An international Software Company has deployed an online Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution for its 400 Sales Representatives, Regional Managers and Country Managers. The CRM solution has been integrated into the financial and forecasting systems. Country Managers and Regional Managers handled opportunities and resources through the CRM; Sales Reps were about to be paid commission on sales only if these sales were fully populated in the CRM.
The product being sold was very complex and expensive: a typical sale was approximately $350,000.00 and the average sales cycle lasted 12 months. The typical Sales Representative had five years of experience and generated six-figured commissions every year. The market was incredibly competitive, so the Software Company had a very low tolerance for missing sales targets. While Sales Representatives had gone through CRM training, they resisted day-to-day use of the tool. Leadership wanted to have a training session that showed the value of the CRM process in order to close more business, but Country Managers, Regional Managers and Sales Representatives were scattered around the globe. Sales training was updated yearly at the International Sales Conference.
Practica Learning designed a one-on-one, telephone-based roleplay program that included two sessions. The program leveraged the existing sales process, typical objections and client interactions. It also provided the participants with practice entering data from the calls into the CRM system. (Note: During the design phase of this project, all of the roleplayers were trained as CRM experts by the CRM manufacturer.)
The first session included three calls. These calls would alternate between a roleplay scenario, where a new opportunity would arise once earned, and a practice of the CRM system. The roleplayer would assist each participant in entering important information about each opportunity into the correct places in the CRM system. At the end of the third call/first session, each participant co-developing an Action Plan outlining how they would use the CRM in day-to-day client interactions.
The second session included two calls. The first call practiced sales processes or client interactions. The second call addressed any outstanding "how to" questions the participants had about using the CRM system.
After the Practica Learning program, use of CRM increased to almost 100%. The sales training and client conversation content from this program is being used again this coming year. Practica Learning is also running sessions for two of the Company's geographic regions. The client is also considering incorporating in-person roleplaying into its next Sales Conference.