When a sales organization adds a CRM solution to its operations, the results can be impressive. Business processes are streamlined, customer data is more easily accessed and prospects are more accurately measured, just to name a few of the improvements that can be realized. However, there’s no guarantee that a CRM solution by itself will provide any long-term advantage.

How can a CRM solution that offers such powerful advantages not automatically confer those benefits on the company that uses it? The issue on which the success of a new CRM implementation often hinges is employee adoption. Along with practical considerations like training and developing an understanding of a new CRM platform, a high level of adoption is critical for positive results.

Encouraging adoption and reaching out to staff
Whenever a business makes a major change and adopts new workflows and processes, it has an impact on staff. Encouraging adoption and providing training should be a concern throughout the implementation process, one that project and company leaders must frequently evaluate.

While adoption and acceptance are an issue for every employee, they can be particularly difficult for salespeople to contend with. With many sales staff motivated in part by commissions and focused on successfully completing as many transactions as possible, these employees may not want to start using new CRM solutions if they don’t feel it benefits them. They also may be opposed to taking the time away from selling to truly master a new system.

The role and priorities shared by many in the sales profession mean business leaders have to take a unique approach with encouraging adoption and conducting successful training sessions. Software Advice suggested communicating the personal, individual-level benefits of a new CRM solution to sales staff early on in the process. That could mean before a new platform is selected and implemented, or early on in the process. The faster this effort starts, the more likely sales staff are to come around with adoption.

Software Advice said one of the most salient points to highlight is the decrease in time spent dealing with administrative and housekeeping duties like recording lead, customer and sale information. This is a benefit for every employee affected by a new CRM solution, but this change offers a unique advantage for sales staff: Less time on secondary tasks means more time calling and visiting clients, directly focused on making a sale.

Highlighting these sales-specific improvements – and others like standardized storage of and easy access to customer information – during training is another important component. As CRM Search pointed out, CRM education in general should focus on practical considerations instead of highly technical aspects of the system. For sales staff, this can be the time to show them how the new solution will save them time. A little extra effort in terms of tailoring a training session to the unique priorities of your salespeople can pay off with positive attitudes and employees eager to use the platform once it’s implemented.

Making sure sales staff are mentally prepared for a change to a new CRM solution is a vital point, one that can’t be overlooked or placed at the bottom of a list of priorities. CRM platforms provide more benefits to salespeople than many other roles inside an organization, and their understanding of these solutions is ultimately critical to the continued success of the company they work for.