Mar 4, 2013

Key Messages from Eli Reisner's Recent Discussion Thread "OK, we got SalesForce. Now how do we get sales people to REALY use it?"

In January Eli Reisner started a Discussion in the LinkedIn Discussion Group Sales / Marketing Executives (CSO/CMO)”; the topic was “OK, we got SalesForce. Now how do we get sales people to REALY use it?".  This Discussion was fascinating due to both the topic and the overwhelming depth and breadth of the Contributor’s over 100 comments.  I was curious to see if there was a major theme that prevailed across the very broad nature of the Discussion so I undertook a brief analysis.  To do so I used a context within which to classify the many and varied responses.  That context is a four phase model that I use to view successful CRM implementations; the phases and some of their sub-components are briefly described as follows:
  1. ENVISION Your Solution - enable sales management and other key stakeholders to express their vision of their new CRM business system in clear and unambiguous business terms.
  2. DESIGN Your Solution - complete the design of the envisioned CRM business system.  Key deliverables of this phase include: sales business process design, sales management process design, technology infrastructure design (e.g., CRM solution, interfaces to other systems), participants confirmation – identify change readiness, and data and reporting design
  3. IMPLEMENTATION Plan - implement the CRM business system as designed in previous Phase.  Depending upon the Plan this may be done in several releases of designed business functionality.
  4. HARVEST Your Benefits - harvest the benefits defined in Envision Phase through full adoption by all participants.

Each of the comments made by the Contributors to this Discussion typically applied to more than one part this context.  In some cases comments applied to the phase in general, in others to specific sub-components.  Overall, just four of these phase/sub-component items accounted for 80% of the total comments made; these four were:
  1. Change Adoption – 48% of comment
  2. Implementation – 15%
  3. Data and Reporting – 9%
  4. Tools & Techniques – 8%

It is not surprising that Change and Implementation made up just over 60% of the total comments as this was the main Discussion topic.  However, Contributors did step outside of Change and Implementation (40% of comments) to caution that Design components also have the potential for a big impact on Adoption.

Since Change Adoption made up almost 50% of the comments overall I further broke this down to look for key Change messages.  Out of this subset of Change related comments, just five Change topics accounted for 60% of this subset total.  Each was fairly even in its contribution to the 60%; these were:
  1. Communicate the value of CRM to Sales People – 15%
  2. Sales Management provides coaching to Sales People on both process and deal content – 12%
  3. Sales Management’s actively participation very much required – 12%
  4. Use a Formal Change Management Program to achieve Adoption – 11%
  5. Use carrot approach to incent Sales People – 7%   (BTW: Using a Stick approach contributed a further 4%)

Those familiar with implementing Change Adoption Programs may recognize that all five of these topics are typically part of a Change Program in some fashion (with one specifically directed at a Change Program). 

From this analysis I concluded that the primary theme which ran through this broad ranging Discussion was the need for a formal Change Adoption Program, and that the above five topics are some (but perhaps not all) of the necessary ingredients for success.  We should also remember that a successful adoption is enabled by an effective design for the specific organization.


1 comment:

  1. Sales Operations is big. However, trying to get a system in place can be a bear, especially from the ground up. Multiple RFPs come across our desk everyday, one most recently from Ryder regarding territory planning and logistics. If you don't have the right data and the right media going into any solution, any change adoption program is going to fall flat on its face.