Recent research has found that only 20% of customer sales information is being recorded in a company’s CRM system. This seems like a shocking statistic when you consider that senior management is relying on this information to enable them to make major decisions.
To illustrate: Can you imagine looking at a painting where only 20% of the picture was visible to you? This is effectively the same situation faced by many company executives as they try to make sense of their sales management reports.
Why does this happen?
And what can you do as a sales leader to improve the quantity and quality of your customer relationship data?
In working with clients over the last few years, five key areas consistently require attention.
1. Lack of support during implementation. – When a new CRM system is implemented, or new people join the firm, not enough time and support are given to enable them to become comfortable and confident in performing their essential tasks. Leading to them wasting time and energy as they muddle through each day without full competence. It’s not surprising there is a lack of enthusiasm for keeping customer records up to date. It’s seen as a chore rather than a vital way to protect and increase customer retention and revenue.
2. Ease of use and Mobility. – Senior Management needs to ensure the CRM system provides full mobility to both access and update customer details remotely in real time. Research done on adoption rates has shown that where salespeople can update records within 90 seconds, there is a significantly higher rate of adoption. However, once the time it takes to complete an update increases over two minutes the adoption rates fall dramatically. So, the lesson is clear, sales managers need to ensure their technology is completely user-friendly if they want enthusiastic adoption!
3. Overly complicated sales processes. – Another critical factor is ensuring the correct sales process is used for the specific sales role. If you try to roll out a process company wide, there is a high risk of asking salespeople to report on information that is not relevant to their sales role, which causes frustration.
4. Not selecting the right metrics. – With modern technology, the list of possible metrics is endless. So, what should you measure? Select the metrics that measure your key sales activities. This helps your team focus and saves you from drowning in a sea of sales data!
5. Sales coaching. – You need to work collaboratively when coaching your team. Consistently helping them to see how the sales data that they record can be used to improve their sales results. This is a perception change for many salespeople who routinely see keeping their CRM updated as a necessary evil, rather than a way to maximise their effectiveness. A second factor senior management should consider is the time and investment they make in their sales managers. Helping to mentor and develop their potential then benefits the whole team as they effectively transfer their experience throughout the team leading to enhanced results.
In Chapter 13 of my latest book “The Sales Strategist“.
I delve deeper into this subject and provide further practical tips on how to maximise your team’s potential.
I invite you to share your thoughts, experiences and comments on the subject!