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How to Get Your Sales Team to Buy Into Your CRM System

Start by making sure it solves a problem

You have a great new CRM system. It provides solutions to all – or most – of the challenges that your sales team is currently working through.

So why aren’t they using it?

Selling your sales team on a new CRM system might be one of the hardest sales you have to make. Sales teams can be stubborn in their ways and slow to accept change. But chances are your problem isn’t really with the sales team. The problem is with how you’re selling them.

Look Beyond the Sales Team

Sure, a CRM system is most likely to be used by a sales team. However, if you work in a small company, then you know perfectly well that the sales team doesn’t account for all the users of CRM software. Upper management and the marketing department are just two of the groups that might dabble in the CRM system from time to time.

With that in mind, focus on selling to the senior management of your company before selling to the sales team. When senior management is using it, your sales team is going to be more likely to want to use it, too.

Also, give special attention to the new hires at your target company. New hires are less set in their ways and more open to change.

Present a Need and Drive Pain Points

In B2B sales, pain points are everything. It turns out that pain points go a long way in getting your employees to buy in, too. If you’re struggling to sell your CRM system, it might be because you aren’t demonstrating the need to your sales team very effectively.

Present the sales team with real problems in the company and ask how they’re currently addressing those issues. Then, outline for them how the new CRM system would help them more effectively address those issues. For example:

“How do you remember the lead channels through which your major, long-time accounts were secured?”

“We’ve integrated our lead tracking software with the new CRM system so that our clients’ lead information is automatically attached to their profiles in the CRM system. No more forgetfulness!”

Offer a Solution

The bottom line: your CRM system should offer solutions to specific problems that aren’t currently being addressed. Even if the sales team you’re pitching to is change-resistant, you will have a breakthrough when you offer a truly innovative solution.

When you offer solutions, get specific. If you know that your sales team has a propensity for losing valuable information, demonstrate how your CRM system can capture and retain that information. Show how effortless and easy it is. Then, attach dollar figures to what your solution means for each salesperson in gained commissions.

If you try these tips to motivate your sales team to buy into your CRM system, it may not be a hard sell after all.  

John Buelow is Executive Vice President of Program Design and Delivery at Shapiro Negotiations Institute, a global provider of negotiation training and sales optimization.