You are no longer the most important person on your sales team. Hard to hear? Blame Harvard: according to their business review, while the impact of individuals’ task performance on company profit has decreased over the past decade,the impact of “network performance”--the effort of the team as a whole--has increased. “Network performance” now accounts for 44% of a company’s sales impact.
It’s time to play nice. Team building and company retreats aside, a CRM may be your best (and cheapest) tool for facilitating and increasing collaboration on your sales team. CRMs offer control for admins, the ability to delegate tasks, and an easy, secure way to share data with other team members.
It can be hard, however, to motivate sales teams to use CRMs in the first place. The first step of implementing a CRM system and culture is letting salespeople know what’s in it for them. Administration should focus on concrete benefits of using a CRM system to help increase sales and the quality of the work environment.
Sharing = Better Data Quality
Think of your CRM as a shared workspace for you and your coworkers. A CRM takes the data collection that you would already be doing for yourself--leaving a note about a call, setting a reminder for a follow-up, or changing a contact’s lead status--and makes it available to your colleagues. Instead of having a post-it note on your desk, you can add the same information to the contact’s profile. That way, your colleagues will see the work you’ve done on a contact, and there won’t be any unnecessary follow-ups, tedious transcription of notes, or bewildered emails along the lines of, “Did anyone call Mr. X?”
Delegation = Fewer Leads Lost
Taking a vacation or calling in sick for a day shouldn’t mean losing a lead. Many CRM systems will allow you to retain ownership of a contact or account while delegating tasks and events to other CRM users. You can also control who can see your calendar and contacts; so, if you’re not in front of the computer for another meeting, an administrator on your team can cover for you.
Mobile Systems = Easier Communication
You can’t really take spreadsheets on the go, but a CRM can live on your mobile phone or tablet, making it easier to update contacts and communicate with your team. Many salespeople are on the road more often than they are in an office environment, but being on-the-go shouldn’t prevent teams from working together. Keeping in contact and staying plugged in makes communication easier, and therefore more likely to occur.
Collaboration = More Efficient and Happier Work Day
Once sales teams realize that CRMs benefit their work and lead generation, they’ll be much more likely to stop, collaborate and listen. Collaboration can also improve the mood around the office by making teams tighter and group projects less stressful. Since happier workers are more productive and more creative, collaboration is doubly in everyone’s interest. Weekly meetings to discuss sales strategies (scheduled with a CRM, of course) and an intra-company communication tool (like Slack) can turn cooperation into true teamwork.
Building collaboration and CRM culture into a company can be a long and difficult process. It can be hard to introduce even a cooperative system to a very competitive sales environment, but it’s worth it. If you have any more tips on creating a collaborative company culture with a CRM, tweet at @LessAnnoyingCRM!