One of the most common sales leadership complaints is sales people don’t use the CRM. Getting sales people to use the CRM has been an on going challenge for sales leaders for far too many years. To get sales people to use the CRM, I’ve seen sales leaders try all types of cohersion; everything from withholding commissions, not providing credit for a sale to threatening to fire offenders. None of which have been very effective. They just end up frustrating the sales people and irritating leadership.
The reason so few sales people don’t use the CRM is because they see no value. Therefore, it’s incumbent upon sales leadership to demonstrate or create value. There are two ways to show value. One is to demonstrate how the CRM can help the sales person close more deals and accelerate the sales process. Having sales people use the CRM to improve their selling is ideal. However, creating this environment is an individual effort specific to the company, the sales person and the sales process. Therefore, I’m not going to address this part.
The other way to get sales people to use the CRM is to measure them on sales metrics that can only come from the CRM.
I’ve said multiple times on this blog, revenue is a one trick pony and effective sales teams measure their organization on metrics beyond revenue. If a sales person were to be measured or coached on their average deal size, the sales person would be compelled to put revenue in the CRM in order for it to be tracked. Therefore, if you want to deal size put into the CRM, think about putting a team incentive in place that provides a spiff or bonus for the rep with the highest average deal size. Create a leader board and put it in a public place or promote it via Yammer or Chatter each week. Make the bonus or spiff substantial and I promise you, deal size will make it into the CRM.
Do you want opportunity close dates to be put in the CRM? Create a time to close sales metric and track the results publicly. Use part of the sales meeting for a “best in breed” session where those who have the shortest time to close rates share their best practices with the rest of the team. Create fun, simple spiffs that are awarded to the folks whose sales cycles fall under a certain time frame. For those at the bottom of the list, with longer sales cycles, incorporate the data into their evaluations and coaching sessions and manage the sales person to improve them.
When you are managing key sales metrics and rewarding those with exceptional results in those categories, team members WILL voluntarily update the CRM. They can’t do their job without doing it. They will also want the exposure.
Whether you chose to measure time to close, average deal size, win loss percentage or any other sales metric other than revenue, sales people by default will be forced to keep the CRM updated. When a sales reps success is tied to the CRM they will use it. When their ability to make money, be top dog, or be recognized is tied to the what they put in the CRM the will be more diligent.
If your sales team isn’t using the CRM, you haven’t created an environment that makes it worth their time. Make it worth their time and you’ll get the results your looking for.