Roxanne Hesh

How to Get Your Traditional Sales Team Onboard with CRM Technology

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Marketing and sales go hand-in-hand; so more often than not in today’s digital age, marketers are challenged with the task of implementing CRM systems for their clients’ sales teams. A CRM system, short for Customer Relationship Management, is meant to centralize communication between people and silos of an organization and enhance the sales process, allowing customer data to be tracked and stored throughout the different stages of the pipeline.

So with such a powerful tool at our hands, why are many traditional sales teams resistant to CRM implementation? The answer is easy. It’s part of human nature to be resistant to change, and when the change involves new technology, the resistance is even stronger. New technology means time needs to be spent learning the new technology and current processes, like data entry and reporting, may need to change.

With proper explanation and good reasoning, you can begin to win over your traditional sales team and get them onboard with your chosen CRM system. Here are 3 reasons to share with your team that the new technology will surely benefit them.

1.    Centralized Data

Remind your team that once the CRM is in use, they’ll never have to dig through hundreds of emails or papers to find a customer’s information or to see what the last point of communication was. Many Customer Relationship Management systems like Salesforce and Zoho sync to email and calendar providers creating a single place for all information.

2.    More Mindshare

Forget ever having to memorize a customer’s information again! If used correctly and consistently, a CRM will hold the customers’ (contacts and companies) information for your team so they can use that extra mind share to focus on actual sales.

3.    Streamlined Communication

Whether you believe it or not, big companies often face a lack of communication between silos. With a CRM, your sales team can easily communicate with Customer Service, Marketing, Management, and any other department involved. Those RFPs and PO forms will never again get lost in communication!

Bonus: Competition

This optional feature gives teams the ability to see how other team members are performing from converting leads to reselling existing customers. Turn the stakes up and create some friendly internal competition by offering an incentive!

How to Effectively Utilize Your Media Contact List

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Whether you’ve used Cision or built your media contact list through numerous Google searches, it’s likely that hours of labor have gone into making your list of influencers and contacts robust. Now that you have a list, make sure your using it to its potential and exercising healthy outreach when you have news to be covered.

For introverts (or those of us not familiar with media communications), public relations may not come easily and obvious best practices are often disregarded. Here are three simple tips to help you optimize your media list outreach:

  • Reach Out On Social Media – With the rise of Twitter, everyone in society is a news reporter. Twitter gives users the ability to curate news and follow events as they develop in real time. In fact, news reporters have headed to Twitter to gather information for their stories. So chances are, if you have news to share, there is someone out there excited to hear it. If you have a list of potential influencers and media contacts, begin your outreach with a catchy tweet directed to the contact. If not, think of Twitter as a wire service on a much larger scale.
  • Build Your Relationships – It’s great to have a media contact list, but a list is simply a list if there are no relationships to support it. Don’t expect receive a response or have your news picked up by sending out a generic email to your extensive list. Make your contacts aware of you and the company you represent. Build professional relationships with your contacts prior to reaching out for news coverage. A brief phone call or one-off email is a great starting point!
  • Be Selective – No one enjoys receiving emails that don’t apply to them. Save your contacts time (and they’ll appreciate your consideration!) by putting the effort into bucketing your media contact list. By having buckets or categories, you’ll know to who to send what types of news. You’ll also display professionalism and increase the chance of coverage, since your press release will only be going to relevant contacts.

While these practices don’t necessarily apply if your pitching through a wire service like PR Buzz, they will help your news story gain more (and better) coverage and will also help YOU build your reputation among industry influencers and press contacts.