Saturday, February 23, 2008

17) The Sales Manager

Before I discovered the CRM Dilemma
I was working with one of the largest regions in the company. The head of the region was begging for CRM, and had promised that "Our people WILL use CRM." since I knew "Pressure from above" increases CRM adoption, I made them a pilot region. This story involves a general manager, a sales manager, myself, and 30+ sales people. These events all happened before I discovered "The CRM Dilemma." Now that I have completed this research, what happened in this region makes much more sense. I now know that when CRM is implemented in this region, the results will not be what I anticipated at the time.

The General Manager: As far as clients go, "Jim" was a dream come true for this CRM Project Lead. Young, MBA, analytical, information driven, and very hospitable. As a stop-gap measure, "Jim" had instituted and mandated an Access database log of activities be kept by all sales reps. This hadn't worked because "It was too slow." I had noted that "Jim" had tendencies towards micro management which made the sales rep in me cringe. But I wasn't one of the sales reps in his region, I was the CRM Project Lead who was looking for "Executive buy-in," and I had found it! "Jim" had recently instituted a policy that all managers and sales reps had to keep their Outlook calendars populated with appointments. They were also to add notes to the appontment in Outlook after meeting with a customer. "Jim" was having trouble getting "Terry" the sales manager to keep his own calendar populated.

"Jim" was looking for CRM to provide:
  • Sales rep activity snapshot reports.
  • Understanding about the "Mood" of customers
  • Help to "Keep each other in the loop" because multiple people were calling on the same customers.

The Sales Manager: My first meeting with "Terry" went very well I thought. He was responsible for one of the largest sales force in the company. "Terry" is a seasoned veteran and seemed quite laid back and he reminded me of the sales manager I had when I was a rep. My sales manager was, and remains, the best sales "Coach" I have ever encountered. I remember thinking I was a little concerned that "Terry" may not pressure his reps to use CRM, much like my own sales manager hadn't. "Terry" was hoping CRM would:
  • Help him communicate better with his sales reps
  • Because more employees were now calling on the same customers, they needed a way to communicate with each other so that customers received a consistent message
  • Help to provide better customer service

Before I get to the sales force, you need to know about the sales meetings.

Two Sales Meetings - Big Differences

I had the pleasure of being invited to two sales meetings for this region. The first meeting was run by "Terry" the sales manager, without "Jim" in the room because he was out of town. The second sales meeting was run by the general manager "Jim" with "Terry" in the room.

The meeting run by "Terry" was relaxed with a lot of discussion. "Terry" spoke a little on CRM but I was disappointed there wasn't a stronger declaration. Watching "Terry" in action solidified my opinion that his true strength was in being a sales "Coach." The sales reps clearly liked "Terry" and responded well to him. I also became more concerned that "Terry" wasn't going to put enough pressure on his sales reps to use CRM when we rolled it out.

The meeting run by "Jim" was entirely different. There was very little discussion and it was very much lecture-style. "Jim" spent quite some time talking about CRM and the benefits of CRM to the region. "Jim" made it very clear that the sales force would be expected to use CRM and usage reports would be looked at by him. When "Terry" got up to speak, I noticed he was quite different than when "Jim" wasn't in the room at the last meeting. I could tell there was a tension in management styles between the two.

The Sales Force: This is a very dedicated and diverse group, struggling to meet all their goals in a declining economy. As I interviewed them in groups and individually, I noted that "Terry" was highly respected by them but they didn't like "Jim" very much because of his micro-management style. The sales reps I spoke with had told me they were using their Outlook calendars to record appointments and adding notes. They expressed concern about being micro managed through CRM. We assured them that CRM was being designed as a tool for them. The main frustration they were consitently expressing was that many employees were now calling on "Their customers" and they needed to be kept in the loop on what was being said to customers. In the past, only the sales reps would be calling on customers so this was a huge change for them. They were pleased that CRM could be used to communicate to each other about what needed to be done after a department called on a customer.

Leading Indicators: Now that I understand "The CRM Dilemma," there were several indicators that this CRM pilot will not produce the desired results.

  • I thought "Terry" was avoiding me - After our intitial meeting, I was never able to get a follow up meeting with the sales manager. Since I was only there to help him, this puzzled me.
  • "Terry" was being pressured by "Jim" to be harder on the sales force and monitor their activities more closely.
  • While it is true that sales reps had used the re-occuring appointments feature in Outlook to populate their calendars, not one of them was filling in notes after the customer appointment.
  • No call reporting was done by sales reps
  • It was clear to me that "Jim" wanted quantifiable data from CRM in order to make business decisions. These decisions would not neccessarily be in the best interest of "Terry" and the sales force.

The REAL story through the lens of "The CRM Dilemma"

I now understand the serious dilemma faced by "Terry" the sales manager in the implementation of CRM. In fact, "Terry" already understands the basics of "The CRM Dilemma," but he can't say anything about it. As the leader and protector of his sales force, he knows they need CRM so they can communicate needed information between each other. "Terry" also knows that with the benefits of CRM comes a huge pack of misery for him and his sales team. In the end, "The CRM Dilemma" will prevail and this CRM initiative will fail:

  • "Terry" will not make his reps record their "Low Card" activities, unless he is forced to do so by "Jim"
  • If "Terry" forces his reps to record their "Low Card" activities, "Jim" will begin to run reports on the quantifiable, "Low Card"activities of the reps.
  • "Terry" will run no such reports because he does not believe in activity control and prefers to coach his reps based on outcomes.
  • "Jim" will then go to "Terry" and tell him the changes he needs to implement with the sales force, based on this information
  • "Terry" may go to his reps and "Coach" them on what to put into CRM (Gaming) with the purpose of protecting him and his reps from "Jim"
  • If reps are entering activities into CRM, but are "Gaming," if "Jim" figures this out, he will either put yet more pressure on "Terry," or he will start going directly to the reps and bypass "Terry."
  • The best solution for "Terry" and his sales force is to make CRM go away. If he could just take the "Low Card" activity reports out of CRM, they could all use it as the tool it was intended to be in the first place. This great sales team won't be able to take advantage of the "High Card" communication tools that they really need because "Low Card" activity controls are attached to the system.
  • "I know I should be using CRM but.........." will be the refrain heard throughout the sales force.
  • If they use CRM just for "High Card" communications, it will negate the excuses they need to use to get rid of CRM.
  • CRM will have to die. It will die as long as the entire sales force works together.

To "Terry" and all the other brilliant sales coaches out there, I finally understand what you have been thinking, but not saying. In PACT, I offer a solution that addresses your concerns and allows you to have the tools you really need. There is finally research to prove "The CRM Dilemma" exists and is all too real.

As always, I welcome your comments. In my next post I will share more CRM implementation situations where "The CRM Dilemma" was staring me in the face. I will also admit and share my own story as a sales rep, being asked to share my ACT information, and how "The CRM Dilemma" affected my actions.

Friday, February 22, 2008

16) The dreaded opportunities pipeline

If your company is currently using an opportunities pipeline, you are likely using it for one or both of the following reasons:

  1. To understand how many units you will have to manufacture or order to fill the orders in progress

  2. To put pressure on your sales force through activity controls

If you are using your pipeline for purpose number one, the system is probably working for you. Because it is used to fulfill sales rep orders, such a system is considered "High Card" by your sales reps (providing it is the only method by which the information is communicated), the reps will regard it as a tool to their advantage.

If you are using it for purpose number two, or both one and two, I am sure the pipeline is a major source of tension between managers and sales reps. The "CRM Dilemma" is epitomized by the opportunities pipeline by being the ultimate in activities control for your sales force. I would also bet that the following is occuring:

  • Your highest performing sales reps use (and are required to use) the pipeline, far less than lower performing reps. This is because the pipeline is not a tool, but an accountability. Your best reps require less accountability because "We already know they are doing the right things."

  • Sales reps that use the pipeline the most (If you have any) will not represent your highest performers. This is because the pipeline does not truly provide guidance to your reps - They already know how they are doing in sales by knowing their outcomes.

If your reps don't see personal value in the pipeline, they aren't using it anyway so kill it, kill it dead!

The really important pipeline

While opportunities management in CRM is the antithesis of PACT, PACT can be used as your greatest indicator about the effectiveness of your current strategies. Going back to the new product launch in Post #8, which would be the greatest indicator of the acceptance of your new product by sales reps and customers?:

  1. A "hit and miss"report from CRM on which reps have said they would do the presentation, and to whom. Combined with:
  2. A report on those reps that have completed the presentation. Combined with:
  3. A drop-down report from reps in CRM as to why they did not make the sale after the presentation. Combined with:
  4. An ERP report on orders received


  1. A report from PACT on those reps that have scheduled appointments with customers during the sell-in period. Combined with:
  2. A report on those reps that have requested the new product sell-in package for those customers. Combined with:
  3. Feedback from sales reps and customers regarding what they said about the new product line and the presentation tools. Combined with:
  4. An ERP report on orders received.

The key difference is that PACT offers a level of safety tin the minds of sales reps because it focuses on planning and communication that they consider meaningful.

15) Steps to converting an unused CRM system to PACT

If you agree with the premise of my research on "The CRM Dilemma", (Why would you be reading this if you didn't?) It probably means you have implemented CRM to great fanfare and promise, only to have your sales force ignore the tools you have given them. You may have tried various sticks and carrots resulting in no marked improvement in usage, or a move to "Gaming" by your sales force. The challenge then is how to resuscitate the system you have, without falling back into the activity control trap that your sales force rebelled against in the first place. It is my contention that this can be done, but it will require a determination to provide a system that your sales force will really view as a tool, NOT a threat. To follow are some steps you can use to achieve this important conversion in attitude.

PACT = Planning and Communication Tool
  1. Admit the problem: This may be the hardest part. I am no longer employed because I did this before the problem was identified in our North American role out (The Canadian implementation had failed because of the "CRM Dilemma".) To state that "Our sales force is not willing to record their activities, because they don't trust that we won't use the information against them" is a very bold step that will be welcomed by the sales force, but may be panned by others. This admission shows that we are virtually powerless to understand the day-to-day activities by sales reps, in a quantifiable fashion. You will be amazed at the audible sigh of relief you will hear from your sales force when you remove this tremendous burden from them.
  2. Restate the original goals of CRM for your company: You didn't implement CRM in order to control the activities of your sales force, activity controls are an unintended by-product stemming from the desire to offer better service to your customers. By restating these original goals, you set the stage for a new understanding with your sales force and open the door for a new PACT with them.
  3. Do an analysis of current planning practices: There needs to be an admission from the sales force that they could do a better job planning their activities. If I were hired by a company to perform this task, I would spend time travelling with various sales reps to identify gaps in activity planning. There needs to be a level of trust in identification of these gaps that does not single out individuals. Planning practices by department heads and executives must also be evaluated to ensure the messages that are reaching the sales force are clear and consistent. I have personally seen situations where sales reps are confused as to their objectives because different departments are giving them conflicting messages on what priorities they should be focused on.
  4. Evaluate the information needs of customers: I have always been a top salesman, not because I was a "close friend" to my customers, but because I was able to identify what they wanted to know. Not just about the products I was selling, but providing them information that they would be interested in, and that would impact their business or their lives. For example: A contractor customer is interested in your products, but provide him or her with a market analysis of their industry, and you become a hero to them. Help them to get more business and they will buy your products.
  5. Evaluate the information needs of your internal customers: Yesterday, I spoke with a friend that had a problem because she wasn't able to obtain a particular piece of business information on a consistent basis. I showed her how by creating a simple "Google Alert," she could have this information delivered to her as soon as it was made available. I suspect there are many people like her in most organizations. Now she will be able to plan her activities easily because she will be able to consistently get the information she needs. In previous posts, I outlined some ideas on the types of reports sales reps need in order to effectively plan their activities. Providing these reports is key to a successful PACT with users.
  6. Plan to provide all the required information: This is where I get into trouble with my friends in IT because I do not provide a magical application to accomplish this, nor do I offer a solution package. The key is that in order to plan activities, employees need to go to one source to find the information that is customized to the customer.
  7. Understand and declare what is and what isn't required to be communicated: For the new PACT to be successful, (Used consistently) "High Card" activities (Information that must be communicated in order to progress the sale, or provide feedback that MUST be acted upon) can be the only recording required in PACT. With the exception of training or disciplinary "One offs" identified previously, departments cannot be permitted to add "Low Card" activity recording to PACT. This may have the same implications identified in step one, so executive champions are required to keep consistency in this message.
  8. Remove all "Low Cards" from your current CRM application: As painful as this sounds, the days of the "Tick box fields" need to be over. You don't trust the information anyways, so in order to send a positive message of change, all quantifiable information on "Low Cards" needs to be deleted. You will hear yet another cheer from your sales force when they see this has been done! Please don't assume you can leave the information in and it is enough to say that your sales force no longer needs to populate the fields. Quantifiable data remains a "Threat" as long as it exists.
  9. Add "High Card" fields and tags to PACT: This step shouldn't be too difficult assuming your company email system is integrated with your CRM system. If "High Cards" are currently communicated through emails, there simply needs to be a link between the customer and that email. If you open the customer record, you need to be able to see the "High Cards" recorded against that customer. There also needs to be customer feedback fields, suited to your organization, that customer-facing employees can use to provide "High Card" feedback. As mentioned before, the ability for employees to view cumulative feedback is as important as managers viewing it.
  10. Conduct a pilot of PACT: CRM training has long been forgotten. Users need to be retrained and reminded what the new PACT is all about. Conduct a pilot study to ensure user understanding and acceptance.
  11. Make sure the PACT is being honored: With the removal of "LowCard" activity recording, comes new accountability in using the PACT system to its' fullest. Sales reps cannot assume the company has "Rolled over" but rather is providing new tools that are designed to help them sell, instead of watching and quantifying their individual activities. Users and managers alike must be held accountable for their planning and communication activities on a continual basis. Reports of appointments being recorded against customer records and the planning reports requested will be the key indicators of user acceptance.

In my next post I will continue to provide evidence of the value of the information gathered through the PACT system and tackle the issue of The dreaded pipeline.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

14) PACT - Change Management Required

By my definition, PACT stands for Planning and Communication Tool. In the dictionary, a pact is defined as an agreement or treaty. In any agreement or treaty, both parties give up some the things they want, in order to achieve a desired outcome that is adventageous to both parties.
The CRM Dilemma Restated:
The problem with agreements on traditional CRM, between companies and users, is the CRM Dilemma causes users to decide that submitting to activity controls is too high a price to pay. They enter in to these agreements knowing that they will not keep them, and yet they say nothing because doing so would validate the CRM Dilemma for the company. The company enters into the agreement knowing full well that they will use activity controls because quantifiable, "Low Card" activity data, is too valuable to ignore. Yet the company doesn't say this because to do so would validate the CRM Dilemma for users.

A PACT gets the truth "Out on the table" by finally admitting that "Low Card" activity controls are the primary cause behind user mutiny against traditional CRM.

Yet, even with a new PACT, there are elements of change management required. New accountabilities are added to the sales force and to managers with this PACT. Because communication in the PACT only involves "High Cards" (What others need to know in order to progress a desired action), change management is more a functional element that can be addressed in training. Planning on the other hand, is an element that many sales reps and managers have not been held accountable for, on an ongoing basis in the past. In instituting the PACT I have outlined, you may want to consider an incentive program to ease the transition into a focus on effective planning.

In my next post I will present some recommendations on incentives you may want to implement along with the new PACT.

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

    Monday, February 18, 2008

    12) Activity Controls from the "High Card" perspective

    Before I get to the data on the bike ride I just took, I would like to restate that before a person will submit to activity controls, they will weigh the benefits and threats of doing so. So before I put the details of the ride I just took in this post, I will consider the following:
    • Does this information show that I have eaten too much chocolate this winter, instead of spending time on my wind trainer? - Yes
    • Does this information show I was unable to maintain the cadence I had in August? - Yes
    • Are these still pretty good numbers for a 44 year old? - Yes

    • Can I determine the information I wish to present? - Yes

    • Am I competing against anyone that will see this information? - No

    I have decided that the details of my ride are more positive than negative. I will present the details in two formats from two analysis programs.

    The information I have provided you tells you many things about my ride. Just like the "After the sales call" example, there can be great value in the information a person is willing to share about their activities. It may be nice to see the "Low Card" details, but why demand them if all they do is cause dissension and rebellion?

    Sunday, February 17, 2008

    11) The Coach, the Cyclist, and the CRM Consultant

    In post #10, as the cyclist, clearly I was at fault. The coach had given me his expectations and I had agreed to do the work and provide the information from my cycling computer. I was the one that started "Gaming" by not providing the information. I began to blame the cycling computer for my unwillingness to provide the data about my riding activities. I did not admit that I felt I was being reduced to "ride data" or that I felt the coach should be talking to me more instead of just looking at my data.

    The coach has hired a consultant to come in to determine what went wrong and make recommendations for a solution.
    • The Coach was interviewed by the consultant and showed documentatation on our discussions and agreements on the information I would provide on my cycling activities

    • The coach showed the consultant all the great comparison data he had made available to me for uploading to my cycling computer

    • The coach also said he liked to compare all his cyclist data to decide the best riders to work with because the more comprehensive data he had, the better. The data also made the coach's job of evaluating cyclists much easier than spending time with them personally.

    • The consultant then interviewed me. I said the cycling computer was too slow and I was not being provided with the information I thought I would be. I had hoped I would be able to see more information, not just upload my data.

    • I also said I was spending too much time setting up the computer and it was cutting into my riding time. I said the cycling computer was poor value and was hard to read with just a black and white screen. I couldn't always trust the data because I get strange readings if my batteries are low.

    The consultant made the following recommendations to the coach:

    • Spend more time explaining the benefits of the ride data to the cyclist so he will buy-in

    • Tell the cyclist he will be dropped as a client if he doesn't provide the data

    • Upgrade Arne to the Edge 705 with a color screen

    • There is a new software package to upload the data for better analytics

    • Give the cyclist extra batteries and a mobile power pack so he won't be able to say he forgot to charge his cycling computer

    Because I have given you insight into the real reasons I have not been providing my ride data consistently, you now know that the previous five recommendations will not work. It isn't the consultant's fault because the consultant can only go by what they are being told. It would seem there is little hope for this situation unless I change my ways. There are likely coaches and cyclists going through this same situation all over the world.

    Can you see the similarities to CRM? Can you see the "Real" problem? Is there another solution?

    Put some blame on the coach:

    The coach has to be aware that athletes are sensitive about providing all their ride data. Ride data collected by a GPS cycling computer, identifies every strength and weakness a cyclist has, that can be identified by data alone. The coach prefers getting good data to spending time with the cyclist and uses the information to select the best cyclists to work with. The cyclist has not been told this, so the cyclist should believe that the data is only used to improve his performance and encourage his good activities. Despite what the coach has stated, his desire to receive all ride data is not just for the benefit of the cyclist. In fact, the data could be used in the decision to drop the cyclist as a client or cut back services to the cyclist. It is not enough for the cyclist to say he climbed that hill, he has to prove it with data. - Do all these unspoken motives validate the fears of the cyclist in providing all the data?

    The cyclist isn't being honest about the situation either of course because he doesn't want the coach to monitor every rest break, or chew the cyclist out when he didn't climb the hill fast enough. The cyclist understands he needs to be accountable for results and accepts that. The problems are:

    • The pie chart that shows eight minute rest breaks when only five minute breaks are allowed.
    • I ride better at 2:00 pm than I do at 6:00 am despite all the other riders doing better in the morning.
    • It takes me an hour to drive to the hill the coach wants me to climb but he doesn't know that because he has never been here.
    • I hate being compared to other riders. I am also sure the coach is showing my data to other riders because he shows me their data.

    The bottom line: Neither the coach or the cyclist is going to get the desired benefits in this relationship because neither side can be truthful with the other. They may decide to part ways. They may give up on the cycling computer and go back to a manual spread sheet. The cyclist may feel he has "Won" because the activity controls are gone but he has lost far more than he knows. The coach may try out the new Edge 705 with all the new features at a much higher expense. The results will be the same because the unspoken issues about the data are at the heart of the failure. If the cyclist isn't performing, he should probably be dropped. The coach should be spending more time with riders, not just looking at data. If the providing of data will never meet the capabilities of the cycling computer, does this mean we give up on it because riders aren't submitting the data?

    A PACT between the coach and his cyclists

    • What information can be provided before a ride will help the cyclists perform better?
    • What information about the ride does the coach really need in order to coach and improve the cyclist?
    • What data about the rides are cyclists comfortable providing consistently and can be held accountable for?
    • What is the best way to provide this data?

    If this is the US Postal Service cycling team, they don't have this problem. They aren't doing Google searches on how to convince riders to submit their data. For the USPS Team, if you don't willingly submit your ride data, your spot on the team will be quickly filled thank you.If ALL the USPS team riders, decided they wanted one riding day a week to be cycling computer free so they could ride for "Fun", do you think it would happen? What if they all decided they wanted to go back to traditional monitoring and stop using the GPS cycling computers? If CRM is being used by all your employees to record their activities, I am sure you are not wasting your time reading this blog.

    Now I am going to go cycling, WITH my Edge 305. When I get back I will tell you all the data about my ride that makes me look impressive!

    10) Changing a great tool into a burden

    The CRM Dilemma is everywhere
    As you read this, think of my cycling statistics as sales activities and my cycling computer as CRM.

    I am an avid, non-competitive road cyclist. In the month of August, I road my bike thirteen times, totalling 284.22 miles, at an average moving speed of 17.5 MPH. My average heart rate was 150.7 BPM and my average cadence (Pedal RPM) was 90.
    The reason I can provide such accurate information is I wear a Garmin Edge 305 Cycling Computer every time I ride. This unit records everything about my rides including how long I stop to rest, where I am and how much a steep grade slows me down. I am told these numbers are pretty impressive for a 44 year old. I bought my Edge 305 so I could use it to measure my own progress and challenge myself. This information with GPS is gathered automatically assuming my Edge 305 is turned on, charged up, and I have pushed the button to start recording my ride. I also need to put on my heart rate chest strap and it gives strange readings if the battery in the transmitter is low.

    I upload all this data to a web site where other people can compare their rides to mine. I can choose to make each ride private or public.
    In July, I worked to improve my Cadence (Pedals RPM) because in comparison to other riders, mine was much lower (80-83 RPM). After much work, I can now run a cadence over 100 without killing myself. I was glad I was able to see the information shared by others because it helps me improve. I am also glad to share my rides with other riders because I am proud of my riding skills. This year I will work with an online coach that will view my ride data and make suggestions on areas to work on while letting me know what I am doing well.

    If CRM worked like this, I think everyone would be pretty happy. I would even be able to improve my selling skills by looking at the activities of top sales people and adjusting my activities based on their successes. This could all be done without having to admit to them that I didn't know I was doing it wrong. My sales manager could look at my activities and coach me on areas to work on and let me know what I am doing well.

    Back to my (CRM) Cycling Computer with ride (Sales) data:
    I didn't tell you before, but of the 20 hours it took to ride the 284 miles in August, only during 16.5 of those hours was I actually moving. I spent 3.5 hours resting during those rides. I think I also had two flat tires which take a while to fix. My largest climb in August was 1271 feet so I live in a pretty flat area. But of course, you already know all this if you have the data from my Edge 305, rather than just the information I choose to tell you. If I give you ALL the data from my Edge 305, you can overlay my ride on a map and watch every element (Activity) of my ride, in real time or accelerated.
    In this example, my Edge 305 is the perfect example of CRM working the way it is supposed to. But there is no accountability in the information because no one but me has any authority over my cycling and the data provided by my Edge 305.

    The Coach adds accountability:
    My coach says I am riding too many days in a row and I should ride longer every other day. He also wants me to climb more hills than I have been and try to increase my cadence to average over 100 RPM.

    The Edge 305 moves from Tool to Burden
    • I really want to ride today but I rode yesterday so the coach says I shouldn't. If I don't use my Edge 305 or use it and delete the ride, the coach won't know.
    • I ended going on a long ride yesterday and so I deleted the ride from my Edge 305 because I don't want the coach to think I am not trying.
    • I was really sluggish today because I rode so far yesterday. Rather than upload these crappy numbers, I think I forgot to charge the Edge 305 before my ride. Sorry coach.
    • I used to love competing against myself and other riders. Now that I am accountable for providing all the data, I am not enjoying my Edge 305 and I keep making excuses to my coach so I don't have to provide the data. We spend more time talking about the data than my riding.
    • I have dropped my coach and have gone back to competing against myself so I could use my Edge 305 that I love. It wasn't the coach's fault, he was only trying to help me get better. I just want to ride they way I want to ride and I seem to keep getting better and better with the system I have.

    This was all true, up to the part where I get a coach. I have decided not to get a coach because I think the accountability in providing the information from my rides will become a negative for me. I also understand I am giving up the tremendous benefits in having a coach and how I could improve if I provided the data. Have I mentioned what a great tool my Edge 305 is?