Sales Staff Push Back

Pushback from Sales Managers when adapting to a modern CRM and Automated Sales Process? Not if they understand what's in it for THEM, too!


Danny James: Why is there be push back from a sales manager when adapting to modern CRM and automated sales process?

Larry Bruce: We don't see management resist CRM sales process automation as much as we do Salespeople unless they are avoiding the level of accountability that comes with a system. Most Sales Managers want that accountability back on the salesperson. They want to know where they're at in goals with the ability to make future sales projections.

Occasionally a top-performing or tenured salesperson might create pushback due to the learning curve or attempt to avoid accountability. Sometimes it's a legitimate complaint because the salesperson has to physically type a customer's name into a computer.

For example, I met a salesperson in his seventies who was learning how to use his mobile CRM. He was accustomed to sending emails from his mobile phone so his learning curve was pretty short. He had to learn a new system but it was utilizing a familiar device and once he had to do it, he realized it was ultimately going to make his life easier. It wasn't a chore. It was something he was motivated to accomplish.

Age of a salesperson is an excuse that a sales manager or even a dealer might give. Rest assured that your aging sales staff is able to learn new ways. I guarantee there is nobody on a dealership sales floor today that doesn't have a mobile phone on them. They had to learn how to use it at some point. They can learn about mobile CRM.


Danny James: You can relate that same argument back to Inventory as well. If an original equipment manufacturer releases a machine with new bells and whistles, the salespeople should have a system that readily allows them to present those to a customer. The product is constantly changing and they manage to keep updated. They justs have to do the same thing with the sales process.

Larry Bruce: Another great tool in modern CRM is access to Inventory Management on your mobile phone. It serves all those new features automatically to the palm of your hand. The salesperson doesn't have to learn them from paper stock sheets. I can show them to a customer in real-time on my lot from my mobile phone.

There are many benefits to a modern CRM solution. Some Dealers are building videos and uploading videos to their website. Videos about new features on a particular machine. So a salesperson can then find the inventory on their mobile phone, see the video and show the website video to the customer in real-time. Impressive!

Rather than looking at the adaption as the best digital data solution to which salespeople will push back, look at it as an opportunity to gain invaluable digital data if the system is built correctly - custom to the way your dealership does business.


Larry Bruce: PSXDigital, as the "new kid on the block", as compared to legacy CRM systems that were built when the phone wasn't as ubiquitous. Some of them were built back when systems like Autobase was built. There were no mobile phones.

As mobile phones evolved from bag phones connected to your vehicle then brick phones, they were still never used to collect data in an efficient way. It was used to make phone calls. Today, your mobile phone is not just a phone, it's a mini-computer right in the palm of your hand.

Danny James: Exactly. I use my mobile phone now for watching sports and looking up information about the game, score, and players. A group will all have their phones out for a game to crowdsource information while watching the game. Our mobile phones are like little encyclopedias. I've got this library in my pocket. I didn't have that 10 years ago.

Larry Bruce: You've got the world's information in your pocket. So do you think a customer thinks it's too much to ask for you to have your dealership information in your pocket?

Danny James: The customer is growing to expect information in real-time. It's not something new to them. They like that convenience. When a salesperson is able to procure vehicle information without leaving the conversation or having to go ask somebody else - when they can be on the dealership lot with the vehicle inventory to answer customer questions and provide them with a wealth of information - customers see that salesperson as a trusted resource and someone with whom they want to work.

Larry Bruce: Mobile CRM is the modern way of selling. The modern way of selling, for a salesperson, is using a CRM that works for me not creates more work for me.


Larry Bruce: A salesperson that has a CRM to assist them in helping customers turns the sales process from selling into more of a buyer-seller relationship similar to a doctor-patient relationship. The salesperson is diagnosing what the customer wants in a Powersports machine and providing good, accurate information.

What I mean is, you don't tell the doctor a story at your appointment, the doctor asks questions and hopefully you respond with the truth. If they prescribe that you need to take pills, you take the pills. That's the relationship salespeople should create with their customers. More helping them to get what they want and less selling. They came to the dealership for a specific reason. Diagnose the reason then help them get it.

Danny James: Once the salesperson realizes that the CRM is facilitating their effort rather than compromising or hindering it, they will see it as progress and adapt to a very natural sales process.

Larry Bruce: Mobile CRM and automated sales process adaption won't take long. It will happen so quickly that it will eventually seem weird not to pull out a mobile phone during a customer meet and greet.