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Is Your Sales Team Slow to Adopt Salesforce?

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So you’ve taken the plunge —your business has decided to adopt one of the leading names in the CRM industry: Salesforce. First things first, congratulate yourself on the good decision! Your customer’s data is in good hands and you’re well on your way to efficiently managing your growing business.

But wait!

A problem has arisen: your sales team is hesitant to change and you’re not seeing the productivity gain from your Salesforce CRM that you had hoped for. Don’t fret; Big Bang ERP is here to help! This week, we’re sharing our guide to help you identify and resolve some transition issues that your team may be struggling with.

The Obstacles

Change is hard for many of us and a complete overhaul of a current system can seem daunting.  Getting your sales team to embrace the shift may be hard but it is a vital step to getting the most out of your new Salesforce CRM.

Transition Blues

While some of your team’s hesitation could come from jitters caused by all the changes, the structured-nature of Salesforce may be enough to rustle feathers. Salesforce offers a great product that can boost customer data management and help your sales team to run more efficiently, but its structured input process may be a shock to the system for some. Having come from doing things their own way, your sales team could feel put off by new format. Your reps had ways to do their jobs before the CRM was introduced, so it’s up to you to convince them that this new structure trumps the old one.

If it’s not too late, don’t hesitate to incorporate the sales representatives into the buying process. Knowing that their opinion matters will leave them more receptive to the change.  By including them in the process, the transition to Salesforce becomes an exciting endeavor rather than a daunting task. Involving your sales team in the decision-making process assures that you’ll end up with a product that mutually benefits both the management and selling side of things.

Unaware of the Benefits

As a manager, the last thing you want is for your sales team to view Salesforce’s  input process as a menial task that represents nothing but more work. It’s vital that your reps understand the benefits of Salesforce’s system, and that they buy into the change. Use their techniques: the right sales strategies can turn any seller into a buyer. Demonstrations that showcase Salesforce’s ability to quicken your team’s everyday tasks prove that Salesforce’s CRM is mutually beneficial: it helps the reps to do their job quickly and efficiently, and it puts your business on the fast track to growth and prosperity.

Is Big Brother Watching?

Because of Salesforce’s ability to a grant an omniscient eye to sales managers, care must be taken with this new-found capability to monitor is not perceived in a negative way.  Some may take this added visibility to mean a lack of trust on the part of  management.

It’s important to remember that a major benefit of this visibility is the manager’s ability to see who in their team is struggling with the transition to Salesforce’s CRM. This allows them to efficiently address the specific needs of those team members, and to quickly resolve any issues. After the transition process, Salesforce’s ability to track and compare leads means that sales meetings no longer need to center around playing catch-up. All information pertaining to a lead can be viewed by managers prior to a meeting, allowing the time to be spent focusing on future sales strategies and other potential leads.

The Solutions

Open up Communication

First things first: talk to your team. Get in touch with them and figure out where their hang-ups are or where they’re struggling with the change. A quick survey sent around the office can do wonders for helping you to figure out where the problem lies. Are the sales reps hesitant to use the new CRM? Do they know how to efficiently complete basic tasks within the system? Are they reluctant to integrate Salesforce into their everyday lives? Do they find it easier to just do things the old way, rather than adapting? These are all legitimate concerns to your team, and it’s important that they are treated as such. Demonstrating empathy and a willingness to listen goes a long way in building strong, trusting relationships within the company and addressing these concerns with as little conflict as possible. Keeping open communication between the management and the sales team means you’ll have access to feedback on how the CRM adaptation is progressing and that you will be more prepared to problem solve on the go.

Customize It for Your Needs (and Eliminate Excuses)

Salesforce’s adaptability makes it easy to streamline. Reduce the number of mandatory fields that your sales team must enter in order to create a new lead. Simplifying the process of inputting customer data allows your team to work more efficiently and highlights the aspects of sales that are important to your business.  However, make sure to adopt and keep the four critical pillars of a sale: Probability, Amount, Close Date, and Sale Stage. Embracing this language assures that everyone is on the same page when it comes to future sales meetings and helps to solidify communication.

Don’t Be Afraid of a Friendly Competition

Use Salesforce’s ability to track and compare sales members to your advantage.  Friendly competition can go a long way in coaxing hesitant members into adopting new practices. Use Salesforce’s Chatter to publish and showcase sales members that have exceeded sale goals and to motivate others. Chatter is updated in real-time, so any changes to the leader board are instantly viewable to all members of the team, ensuring an on-going battle for the top spot!

Resist the Rush

Adopting a CRM is big change for your business. Expect a minimum transition period of 30 days for a small business, and six to twelve months for a large enterprise. Trying to rush the process will leave all parties involved frustrated and ultimately add time to the conversion process. Be patient; some of your team members may need more convincing than others. It’s important not to get discouraged and, most importantly, not to rush the process. The more time spent on acquainting your team with Salesforce and helping them through the transition, the easier the process will be, and the more success you are likely to have in the long term.

Make Salesforce Essential

Execute as many tasks as possible through Salesforce. This can help to gently guide your sales team into adopting the new process. If what you need to do on a daily basis can only be accessed through Salesforce, then using the system will become second nature in no time. Instead of sending emails through an exterior source, use Salesforce’s Chatter. Plus, once logged in, your team is only a quick click away from all that the CRM has to offer. Take advantage of Salesforce’s mobile capabilities and show your team that it’s possible for them to integrate their personal mobile devices seamlessly with the program. Being able to access the CRM from within a familiar interface can alleviate some of the stress that comes with learning new products. Plus, once your team sees how amazing Salesforce’s Sales Cloud is, their hesitation will be a thing of the past!

Don’t let Salesforce become an extension of your company’s management strategy; make it the core. Blending Salesforce into everyday life at the office is integral to its – and your – success.

Have questions or looking to learn more? We can help.

At Big Bang ERP we implement, customize, administer, and support best-in-class web-based solutions needed to automate and integrate your business processes:

FinancialForce.com (ERP), Salesforce.com (CRM), AppExchange applications.

Contact us today to discuss how Big Bang ERP can become a part of your team!

Sofia Wiseman