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How to Manage CRM Data effectively: 3 Tips for Sales Ops Teams

Sales operations is a critical piece of many sales organizations. In recent years, the responsibilities of sales ops teams have evolved beyond simply facilitating efficiency in sales teams. Sales ops now encompasses management of an organization’s technology stack and overall sales productivity.

CSO Insights conducted a recent study that defines sales ops as, “a strategic function, designed to provide a platform for sales productivity and performance by providing integrated methods, processes, tools, technologies and analytics for the entire sales force and senior executives.”

In this post we’d like to share a few tips for sales ops teams to manage CRM data effectively:


Define and Implement a Formal Sales Process

A sales process consists of a series of steps that your sales team takes to convert prospects into customers. A recent survey made by Vantage Point Performance and the Sales Management Association shows that companies that implemented a formal sales process experienced 18% more revenue growth than companies that did not. By defining the stages and related activities in your team’s sales process, you will be better able to identify and track indicators at each phase of a sale. This can help you determine where sales are most often delayed or lost and what improvements can be made.

Your CRM data is a powerful tool, but it is important to understand what is going on behind the numbers. Ttake the first step in generating an effective sales procedure for your team: gain a full understanding of the current process. Try to define the sequence of actions your sales team goes through to connect to potential buyers, identify and qualify leads, and ultimately convert leads into sales.

Think about breaking the elements of a sale down into a series of steps that might be categorized into one of three “stages” in the sales process. 1. Prospecting, or lead generation 2. Initial contact and lead qualification 3. Follow-up and personalized sales pitch. Recognize that there are many steps involved in each stage, and that any given step may require various iterations before it is successful.

Now focus on the data. Measure the activities related to each of these steps and consider the data in context. This will help you to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the current system.

There is always room for improvement, and good data management should inform changes to your sales process. What’s important is to focus how your team actually functions and to do your homework. Don’t forget that your team members are also valuable sources of information.

Consider these questions when developing revisions to your sales process:

  1. What strategies have reps found to be most successful? Are these strategies being applied universally?
  2. What steps are most commonly overlooked or neglected?
  3. What activities take the most time? Is this time productive towards closing a sale?
  4. At what stage are the most leads being lost? Why?
  5. How are leads classified? How does the sales process vary depending on a lead’s qualifications?

This kind of structural work in sales ops may take time, but you will ultimately gain a much more complete understanding of your data. This will give you valuable insight into your sales process and how to improve it.


Redefine Key Performance Indicators

Sales ops teams rely on all kinds of measurable metrics, but which are the most important ones to measure and track? You know these metrics as key performance indicators, and likely there are a handful that you constantly have your eye on. These standard KPI’s like sales closed, revenue generated, etc. are very important. However, do not make the mistake of thinking a handfull of metrics provides the complete picture of your team’s performance.Sales ops: gauge performance with KPI's tailored to your team's goals.Try reviewing your key performance indicators periodically. Keep in mind the specific goals your team has now and consider focusing more attention on indicators directly related to these goals.  For example, when implementing a new sales tool or strategy define KPI’s to track adoption. Is your company making a push to expand your product into a new market? Recognize the hurdles of initial entry and instead of focusing on the number of closed sales, give more attention to prospecting, or initial contact metrics. You can also define KPI’s to focus on problem areas in the sales process. Carefully track metrics related to a step in the sales process with a high loss rate to help determine what changes need to be made and measure improvement.

By periodically reviewing and identifying KPI’s that address specific goals, you can more easily set benchmarks for your team. This practice can also help you determine specifically where progress is being made, and where things can be improved.


Implement Sales Ops Tech Solutions

Sales ops is all about tech these days. With so many tools and technologies available for sales ops teams, look into products that can help optimize the use of your CRM data. Sales Enablement Technologies, like gamification software, leaderboards, and communication platforms can go a long way to help you manage your data and your sales team effectively.

When it comes to making the most of your CRM data with sales ops technology, visualization is key.

Consider investing in software that can help improve data transparency in your sales organization. For instance, live leaderboards are a great solution to keeping team members informed of both individual and group progress.

Tracking and displaying your sales team’s KPIs using leaderboards and data visualization technology can improve your team’s performance in the following ways. Data transparency helps team members understand their progress in relation to their peers and company goals. This increases individual and group accountability. Additionally, displaying rankings for key performance indicators can create a healthy sense of competition within your sales team that can improve engagement, motivation, and productivity. Tracking your KPI’s in real-time can also improve data quality by encouraging CRM user adoption and making it easier to spot bad data.

Check out Hurrah! Leaderboards!

Hurrah! Leaderboards software can help you manage and get the most out of your CRM data. Hurrah! is a broadcasting software solution for key performance indicators that integrates with major CRMs. The web-based application uses gamification techniques to interpret and display metrics in real-time. Designed optimally for inside sales organizations, it has proven to be particularly effective for engaging and motivating young members of the workforce.

Learn more about how leaderboards technology can improve your sales ops data management and boost your team’s engagement and productivity!

Contact us for a free demo of Hurrah!

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The Top 6 CRM Gamification Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them!)

When we implement Gamification on our CRM, we expect to take full advantage of it. Right?

In this post, we are going to show you the most common mistakes during this process, so you can be aware and avoid them at all costs. Don’t let any small hiccups stop you from getting all the benefits from your new Gamification!

To give you an accurate approach, we have merged our personal experience in the Gamification field, with various testimonials from other CRM Gamification Experts. Check out this list and take note 📝:

Mistake 1 — Focusing on Rewards Instead of the Process

When Gamification and CRM are working together, is very common to use the prize appeal. People become more engaged when they have a tangible reward.  

Yet, according to Nicolas Babin, ranked #1 Gamification Guru in March 2018 by Rise Global list’s, there is a gap in this technique.

“The biggest mistake one could say is when people game the system, meaning they use gamification to win a prize and in the meantime, they do not fill out the CRM system correctly or honestly”, Nicolas pointed out.

When you advertise a very attractive reward, people will do whatever it takes to win (even cheat). Instead of the “achievement” being the most important, the prize itself becomes the main focus.

How to solve it:

“To prevent that, it is important to not offer great prices and to ensure borders, so that no one can game the system and cheat”, advised Nicolas.

Prizes are useful to establish and align common goals with your team, but It should solely be a recognition symbol for the good work and commitment of the reps.

Some of our clients used to reward their team members with tangible prizes such as concert tickets, trips, etc. This is great, although we have noticed that the most stimulating prize for sales reps is much simpler: recognition.

Displaying their names on Leaderboards generates a constant appreciation internally, for their hard work. This also catches the eye of Managers and C- Level Employees. Imagine the CEO seeing your Big Sale on the screen. That’s a real prize.

Employee Recognition Hurrah! Sales Leaderboards

Mistake 2 — Believing that Gamification alone will solve all the problems

“The biggest mistake is thinking that gamification alone will solve long-term issues with using CRM (or any service). If the root issue is not understood (why are people not doing what I want them to do) then gamification will often only add a novelty boost in activity.”, pointed Andrezj Marczewski, author of Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play (2015).

As mentioned above, when we acquire a new tool we expect to see the “magic” happening instantly, and forget that it usually starts off as only that: a tool. Like any tool, it needs a context to function. It also needs someone to handle it. It can’t do the whole job by itself.

How to solve it:

To begin you must ask yourself: why are you using a CRM and why is the CRM important to the company and the company’s goals? Once you have these answers, you must communicate them to your team. Then only after that, can you begin to take advantage of Gamification.

Andrzej recommendation is right along these same lines “you need to educate people about why they need to use the CRM first, then start to apply things that make that use feel rewarding and (if such a thing is possible) fun. But they have to understand the real value to them and the company first!”

We’ve written about the challenges of implementing a CRM and incentivizing the user adoption. Check it out if you want to learn more about the 10 Deadly Sins in CRM User Adoption.

Download Now Free eBook 10 Deadly Sins in CRM User Adoption

 

Mistake 3 — Starting with a Complex Gamification Model

Pablo Peralta, the founder of one of the biggest LATAM CRM communities, also shared some insights. For him, one of the most common mistakes is “starting with a complex gamification model and using complex gamified dynamics”.

A lot of people that have never tried gamification before, try to jump into it using complex techniques and features. This can easily confuse, and create the illusion that gamification is tricky stuff. This can also result in a lot of mishaps.

“Gamification must be implemented in a very simple model. Like giving points to the reps who follow the behavior that you want them to, measuring impact and so on. Then, with time and feedback, starting to introduce badges and other prizes”.

How to solve it:

According to Pablo, “the best option in corporate environments is to start with the most basic stuff”. This means the most basic gamification techniques and methods.

Next, Pablo suggests to “introduce the concept and which behaviors you want to reward. Keep measuring the members’ feedback and allowing them to adopt it.”

Finally, Pablo suggests that increasing the complexity of the gamification solution is the best route, but to do it slowly. This involves things such as “introducing badges and other prizes”.

"Introduce the concept and which behaviors you want to reward. Keep measuring the members’ feedback and allowing them to adopt it".

 

Mistake 4 — Applying a Short-Term Gamification Strategy

We talked to Michael Wu, recognized as an Influential Leader by CRM Magazine, and his message to us was clear: short-term techniques are not recommended when it comes to CRM.

“One of the biggest mistakes in applying gamification to address these long-term behavior change is that people often use short-term gamification tools.”

He also added, “unlike gamification in marketing and sales, CRM user adoption and employee engagement are both long-term problems. It’s pointless to drive adoption or engage employees only for a few months”.

How to solve it:

Michael advises using strategies that apply more challenging and complex games because they are the most effective in the long run.

Although they present results slowly, they are the ones that drive more complex behaviors. Also, they are able to entertain people for a longer period of time.

He concludes that those who bet on short-term solutions “are doomed to fail when addressing challenging business problems that involve long-term behavior change.”

Mistake 5 — Forgetting to develop a strategy before applying gamification

According to Karl Kapp, author of The Gamification of Learning and Instruction Fieldbook: Ideas Into Practice (2013).

“One of the biggest mistakes is not integrating the CRM gamification efforts to a larger strategy. If your overall strategy or sales model or prospecting method is ineffective, simply adding on a gamified CRM with points for calling a prospect is not going to magically increase sales.

A gamification effort needs to be carefully combined with an understanding of the overall goals. You need to map individual events, efforts and behaviors to a specific reward structure not just to the overall goal of “sell more” but to enabling goals or milestones like impacting the ratio of call activity to next step activity, which will eventually lead to larger goals.”

How to solve it:

The first step to avoid this mistake is to establish a baseline strategy.

This is necessary so gamification can “assist” in the process. It must be clear that Gamification does not define the directives of your team and your business.

“An organization needs to clearly have identified steps and activities that lead to success before going off and half-heartedly gamifying the CRM. The organization needs to set clear goals, milestones and trigger events and then weave the gamification solution into the comprehensive effort. Too often gamification is added in total disregard to strategic considerations when it comes to gamifying a CRM. The fix is to work on strategy first, gamification second”, conforming to Karl.

"A gamification effort needs to be carefully combined with an undestanding of the overall goals"

 

Mistake 6 — Reducing the complexity of the Business

For Marigo Raftopoulos, ranked #2 Gamification Guru in March 2018 by Rise Global list’s, one of the most common mistakes is “a lack of appreciation of organizations as complex systems”. We should not reduce our company’s process and complexity.

A company structure is, by nature a complex system. If we want our business to succeed, we need to make sure to align our process as precise as possible. After this, gamification will be the easy part.

“A well-meaning gamified CRM could be encouraging positive desired behaviors such as project collaboration, knowledge sharing or innovation drives. However, the success or failure of that system largely depends on the prevailing culture, work processes or management styles of the organization. For example, a collaborative, knowledge sharing tool will not be optimized in a prevailing organizational culture of secrecy and distrust”, Marigo pointed out.

How to solve it:

“The lesson here is that gamified CRMs are a technological tool, and not the complete solution”, she concluded.

Again, we learn that a company’s culture is fundamental. The gamification can definitely be a good choice for changing behaviors, but it would not work by itself.

Company's Culture Hurrah! Sales Leaderboards

If you are looking to take your first step into the gamification world, we recommend you look for an easy to use and effective solution.

Our Hurrah! Leaderboards creates appealing and customizable slideshows, that are very simple to set and user friendly. By displaying KPI’s in real time, Hurrah! helps align your company’s goals with all members of the team. Driving performance and bringing excitement and recognition to daily activities

 

Try Hurrah! for Free

 

We would like to thank all of our generous contributors:

Nicolas Babin, ranked #1 Gamification Guru in March 2018 by Rise Global list’s, and a renowned Marketing and Gamification Consultant.

Andrzej Marczewski, author of Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play (2015), and Senior Solution Consultant.

Pablo Peralta, founder of Comunidad 365, the biggest CRM Community in Spanish.

Michael Wu Ph.D., named as an Influential Leader by CRM Magazine, International Speaker.

Karl Kapp, author of The Gamification of Learning and Instruction Fieldbook: Ideas Into Practice (2013).

Marigo Raftopoulos, ranked #2 Gamification Guru in March 2018 by Rise Global list’s, Strategic Business Advisor and Digital Media Specialist.