Interesting question from Mike Muhney on Linkedin:

What do you do when your top salesman refuses to use your CRM system?

Here’s another:

What do you do when the top sales person suggests that as the guy/girl who keeps the company alive, he/she should become Director/VP Sales? Should he/she be given a share in the business?

I’ve seen that scenario played out a few times with interesting consequences.

The question which intrigues me is this: Has anyone taken the time to get an understanding of what is going on in the minds of top (I don’t mean ‘very good’) sales stars when they say they ‘can’t’ use a CRM system (and they don’t mean won’t)? Is there something in their behavioral make-up that is creating some poorly-understood (insurmountable) ‘CRM/system’ aversion problems? Maybe even your best stars don’t understand what makes them tick; after all sales is not a science; it’s an act.

There is a lot of ‘system believer’ logic in the judgment that a salesman who does not use the expensive CRM system that management have kindly purchased for him is doing so out of some kind of renegade behavior motivation. Does a sales force strategy based on ‘no stars’ lead to the kind of bottom line result we all want to see for our clients/customers? This may not be as daft as it sounds. So could this mean that the first step in your CRM rollout strategy is to fire all the sales stars and implement with only ‘journeyman’ sales professionals?

This contribution is but an observation from one who knows he does not know. By opbservation however I note that many sales stars I have met are particularly intuitive and human and instinctive folk. I have been surprised that they are seldom nice-guy ‘pleasers’ as you might expect, but often irascible and not good at relationships with office-based colleagues (and bosses); clearly not ‘team’ players. If stars have a role to play in the corporate formula for making the biggest possible pot of money; what is it?

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