Database Users Have One Responsibility; Use the Database

The Data Chick CRM User Responsibility

Database users are the people in your organization who have access to your data. Depending on the size your business and the industry you’re in, the number of users can range from a select few to every employee.

Opportunity for Change

It was a lengthy CRM implementation. My client was moving their sales team from using Outlook to a real CRM (SageCRM to be exact).

I spent time sitting with each salesperson to understand their current process and their concerns about using the new CRM. Some of them were looking forward to a tool that would help them do their job better. A centralized database with all the bells and whistles; the ability to set reminders, automation that could do some of the data entry, and structured pricing.

However, some of the salespeople were less excited about using CRM. They had processes that worked and quotas to meet, so learning a new system was just going to take their time away from making money.

As the implementation continued we made minor adjustments in the customization based on the conversations with the salespeople. Additionally, the CFO implemented a new sales approach for the team, “loyalty tiers” with pre-determined discounts and pricing.

A few more one-on-one sessions with the most reluctant salespeople and we were getting things moving. The more they used the system, the easier it was to use. We eventually had total buy-in!

All Aboard!

When the CRM went live everyone was using it, well, almost everyone. No, it wasn’t a hold-out salesperson, it was the CEO, and it caused a major issue!

The CFO wanted the loyalty tier discounts and pricing set in stone! The key reason for creating this new process was because some of the salespeople were quoting old prices, and the organization was actually losing money on some of their sales. (Implementing CRM uncovered this issue!)

However, the salespeople were told they could still negotiate pricing. We built an easy process in CRM for the salespeople to send a brief note to the CEO explaining why they needed a different price.

Every note resulted in an instant email and a CRM alert to the CEO. Unfortunately, he wasn’t spending much time in CRM, so his inbox was filling up. Some of the salespeople were so frustrated they stopped using the CRM.

Use It or Lose It

Still on-site during the first few weeks of their live CRM, I spent most of my time assuring the salespeople that CRM was valuable and the new process was important. Eventually one of them asked, “Is the CEO using it?”

This was the turning point of the implementation. I had several one-on-one sessions with CEO explaining the new process and emphasizing his level of responsibility; he had to use it! He had to have it open and pay attention to the alerts.

Once the CEO starting using the CRM the salespeople had no choice. Over the weeks that followed the new process was modified, some of the “set in stone” pricing options were loosened, and the CEOs inbox became manageable.