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The Multiple Database Dilemma

The Multiple Database Dilemma

You ask the questions, and our resident CRM guru shares her wisdom.

Q: “How do I prevent my sales reps from keeping separate prospect databases?”

A: User adoption is crucial to sales force automation success. But, reps can be stubborn, and may refuse to give up the Outlook contact lists or Excel spreadsheets they’ve been maintaining. How do you get them to abandon their old ways and embrace your new system?

* Obtain their feedback and buy-in before you select and implement a solution, and make sure their needs are reflected in your requirements list.

* Choose a solution with personalization capabilities. Every rep works differently, so the solution must adapt to individual working styles and selling methods.

* Provide mobile access. If your reps can’t get to the system while they’re on the road, they’ll revert back to local databases.

* Reps will be turned off by the idea of keying customer information into a new application. Find ways to offload the bulk of the data entry work to minimize the impact.

* Provide training early on, so your reps can clearly see the benefits of the new solution before it goes into full production.

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[Photo courtesy of cudoviste.]