Midway through the Dreamforce madness, a packed crowd gathered in Marriott Marquis’ Ballroom to learn from the foremost experts on inside sales and CRM. These professionals shared how to help inside sales teams get the most from their CRM and transform themselves into a metrics-driven, revenue machine.

Matt Bertuzzi of The Bridge Group moderated an incredible panel of experts including Peter Gracey of AG Salesworks, Mark Roberge of HubSpot, and Rebecca Dente of Conga.

Jon Birdsong of Rivalry.com and I co-write this post, and we rapidly captured the most salient points from the panel in order to share insider tips on using CRM for sales.

1. Invest in CRM simplicity

It is vital to make CRM usage simple for your reps. The panelists recommended adding macros for activities such as email, voicemail, and communication templates. It's important to think about your process and model it through setup. You can use tools like click-to-call dialers that eliminate the need to track outbound call activity. It’s all about reducing clicks for your reps.

2. Provide your sales reps with a ‘perfect day’ schedule

Give reps the guidance and insight that’s come from your historical success. Offer them a starting point and let them creatively shift it to meet their needs. 

3. Invest in data for greater adoption

The panel emphasized how important it is to invest in accurate data.  There’s nothing worse than wasting time with old emails and the wrong phone numbers. "Mis-dialing", for example, was regarded as a tax on selling. Motivate your reps to collect direct dials during their sales efforts and record them back in CRM. 

4. Prioritize contests and competitions for teams

Create prizes and build dashboards that provide corporate-wide visibility. One of the panelist's contests were team based, not individual based. This helped them build a supportive culture. Some of the biggest positive changes in sales teams came from the advent of competitions.

5. Clearly share “What’s in it for the rep”

This is by far and away the best method for adoption. The more you can show the reasons behind your CRM requirements, the stronger you’ll drive usage.

sales tipsThis panel was a powerhouse. We recommend you follow all of the speakers on Twitter and stay tuned for more updates from Dreamforce. Kyle & JonnyBird, signing out.

 I co-wrote this post alongside my close friend and fellow sales leader, Jon Birdsong of Rivalry.com.

Learn more sales tips in the free Salesforce ebook below.