These days I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a company out there that does not recognize the importance of lead generation. After all, even the most successful companies need to continually ensure that the pipeline is full. So it’s still surprising to me that many organizations have individuals within the sales function that don’t rely on using CRM for their day-to-day job function. Typically, this is not to say that a company hasn’t invested in a CRM, but instead that select teams do not use the tool or understand its merits. I truly don’t believe that your Sales team is being indigent about not using the tool. They simply don’t see its value. When within Sales, your life tends to be somewhat nomadic; racing from one meeting to the next to close the next big deal. Many within sales see using a CRM as one more chore or a distraction from their primary objective – to close. Over the years, I’ve heard of a number of coercion tactics utilized in an attempt to enforce usage of CRM: withholding commissions, not providing credit for the sale; even the threat of termination. However before you resort to such drastic measures; consider the following (5) steps to ensure adoption within your organization: 1. Have leadership lead by example: If you or key leadership don’t use the tool, it’s going to be an uphill battle convincing staff members that they need to adopt it. Additionally, by having key leadership adopting CRM usage within an organization, ‘hurdles’ for Sales staff can be found and corrected. 2. Train all sales staff to use the platform: It’s best not to throw any new software at your team and simply expect that they’ll read the large manuals in their free time. Instead of throwing them ‘into the deep end’ and expecting them to swim, show all staff members how to use the platform. Ensure that all necessary components that aid the Sales staff are found within the CRM. Gain acceptance of the tool. Show them how to enter data into the platform and leverage the platform for its reporting capabilities. Everyone likes data – especially if the data is helpful in ultimately providing additional money in their pockets. Teach the application’s inherent value, and keep it simple. 3. Integrate your marketing efforts within your CRM platform: In the same vein, CRM platforms allow automated interactions typically through triggered emails (aka: marketing automation). By allowing software to respond automatically to ‘warm’ leads, Reps are able to breathe a bit and focus on their most critical leads in-person. Show your Sales Reps how they can automate follow-ups within the CRM. 4. Remove Junk Data: Your CRM is only as good as the data it manages. Edit or remove invalid, incomplete or old contact records. Keeping the system up-to-date is absolutely essential as it ensures continued usage of the platform. 5. Measure Sales teams on metrics that can only come from your CRM: Last but not least, sales teams are revenue driven. If a Sales representative’s success was partially measured on metrics that could be more easily found within the CRM, such as “average deal size”, “lead to close time” or “win to loss %”, it’s almost a certainty that they would be driven to manage their opportunities within the platform. When success is associated with the CRM, you’ll quickly realize increased adoption. When their ability to make money or be recognized is tied to data within the CRM, they’ll be become more diligent. Reward their positive efforts. If your sales team isn’t using the CRM, it’s possible that you have not created an environment that makes it worth their time. Make it worth their time and you’ll get desirable results.