Top 3 Steps to Successful Sales Force CRM Implementation

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 @ 11:12 AM

crmEarlier this week, I was asked to recommend books or articles that would drive a successful CRM implementation.  They had already chosen Landslide as the application, a good choice, and now they wanted to be sure that their decision paid dividends.  This article is not about the merits of Landslide (UPDATE - Landslide was just named the 2010 Top CRM Solution), although there are many, nor is it about how to choose an ideal CRM solution.  Instead, I will share my top 3 steps to a successful CRM implementation:

  1. Skip the books - they're a waste of time.  They cover logistics which, if you make the right choice of CRM, is all covered thoroughly in training.
  2. You must set proper expectations including why the company is implementing this particular solution at this point in time, how it will help the company, how it will help the salespeople, and the importance of thorough, timely updates.
  3. Implementation is simply a three-ingredient recipe. The recipe is: 7 parts buy-in as in "this is not optional"; 1 part training, as in "Look at how easy we can make this"; and 2 parts accountability, as in "This is a condition for continued employment".

Some CRM is better and/or more appropriate than others.  They all work if you implement according to the 3 steps.  None of them work if you fail to implement.  Implementation is up to you from the top down, not your salespeople.  If you plan to leave any of the decision up your salespeople, don't even start the process. If you don't have or plan to have an effective CRM application, optimized for the way people sell, you are years behind curve.

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Topics: Dave Kurlan, crm, sales management accountability, Landslide

Optimize Your Sales Force Without Spending a Dime

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Aug 16, 2010 @ 15:08 PM

makeoverEnter to Win a Free Sales Force Makeover!

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a company that wants to grow more quickly....

If you can state your case effectively than anyone else, your company could win a Sales Force MakeOver worth up to $250,000!

Four companies have partnered to create the Sales Force Makeover and between them, you could have the opportunity to work with nearly a dozen sales experts over the course of about one year.

The companies are:

  • Landslide Technology
  • Objective Management Group, Inc.
  • Strategic Compensation Partners
  • Kurlan & Associates

For contest details and to Enter to Win your FREE Sales Force MakeOver click here.

I wrote an article for Alister Paine's Digital Business Site on How to Close More Business where I discussed the importance of optimizing the sales process. Check it out!

Topics: crm, omg, kurlan, sales management function, free sales force make over, dauphanais, objective management group, Landslide

Kindle - Lessons Applied to the Sales Force

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Feb 22, 2010 @ 06:02 AM

Readers who have purchased the Kindle have totally embraced that device.  Some think it's the Kindle, not online sellers, that is the biggest threat to brick and mortar book stores.  Those of us who own a Kindle are reading more books, and reading them more easily and conveniently than before we had the device. So why have sales forces, especially in smaller companies, been so resistant to technologies that make it simpler and more convenient to record, share, track, manage, forecast and see, in real time, the who, what, when, where, and how of selling? There are many applications available and you've heard of those like ACT!, Goldmine, Salesforce.com and Microsoft CRM.  I've written on more than one occasion that I like Landslide.com the best.  If you want ease of use, salespeople who embrace rather than resist using it, little to no data entry (you can call it in) powerful out-of-the-box dashboards, and your choice of sales processes built-in, including Baseline Selling, Landslide is the only choice.

Speaking of the Kindle, many of you have been asking for me to do this so:

Dave Kurlan is now on the Kindle.

Receive my Understanding the Sales Force Blog on your Kindle.

You can receive my best-selling book, Baseline Selling - How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know about the Game of Baseball on your Kindle.

And you can help me out.  The Blogs are listed by Kindle popularity and since mine just went live, I assume it will show up last out of 1500 or so business Blogs currently available on the Kindle.  Please forward this article to your Kindle toting friends who might care or it may never be discovered on the Kindle device. And if you are like me, and you prefer to read your favorite Blogs on the Kindle at the same time you read your favorite newspaper on the Kindle, then why not subscribe to the Kindle edition?

(c) Copyright 2010 Dave Kurlan

 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Baseline Selling, sales management, Salesforce, Sales Force, Landslide, kindle, ACT, Goldmine, salesforce.com, microsoft crm

What Really Creates Sales Excellence?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Nov 13, 2008 @ 21:11 PM

If you are like me, you're receiving email invitations to attend webinars at the rate of 10 to 20 per day.  And you're getting the exact same invitations every single day from the exact same companies.  And some of them promise the solution to all of your sales problems - sales excellence solutions.  Take a look at the invitations I received today alone!

  • IDC - Sales Advisory Service (they provide research reports and hold seminars where they report on their research and provide sales enablement advice)
  • Savo Group (their tag line is "never sell alone" - they tap into your sales teams' knowledge and make it available on demand)
  • Xactly (they have online applications that optimize compensation and incentives)
  • Landslide (they have the best sales workstyle management application so that your salespeople follow your process and enter the appropriate sales cycle information to produce the reports you need to see)
  • Avitage (they provide central storage for and an application for taking the visual and audio nuggets and putting just the right message together so that your salespeople deliver the email/web message that you want them to)

I may not have their messaging the way they want it but it's my sense of what they do. But their webinar announcements all promise to improve sales effectiveness.  Can they?  Do they?  What do you think of when you hear that you can increase or improve sales effectiveness?

What they can't do is make your salespeople any more competent, although Savo and Avitage might disagree.  They can't make your salespeople any more motivated although Xactly might disagree.  And they can't make them any more effective, although Landslide might disagree.

All of these applications are systems which optimize and improve efficiencies, standardization, attention to details, access to information, and how to use the information you get. They don't train and develop your salespeople and the only way to make them better is through evaluation, training and development.  Evaluation identifies all of the people, systems and strategy issues that need to be addressed.  Training is the process by which skills are transferred while development is the process by which their strengths are developed and weaknesses overcome. If you train and develop your people and then utilize these services then yes, you'll improve sales excellence.  These application are far more effective when you've already worked with a sales force development expert, developed a sales process and developed your salespeople.  Then these applications can be aligned with true best practices, as opposed to the practices in place prior to development.

I can tell you first hand how good Landslide is - I use it and recommend it to all of my clients.

I can tell you first hand how insightful Lee Levitt, the  IDC Sales Advisory practice Director, is. I have met Lee and read his articles.

I met Jim Burns from Avitage and saw his demo but haven't used the application yet.

I spoke with someone from Savo Group and saw their demo but haven't used the application yet.

And I haven't met or spoken with anyone from Xactly yet.

What really creates sales excellence?  No one thing - ever. A combination of things - always.

(c) Copyright 2008 Dave Kurlan

Topics: sales competencies, sales assessment, sales process, sales training, selling, Salesforce, Sales Force, sales excellence, sales evaluation, sales compensation, sales system, Xactly, Avitage, Savo, IDC, sales effectiveness, Landslide

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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