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Most sales leaders know that a great customer relationship management (CRM) tool can be invaluable. It can help you  increasing sales, saving time, and producing an accurate sales forecast. But, despite these benefits, some sales leaders can be hesitant to switch their outdated CRM for a new one (or in some cases, to get a CRM at all!)

But trust me, having the right CRM is a necessity in today’s competitive sales atmosphere.

While implementing a new CRM can be a daunting task, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. In order to switch CRMs seamlessly, it just takes a bit of foresight and planning.

Here is how sales leaders can prepare for a new CRM:

Get Your Team Excited for CRM

First off, you need to make sure your reps will actually use the new CRM. No matter how great a tool is, if no one is using it, it won’t be a good return on investment! Host meetings with your team about how implementing a new CRM is going to help them directly. Make sure that everyone is included in the process, so that they feel that they are a part of the switch. Plus, if your team has never used a CRM before, simply talking about it as a team can help to ease any fears or concerns that they may have.

One of the sales leaders that Spiro works with was actually so excited about using our CRM that they created a website for their team to check out all the cool features we offer, and how Spiro would help them increase their sales! The fact that the sales leader put so much effort into designing an entire webpage dedicated to the switch to Spiro was a testament in itself to the excitement and confidence they had, and this excitement caught on immediately.

Even better yet, choose a CRM that sales reps will love, so you won’t have to fake excitement. Spiro’s sales automation CRM is powered by artificial intelligence, so it does all the grunt work for the reps. Who wouldn’t love using a CRM like that?

Incentivize Your Team and Keep them Accountable

Provide your team with a reason to use your new CRM. Make sure to recognize people who are having great success with using the CRM, and who are taking full advantage of it by using it often. These incentives don’t have to be big either – try giving away scratch tickets or gift cards. You can also make it a team-wide incentive by saying that if everyone is successfully using the CRM that you will have a team outing or party! This way, your team members will keep each other accountable.

The need for incentives will actually decrease over time. This is because the amount of increased deals (and therefore commission) are incentive enough to keep teams using the CRM! In fact, Spiro’s customers report a 20% increase in monthly sales after implementing our CRM.

Not only do you need to provide your team with a reason to use your CRM, you need to keep them accountable throughout the process. A good CRM gives you visibility into what your team is doing, and how much they are actually using the CRM. If you see that a team member is not using the CRM, it’s up to you to figure out why, and to address the situation.

Figure Out Your Company’s KPIs

Before you implement your new CRM, you need to determine your key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are measurable values that demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs to evaluate their success at reaching targets.

This doesn’t have to be a difficult task – it’s more than likely that you already have a good idea what these are. Set targets for the number of calls your reps should make, the length of the sales cycle, the number of follow ups with each prospect, and whatever else you think is important. Write all this down, and then let your CRM take it from there! Make sure your new CRM comes jam packed with intelligent sales reports that help keep you on top of all your KPIs.

Know Your Use Case – Dream Big!

Anything is possible now with the addition of artificial intelligence to CRM! There are a plethora of different ways you can use your CRM. CRM capabilities are constantly expanding, and there may be ways you can use yours that you had never thought about before. Gone are the days where CRM is a simple database that holds all your contacts – the best CRM’s are fully customizable to your needs, and use artificial intelligence to help automate your sales process. CRMs like Spiro allow you to create custom objects tailored to your sales process. And, if you’re paying for the CRM anyways, it makes sense to get the most possible use out of it!

Ask yourself a few questions before you implement your CRM: How can this technology help us? Who can use this technology? How will each person be using it? For example, a lot of companies don’t have their Customer Support teams using their CRM, when it can actually be extremely useful for creating reminders to follow up, or to create tickets. Plus, with Spiro, your Customer Success manager will do all the customization for you!

Host a Team-Wide Training

Making sure that people on your team know exactly how to use your new CRM is the key to a smooth start. So, you should hold a team-wide training with everyone where they can voice concerns or ask any questions they may have. Be sure that training is included with the CRM you select. Don’t take on extra work for yourself, but make sure your staff is fully supported!

And, once the CRM is up and running, training doesn’t end there. Use the training you gave to your team when you first implemented the CRM to train new-employees, and to get them off to a good start from the beginning.

Give Your Team Reference Materials

Training can’t end with one singular meeting. To ensure continual success, you need to give your team a variety of materials that they can reference at any time. This way they have support as everyone becomes more familiar with the process and technology. But, it’s not up to you to create these materials. A good CRM will provide everything you need!

You should make sure that your team is able to easily get any questions that they have answered. They should either be able to go to you, or if they’re using Spiro, your designated Customer Success Manager for help.

Update (or Create) Your Sales Process

Before your team starts actually using the new CRM, make sure that you have developed a robust sales process that utilizes all the incredible features that your new CRM has to offer. For example, you will want your sales reps to start by creating contacts for each prospect (which Spiro’s CRM can actually do for you) Then, you’ll want to make sure they are following up regularly (which your CRM can remind you to do), and updating contacts when deals are won or lost (again, automated!)

This process should be used every single time, without much adaptation. And, once it’s developed, your CRM can ensure that it is automatically followed through by guiding your reps through the process.

Ready for a New CRM?

Get Spiro, and let us do all of this for you. Spiro will host trainings, provide reference materials, customize your CRM, help build your sales process, and give you complete visibility. Spiro does all of this, and so much more!

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About the Author Adam Honig

Adam is the co-founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a natural sales leader with a mission to help salespeople make more money using artificial intelligence — or any sort of intelligence for that matter. Adam has been a founder of four companies which resulted in two triumphant IPOs and two legendary mergers. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the ‘No Jerks’ hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.

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