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How do you onboard your sales staff to your CRM?

User acceptance is often a barrier to a successful CRM initiative because sales and marketing professionals are notorious for viewing it as a chore rather than an opportunity.

The key to user adoption is getting your sales team to:

  • Realize the benefit and value of CRM
  • Know how to use the CRM tool
  • Actually use the CRM tool
  • Understanding the Benefits

Getting your sales team to buy-in to CRM begins before you have chosen a CRM system. The team needs to know that the system will actually improve their workflow, and ultimately help them increase their sales. So, begin by letting your salespeople know that you care about making their jobs easier and helping them get more sales.

Ask for their input. Let your sales team tell you what they want out of the CRM software. What are some tedious tasks that take up most of their time? Can they be automated? What kinds of information do they need the most? Is there anywhere that lack of data is hurting their relationships with their clients?

Involve users in the decision-making and implementation phases. If your employees are involved in all phases of CRM implementation, they will be much more likely to fully adopt and support it. If they have a part in the CRM initiative, they will feel accountable to use it.

Emphasize the benefits of CRM. Your sales team needs to understand the reasons why they should use CRM—so play up the benefits! Communicate both why it is important to them as individuals, and to the company as a whole.

Gain support and commitment from upper management. The level of support you get from your managers will influence the level of support you get from your employees. Ensure your management team sets an example by both fully supporting and using the CRM software.

Knowing How to Use the CRM

What good is a CRM tool if its users don’t know how to use it to its full potential? A busy sales team will most likely not have the patience to learn the CRM on their own. And if they don’t understand how to use it, they won’t use it.

Provide quality training.

Do not underestimate the value of quality training and support when implementing a new CRM software system. In fact, it is one of the most critical phases in your CRM initiative. Ensure the system you select is user-friendly and consult with your CRM vendor regarding the best training and support package for your business.

Listen to Feedback.

Listening to the ideas, needs and concerns of those using the CRM system will encourage better adoption. It also gives employees an opportunity to tell you what features do and do not make sense, leading to improved functionality.

Integrate your system. Make sure your CRM system is integrated with other key systems and applications, such as your email system. If the tools your employees use on a regular basis are integrated into the system, they will actively adopt it.

Getting Your Team to Actually Use the CRM

You’ve done your research on the best Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools for your business, you’ve involved the team from the beginning, and you’ve made the decision to invest. That’s a great start!

You’re now several weeks into using the CRM software, and you begin to notice that a majority of your sales representatives are neglecting to utilize it to its full potential. Now what?


What better way to get your sales team to utilize CRM than by offering a reward for quality, effective work?

The key is to create reward programs that don’t repeatedly acknowledge the same people every time. Otherwise, by rewarding the same top performers every time, it sends the message that they are the only ones that created the success with CRM. These programs should actually be addressed to the groups of people that you want to motivate. You can do this in a number of ways.

Accountability Contest

If everyone on your team is comfortable with it, make sales numbers via CRM public. This way, sales reps can hold each other accountable and keep it healthily competitive.

Flash Sales Contest

Towards the end of the month, let your sales team know that there’s a quota that needs to be reached via CRM. If the quota is met, everyone gets to leave early on the last day of the month.

Feast or Famine

Split the sales reps into two teams. Keep points for which team utilizes CRM most effectively/makes the most sales via CRM. At the end of the predetermined time limit (two weeks, a month, etc.), the winning team is taken out for lunch or dinner, while the other team is not.

Instant Sales Rewards

Let’s face it: everyone loves a cash reward. No gimmicks, no quirks, just simple cash money may be the perfect way to help motivate your sales reps to stick to using CRM. Some other reward ideas include:

Tickets to a show/sporting event

For the thrill-seekers in your office, consider giving away free tickets to a local concert or the nearest sporting event. You’d be surprised how motivating football tickets can be to a sports buff.

Office trophy

For the most competitive of all your sales reps, an office trophy that they can proudly show off to the rest of the team may be the gift of choice; however, make sure that the competitiveness is kept at a healthy level.

New office equipment

A new office chair for someone who does a lot of sitting behind a desk is the perfect reward. Just don’t make it too comfy or they’ll never leave work!

Special privileges

Special privileges may include a personalized, by-the-door parking spot, an extra day off, or simply 15 extra minutes for an extended lunch break.

Free lunch

Who doesn’t love a free meal? Food is a fantastic motivator, so providing a free lunch to sales reps that are going above and beyond within the CRM may work wonders.

Is the power of your CRM being fully utilised by your sales team?  Are you getting the results you expected as a result of implementing the CRM?  Many businesses answer “No” to 1 or both questions.  If you’d like to see how we can help you get a return on your investment in a  Customer Relationship Management system click here to arrange a free 30 minute



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