Best Practices for Implementing Map My Customers
I plugged the following into ChatGPT: “What are the top 5 best practices when implementing a CRM?”
The results were vague and unsurprising:
- Define clear goals and objectives
- Involve all stakeholders
- Customize the CRM
- Provide comprehensive training and support
- Ensure Data quality and security
Look – I’m not arguing with any of these. They’re all essential to a perfect CRM rollout.
BUT, they’re also NOT: specific to any industry or realistic. I’ve been a part of several CRM rollouts and very rarely are these initiatives in place. And when they are, it doesn’t guarantee success.
So, here’s the real scoop. The rub. The actionable ways we’ve seen actual outside sales teams see a successful rollout of Map My Customers as their CRM.
- Mandate use
- Incentivize use
- Have a sales process – or, really any process
- Identify your champions
- Have goals tied to the sales process
- [BONUS] Be proactive about change management
“Our company has processes, we’re a manufacturing company.
And when we started looking at outside sales, we really carried those processes for manufacturing to outside sales.”
– Joe Mcdonald, VP of Sales
1. Mandate use
The harsh reality no one wants to say out loud. Yes – it’s true. The most successful teams who see the highest adoption and the best results mandate usage. This means, once Map My Customers is brought on, the outside sales team: reps, managers and leaders are required to use it.
This doesn’t have to be as severe as it sounds. With the right change management steps in place, you can both mandate use and avoid a total mutiny.
Prior to bringing on the new software, bring your team into the research, onboarding and implementation stages. Use value-based messaging and let them know how you envision the team using the new software.
Once the team adopts the software across the organization, ensure software training is an essential part of new rep onboarding.
Then, as Map My Customers goes live, you must track use. From there, your leaders and managers must address any non-compliance. Communicating that this is a part of your sales process and must be used, along with a system for tracking and addressing compliance is often enough to ensure near 100% adoption.
Overall, the teams that mandate usage are far from unhappy. They’re our most engaged customers.
- Reps consistently ask questions from our Customer Success team
- Leaders track accurate KPIs across reps and teams
- Adoption goes beyond simply opening the app to keep managers at bay – these teams use Map My Customers to proactively attack their territory every week.
- Leadership uses app data to launch new products, track land and expand campaigns and assess performance across territories
Mandating usage is not the only way to be successful with a CRM rollout, but it’s the guaranteed way to be successful.
2. Incentivize use
Okay, we get it. You don’t want to mandate. Or, mandating use doesn’t jive with your sales culture. No problem.
Then, you’ll have to incentivize use.
Incentivizing use can be done in a few ways, using either light rewarding or heavy-handed encouragement. Most companies who do this well tie use to a monetary incentive. For example:
- You can only make President’s Club if your deals were logged in Map My Customers
- New leads only count if they’re added to Map My Customers
- If you use MMC you get higher commissions, based on both a revenue metric and activity metric
- If an activity isn’t logged in Map My Customers, it doesn’t go through the expense reimbursement software
Lighter forms of incentive include:
- Sharing internal success stories of how others are using Map My Customers
- Using company events, like sales meetings or awards banquets to highlight wins using Map My Customers
- Benefits-first messaging, meaning your communications with your team is focused on why you chose this and what they can expect to get out of it.
If mandating isn’t possible right now, then incentivizing use is a great substitute.
3. Have a sales process – or really, any process
Let’s level-set here. Most of the companies who onboard with Map My Customers do not have a sales process. That’s why this is a list of Best Practices and not necessarily a list of requirements.
Now, why is this so essential? Because a process gives you something to measure.
- # of new accounts added
- # of activities per day, week, month
- $ value of new opportunities created
- # of orders received, shipped and invoiced
You get the idea.
When you have a baseline of what to measure prior to rolling out Map My Customers, it gives your team an initial purpose for using the app.
For example, we have one customer that has a defined sales process and reps are measured by the number of opportunities they bring in week-over-week and month-over-month. When they initially onboarded, reps were only required to log opportunities created and linked to an account.
Once this was consistent, the team started tracking other leading indicators, like:
- Stages of an opportunity
- Product line and penetration
- Competitor use
- Decision maker job title
Because the company had an initial metric to measure, they got initial buy-in from the reps and started to scale their data collection process.
Creating a process doesn’t have to be complicated. Having an initial goal, like “Benchmark how reps spend time in the field by measuring the number of activities” is a great place to start.
4. Identify your champions
These don’t have to be stakeholders (whatever THAT means). The best way we’ve seen other companies identify champions is just getting the app into the hands of 1-5 outside sales reps for 30-90 days.
And these don’t have to be your top sales reps – though that certainly helps. Other companies also use the reps who are tech-savvy or follow internal processes well. The best internal champion teams are some combo of the following:
- The top-performing rep
- The rep who best follows internal processes
- The tech-savvy or forward-thinking rep
- The rep with the most potential
- A manager or administrator: someone who will use the app a lot from a reporting, management and data hygiene perspective
The point here is to gather the group of champions who will give you unfiltered feedback on the software. You’ll also want a group that your other reps will listen to.
Once your champion group had trialed the app and it’s ready for broader implementation, their processes can also lay the base for how to train the rest of your team.
Often the way your champion team uses the app is how others should use the app. Especially to capture the data that matters.
“What we did from a buy-in perspective is we had some of our best reps pilot Map My Customers first. Then, we tweaked a bit before we brought it in and said,
‘This is what these reps like about it. That’s why we’re bringing it in.’”
5. Have goals tied to the sales process
Rather than setting big, overarching goals with high-level metrics, we’ve seen smaller goals tied to selling work better. Meaning, if a goal is tied to the rep’s day-to-day, it’s more likely to succeed. These often take the form of increasing activities, tracking quality appointments with decision makers, logging deals through each sales stage, etc.
Even a goal as simple as, “I want reps to be logging activities for Tier A accounts only for the first 30 days” helps both your Map My Customers team and your sales team.
Often, companies come to us with zero visibility into what activities are working in the field, so just getting an idea of what those activities are is a great start.
As always, we recommend a crawl, walk, run approach for a successful CRM implementation and this means making your goals short and sweet to start.
This also means you’ll start benchmarking data. This can help when you have a goal like, “I want my reps to increase their number of visits to Tier A accounts month-over-month.” It stands to reason that you should know how many activities they’re logging today. So, you can see what increasing that activity number looks like.
If you feel this is too rudimentary for your team, your goals may be more advanced, taking the form of a testable hypothesis. “We believe if reps use this system, then we can find ways for them to use the time saved on administrative tasks to make more good calls.”
Companies that set goals from the outset – whether simple or advanced – can use their Customer Success team to the fullest. Because their Customer Success team can help them track and report on these goals.
Finally, having a goal adds value for your reps. Your sales team is far more likely to use the app if they know how they’re supposed to use it, what their individual goals are for use and how these will help them and the company in the long run.
Goals help you communicate that value.
[BONUS] 6. Be proactive about change management
If mandating use is the secret sauce to a CRM successful implementation, then being proactive about change management is the silver bullet. Nothing – and we mean nothing – kills software adoption faster than a top-down purchase with zero input from the reps who will actually use the software.
Being proactive about change management means clearly communicating with your entire outside sales team throughout the research, onboarding, implementation and continued use stages. This can be as simple as a monthly sync, regular email updates or mini workshops with regional teams.
The point here is that you’re building awareness and momentum. By engaging your team at each stage of the new software process, they’re more bought into the software itself.
As you move through the research stages, ask for change management tips from Map My Customers (or the other providers you’re researching). They should provide guidance, testimonials, customer references or even templates for how to communicate change within your organization.
And change management doesn’t stop after onboarding.
Once Map My Customers is live with your team, the companies who manage change best continue to update their team on:
- App updates
- Ongoing training sessions
- Use cases within the company
- Best practices from other companies
Your Customer Success team can help with these too. We often have training packages built into software packages. Or, the team conducts executive business reviews to share how your team is progressing with the software and how we’re seeing other companies use Map My Customers in innovative ways.
Implementing new software is never easy. But it doesn’t have to feel impossible, or worse, be a complete failure.
The first step is recognizing the unique needs of your outside sales organization. From there, the best practices for implementing a CRM should come from the CRM provider. Ask them how other companies are implementing the CRM well. Explain the needs and intricacies of your sales team. And consider the following:
- Mandating use
- Incentivizing use
- Have a defined process
- Identify your champions
- Have goals tied to the sales process
- Be proactive about change management
Ready to see how Map My Customers could work for your outside sales team? Let’s talk.