Using CRM should help, not hurt your sales team. Your sales staff should be talking and selling, not wasting time on tedious tasks. Staff can boost their sales with a CRM system, but only if they know how to make the most of the technology.
Making the most out of using CRM requires training your sales team to use it. Using interactive training method is the best way to train.
Taking sales success for granted
Your business is already aware how using CRM can help staff take control of their pipeline and focus on activities that lead to sales. These potential benefits help explain why analyst firm Gartner found total spending on CRM software reached $26.3bn in 2015, up 12.3 per cent from $23.4bn in 2014.
However, an investment in a CRM system is no guarantee of success. Firms often don’t understand their system and it can become a hindrance rather than an aid. Research firm Forrester refers to a graveyard of failed CRM projects that spiral out of control and harm performance.
Just over a third (35%) of CRM users cite technology issues, such as data problems, functional shortfalls and poor usability. The same study found that 38% of CRM users believe their problems are the result of people issues, including slow user adoption, poor change management and training.
How to get the most out of using CRM
What emerges is a mismatch between business aims and on-the-ground sales activity. Your CRM system should help to boost sales performance. Yet poor integration means staff waste time on non-sales activity and time-sapping tasks. You must find a way to turn this situation around and make the most of the investment in CRM.
Traditional training methods will not work in an age where sales staff can use online services and data sources to build customer relationships. To make the most of your CRM system, your firm must adopt a proactive approach to training that uses on-demand, interactive tools.
Create an interactive approach to training
Forrester says firms must view CRM training as a continuous improvement process. Some misjudge how tough it will be to introduce new working practices for CRM. These should include new work roles and align reward structures to customer engagement. Smart firms soften the cultural shock of CRM adoption and help employees to learn and embrace new processes.
Look for a solution that can help you build an active approach to capability building. Your tool should offer on-screen, contextual guidance that is tailored to both sector and role. You must be able to adapt this guidance to the needs of each user. Employees should be able to log-on and learn while they work, and get real-time guidance as new requirements emerge.
Your CRM system will only help to improve sales performance if your firm adopts a forward-looking approach to training and development. Don’t rely on staid classroom-style learning. You must ensure the investment in CRM technology is supported by interactive and always-on training methods.