How to Inspire Your Sales Force to Adopt CRM!

How to Inspire Your Sales Force to Adopt CRM!

This month I was asked to give an inspirational talk at a company that has been using CRM for the last few years. They migrated to Dynamics 365 from Dynamics CRM 2011 several months ago, and the objective of the speech was to re-engage the sales force with CRM. The hope was that managers and sales team members would use CRM in a more integrated way throughout their work day. 

Quantitative versus Qualitative
Preparation for the speech took a couple of months. In all, it took over 100 hours to prepare for delivery of the content. The methodology was to create a relevant survey to analyze several aspects of their internal processes and discover some of the pain points and challenges their sales and marketing teams faced in using CRM.  

We also had several face-to-face interviews and web meetings with a dozen sales people. The interviewing process included a framework, which was used consistently, and each conversation took about an hour to complete. The survey was more quantitative in nature while the interviews allowed us to dig deeper in a more qualitative fashion. 

Preparation and approach
I had one hour to inspire and make a difference. We wanted to impact everyone attending the annual sales meeting. I divided the speech into several digestible parts. 

I started with a real example on how we moved their company from being a lead to an opportunity to closing to delivery in our own CRM.   

In the second section, I identified with the sales people. We looked at our similarities. For example, in a prior life I, too, had been a sales representative in a similar line of business, and I, too, was a remote user struggling with technology or the lack thereof.  

In the third part, I dug into their mission, their "why". I underlined that they had a phenomenal mission and reminded them of the amazing impact that their company has on the lives of other people. 

Finally, I indicated that, for a mission like theirs, they deserved the best tools including CRM. That's when I indicated that out of the hundreds of CRMs out there, they have the best, and I proved it quickly with an independent source. That is also when I asked several volunteers to come up and review all the reasons why they use CRM. That was the easy part, and they all came up with more reasons than I had! We summarized the most important ones together. 

Findings and Recommendations
Everyone was very curious to know the survey results and recommendations. The team was having some technical issues that needed to be taken care of: (a) CRM access – especially from their mobile phones, and (b) improving the prototype specification CRM process. These two issues (and others) were sources of frustration. Knowing that senior leaders had decided to address these issues was great news for the audience.

New behavior and tips
I gave some immediate help by offering practical CRM tips delivered in pairs. The goal was to simplify and help everyone really embrace their new CRM. We analyzed their CRM activities as they related to their well-documented Sales Process and offered suggestions to make the tool more effective. 

Taking Action
The company is in the process of making the changes requested by the team and recommended in the survey report. In the meantime, the emphasis for the sales people is taking action and "eating that frog": learning and using the CRM! The benefit for all will be higher productivity and stronger results!

If you need help inspiring your team to use your CRM and/or tweaking your CRM, so that they really see the benefit in using it, please give us a call at 1-800-880-1960 or email We’d like to help your organization achieve better results!

About the Author
Fred Varin founded TopLine Results Corporation in April of 1999 with the goal of helping businesses optimize their success. For more than a decade, Fred has been dedicated to delivering outstanding CRM solutions to organizations worldwide. Fred has a passion for teaching workplace productivity techniques, business analytics and the importance of business goal setting.

As a sales professional, technical consultant and trainer for more than 20 years, Fred has a keen understanding of CRM and the sales cycle. Fred’s CRM certifications include: Silver Certified Microsoft partner, Microsoft Certified Professional, Act! Certified Consultant and Registered Salesforce partner.

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