Salesforce is a great tool provided you train your people.
Customer Relationship Management
When you first told your sales staff and customer service team you were going to use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, what was their collective reaction? My experience is that there is a lot of negative body language like eyes rolling into the back of their heads.
Quiet, most of them are. At least around you. Then it starts. As soon as you are out of the room, the negatives begin. And that is the problem.
The Best CRM
It doesn’t matter if you use a simple low cost system like ZOHO, a mid range system line GoldMine, or a top end system such as Salesforce.com or MicrosoftCRM. If the team doesn’t 100% adopt it, its a waste of time. I have used all three in may career, trained sales people, and managed sales people with these systems. The systems work. Choosing the best depends upon what you want in the way of reports, tracking, and marketing campaigns. But not having a CRM system is an inefficient use of management and selling time.
Fancy Sales Databases
These systems at their core are databases based on the old 3×5 index card and Rolodex. And databases need clean data input the same way by everybody. So training and demanding compliance are critical to a successful launch and implementation.
This is not the time to pussy foot around with your sales people. Whether its the top producer or not, they all need to use whatever system you choose. One system for all, not one for the masses and another for the superstar. No exceptions. Period.
Hands On Training
That said, I suggest you have a group training class followed by hands on, one on one training sessions. Start with you oldest and most successful sales people. Get them tuned in and the rest will follow. If they don’t, then find people who will.
Start with basic data entry and build from there. Each week, add a new feature such as using the maps to coordinate their routes. Work them up to using the full email and task features a step at a time. If you bury them in details up front, your success rate will be close to zero.
Once your best people get into using all the features, you will have won the battle. They will see how much more efficient they are, even those that still use 3×5 index cards. If they are worried that you will know what they are doing and when they are doing it, that is their problem, not yours.