Why companies BATTLE with their people to use their CRM.
–And an ingenious – if not sneaky – strategy to win!

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By Mona Hilton, CEO, Genesis Global Technologies, authors of the Advantage sales and marketing automation ecosystemswww.OccupancyAdvantage.com

Have you ever asked yourself that question?  Not only is it a million dollar question, but solving it is worth a million dollars – literally!…in lost sales revenue and profits.

Why is it such a struggle, even a battle, to get your people to use the systems that you give them?  Why do they ignore your pleas, circumvent your systems, and even go out of their way to NOT use the very tools you give them to be successful.

We see it every day.  We talk to mid and high level managers who are pulling their hair out to get people to do what’s right for them and for their prospects.  Managers are so frustrated that they’ve spent boatloads of time, energy, effort and money to give their teams systems, processes, tools…only to be given excuses why they can’t, won’t or don’t have time to use what they’ve been given.  Ironically, they always find time to check into FaceBook, or Tweet or post on Instagram.

But it gets worse!  Let me tell you about a conversation with one of my favorite managers, who we’ll call Linda.  Linda is an amazing, forward thinking, creative, motivational manager.  She lives and breathes her job and is always coming up with inspirational ways to engage prospects for her team and give them the resources they need to be successful.

But Linda has a big hurdle.  Her team members always have an excuse for why they can’t.  Despite Linda’s weekly “idea” emails, they constantly ask for more “stuff” – more materials, resources and things they “need” Linda to provide.

After a while, it’s become apparent that there will never be enough “stuff”.  These requests are just smokescreens, excuses and diversions for not doing their job and using the wealth of resources they already have.

There’s an old adage that “if you’re looking for an excuse, any excuse will do.”  It doesn’t have to be a good excuse, just another one.  That’s why managers hear “we don’t know what to do”, or “we need xyz to do our job”.  No wonder being in management is so stressful!

So we asked managers, “why don’t people use your systems”.  And we think you’ll recognize the reasons.

  1. It’s too hard to use. It takes too much time/effort to use.
  2. I don’t know how. We need more/better training.
  3. It’s not required to do my job. Translation:  management isn’t making it mandatory in order to work here.
  4. It’s just a big-brother tool, there’s no reason or value for us to use it. It doesn’t do anything to make my job easier or help me.

Let’s face it.  These are some darn good reasons why not to use the systems you give your team.  And we could spend hours dissecting them and addressing them on the surface level.

The fact is, your systems do need to be easy to use, and require the minimal amount of effort to keep them updated.  Your people do need to be well-trained, retrained and refresher trained because even the smartest folks only retain about 5-10% of the knowledge they get in training.  And your management must make it absolutely, non-negotiable, mandatory to use your systems in order to work there.  And you do have to clearly spell out the infamous radio station, WIIFM (what’s in it for me) and the practical value for why people benefit by using your systems.

But those are all obvious answers and those arguments speak to the head.  And I’d much rather reach the heart of the matter.  Because if you influence people’s heads, they might modify their behavior temporarily.  But if you reach their hearts, you might just change their desires and long term habits.

In asking all the questions and listening to all the excuses, we did get a hint.  While they can’t find time or motivation to use your systems, they do manage to find time to check in on FB, post on LinkedIn, Tweet or post on Instagram.

Which begs the question:  why?  Why do they use social media religiously, even to the point of addiction, and even at the risk of their own personal harm (while driving or walking down the street)?  What makes them want to use social media, but not want to use your systems?

If we can figure that out, we can solve the million dollar lost revenue dilemma.  (Then we’ll move on to solving world peace and ending world hunger!)

So as usual, we asked everyone, “why do you use and enjoy social media?”  Here’s what we heard:

  1. It’s fun, interactive, colorful and easy to use. I get lost in it and lose track of time.
  2. It hooks me and pulls me in. Translation:  I get emails when I’m mentioned on FaceBook, notifications when I’m hash tagged or retweeted on Twitter or Instagram and notified when my friends do something or post something new.
  3. I don’t want to miss out on what’s going on and what my friends and family are doing. It’s how I stay connected and “in the know”.
  4. It’s how I communicate with friends and family. I chat with my friends in real time.  I get recognition for my posts.
  5. It’s how I share my life and see other people’s lives. Translation:  It appeals to the voyeurism in our society and the desire to brag about our accomplishments. It’s how we compare our lives to those of others.

Pretty eye opening, huh?  Did you find that as enlightening and insightful as I did?

If you’re still not convinced of the addictive power of these social media strategies, have your family or coworkers “fast” social media for a month – or even a week!  You’ll find that drug addiction withdrawal has nothing on social media withdrawal.

I lit up like a Christmas tree when I first discovered these findings.  Because NOW I know what it takes to get people to willingly and even happily use their CRMs or systems.  Why fight with them, when you can work with them!  It’s actually quite easy to identify the answer (but maybe not quite so easy to apply).

All you have to do is simply incorporate those same addictive social media strategies in your systems!  Simple, right?

So over the last year or so, we set out to find simple but ingenious ways to do just that.

  • Have a little fun. Play a little games. Advantage dashboards are colorful, graphic, and interactive and actually “grow” as your people just do their normal job.
  • Chat away! “Live chat” with your team members who are online. You can even see their profile pictures in your chat.  Soon…you’ll be able to “live chat” with your prospects directly from emails you send them.  Seriously, I’m not pulling your leg!
  • Tag – you’re it! “Mention” or “hashtag” someone in a note to send them an email that they’ve been mentioned so they’ll log in to read what you wrote and respond to your note.
  • Feed your secret desire to be a voyeur. That’s why a “live feed” displays what everyone is doing in real time – when they’ve done something “noteworthy” like a tour, deposit, move in or sale. You can see your own activity and those of your team members in real time – complete with their profile picture.
  • Reward Yourself. Reward Recognitions applaud you and tell you what a “Great Job” you did when you do something right.
  • Don’t wear out your fingers typing! Just “talk” to your computer and have it dictate your voice to text, so you don’t even have to type to search for a contact or to enter a note. (available only in Chrome).

And those are just the tip of the iceberg.  We’re working on some simple and nothing less than ingenious ways to make it fun to learn and to use the Advantage system, reasons to engage and tricks to make you actually want to use it.

If you want to know more about what we’ve learned, how we’re tackling this issue and what we’re doing to solve this “million dollar problem”, contact us at support@OccupancyAdvantage.com or support@DevelopersAdvantage.net

or at 239-337-2667.  We’d love to share the wealth of ideas!