There are some scary stats floating around the internet regarding the failure rate of sales automation implementations. One of the most famous claims about 70% of all CRM implementations fail. Fortunately, this isn’t quite accurate.
Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that even when sales automation is well planned and executed, it isn’t automatic. It can be tempting to fall in love with the idea of a sales automation tool when you hear how it’ll significantly improve customer relations and increase revenue. While these are great reasons to move forward, a sales automation tool’s entire purpose is to improve the efficiency of the sales organization. Before diving in, there are a number of things to consider.
What will you have accomplished if your implementation is a success in 6 months? What changes need to occur to support individual and team goals? How can you enable the sales incentive process? What KPIs are you managing towards? Make sure all your goals are measurable, attainable, and clearly defined.
Your new automated processes need to be designed to support the sales team. Are any new processes needed? Streamlining these ahead of time is critical to ensure the successful implementation of the right sales automation tool.
3) System Selection
The system you choose and your custom implementation needs to support the actual work you’re doing. Don’t make the mistake of buying something complex with bells and whistles you don’t need and can’t use. Choose what fits your company instead of trying to fit your company around the software.
4) Change Agents & Project Management
Change can be difficult, especially if it’s been a long time since your team has experienced one. Elect change agents to assist in managing buy-in and behavior change. If you don’t, you could be stuck with a fancy automation system that no one uses.
5) IT Infrastructure & Testing
What IT infrastructure will you need? Before selecting a tool, be sure to work with the experts who can help you better understand which platforms will best integrate with your existing systems. Additionally, ask for assistance in learning what types of testing will need to be done ahead of time. Testing needs to be executed by both IT and sales before the system can “go live.”
Create a plan for training. Knowing who will be accountable for delivering the training, its length, and the investment of time for both the trainers and sales teams ensures that clear expectations are set in advance.
7) Information Management
Many complaints about failed or ineffective sales automation tools are caused by the lack of information management. Your reporting should measure real-time performance. This means having an effective feedback loop.
When customers provide feedback, it’s not enough to thank them for it. Be sure you have a process in place which allows you to proceed to the next step by letting them know exactly how you improved something because of their feedback. Once you have these critical pieces in place, your sales automation tool implementation should play out according to plan.
Though not automatic, when you have properly designed your processes, goals, and infrastructure to support it, sales automation can run smoothly.
Contact us today or more information on how to take your marketing and sales strategies to the next level, and to learn which techniques are right for your specific business.