In many companies today, the sales people are in revolt.
While they might not be acting so obviously as to, say, storm the sales manager’s office with torches and ropes, inside most are seething.
This revolt is usually held inside, it does make itself known through snappy comments, quiet asides, and bull sessions with colleagues after work. In other words, it is indeed there if you look for it.
While such quiet revolt may not be much of a bother (out of sight, out of mind), it is insidiously affecting the work your sales people are doing. Think back to the last time you performed a task under protest. Now consider that same task: how much better it might have come out if you had performed it willingly, happily? It’s no less true of your sales force. In fact, because they are disgruntled, sales figures are likely suffering.
In this post, I’ll show how to make peace in your sales organization:
It Starts with the CRM Solution
Your sales people are upset about the CRM solution for a number of reasons.
The first is the amount of data entry they’re having to perform—taking time that they might otherwise be selling. That in itself might not be so bad, but because the CRM is not really adequate to its task of recording and providing the right information, sales reps must often spend additional time creating separate reports of the same information, and additionally provide verbal briefings rehashing that same data.
- They dislike the CRM solution they’re having to use.
- They are unhappy with the amount of reporting they are required to do.
- They are perturbed about not being fully utilized for their true capabilities.
Believe it or not all of the above issues might not be such a problem–if the CRM solution truly assisted sales reps in doing their jobs. If sales people were able to turn to CRM to view their pipelines, plan out their sales, prioritize their contacts and sales actions, they wouldn’t be nearly as upset about CRM as they are.
Today that particular set of grievances need not occur at all.
It is entirely possible to find and utilize a CRM solution that is intuitive, logical and lends itself easily to recording the right data in the right place so that it is easily retrievable. That means that sales managers and others who need it can access much of the information they need right from CRM, not even needing to interrupt sales reps. For the data entry and reporting the sales force actually does need to do, it becomes far less time consuming.
But most importantly, sales reps can fully utilize such a CRM solution to help them streamline the steps of the sales process—and make more sales. It’s not just the sales force that benefits from that.
Full Utilization of Sales People
You’ve probably noticed that your salespeople are rather capable individuals.
The innate abilities of a salesperson are, in fact, the same as those of an entrepreneur. They see opportunity where others would not. They prefer creating their own incomes rather than relying on a salary. They form conclusions based on their own observations, rather than simply relying on the opinions of others.
In addition to being the sole providers of closed deals, your sales force is also an untapped gold mine of information and ideas. They are constantly in contact with the people whose opinions you most treasure: your customers and prospects. They receive a steady stream of feedback on your products, as well as your service.
If you were to loop sales reps in on your marketing and product development, you would be greatly surprised at the outcome. Not only would your sales force be a wealth of information on what existing and future customers want in your products and services, they would also be a font of creative ideas on marketing and product development sales strategies.
Here’s the thing: Your salespeople know they have these abilities, and could provide this help. How do you think they feel not being consulted for what they know they could actually be contributing?
So how to end this quiet sales people revolt?
- Try putting in a CRM solution as described above, thereby greatly reducing the amount of data entry and reporting needed,
- Start soliciting marketing and product development ideas from your reps,
- Treat them as the entrepreneurs they actually are.
You’ll suddenly find that truce has been obtained—and it will totally reflect in your steadily rising sales figures.
Stay tuned for more articles on empowering your sales force.