Try this one weird trick to boost SFA adoption

January 24, 2012 - 3 minutes read

That which is scarce is precious.

That which is abundant has little value.

More or less, these are the lessons of life.

Sales organizations go through the CRM selection process with great diligence. They spend even more resources redesigning existing processes, integrating the technology and people, training and rolling out the shiny new thing with great fanfare. Making sure every sales person is empowered.

Yet adoption remains at an abysmal level by measures beyond logins, “clicking on plays” and “call blocks.” Why?

Here are three most cited reasons discovered by research:

  1. It is delivered primarily as a technical tool, relegating the human element.
  2. It is perceived as management pushing something from above.
  3. It is not believed to generate more value: sales, profits, targets.

In other words, it is not adding value to the life of the sales person.

One sales leader I know used to say:

“If you don’t know the value of what you’re doing, then stop doing it. You will find out.”

Yes, we are asking you to consider the opposite of what every expert says, everything you have heard, and even what we’ve said on these pages. Stop doing SFA if you are not sure of the value being delivered.

But wait, you say! How could we stop using SFA? Well, you start by MAKING IT SCARCE.

If you really believe you are adding value with your SFA, then start by giving it to less people. Select a team, or select reps via a lottery system. If not the entire SFA, then some components which are considered valuable should only go to a select few. Make it a privilege to get these components.

No pushing from the top management tier. If a few sales reps using the system see that their lives are better, they meet goals easier, it is intuitive to use, that data is accurate, analytics is meaningful and timely, and it flows well with their daily activities, then acceptance and adoption of the system will spread throughout the sales force.

Make the SFA about adding value, the people who are using it, and the results being delivered. And forget about adoption rates.

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