Is Your Team's Lack of CRM Adoption to Blame For Poor Revenue Performance?

Zen and the Art of CRM Adoption

Frank Matticola

CRO - August 31, 2020

The relationship between marketing and sales requires a bit of yin and yang. Marketing wants to track and visualize the customer base while the sales team simply wants to hit their goal. When the chakras aren’t aligned, your CRM platform becomes more of a distraction than a revenue-inducing dream. So, why is it that historically sales has not been great at adopting CRM platforms?

It might have to have to do with, well, optics. Sales sees it as a "nice to have" because it’s not more important than selling and the arduous data entry process outweighs any beautiful presentation or plea from the marketing team. That’s because according to Hubspot 32 percent of sales representatives spend more than an hour each day on manual data entry and 40 percent still rely on spreadsheets. This effort/reward stress is one of the primary reasons for their lack of adoption.

I recently spoke with the CRO of a publicly-traded SaaS company (and SalesScreen client) who brought up this scenario. Her revenue team’s lack of CRM adoption was preventing her sales team from hitting targets in two of their key growth products.

Imagine this, your company is undoubtedly one of the top beneficiaries of the COVID-19 pandemic. Success of the core product drove exponential growth over the past 5 months, inbound “phones” are ringing off the hook and Wall Street analysts are singing your praises. The sales team, however, is struggling to get anywhere close to hitting their revenue goal for the complementary up-sell products that represent even bigger revenue opportunities.

Now Wall Street is directing some tough questions to the executive team during their quarterly earnings call, pointing at slower growth with these two key product lines. Not quite putting a 'sell' on the stock, but noting that the company is not likely to grow as fast if they don't reach the revenue goal for each over time.

The CRO's challenge was making sure that all of the training to improve the team's ability to sell these products better, and all of the processes she implemented to insure the managers and reps did what they are supposed to, are actually followed through on. Whether they are doing that effectively is measured in their CRM, but since the sales organization was not adopting the CRM fully, it was putting a drain on their ability to hit their goals for those products.

Many sales leaders may remember 5 to 7 years ago when call recording software (Chorus, Jiminny, Gong, Note Ninja), and sales engagement platforms were just coming onto the scene. I remember thinking “how much of a big deal could these technologies be to help sales teams sell more?” Well, now they are core for almost every software company around the globe.

What’s fascinating is that there are now software platforms that leverage visualization to motivate the revenue team to adopt the training and process. The emerging category of sales productivity platforms understand that CRM usage drives revenue. With the right tools connected to your CRM, the “marketing” dashboard becomes the seller’s dream. This newfound dream state has simplified the different ways sellers can act immediately and in a transparent way, making CRM fun for sales too—while keeping your team aligned in a unique way.

For sellers though, visualization can be superficial. Salespeople love getting credit for their effort and closing a deal and in this CRO's case the sales team also desired recognition among colleagues for their impact on the process as well. This sales-focused process is key. An Aberdeen Group study found sales teams that are productive and have effective workflows are 81 percent more likely to use a CRM system consistently.

This allows a CRO like the one mentioned above who is looking to implement MEDDIC sales methodology into their CRM, to train and certify the team on the new skill and process, to inspire their team to push themselves and check off the steps on time.

But where’s the golden carrot? According to Forrester, 47 percent of sales teams cite the lack of rewards for customer-centric behavior as a challenge to CRM implementation. Luckily, sales productivity platforms also make the sometimes mundane act of selling more fun, creating competition between colleagues just like making a wager in a golf match or fantasy sports.

Imagine getting rewards both in recognition and of the tangible variety for accomplishments beyond just closing a deal, such as best email response rate, being most popular among clients or having the best social engagement amongst your client base. Competitive spirit is at the heart of every great seller and sales productivity tools can change their mindset when it comes to the purpose of collecting this CRM.

Next time we’re in a meeting with the CRO and CMO, let’s find a bit of zen to calmly meditate on sales productivity to fully visualize how the symbiosis will positively impact revenue and then put it front and center across the entire organization.

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