Even the best companies can fall prey to old traps that could kill their sales automation program. These warning signs are essential to be aware of if you’re just starting to set up a new technology sales system.
1. The value was never explained to users.
It’s your right to decide whether a sales tool is mandatory without the input of the people who use it. Don’t be surprised if they push back, as they may not know what it does for them. New technology is useless if it doesn’t solve real problems. The system must improve productivity, organize their work better, and keep them on track.
It must help them accomplish something more quickly (automation), in greater quantity (training and process), with more significant impact (training and procedure), or more strategically than (data analysis). If they don’t see any real benefits, they will likely ignore it.
2. It was impossible for anyone to take over.
I don’t know how many times I would start implementing clients on their new technology system. After two to three training, I would then enter a holding pattern because the client had not kept up their end of the deliverables.
Companies often don’t prepare for data migration, don’t make sure that the software systems match their processes, and don’t prepare their sales collateral for the transition to the new system.
Implementations work best when only one person (or two) has the final say over what is done and what is not. Because everyone is responsible for the implementation, it’s more likely that it will fail.
3. The data was not clean.
People believe that moving data from one system to the next magically improve their data.
The mangled piles of digital contact sheets that you haven’t cleaned in a while won’t suddenly smell better just because you spray some CRM software “air freshener” on it.
4. The project owner didn’t understand the technology requirements.
This problem can even strike companies that have dedicated IT departments. This problem can often be linked to #2 and #5, especially if there is a lack of leadership and no one is planning how technology will impact existing IT silos.
IT is often called upon to assist with “technical problems” when they are discovered. IT did not intend to be involved in this situation. The process stops if IT is unable to provide the required resources.
The biggest culprit? Failing to plan bandwidth. It is so obvious and familiar that we forget that the Internet doesn’t come free and has physical limitations. Many departments fail to prepare for the two dozen additional reps who will need Internet access. This can lead to other mission-critical needs and a decrease in office productivity.
5. Inadequacy in understanding how technology works together to accomplish the task.
Many people believe that software can be easily modified to suit their needs. However, the technology they have chosen to use is “hardwired” to function in a particular way. It is not a good idea to have to adjust an entire workflow in order to gain any value from a new technology investment.
Users often have issues because they didn’t fully define their process. Failure to align the existing strategy with the new technology system is a recipe for disaster.