CRM’s have been around long enough now for people to understand their role in streamlining and expanding revenue streams. However, understanding its value and maximizing its adoption across your team are two completely different things. Too many companies flounder somewhere in the middle. Yes, their teams are “using” a CRM, aware that it is adding value and organization to their work, yet very few are able to unlock its true potential; like being sat on a goldmine without the explosives.

It’s comforting to know then that this problem is easily fixed. With a few minor tweaks and changes to the way you view customer relationship management software, and the way it’s implemented by your team, it’ll be like suddenly remembering where you left that stick of dynamite.

Mobility

First and foremost, the following question needs to be answered: “Is my CRM mobile?” If not, you’ve just added one of those parachute brakes to the back of the chasse – you’re going struggle with internal adoption. Remind yourself again, who is going to be using the system? The frontline sales rep – the busiest, constantly turning cog in the company’s machine. They need a system that provides immediate access, on the move, matching their every step through the sales cycle. Pulling up account history, product information, pricing and promotional materials at the touch of the button not only increases productivity, but adds value to the overall buying experience. If you want to reap the full benefits of customer relationship management software, go mobile.

Flexibility

The system needs to be accessible offline too. Areas of scratchy 4G service and unreliable Wi-Fi shouldn’t affect the ability of your salesperson to carry out their work. As they continually switch between laptop, desktop, tablet and smartphone, on and offline, you need a platform that caters for this movement. Without it, you seriously limit the ability of your salesforce to access and update key data meaning inaccurate sales reports, skewed data and a difficult task of compiling realistic forecasts.

Simplicity

Let’s go back to basics for a second. From the bottom up, ask yourself exactly what it is you want from your CRM, who is going to be using it, when, where, and in what circumstances. By reforming this process, you’ll soon find there are many steps, add-ons and other inefficiencies that can be cast aside. Just because your sales force automation contains all the latest bells and whistles, it doesn’t necessarily transpose into the most effective distribution of resources. If the user interface is complicated, stodgy and difficult, it won’t get used. It really is as simple as that.

Usability

This may sound obvious, but to get the most out of your customer relationship management software you need to get as many of your staff to use it as possible. Implementation of a new system will always meet a little internal resistance. People don’t like change. So to counter this, offer incentives for those unwilling to commit. Explain why switching or adopting to this new system will benefit them, as well as the business as a whole. Also, try leading by example. If you too, are guilty of a little CRM complacency, how do you expect your sales team to comply?

Familiarity

Finally, there’s an all too frequent tendency from companies to treat familiarisation and training with a new software as an afterthought. However, if your team doesn’t know how to use it, or more importantly understand why they should use it, they won’t. A little investment into their development with the CRM programme will pay dividends in the end. The software is only as good as the data that’s entered into it.

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