Managing Change = Empowering Users

Change is good.  We all know that, but whether we actually do anything about it is, of course, a different matter entirely.

When I first became a CRM consultant, back in the heady days of the Millenium, everyone was too concerned about the end of civilisation as we knew it – caused simply by pre-millenial developers not using four digits to signify what year it was.  My fellow consultants and I could talk until we were blue in the face about sales opportunity automation, and how much more efficient it would make an organization, but it frequently didn’t register against the perceived larger problem.

That millenium bug problem, by and large, failed to materialize.  Planes did not fall from the sky.  Systems did not stop (well, not all of them).  But the challenge of getting John, frequent sales over-achiever, to stop writing in his notebook and start updating CRM, remained.

This is all change management.  In the end, John started using CRM to update his opportunities, not because it benefitted his manager, but because he could see the personal benefits it would bring him and how it would make him a more successful salesperson.

In my view, this is how change management can be effective.  We all know which problems we have in our working lives, and we’d love to these to be solved.  Anyone responsible for managing a change in process needs to include users/staff.  Benefits to the business can be enhanced if the user community is on board.  Solving individuals’ problems can be rewarding to the business, as the efficiencies of those individuals scale up to benefit the business as a whole.

In John’s case, using CRM, he could start to see which type of deals he won more of and why.  He started to repeat the techniques used in the winning deals on those where he’d been less successful, and in turn, increase the win rate of his pipeline.  By using CRM for himself, his managers received the benefit of being able to look at the overall state of the pipeline and make decisions based on accurate projections.  Which is what they were hoping to be able to do in the first place.

Wind forward fifteen years.  CRM is mainstream.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM is one of the market leaders (it wasn’t even around when I started working with CRM) with an eco-system of partners and solution providers that spans the globe, providing every type of accelerator possible.  Sales force automation is a given, but there are still challenges to overcome.

We’re in an ‘always on’ society and the sales person of today is required to provide the latest information on their deals live, as it happens.  There is more data to manage, and our insatiable appetite for it means businesses ask their sales teams to provide more and more.  How does a salesperson cope with these extra demands?

Well, one of the many benefits of CRM SalesFlow is the use of a single screen, a board, to display all deals within each sales stage lane that is defined in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  The user can choose how the board is displayed, whether each lead or opportunity should be colored depending on its age, value and so on.  They can choose how much or how little information is displayed, how totals should appear or even, (let’s assume that John is still over-achieving and simply has too many to view,) use a filter to only show certain types of deal.

The user is in control.  He or she gets to manage their workload in a way that suits them, highlight areas they wish to concern themselves with, identifiy issues before they become problems.  In short, CRM SalesFlow allows the salesperson to work smarter and help them achieve more.  Which organization doesn’t want that?

In my experience, the best way to start managing change, particularly for the sales team, is to show them how a change can be beneficial to them.  That’s why there’s a whole section on this website on the benefits of CRM SalesFlow to the sales user.  If you’re trialling CRM SalesFlow, get your team to review the solution – give us feedback if there are further benefits we could include.

We’ve created a SlideShare as a summary of CRM SalesFlow – so feel free to share with your team!