When companies invest in a CRM system, they know that this investment will pay back with higher sales and happier customers. How do they ensure that this happens?
Many companies have asked us to spell out the key to a successful deployment and adoption of their CRM system. The number one answer is unsurprising: endorsement and buy-in at the ownership/top management level.
However, particularly for companies with over 10 users, another extremely beneficial resource is a “Super User”, sometimes referred to as a Sales Operations Leader.
Some successful qualities we’ve found amongst our super users are:
- He/she understands the business – how to treat customers, manufacturers, and his/her own salespeople at various levels of sales experience
- He/she uses that knowledge to aid with reminders to and prod for updates from salespeople to help them close deals, which salespeople learn to appreciate. They aid as much as nag, both of which the salespeople eventually realize help them to win more business
- Salespeople have a full understanding that the “Super User” is the “right hand” of the owner(s) and has authority nearly on level with the company owner and/or management team (he/she knows everything about the company except sensitive financial data)
- Often the “Super User” detects a personnel problem sooner than the owner does, as he/she works day in and day out with the salespeople on their own individual tasks and territory
- He/she understands what each department is looking for in reporting, and vice versa, can prod the departments to get better data as if ownership was asking
- He/she is fairly to very tech-savvy, usually more so than the firm owners, because he/she is mostly in the office working on the CRM system, generating reports, PowerPoints, Power BI, etc. New systems generally come easy to them, and they explore and apply learnings independently to improve processes.
- He/she acts as a teacher/coach for less tech-savvy salespeople and has the patience to do so. He/she is not threatening to the salespeople when they admit they forgot to do something or don’t know how to do something that they would never admit to the owner. Salespeople are comfortable asking them for help.
We have trained “Super Users,” and the ones we’ve been most successful with (and truly achieve the “Super User” status) have had most, if not all, of these components and ownership backing. Many other users are still successful in the role with half of these points and grow into the others while still being worth the investment. But his/her growth is key to achieving that true “super-user” title.
Not all attempts to develop super-users have been successful, and he/she ends up leaving the company within a couple of months. The cause is mainly because of the lack of knowledge of the business, lack of respect from the salespeople, or lack of tech-savviness to retain those learnings. Therefore, it is key to have a robust hiring process and work with your CRM provider to provide you with tools like a Learning Management System to be sure the person has the tools needed to be successful in the role.
After the endorsement of your management team and the willingness to hold people accountable, finding a “Super User” for your organization is a great way to maximize your CRM investment which ultimately will grow your sales.