The following is a guest post written by Base’s own Enterprise Implementation Manager Kathryn Knight.
Your business is as competitive as ever. The time is critical to get organized and give yourself an edge. To stay financially attune and drive to increase your market share, you have taken the leap and purchased a sales productivity tool; good for you! Executive buy-in? Check! Budget allocated? Check! Account executives high-fiving you for the decision? Uhhhh…
Any manager who has attempted to implement a sales platform or CRM in his organization has a moment in time in which he starts to wonder if “resistance to change” was a hiring requirement for the sales team. The research behind sales platform adoption can be disheartening, with just 13% of reps using the full capabilities of their sales tools. Do not be swayed. By staying focused and employing a few key adoption essentials, your sales platform can assist you in building the data driven, efficient team you’ve been striving for.
Focus on the Vision
Never lose sight of the goal: selling more. Your sales tool should empower your team to spend less time on administrative functions and more time doing what they do best: selling! Reducing a sales platform to a contact manager or an activity tracker detracts from this vision. These are functions of the tool, not the goal behind it. Having visibility into how many emails and calls an AE makes is not valuable, but finding the specific weight of these activities as they relate to sales is. As a manager, having the right data to analyze the activities, process, and functions that make your team the most efficient is what you should be focused on.
Suit the Masses, Not the Management
Remember, it’s not for you, it’s for them! Telling your team they have a new tool you are requiring them to use so that management can keep a closer eye on the team is the WRONG approach. Generally, AEs would like more of two things: time and money. Express that this tool is meant to give them exactly that, and tailor it specific to their needs. For example, does your sales team spend a lot of time in the field? The value of an easy mobile experience for them will be huge. Find a system with an effective mobile sales experience so you are enhancing their process, not hindering it.
Place It in the Critical Path
Few embrace change. Even fewer embrace it if they do not find fault in the current state. If your sales team can perform all the necessary functions of their role without accessing the sales platform, adoption will suffer. Finding the areas of criticality are easier than you may think. If you’re using a marketing automation tool like HubSpot to feed your team leads, consider integrating this with your sales platform. Is your outbound sales team required to book a certain number of demos? Consider an “if it’s not logged, it doesn’t exist” policy. Placing access of the software in the center of critical sales functions will ensure every person is using it.
The truth is, no one likes to be watched by big brother. Your team will not be blind to the fact that part of the drive behind the purchase was visibility into their day. What you do with this information will determine their outlook, so don’t lock it away. With this new information at your fingertips, you can now give kudos to your most effective closer, offer sales coaching to the rep struggling in the negotiation phase, and take tips from the AE with the highest deal value. Share the information! Even better, show them how to access the sales intelligence and reports themselves. Using this newly discovered information to drive performance change is a powerful benefit to management, but showing AE’s how they can find this information for themselves is a great self-motivator for performance achievement.
Implementing any new system can feel daunting, so set yourself up for success. Clue your team into the mission by being upfront and inviting them to share in it. Ask your account executives what it is that they need to be more efficient professionals and deliver on the promise. Remember, you’re building a solution: a solution that is built for them, critical for business, and ultimately empowers your team to do more.
For a list of key questions to help you in your search for a solution that fosters sales platform adoption, download this free white paper.