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Best Practices in Sales Enablement: CRM & AI Technology

CRM DATA ENTRY:
Getting Users On Board With Your Sales Enablement Goals

With CRM software, data entry lies at the heart of its success, and that data is entered by humans. If you can’t get the people to buy into the process, your sales enablement efforts are wasted and your CRM technology is essentially worthless. Human resources are the life force of any customer relationship management software. They can be your greatest obstacle when it comes to CRM adoption, but they are also the key to your success. Even the best customer relationship management software cannot provide results without some degree of human-entered user data.

CRM TECHNOLOGY:
Supporting & Supported By Your Human Resources

When companies begin to develop a sales enablement plan, they often jump right into CRM, thinking that the program they choose will resolve all their problems and deliver increased sales in no time. New and foreign technologies are foisted suddenly on unsuspecting and already overworked employees – CRM adoption is an afterthought. Needless to say, this approach does not work. CRM technology alone is not the complete answer, rather it is a tool in a larger sales enablement strategy that supports, and is supported by, your human resources. The successful application of any sales enablement tool requires looking to all levels of the company’s framework from your boots-on-the-ground sales reps all the way to your leadership, and at every level of implementation starting from the initial development stages, and following up with continued support throughout the use of the technology.  The best customer relationship management software is the one that is selected with your company in mind and with a company wide commitment to its success.

SELECTING THE BEST CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE:
Study The End User

Involve the end-users who will use the system. Clearly demonstrate to those involved how the new system will benefit them. Ask for user feedback. Be sure to listen to the feedback, and incorporate suggestions when appropriate. (https://www.superoffice.com/blog/crm-end-user-adoption/)

Too often we try to bend our employees to fit a selected CRM technology. This often results in poor CRM adoption rates, as well as stubborn and unhappy sales reps. A better approach is to model customer relationship management technology on the real world needs and operations of your employees. The technology should play a support role to your human resources. If you are adding administrative burdens to your sales force, you have missed the point of CRM – it is meant to create greater efficiency in the sales process. To drive the point home: Selecting the right CRM that suits your team’s needs is CRUCIAL. Studying your real world real person processes is central to selecting the right CRM.  The best customer relationship management software for you is the one that is selected or designed with your end user in mind. Involving your sales reps and key personnel from all levels will help you to uncover the CRM features that are vital to your team’s day to day operations, while involving employees early and meeting their real needs increases user satisfaction and the likelihood of cooperation.  The primary and single goal with CRM is adoption. There is no data without user input, and without data there is nothing.

LEADING THE CHARGE IN SALES ENABLEMENT:
Top Down Messaging On Crm Data Entry

The right vendor and a solid technology team cannot guarantee success without the daily leadership, commitment and motivation from the senior business management team, driving the overall strategy. (www.logicrm.com/2216/blog/host-blog/crm-data-quality-responsibility)

It is here where messaging is important and what underlies your messaging is solid and consistent leadership, dedicated to the goals of CRM adoption and data usability. To increase CRM adoption, you must ensure that every level of management intends to support your CRM solution. If it is a well-chosen technology, this support should be easy to rally – after all, with the right tool and accurate data, management can make better informed decisions and improve their business! From here it is a matter of establishing and clearly communicating rules of use and providing the tools and support to achieve success. These include obvious tools such as a clear and concise user manual, a routine guide, a set of best practices as well as training sessions, but just as important is holding people accountable for their data, and making leaders responsible for their team’s customer relationship management data. Including job-specific CRM adoption tasks as part of all employee’s job descriptions, and considering CRM maintenance during the initial hiring process sets employees up for success and is a strong declaration of your goals and expectations. In general, to garner enthusiasm and cooperation for your CRM technology, it is important to raise awareness of the software, and promote the value of a thorough and shared data center, as well as to educate and support the user. Even the best customer service management software will fail if your leadership does not align itself with your sales enablement goals, so it is of the utmost important to commit to consistent messaging when it comes to implementing a customer relationship management software.

SUPPORTING CRM TECHNOLOGY:
It Takes A Village

“CRM programs focus too much attention, resources and BLAME on the technology and tools. In order to remotely realize any of your business goals you must provide equal commitment to the alignment of business processes and… building a thoughtful community of support to achieve your visions in the mid to long-term” (Hazem Gamal)

With committed leadership in place, a strong team should be developed to support your customer relationship management goals and advocate for increased adoption. Some roles that will ensure the success of your CRM strategy include technical experts and technical support roles, but just as important are CRM Evangelists or Super Users who work to increase the technology’s positive reception within the sales team and ultimately convert users to the cause. On the technical side, you will need someone to govern the CRM process, to collaborate with all teams to address weaknesses in the process and establish best practices. Data quality specialists are necessary to input, review and adjust data and generate reports. Intelligence experts would develop reporting processes and draw conclusions from reports. And though your CRM software should offer some level of technical support, an in-house technical team might be necessary depending on the complexity of your system. These roles do not necessarily need to be filled by new human resources, but fitting the roles into your current operations in a way that makes sense and does not overburden people deserves some advance planning – do not let it be an afterthought. Check out our resources to find a handy template of job descriptions for the various roles outlined above to get you moving towards your CRM goals quickly! Then, before you move onto selecting your CRM software, spend some time thinking about how these roles can be met within your company’s framework. Do any of your current positions easily lend itself to one of these roles? Or can you single out anyone in your company with character or expertise that would make them a good match? These are questions you should be considering from day one.

YOUR UNIQUE CRM SOLUTION:
Consider Your Real World Needs

These conditions represent the ideals of what you should look to when rolling out a CRM solution and are meant to highlight the importance of evaluating your human resources – from initially selecting and developing your CRM solution based on authentic operations, to planning teams to support the implementation of your chosen technologies. Obviously, an extremely thorough initial evaluation plus hiring additional team resources is not realistic across all situations and might make CRM implementation appear daunting, but you can use these tips as a framework and scale them to meet your needs. If you are already looking at ways to roll out your customer relationship management software that will minimize the administrative burden and maximize CRM data entry rates, we trust that you are well on your way to making an empowered and informed choice. As always, figure out what works for you by looking at your real world real person needs. Here are some additional resources to help you with your sales enablement planning.

CRM INTEGRATIONS THAT CAN EASE YOUR CRM DATA ENTRY SALES BURDEN

SERVICES THAT CAN EASE YOUR CRM DATA ENTRY SALES BURDEN

READY TO USE JOB DESCRIPTIONS FOR YOUR CRM SUPPORT TEAM

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