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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Ahearn

My Salesforce is Drowning - is There an App for That?

Updated: Oct 29, 2019

If the new tool, process, training, etc. is really going to drive results, spend the time to get adoption.

Is  your salesforce drowning in all the apps, tools, processes, training, etc?  Too many times the path taken to improve salesforce effectiveness is to add the next great app.  Before long the sponsors of the initiative begin to see sporadic use so a new plan is hatched to drive adoption using "carrots and/or sticks".  Over time, so many new "silver bullet" initiatives have been launched that the salesforce begins to collapse under the weight of all the initiatives. A simple way to avoid this from happening to your salesforce is to conduct an audit.  First determine the existing capacity of your salesforce.  One, new initiative that consumes 15 minutes a day of a sales person's time doesn't seem like too much to ask, but when it's added to the existing fifteen, that's nearly four hours or half of a sales persons selling time each day that's now spent using "tools" or following "processes".   Second, remove redundant or unused tools and processes.  Too many times there are overlapping features and only a few get used.  If there's no value, just say no. Graveyard unused, unproductive tools and processes.  Companies are always good at adding more, but not going on a diet.  Slim down to the essentials.  And make sure there's alignment form terminology to functionality. Third, make sure any new app, process, or tool is essential and will provide value.  Often times I find it hard to isolate the ROI on sales initiatives.  I once told a CRM sales person and VP of Sales that I should just fire my salesforce because the claims of their system were so incredible that I'd just turn it on and grow a whopping percentage.  Understand that most investments in tools, processes and training are interrelated.   So make sure you value the impact appropriately.   Fourth, use an agile approach to implement.  Start with a few pilots and make sure you have a way to isolate their performance to control groups.  Let the pilots know that what you are rolling out isn't perfect, but that's purposeful.  Tell them you want to build a tool with them, that works for them.  As you get the bugs worked out and receive favorable user feedback and results, you're ready to scale the implementation.  And by all means make sure the new tool, training, process, etc. is tightly integrated and complimentary to the existing echo system. Finally it's time to execute.  My go to motto here is "wash, rinse, repeat".  If the new tool, process, training, etc. is really going to drive results, spend the time to get adoption.  You must get sales management and leadership on board.

Without their commitment the project is doomed to fail.  Make sure you spend separate time with the front line management team to get them bought in.  And make sure you use the success and testimonial of the pilot groups to help in the change management process.  And then it's about execution.  I once rolled out a new training concept and broke it into four modules repeated six times over a 26 week period.  By the sixth review people could recite it in their sleep.  And by then folks were actually just beginning to be able to use he training effectively.

It takes a lot of time and effort to get adoption and this is usually where the time and resources are not adequate to drive the desired results.  Following this over simplified process will help improve the productivity of your sales organization and benefit from new initiatives.  

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