Organisations invest time and money in new software tools such as Salesforce.
The question is – how much of that investment is working and delivering a return?
Using Salesforce as an example…
Their most popular licence package – “enterprise”, costs £120 per user per month. A large organisation requiring, say, 1000 licences would cost £1.4m annually for the licences alone.
In addition, companies need a team of highly skilled people to carry out the administration necessary to control and manage its effective deployment.
Yet, in the end, it’s down to the quality of data that determines its impact and return on investment.
And in this respect, the evidence points to organisations wasting large amounts of money.
This is largely down to three significant challenges facing managers using Salesforce as their CRM:
Duplication of data
The flexibility of Salesforce means it can pull data from many different sources. These include manual entry, migration from other CRM systems, and third-party integrations.
This dramatically increases the potential of duplication, and although Salesforce provides some de-duplication support, it’s limited in scope and unsuitable for many internal deployments.
This drags down how sales and marketing teams operate using Salesforce, with multiple entries commonplace for the same prospect, lead or customer. It also prevents management from getting an accurate, comprehensive picture of the effectiveness of their sales and marketing operations.
Recent research from the US published in Datagroomr.com using data from a range of sources makes for sobering reading:
- 96% of companies report struggling to provide a single view of their customers.
- The duplication rate can be as high as 20-30%. This is estimated to cost US companies $600+ million annually.
- Sales professionals waste 30% of their time sorting through bad data inside the CRM.
The quality of data entry
The adage – “rubbish in, rubbish out” applies to nearly all new software tools. Bad data results in bad analysis that results in bad decision-making.
We believe this is mainly due to an assumption on the part of software designers that users will instinctively understand what information is being asked for and how to input it correctly.
Even definitions and categories can be ambiguous. In our experience, salespeople struggle between the various definitions. When deciding how to label a prospect, the salesperson must choose between leads, contacts, accounts vs opportunities.
Once the data is inputted, when does a “contact” become a “lead”? When is a “lead” converted into an “account”? At what point does an “account” become an “opportunity”? When does an “opportunity” become a “customer”?
Too often, assumptions are made that those using the system will grasp these differences. After all, they will have the training and access to explanatory content.
Then there are other issues relating to data integrity with new software tools.
Often, data entry is incomplete. Users don’t fill in enough fields making it impossible to analyse and assess the true potential of a prospect.
Or the wrong information is entered in the wrong field due to poor signposting.
When the user isn’t sure of the information required, they may guess the answer. Or in some cases, laziness, or fear of entering the wrong information on the user’s part means they enter the absolute minimum.
Keeping records up to date
The third issue that every sales manager has probably encountered – is how to get busy salespeople to update data and information in real-time following client interaction or activity that needs to be logged there and then.
In our experience, salespeople who encounter problems or aren’t appropriately trained will resist pressure to update records.
This results in an inaccurate, incomplete picture of a customer prospect and dangerously unreliable management reports. When these are used as the basis of sales and marketing programs, they have failure built in from the start.
It’s an immensely frustrating experience for employees who want a quick, easy, accurate way to input data and information.
And it’s a drain on support teams, which could be more usefully employed, who must be on call to help struggling employees use the apps properly.
Traditional training has limited impact
User training is key to improving the effectiveness of new software tools such as Salesforce.
Organisations have a wide choice of training programs to equip their people with the right skills and resources to improve the return on investment spent.
But it needs to be the right sort of training, if it’s to work effectively.
Traditionally organisations turn to one of the many training companies that have sprung up in the last twenty years because of the challenges organisations face in improving CRM performance.
Most will come in and train users in a classroom environment. Others run remote learning courses. And there are “hybrid” options combining a bit of both.
The trouble with these approaches is that they are often “one and done” training events.
That’s because the learning provided isn’t in the flow of work.
There’s a gap between learning delivery and the practical real-time application required to improve data entry quality and reduce duplication.
During this time, many employees quickly forget the learning content and fail to apply it in a practical context. This was borne out by a recent study that discovered that 80% of workers think it’s essential to receive regular, frequent training, so they don’t forget information.
Learn in the flow of work with a Digital Adoption Solution
Digital Adoption Platforms (DAP) are different from the traditional training approaches.
Services such as Omniplex Guide support users in the flow of work, with vital prompts, guides and training in real-time while people use the app.
It’s like having a virtual “buddy” on your shoulder when you need them to tell you how and what to do to use the new software tool correctly.
This overcomes the “one and done” memory gap issue as learning, and its practical application are simultaneous.
The service can be tailored to a specific software application and particular business process an organisation has in place.
Building and editing the tooltips, guides, tours and models are easily managed in-house using a simple point-and-click interface. No specialist skills are necessary.
Distribution and adoption throughout the organisation is easily managed using a browser extension.
And with a full suite of analytics available, managers can refine and optimise the entire process.
It brings tangible benefits to an organisation:
- On-the-job job support with learning in the flow of work means that employees don’t have to stop work to check or find out anything related to the task at hand. Productivity is not interrupted.
- Business processes are streamlined, with critical tasks taking less time.
- The cost of failure is reduced with far fewer support tickets and teams required to handle queries.
- There’s far less employee frustration. It’s so intuitive to use that everyone feels empowered to find their answers. Even salespeople who are resistant to updating records, will be encouraged to so because DAP makes it so easy for them.
- It’s much easier to quickly get new employees productive and up to speed.
Transformational learning driving a cultural change
Organisations can use Digital Adoption Platforms as part of a business transformation program. Its ubiquity across an organisation is a major step toward establishing a learning culture.
And it’s a visible and impactful demonstration of employer support to employees via the full power of learning in the flow of work.
If you’d like to find out more…
We support global organisations with all aspects of their digital learning programs.