Tuesday, February 19, 2008

13) I thought we could encourage CRM Usage through Incentives

Back when I still believed that sales reps would record all their activities, as long as the benefits outweighed the perceived risks, I created an very elaborate and lucrative incentive program to encourage CRM use. When I presented this plan at a Gartner CRM conference, it was very well received and I had several people ask for a copy. The incentive plan was designed to engage users and groups of users. To follow, I will lay out the incentive plan and then discuss how the plan was impacted by the CRM Dilemma I later discovered. I have taken out any company references. The numbers given are only an example and would vary by industry.

CRM Incentive Plan
Submitted by Arne Huse

How MS CRM is intended to benefit this company

  • Allow for timely sharing of customer activities and information between business units. This will make for less frustration for employees and more importantly, our customers.
  • Improve customer activities documentation being passed on to incoming employees when the current individual leaves the position. This will allow for an easier transition for both the customer and the new employee
  • CRM will provide a centralized database of customer information. This will improve privacy, security and accuracy of all customer information.
  • Less time being spent by employees looking for information.
    Better goal and opportunity management by market facing employees
  • Far better sharing of competitive information

Situational Analysis
MS CRM was rolled out in three phases. In each Region, two ½ day training sessions were held for Sales Reps and Managers. Overall the feedback was the program was easy to navigate and understand. Deskside trainers were established in each region for additional training when requested.
As is common in 50% of CRM implementations, adjusting to the “New habits” of using CRM has been a challenge since the introduction. The introduction of Blackberries created less of a need to use laptops and so CRM usage became sporadic for most. The pilot of a mobile solution (Ten Digits) brought CRM to the Blackberry and continuing to roll out a mobile solution to the field is a crucial step in the success of CRM
Increasing CRM knowledge, usage and comfort level in the organization will be the first area of responsibility and focus. We need to create a “New habit” for sales users. Using a graduated introduction, we can embed usage with our customer facing employees and create a habit that will yield long-term benefits.

Three Categories of Sales People, Motivations for using CRM
And Success Factors
With regards to what I call “Organizational habits” I have generalized salespeople in to three categories in order to best create solutions and incentives to encourage regular CRM usage. This encompasses all field sales roles and is general in nature.

1) Unstructured Sales People – With no structured systems in place, while these individuals may have been effective in the past, and in some cases may continue to be effective in the future as further demands are placed on them the need to better organize their time (calls) becomes increasing apparent. These individuals usually do not pre-plan calls, occasionally miss appointments and with a little more planning and the right tools, can provide much more timely information to
their customers. They may not have established a fax or email communication system in place for quick information dispersal to customers. The benefits of an effective and well-designed CRM solution will impact these individuals in a positive way in a relatively short period of usage. The key elements are to offer specialized training, coaching and to get them to begin using the program by pre-planning and entering activities and using it regularly for six months to establish good habits. Key benefits include happier customers, better performance evaluations and bonuses, and more job satisfaction. These individuals will often agree with the statement “My best days are the ones I wake up knowing exactly what I will be doing that day.” CRM can help them to obtain that.

Key CRM success factors for the unstructured user
Identify who they are
Provide basic CRM training, coaching and ongoing follow up
Manager accountability in pre-planning and entering activities in CRM by the Sales Rep
Provide incentives for beginning and continuing to use the program
Involve peer accountability and support through team incentives

2)_Somewhat structured Sales People – These individuals use a manual system of notebooks or file folders to keep track of customer interactions. Pre-planning of sales calls may or may not be happening on a regular basis. These individuals sometimes spend extra time looking for past information as used notebooks are not carried and files are often started fresh at the beginning of each year. With no system of reminders or task planning, some tasks fall through the cracks but they can often tell you their schedule for the coming weeks. Most likely they do not create opportunities and goals that are regularly reviewed, updated followed. These individuals may or may not have a fax or email system established for quick information dispersal to customers. This group is where I feel the majority of our sales people fall in to. This group will seriously struggle to see the benefit to them in using CRM on a regular basis. They will likely be attached to the system they are currently using and will need to be encouraged to adopt the habit of using CRM. The target here is six months of usage. Once the six month mark is reached, they will have information invested in CRM and they will see the benefit of faster information retrieval versus the old way of searching through files or notebooks. Effort must be put in to make sure the CRM solution is fast and convenient to use with proper training, a good CRM Mobile solution and every manager and support person entering activities in to CRM. Incentives and accountabilities need to be put in to place to encourage the beginning and continuing usage of CRM.

Key success factors for this large group

  • Discover what frustrations can be reduced with CRM usage by themselves and the team
  • Draw a picture of what successful CRM will mean to them and the company
  • Six months of regular CRM usage to create “Investment” in the data
  • Buy in and CRM usage by area managers with training on running reports and team incentives
  • Provide basic CRM training and offer more advanced training based on business process
  • Provide a good mobile CRM solution
  • Provide incentives for beginning and continuing to use the program
  • Involve peer accountability and support through team incentives

3) Structured Sales People – These individuals are already practicing CRM whether or not they use an electronic system. They pre-plan calls and have developed a solid system for follow up and providing information to their customers. These individuals may have also started using a contact management system like ACT or Maximizer on their own, because they see the value of using such a system. They regularly send information to their customers through a system of fax or email broadcasts. They may or may not be using opportunities and goals well. The challenges with getting these individuals to use the company CRM system are surprisingly difficult. These individuals are very fond of the systems they are using and they often enjoy the fact that others cannot look in to their system to see what they are doing. One frustration for these individuals is not being made aware of interactions with their customers by other company employees and managers. These individuals will buy in to CRM much faster if their managers are also using the program and they can get a true “360 degree” view of interactions with their customers. The Marketing Campaign features in MS CRM V3.0 will very much appeal to these individuals as well. One key is also to provide a good mobile CRM solution to replace the on site system they are now using. Advanced CRM training should be established for these individuals to include analytics, reports and opportunity management. Incentives should be put in place to encourage these individuals to use MS CRM to its fullest extent in setting goals and following them through to conclusion. Once these individuals have begun to use CRM they will likely be excellent champions for the program.

Key CRM success factors for the Structured group

Identify who these individuals are ( Managers and peers)
  • Interview them to discover what systems they are using
  • Do crossover analysis between their system and MS CRM to discover the benefits and offer data conversion
  • Make the transition as smooth as possible
  • Discover what frustrations can be reduced with CRM usage by themselves and the team
  • Draw a picture of what successful CRM will mean to them and the company
  • Provide training alternatives based on their level of knowledge
  • Use them as champions of the program and acknowledge them
  • Ensure they have elevated privileges in CRM
  • Offer incentives that will challenge them to use CRM fully and be rewarded for doing so

  • CRM Incentive Program Proposal

    Goals of this incentive program

    • All Competitors be entered with profiles and current information in to CRM
    • Every Field Representative and Manager demonstrate the ability to enter Account Activities in to CRM
    • Every Field Representative enter at least forty and every Manager at least twenty – Pre-Planned Account Activities in to CRM
    • To reward and recognize those Field Representatives that achieve the CRM Mastery level with at least one hundred fifty Pre-Planned Account Activities in to CRM this year
    • Advanced sales users be encouraged to and rewarded for entering their territory goals in to Opportunities in CRM, updating progress against those goals in CRM and providing success milestones for the year. The intent is to expand this particular goal for next year.

    Entering Competitor Profiles – Contest
    Rationale: Having current and relevant Competitor profiles in CRM is very valuable and will allow company employees to gain an understanding of competitors S.W.O.T, key products, and general information. Information discovered such as press releases and sales literature can be attached to the Competitor profile on an ongoing basis. Completing a Competitor profile takes about 30 -60 minutes and requires knowledge and research about the particular competitor. The creator and last person to update the profile are both easily identified in CRM
    Cost: $120 for every five completed National and Regional competitor profiled
    Eligibility: Sales Reps
    Criteria: Every eligible employee that creates and completes a competitor profile will be entered twice to win an IPOD and any eligible employee that adds either a significant note or sales literature to the profile will be entered once to win an IPOD. The draws will be conducted at the end of each month and one IPOD will be added for each five completed profiles. The intent is to have them all completed over a short period of time.

    Demonstrated ability to enter account activities in to CRM – LEVEL 1 - Beginner (10 Activities)
    Rationale: The two key elements in increasing customer satisfaction and effectiveness in sales calls are Pre-call planning and Post-call follow up in CRM. This simple achievement level is simply to demonstrate to the user how simple and effective the process is, and draws out any additional training required. The Team Challenge is designed to encourage peer accountability both for Field Reps and Managers. Updates will be put on the CRM Home Page daily.
    Cost: $
    Eligibility: Sales Reps
    Criteria: Every eligible employee entering ten - Account Related Activities or five with pre-call planning in CRM will receive a $25 gift card
    Team challenge: The first region to reach this level at the 100% level (All Field Reps AND Managers) will have their rewards doubled

    Entering Account Activities in CRM – LEVEL 2 - Proficiency (40 Pre – Call Planned Activities)
    This incentive simply encourages the continuation of entering Account Activities and pre-planning sales calls. At the point of payout, the individual will be proficient in navigating CRM and will have been using it for pre-call planning and follow-up for six to eight weeks. This is a very good indicator of continued and effective use of CRM. The Team Challenge has also been added. Reports will be run and updated weekly on the CRM Home Page
    Cost Estimate:
    Payback: At the 100% level, this represents over 2000 Pre-Planned and followed up sales calls.
    Eligibility: Sales Reps
    Criteria: Every eligible employee pre-planning and following up forty – Account related Activities in CRM will receive a $100 gift card
    Team Challenge: The first Field Sales Team to reach 100% will each receive a double reward only if ALL Managers have reached 50% of LEVEL 2 (20 Pre-Planned activities)

    Entering Account Activities in CRM – LEVEL 3 – Mastery
    This incentive rewards the top Field Sales CRM users that choose to embrace the concepts and spirit of Customer Relationship Management. This incentive is based on qualitative as well as quantitative use of CRM
    Sales Reps
    Criteria: To be eligible, each Field Sales Representative will have entered at least one hundred fifty- pre-call planned activities (At least one per day) in to CRM this year. Each Representative achieving this level this year will receive $500.The user judged to have made the best use of CRM Activities in 2006 will be awarded an additional $1000 and the runner up will receive an additional $700.
    Team Challenge: If a region achieves 100% CRM Mastery Level by Field Sales Representatives and 50% (75 Activities each) by Managers, the awards will be increased to $1500 from $500.

    Using Opportunities in CRM to track and achieve Territory Goals

    Rationale: This incentive encourages and rewards those Field Representatives that have decided to use Opportunities in CRM to track and follow their territory goals through to conclusion this year. Having territory goals and opportunities top of mind all year AND focussed on the Accounts, Prospects and Activities related to those goals, can only increase the chance of achieving them. This challenge will be used to build case studies and testimonials to be used in the roll out of CRM.

    Eligibility: Sales Reps that have also reached the Activity Mastery Level
    Criteria: The top two CRM Opportunity users this year will receive the rewards. To be eligible, the Field Representatives must have 1) entered all Territory Goals in CRM Opportunities prior to a set date 2) reached the Mastery Level in CRM Activities usage this year and 3) worked through each of the goals in CRM this year, adding notes and Activities towards achieving those goals. In January, judging will be done to determine the two Field Representatives that have best used Opportunities to work towards achieving their Territory Goals. The winner will receive a reward of $2000 and the runner up will receive $1500

    CRM Incentive Scenarios

    1) CRM Activities usage by Field Sales Rep
    Reward Single With Team
    Level 1 (Beginner) reached $25 Gift Card $50
    Level 2 (Proficiency) reached $100 Gift Card $200
    Level 3 (Mastery) reached $500 $1500
    TOTALS $625 $1750

    Best use of Activities award - $1000
    2nd Best use of Activities award - $700

    2) CRM Opportunities used to track Territory Goals

    • Best use of Opportunities this year $2000
    • 2nd Best use of Opportunities this year $1500
    • Total reward this year for the top CRM user will be $3625 or $4750 with Team
    • Total reward for the second CRM User will be $3125 or $4250 with Team
    Everyone was very pleased with the Team aspects of the incentive program I created and the payouts were approved by executives.

    Would the incentive program work once the CRM Dilemma was discovered?
    I designed this incentive program to get users in the habit of using CRM to record their activities. I believed that once users were invested in the data, they would continue to record their activities, even after the incentive program ended.
    Remember, the CRM Dilemma says that if asked to record their activities, users will weigh the benefits of doing so, against the perceived threat in providing the information. In understanding the CRM Dilemma, we know that such an incentive program will likely cause the following to occur.
    • If the program is considered lucrative enough, users will use CRM during the incentive period but only to put in enough information to earn the incentive.
    • CRM will not be seen as a tool to manage customers but rather as a way to earn bonuses.
    • As soon as the incentive program ends, they will stop using the program
    • If, during the incentive program, users begin to feel controlled, they will decide whether to game the program or give up the bonuses and stop using it altogether.

    In my next post, I will look at how such incentives (With smaller rewards) can be used with PACT

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