October 29, 2009

Sales Systems: a framework for developing user skills

The functionality of today’s Sales and CRM systems is impressive, however that means they require higher levels of training and skill on the part of users. Insufficient, or inadequate training of users is a key factor explaining why the fact that most organizations have not reaped the benefits of their systems. It directly translates into low levels of usage, sales productivity and sales effectiveness.

So, how many users are at advanced, expert, or just foundation level? What level do they need to be at, given their various roles? The following checklist will help you assess and develop the CRM/SFA skills levels of your team. It is also an ideal structure for planning user training in respect of new systems implementations.

Put a tick in the box beside each activity users are able to complete. Those activities un-ticked then represent the ideal starting point for further training.

Level 1: Developing Foundation Skills

Here are the key tasks, or foundation skills, you will need to successfully use the CRM / sales automation tool:

1. Can you create an account and set Type, Source, Industry and Rating as appropriate, or to default? 

2. Can you create a contact in a specific account, add notes of a conversation to it, schedule a call with the contact and send an email to the contact person? 

3. Can you change your password? 

4. Can you search for a company or a person in the database and view their information? 

5. Can you edit a contact and an account and save the changes? 

6. Can you order accounts in alphabetical order, both in ascending and descending order? 

7. Can you order accounts by a specific category in rating, type, or source to show only a list of the ones in the category you have chosen? Can you see the number in the category without counting them? 

8. Can you enlarge the number of accounts shown at any one time to 50? 

9. Can you send and email with an attachment to yourself and check that it arrives correctly? Can you view the sent email in your sent folder? 

Level 2: Becoming an Advanced User

Here are the key tasks, or advanced skills, that will demonstrate your proficiency in the use of the CRM/sales automation tool:

1. Can you create opportunity, setting probability, start and end dates, etc., and assign follow-up call to it? 

2. Can you view opportunity created in Forecast tab, viewing under quarter and year tabs? 

3. Can you assign an account to another user, view accounts and contacts owner by other users? 

4. Can you open accounts, or contacts, in edit and in view mode? 

5. Can you change dashboard layout? Putting neglected accounts in the right panel, top activities by priority and by date in the centre column and open cases in the right panel of the screen? 

6. Can you send test email using a template & change if required? 

7. Can you export a file containing account details for backup? 

8. Can you upload a document to the database and rename it? 

Level 3: Becoming An Expert User

If you can complete the following tasks they you will have reached an expert level of proficiency in using the CRM/sales management tool, and managing or administrating the system for your company:

1. Can you import a list of companies or contacts from an excel spreadsheet, then set rating, type, source and industry as appropriate to the records entered en masse? 

2. Can you review a selection of 6 accounts (randomly chosen) in the database? Are they completed correctly? Is each one assigned, is there a next action, is there a type, rating, source and industry rating? Are notes kept of meetings and conversations? Are emails and documents present? 

3. Can you quantify & compare activity and progress by 2 users, in terms of number of accounts\contacts, level of activity & effectiveness? 

4. Can you generate a report? 

5. Can you create an email template, using different typefaces and colours. Send a test email using the template and make changes as required? 

6. Can you add a category to the ‘type’ drop down menu? Then update an account – changing type to the new category you have added. 

7. Can you add a new user, reset a user password, reset roles, or priviledges, change the order in which different applications (e.g. accounts, contacts, etc.) are displayed? 

8. Can you customise the database to company standards: Dashboard, Drop down menus, User set up, etc. 

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