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How to encourage sales intelligence system adoption in your team

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Are your sales reps reluctant to use your sales intelligence system

Learn how you can encourage the adoption of a sales intelligence tool amongst your field-sales and inside sales teams by: 

  • Changing the attitude of your sales team  
  • Supporting your sales team in the early stages  
  • Incentivising use. 

Introducing new sales technology to your team is never easy. And even if the technology isn’t new, uptake within sales teams can be slow. Many teams are often happy with the way they work already and can resist changing their existing sales system. 

However, the benefits of using a sales intelligence system are significant, meaning that encouraging consistent use within your team is the key to identify missed sales opportunities and ensuring an incremental sales stream.

Why should sales managers care about sales intelligence? 

The job of all intelligence tools is to make your life easier, and in sales, this is no different. You will gain access to insights into your activity, ease of analysis and essentially this will act as your ‘cheat-sheet’ for sales managers to create a successful sales strategy. 

An intelligent sales system allows managers to manage all user-level accesses in one place, guide sales reps with important sales metrics, set tasks & targets for the team and automate insightful sales reporting & crucial sales alerts. 

What does it mean for field-sales reps?

For your sales executives, using a sales intelligence platform makes their lives a lot easier by bringing together call notes, customer interactions, and sales pipelines all in one place. 

So, if the mining and interpretation of sales data and presenting it in a low-tech, easy-to-use format - is so beneficial, why aren’t sales teams jumping for a chance to use it? 

Lack of uptake… 

Despite the clear benefits, some sales leaders are mystified as to why some sales teams willingly adopt sales intelligence, whereas others flatly reject it before giving it a fair hearing.   

Some of the barriers you may encounter when introducing an intelligence system to your sales team:

1. A misconception: overloaded with data

A common misconception among sales managers and field-sales executives is that they need to sit for long hours on their workstations and perform rigorous data manipulations to access sales intelligence data. Their concern is genuine, as most sales platforms require manual manipulation of sales data. However, a comprehensive insight-led sales tool automates processing of hard and soft sales data and keeps the users’ inputs to a minimum. If such functionality is unavailable, sales teams may avoid using these tools

2. Lack of training in intelligence tools

When it comes to leveraging from an intelligence system, mostly field-sales or inside sales teams can be misunderstood as sales analytics and intelligence teams. Sales reps just need the insightful data to act upon and save their time from being wasted in diary management or performing calculations, especially while on the road. Such a mismatched intelligence system can be overwhelming for salespeople who are facing difficulties in moving from conventional sales processes.

3. Fear of change

A huge aspect of slow adoption is a fear of change within sales. For those who’ve recently joined a sales function, new intelligence technology to boost sales, is often welcomed if the benefits are understood.  

However, many sales reps who have a history in the department and industry can be more hesitant, adopting an ‘if it ain't broke, don’t fix it’ attitude toward their sales techniques. They’re more likely to fear failure, instead of embracing the benefits that change can offer. 

Rather than sales intelligence software being seen as an opportunity, it can be viewed as a hindrance and even a threat to make sales teams redundant.   

High-performing salespeople and teams understand that data intelligence and handy sales insights are the roots of exceptional results.

4. Technology/user issues

Although we understand the benefits that sales intelligence can bring, it’s important to understand that this can be a huge change to how your sales executives and managers are used to working. 

If salespeople are simply left to their own devices in the early stages of implementing an intelligence system for sales, there might be kinks in the process that need to be addressed quickly before confidence in the new approach is lost. This could be as simple as sales processes being misaligned. These issues can fuel an individual’s fear of change if not dealt with early on. If the newly implemented sales technology or intelligence platform is not aligned with your business needs, the sales reps or managers may feel confused and unable to make the sales system work for them. So, the easiest path then is to push the tool to one side, make excuses, and eventually, hamper sales revenue.

5. Lack of incentive 

When introducing a new intelligence software to improve your sales processes, there might be a case when the sales team is unaware or unclear on the range of potential benefits. That may lead to a lack of drive, which they’ll need to overcome to embrace change. As a sales performance tool, such software is aimed at improving how your team works and how many sales they secure. Without motivation to use the system, change may be unlikely.  

Encouraging adoption of a sales intelligence-led approach within your team

Consistency is the key to ensuring the benefits of sales intelligence are felt both across the whole team and the company. However, to achieve this, it’s a mistake to think it’s a matter of simple ‘plug and play’ when it comes to implementation.  

To improve your sales team’s uptake, consider: 

1. Implementing a training programme 

Learning how to use a new sales intelligence solution shouldn’t be difficult. Equally, it’s best not to over-estimate how much time and effort each of your team members is prepared to invest in figuring out how to make the solution work for them. If things don’t happen pretty quickly, they can soon descend into frustration and give up on using it.  

That’s why all new sales intelligence users should go through the on-demand training programmes of their respective platforms. For example, sales-i users can use our training academy – covering everything from the essentials right through to masterclasses - time and time again until they feel confident – both when using the system and the information it provides. We invite all our new users to our offices to attend face-to-face training and deal with any issues head-on.

2. Create a culture of motivation 

Employed powerfully, an intelligence system not only supports your sales team but also creates a culture that thrives off the natural competitiveness evident in any great sales operation. You can use insights from your platform to provide deep insights, which can feed into leader-boards recognising star sales performers. Depending on the culture of your team, you can use the platform very powerfully to motivate individuals by rewarding top performers with appreciation (in all its forms) and increasingly sophisticated feedback to help poorer performers lift their game.   

3. Demonstrate tangible results 

Salespeople need to see exactly how they can save time and improve sales performance if they are to adopt sales intelligence practices. At the simplest level, these systems are about saving time by reducing the number of clicks when it comes to gaining insights on various sales accounts while identifying sales opportunities or gaps. On a larger scale, systems can help businesses to achieve huge growth, simplify data and help their teams better understand their industry and its products. 

4. Automation to the rescue

Businesses focusing on the performance of their field-sales or inside sales reps need to educate them about automation playing an important part in extracting sales insights data. It does not only help you set automated alerts to capture an upward or downward sales trend but also provides in-depth reports of the lowest-selling products with respect to the accounts that stopped buying from you. With the analysis of sales data being automated, sales reps have plenty of time to prepare their targeted sales pitches for the most relevant customer accounts.

5. Reactive to proactive transformation

It is easy to encourage people when they are offered a value proposition in return. For salespeople, encouraging them to get on board with the new sales intelligence system can also be done in a similar way. It is important for businesses to show their sales team the benefit of transforming from a reactive to a proactive sales approach. A sales intelligence system is equipped with features that make salespeople proactive by making them sales-ready with a handy snapshot of the target account to review just before the meeting, a hassle-free & easily accessible daily schedule, and the crucial data to identify upsell/cross-sell opportunities to stay ahead in the game.

Encouraging the uptake of new technology in your team is never easy, which is why it’s key that, once the sales system is implemented, businesses take the time to support employees as they begin to explore the power and benefits of its intelligence-led features. 

Need assistance in implementing your sales intelligence system? 
Get in touch to find out if sales-i is right for you. 

If you’re a customer looking to increase the use of sales-i in your team, speak with your CSM to discuss how you can increase uptake. 


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