When Sales Leaders Say No
At some point you must decide who runs your sales organization and how it will be run.
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Sales organizations do not always gleefully embrace new technology, seeing it as a hindrance, an unwelcome intrusion, or a management ploy to pilfer contacts and push professionals out of the company. For the rank and file CRM can be presented as a way to sell more and sell better, but what to do when the top of the heap will not adhere to new standards of opportunity management and sales generation? If you can't say credibly that CRM will help a recalcitrant pro sell more, emphasize the productivity gains, particularly relating to cutting out needless meetings and administrative hassles. "CRM should eliminate a lot of the territory review that goes on--those calls every week that everybody spends a lot of time on--taking less time on the management processes and giving more time in front of customers," says Edward Buckley, vice president of sales at GoldMine integrator Professional Edge. "Tell them they will have a single platform to manage everything and won't have to go into three or four systems to find information." Also, consider carefully whether someone bypassing your CRM processes is truly your number one salesperson. If your system is designed to help ensure that deal profitability (rather than raw revenue) goes up or that customers can be served more deftly by sharing information throughout the organization, the individual who has been pulling down the big commissions and top honors at quarterly meetings may have earned her laurels under standards that no longer apply. At some point you must decide who runs your sales organization and how it will be run, and stick with that judgment.
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