added little value to their roles, and provided no help in selling more.
- Because they don’t see much value in data entry into the system, the quality of sales data present in the system becomes less reliable over time.
- This vicious cycle leads to incorrect/obsolete data in the CRM system. So managers tend to dump the data exported from the CRM system into excel sheets and manipulate it to suit their purposes!
- There are too many goals set for sales persons to meet, based on the CRM parameters. Monthly/annual revenue, customer churn, units sold, customer life time value, number of leads, lead conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, sales time. The list is endless!
- Regional language support is not adequate. Sales persons may not be very fluent with English, as it is not mandatory to communicate with local customers. But most CRM systems use sophisticated English jargon in their user interfaces and documentation.
- An average Sales person is not tech savvy. It is difficult for them to ramp up to advanced UI features on the CRM systems.
It is clear from the reasons stated that there is an obvious disconnect between the decision-makers who decide to implement CRM in their organization and the foot soldier in the sales team.
The critical missing link here is Sales coaching.
During the CRM deployment within the organization, the management focusses on technological infrastructure, historical data porting, customer interfacing and so on. But they take the cooperation of their sales team for granted. With effective and sustained sales coaching the company can gain the buy-in from their sales team, and see the real value of CRM implementation within the organization.
What is Sales Coaching?
Sales coaching is an employee on-boarding process where the sales managers interact with and guide each and every sales person to realize the organization defined goals. The goal in this case is successful CRM adoption.
Coaching is an important component of a company’s sales enablement program that can have great effect on the growth of each salesperson, and therefore the growth of the team and overall organization.
Effective sales coaching is done:
- Not by managers giving lectures on what to do. But guide sellers to make their own discoveries on how to meet their objectives.
- Personalized and one-on-one with each sales team member, understanding their individual strengths and weaknesses.
- Over a period of weeks, not just in one quick session. The sales member is given time to absorb the points discussed and return with feedback.
- With a focus on influencing behavior and attitude towards the changes required. The focus is not on targets to be met. Motivate, don’t dictate.
Strategies for sales coaching to increase CRM adoption:
- Data driven approach– Show the value creation for the company that results by successful CRM implementation. Let the foot soldier get the larger picture. Trace how the larger organization level goals get broken down into department levels and then individual team member level.
- Success stories– Share the real case studies from the industry, especially within your own business domain with the sales person. This will help them appreciate the challenges in the CRM adoption process and the positive end results.
- Personalized coaching – Some sales persons require hand holding, some others just require a nudge. Some are comfortable with self-learning, some might require on-job training. So fine tune the coaching sessions to suit every member. Use local language communication, story boards, play acting, demo sessions. Whichever method works for each member.
- Incremental focus – Don’t introduce all the CRM features and goals at the start. Let them see some initial success with a pilot CRM implementation. That success will urge them to get further committed to using it.
- Training from CRM vendors – Most CRM systems require some amount of training to help the sales person gain knowledge of all features supported. Negotiate the contract with your CRM vendor to clearly include coaching sessions for your sales team.
Rixyncs approach to increase CRM adoption:
At Rixyncs, we believe in ensuring the customer team is completely satisfied with the CRM implementation – right from the top management to the last sales person. We ensure that the appropriate CRM solution is chosen that suits a client organization best. We then come up with a CRM implementation plan specific to every client. We co-ordinate with the CRM vendor throughout the deployment process and ensure the smooth running of the system.
We invest a lot of time and effort on confidence building of the sales person, the actual end user of the system. Most of our clients have a long term, mutually rewarding relationship with us for years together. We are proud of the fact that the CRM adoption and satisfaction rates amongst the customers we have served is very high.
About Us – Rixyncs is a leading CRM service provider based out of Bangalore, India. We have been in the business for over a decade and have helped hundreds of small and medium size companies successfully adopt the CRM enterprise business process. As a result, our clients have seen growth of up to 35% in their revenues.
We are global premier partners for vtiger and affiliated partners with all the major CRM providers like SalesForce, Zoho and Microsoft Dynamics.
Get in touch with us and we will be glad to give you a demo on how your business could benefit from acquiring the CRM advantage. Explore our website http://www.rixyncs.co.into know more about us.
Author Profile – Anuradha is a content writer cum corporate trainer in the IT/Telecom domain with 20 years of experience. She is a member of the Rixyncs content generation team.