“Funny you should ask, Glenn!  We did buy into a CRM system for the first time about 8 months ago.”

That’s good I replied. “How is it all going?”

“Well the guys in the sales team have been having a bit of a play around in it, you know getting used to it.” “And we got them ipads at the same time, so it’s been a real step forward.”

Hhhhhmmmmm, I silently thought. “So, what functions have they been using and what info are they capturing?”

“Well, it depends on each Sales Exec………….some have used it a lot, some not much at all.”

Gulp……….I could feel my “Adam’s Apple” move.

“Yeah, we told them, to play around with it for a number of months and then we’d figure out the common functions we would want them all to use.”

Gong!!!!!!!!!!! Why , why, why do Australian B2B sales organisations keep doing this? Change the sequence of the chicken and the egg, please! If you are going to make an investment in CRM software/cloud systems, first be clear on exactly why and exactly what you want the Sales team to use it for, and what you will do with the data captured. Define, develop and establish your sales system first. I know this will sound Noah preaching from bows of his Ark, but fair dinkum, start off with excel spreadsheets first. Trial, practice, design, make mistakes, re-trial, practice again, make more mistakes and so on. Change the behaviours and disciplines accordingly. Treat this as the “foreplay” in your CRM journey. And then when you are really clear on the why, the what and you are starting to see the benefit, then upgrade from excel templates.

Move your sales system to The Next Level first, and in so doing, migrate your CRM platform with it.