Friday, February 8, 2013

How Making Performance Management "Social" Can Motivate Sales Teams

“I have eleven leads to follow-up, I can’t spare three hours for the next few days to attend this training! Why do we need a Cloud CRM software? I’m doing fine working with my planner and excel sheets!” I said adamantly to my colleague.

“Don’t think short term, a few hours this week will make things smoother and ensure you can work with larger volumes of leads to achieve better conversions by the year end….and…a couple of things- the Cloud CRM software will enable you spend more time on your core responsibilities like converting leads and cross-selling. Also, we need to put all our customer information on the Cloud CRM solution to improve pipeline visibility and identify bottlenecks. The top management is only going to look at reports generated through the CRM software to ensure they have a clear picture of the sales forecast and everyone’s performance,”she replied. "They're also giving the sales and marketing teams social CRM with the latest features and  tools."

My colleagues and I attended three days of training across the following week, the initial session was informative and we were introduced to the CRM solution's customized interface. In the final session, the trainer said in an amused tone, "The sales teams are often the least likely to adopt a CRM solution, therefore, our CRM implementation team has added a few key features to make it especially worthwhile for you to login and regularly use the CRM software. Firstly, you will all have access to mobile CRM around the globe. Secondly, the CRM solution's features will not only simplify your sales process allowing you to spend more quality time with larger volumes of leads, but, also make selling fun!"

We looked at each other inquiringly and suppressed any immediate responses. Most of us were often stuck in office till the early hours of the morning trying to keep up with the leads numerous campaigns were generating.


"The CRM solution will greatly enhanced your pipeline visibility for all sales related records and ensure seamless collaborations with internal teams and partners. You can now view the profile details of all your leads and accounts' contacts on popular social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. We've also added a feature to allow individual users to set keyword searches for Tweets which can be converted to leads on the CRM software. Besides all this, homepages will display mash-ups or RSS Feeds and graphs to quickly bring you up to speed with stock prices, exchange rates, breaking news and almost anything else you might need," he pitched.

"Oh! It almost slipped my mind! We've also added a social performance management tool which will allow users in your organization to transparently set team goals and company objectives and allow employees to decide how they would like to contribute towards its successful completion within prescribed timeline. From now on, a social CRM profile page for each user will display their achievements, feedback and goals.." the trainer added. "It's a great way to ensure transparency within your organization and collaboratively work towards optimizing internal and external strategies."

We returned to office the following Monday expecting to spend the first half of the day adding all our lead and customer information into the CRM solution. But, we were wrong, not only had all our leads been automatically imported, there were numerous new warm leads from multiple sources like our company's website, call center and branch offices around the country. I also realized all the records assigned to me were looking for the products that were my expertise.

That afternoon, the cafeteria was echoing with conversations about how things had changed for the better. Our fears, based on the experience of friends in other organizations which had spent several months to implement CRM solutions and failed miserably in achieving even half of what they had visualized, seemed unfounded. 

The bonding between colleagues improved in a few weeks too - we could now work collaboratively without someone stealing the credit or missing critical details for customer information. New sales executives who were apprehensive to share their new leads started inquiring through the social CRM chat tools for referrals and introductions.

My favourite social CRM tool is performance management, it enables complete transparency among users with common interests or goals to track each other's progress while working towards achieving key company objectives. Requesting or sharing feedback is easier and recognizing team members across the world for exemplary achievements can be done with a few clicks. It also provides a very friendly interface for knowing more about colleagues and employees across the organization at a more personalized level.

Carefully evaluating our business requirements and selecting the optimal future proof CRM has made our organization slowly and steadily grow beyond everyone's expectations. At my level, I'm now home before sunset on most days and look forward to getting back to work the next day. Over the last few quarters, I've been awarded several badges by peers and C-level executives for my efforts and now continually use historical customer information that is of relevance and carefully incorporated into the CRM software from multiple systems to better understand customer expectations and needs. I'm now working towards being awarded the  'Customer Focus' badge, which will include an all expenses paid trip to New Zealand!

To know more about Cloud CRM Software, visit: www.crmnext.com

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