There is an abundance of new software that is catered to a company's sales department that comes out every year. While some of this technology is useful, certain times it is necessary to avoid the specific products that are not worth the investment, both in time to train employees and the initial cost.
A sales management team may want to use the latest software to help their representatives get ahead of the game, as an efficient salesperson will be able to utilize effective software in order to focus more of their time on selling.
Implementing these tools can be a challenge for a manager, as employees may not be quick to incorporate even the most effective software. One way you get a sales team to implement sales tools, processes, systems or technologies is to make it part of the culture, according to Barrett Riddleberger, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm.
"The way you make it part of the culture is through reinforcement consistently through leadership, noted the executive. "Leadership makes the decision, this is the way that we're going to go to market, this is the process we're going to use and these are the systems and tools we're going to use."
Reinforcement can come in several forms, but it is important for managers to realize that they are not implementing new software into a computer, as salespeople need time to adjust.
"If it's a half-hearted, knee-jerk reaction that they don't believe in and they're just ram-rodding it down the sales team's throats, it's not going to happen," according to Riddleberger.
While a management team may have the final say, it is important that the sales force agrees with the implementation of the technology. These are the people that will be using the software and they are the most important people when it comes to buying into the revised system, noted the executive.
The representatives need to be able to know it, live it, learn it and be able to teach it to other members of their team and newer employees. These individuals have to demonstrate that the tools and systems are the path of least resistance to the greatest level of success, Riddleberger explained.
Implementing this technology may be difficult to sell initially, but reinforcement can work to convince even the most stubborn representatives.
"In short, the sales manager is like the coach and the sales rep is like the player," the executive noted. "The coach has to have the player run the play over and over and over again until it becomes second nature."
While it is important for a sales management team to be able to convince their reps that using technology may help reduce their workload and ease several processes, deciding on which software can be difficult, according to Riddleberger.
"In terms of technology, less is more and simpler is better, as managers need to be careful and thoughtful before implementing a technology," noted the executive. "It may sound good on paper, but if it causes a disruption to the prospecting, sales or account management process it won't work."
Software that is easy to use and can perform a variety of tasks can be the most effective tool, as the management team will get the most for their money and will be able to consolidate several things into one technology, Inc.com reported.
A manager needs to listen to their representatives, as even the most simple software, if not effective, can lead to unneccesary problems. Honest evaluation of a product from the representatives can save everyone involved time and money, according to Riddleberger.