CRMWithin corporate environments, customer relationship management (CRM) is a key force in establishing a strong network of clients and maintaining steady business. As an article written for the Harvard Business School notes, client relationships are one of the most essential aspects of running a successful business. This is why it's imperative that sales representatives understand how best to use CRM to their benefit, and managers can do much to clarify the points of CRM for their sales teams.

CRM chiefly relies on the assumption that by treating others with courtesy and respect, they will continue to engage with a business for services. Here are just a few ways that sales reps can come to greatly respect the process.

1. Show Sales Reps How CRM Increases Profits

When clients go away happy from a deal, business increases as word spreads about the quality of a service that is provided, and this means sales reps will most likely earn larger bonuses over the course of a year. Moreover, reps are likely to feel greater job satisfaction when they find their work to have helped in brokering important deals for their employer. On an emotional level, reps will likely correlate positive CRM experiences with better job performance.

2. Provide Incentives for CRM

If sales reps perform well with clients on a thorough and ongoing basis, think of providing commission pay or similar incentives as a means to keep their relationships with clients strong. When everyone benefits in a business relationship, the results can be extraordinary for all involved.

3. Lead By Example

If you really want to show your sales reps how to handle CRM in business accounts, lead by example. When employees see you working hard at maintaining strong relationships with clients, they'll likely follow suit. A business acts on the whole from the top down: If management is responsible and direct, sub-departments will act in a similar manner. Think of the art of management as being like that of a good officer with their troops: Set the standard for behavior yourself, and employees will rise to the occasion even under the most difficult of circumstances.

4. Show Sales Reps Customer Comments

If a customer or client makes specific praise about a sales rep, be sure to let them know what the client said. Nothing beats genuine praise for positive reinforcement and job satisfaction, and when workers are satisfied with their contribution to a company they'll be more likely to perform well in the future. One secret to business is that much performance is not actually driven by money but by positive reinforcement from peers and a feeling of being valued. Understand this, and you'll understand your reps.

5. Allow Reps to Build a Reputation

If reps perform well within your company, be sure to let other employees know it too. Have a special lunch for top performers and encourage other workers to congratulate them on a job well done. In other words, take pride in your employees, and they will take pride in you.

For these reasons, finding a good middle ground with sales reps and clients will increase revenues and strengthen longstanding customer relationships. Qualities such as this can make or break a business, and a manager's understanding of how best to "coach" their sales team can do wonders on every level of a company.