In spite of their best intentions, even good companies can fall into some classic traps that kill their new sales automation initiative. If you’re just getting started setting up a new sales technology system, pay attention to these warning signs.

1. Users never had the value explained to them.

If you’re going to mandate the use of a new sales tool without any input from the people who actually use it, that’s certainly your prerogative. Just don’t be surprised when they start pushing back because they don’t have any idea what it’s doing for them. No matter how fancy, a new technology holds zero appeal if it doesn’t solve real, actionable problems for its users. The system has to improve productivity, better organize their work, and help them stay on task.

It needs to help them do something faster or in greater volume (automation), with more impact (training and process), or more strategically (data analysis), and if they don’t see any real benefit, they’re likely to ignore it.

2. Nobody stepped up to manage it.

I can’t count the number of times I’d start implementing a client on their new technology system, get two or three trainings into the process, then go into a holding pattern because the client never held up their end of the deliverables.

Too often companies don’t plan for data migration needs, don’t ensure the software systems will match their process, and don’t prep their sales collateral to move to the new system.

Most implementations work best when one key individual–or maybe two–has final say on what gets done and what doesn’t. Implementation by committee generally falls flat, because when everyone owns it, no one does.

3. The data wasn’t clean.

For some reason people get it into their heads that moving their database mess from one system to another somehow magically makes the data better.

That mangled pile of contact sheets (digital or otherwise) that you’ve never scrubbed aren’t going to suddenly stop smelling like crap just because you sprayed some CRM software “air freshener” on them.

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