Despite the best intentions, good companies may fall victim to common traps that can kill their latest sales automation project. If you’re just beginning to get started in the process of setting up your new sales technology, be aware of these warning indicators.
1. Users have never had this value presented to them.
If you’re planning to require that people use a novel sales tool with no feedback from those who utilize it, that’s definitely your choice. Don’t be shocked if people start to fight back since they have no idea of what it’s doing for them. Whatever the technology is, it will have nothing if it can’t solve the real issues for its users. The system must improve productivity, improve the organization of their work, and assist them to remain focused.
It must assist them in doing something more quickly or at a higher volume (automation) or with greater effectiveness (training or process) as well as more effectively (data analysis). If they don’t realize any benefits, they’ll likely not bother with it.
2. There was no one to take charge of the situation.
I’m not sure how many times that I’d implement clients on their new technology system, and then put three or two training into the process, and then move into a holding pattern since the client didn’t meet their end of the delivery requirements.
Many companies fail to plan for data migration requirements and don’t make sure that the software systems they use will be compatible with their procedures, and fail to prepare their sales collaterals to be transferred onto the updated design.
The majority of implementations are successful in situations where one of the critical individuals–or possibly two has the final say over the things that are accomplished and what’s not. Implementation through committees generally isn’t very successful since there is no consensus, and there is no consensus.
3. The data was not clean.
Somehow, people are able to get it in their minds that moving their data between one database system and the next somehow magically improve the quality of data.
That messy pile of sheets for contact (digital or not) that you’ve never cleaned will not smell better just because you’ve sprayed the CRM program’s “air freshener” on the sheets.
4. The project’s owner(s) did not understand the technical requirements.
Even businesses that have dedicated IT departments could face problems with this if they don’t prepare for the future. This problem can be related to #5 and #2 in particular, where there’s a lack of leadership, and consequently, nobody knows how technology will affect current IT departments.
If “technical issues” appear, then somebody has to go to the IT department, even though IT did not intend on getting involved in any way. If IT isn’t able to offer the resources requested, then the process grinds an abrupt halt.
The most serious offenders? Not planning for bandwidth. It’s so ubiquitous and transparent today that we’ve forgotten how the Internet isn’t totally free and comes with physical limitations. The majority of departments don’t plan for the additional reps that require Internet access. As consequently, other critical requirements and office productivity suffer.
5. Lack of understanding of how technology works to synchronize to the.
Many people believe that software can be easily modified to meet their requirements, but the software they’ve selected has been “hard connected” to function in a specific way. The notion of having to alter the entire process to gain the most value of the latest technology isn’t exactly a pleasant possibility.
The issue is often that the users were not able to define their processes prior to the problem arising, and failing to match their existing procedures with the latest technology is, in essence, the recipe for catastrophe.
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