Convincing Your Sales Team to Buy Into CRM Software
Salespeople tend to be resistant to changes in their routines — sales is an art form, and they often don’t appreciate the addition of cumbersome software and tracking tools to their techniques. Despite their hesitation, a CRM is one of the most valuable additions to your organization’s tech stack. A CRM can make your entire organization, from marketing to sales to service, more efficient and streamline throughout the sales process. Here’s how to convince your salespeople of the importance of a CRM.
The Benefits of a CRM
We’ve talked before about the most important features of a CRM for marketing, from workflow automation to social listening and lead nurturing. But a CRM has significant benefits for the sales team, too:
- Better reporting: a CRM can help your company maintain and organize sales data, customer information, and the steps you’ve already taken to nurture and close leads. Everything you need to know about your leads will be automatically tabulated and organized, facilitating a more seamless handoff between departments.
- Visual dashboards: data isn’t much use if you can’t make sense of it, and the sophisticated dashboards in a CRM can help. A good CRM will have a customizable dashboard so every individual in your organization can view the data that’s most relevant to them.
- Automation: advanced pattern recognition and machine learning algorithms can tell you which MQLs are ready to transition to SQLs, automate your contact and lead nurturing actions, and handle simple customer questions automatically.
The benefits of a CRM are apparent, but that doesn’t mean your sales team will be eager to use one. Here’s what you can do to help the transition.
Find the Right CRM
All CRMs have roughly the same purpose, but they’re not all created equal. HubSpot, Salesforce, FreshWorks, Pipedrive, and more all offer slightly different emphases and specialties, so it’s important to find the right fit for your team and your organization.
Talk to your sales team about the most useful features they’d like to see in CRM software. Consider lead volume, transaction amounts, and the complexity of your integrated marketing plan.
Involving the team in the selection process will make them more likely to embrace the solution you choose.
Train Them Thoroughly
If your sales staff don’t know how to use the software you buy for them, they’ll stop using it. If the entire team isn’t on the same page, then your customer data will become fragmented and disconnected, and your ability to track the progress of your lead nurturing processes will suffer.
When you choose a new CRM, it’s crucial that you provide adequate training for your staff, even if training time cuts into your workday for a little while. Watch the training videos, read up on the resources, and help your sales staff understand the ins and outs of the software before you fully implement it.
One of the most enticing features of a CRM to any salesperson is automation. With the right automation tools in place, much of the busy work can be taken off their plate to free up time for the work they’re passionate about — selling. For example:
- A CRM can automatically fetch contact information from emails and social media, saving time on manual research
- Follow-up emails, phone calls, and scheduled demonstrations can all be automated based on user information and availability
- The CRM will automatically track and organize customer interactions, sales history, purchase history, and call logs. Salespeople will no longer need to manually keep track of every call they make.
By not only allowing but emphasizing the importance of automated interactions, you’ll enable your sales team to focus on the most important part of their jobs, not the menial filler.
Don’t just impose a new software system and make it mandatory — offer encouragement and incentives for using it. People who adopt early and manage their sales workflows through the CRM should be applauded and encouraged to help others learn the software, too. Share your salespeople’s stats with the team! Salespeople are often naturally competitive and will respond well to seeing how effectively their colleagues are using the software.
There’s always a transition period when trying out a new piece of software, but with these tips, you should be able to make that transition as smooth as possible.