One of the most effective ways to throw money out the window is to get a CRM system that your sales reps don’t use. According to research by CSO Insights, 66% of companies surveyed did not have full-scale CRM adoption. They also broke it down by company sales performance, and found that nearly half of top performing companies have full-scale CRM use. As expected - among the worst performing companies, only 27% had full adoption.
The numbers show there’s definitely a clear benefit when everyone is using the system, so why aren’t more managers doing more to get their reps on board? Despite your best efforts, if you are making the following mistakes, getting reps to use your system can feel like herding cats. Luckily, it’s not hard to turn things around once you know what you’re doing wrong.
Here’s every mistake you’ll learn in this post:
So let’s jump in.
CRM Mistake 1 - They don’t connect mobile
When you buy a CRM system that limits your reps to their desks, you encourage them to revert back to solutions that they can access on the go such as pen and paper or spreadsheet apps. After all, salespeople want to access their data and be prepared to make the pitch wherever they are - whether it’s stuck in a traffic jam before an important call or between back-to-back field meetings.
And the same goes for inputting data to the CRM. Why wait to get back to the office to record important information? This practice means you’re either asking reps to rewrite what they’ve already recorded elsewhere (hassle!), or worse, to add info from memory.
No wonder that in a survey of mobile CRM users, 82% said that mobile improves the quality of their CRM data. Mobile access means that when salespeople finish a field meeting or depart from a promising casual encounter at a conference, they can immediately input the info to the CRM. So no more memos forgotten in note-taking apps or mysterious entries in your phone’s contact list. That’s the reason our business card scanner is so beloved by our users.
CRM Mistake 2 - They don’t establish best practices
Intuitive CRM solutions may not require training, but they definitely require managerial guidance. Why? Because people think differently - when you ask 8 different people to solve a problem, they’re guaranteed to approach it in different ways. Of course, it’s this kind of diverse thinking that you want on your team - it’s invaluable for effective communication with clients from around the world and across a variety of channels. However, this diversity also means your reps may use different:
Semantics (What does “customer” mean, exactly? Is it the same as “client”?)
Levels of detail (“Director” versus “HR director”)
Pieces of client information (Is birthday even worth writing down?)
These different ways of inputting and organizing data would be fine if your reps were working in isolation, but they’re not - CRM is a collaborative database. When you open up a lead card and what you need isn’t there or is written in a completely different format, it’s frustrating. It means that reps waste time looking for information that should already be there, and after repeat offenses they start to resent using the CRM (or worse, start to resent their colleagues).
It pays off to establish a set of best practices for CRM data. That way, data is clean and high-quality, and can support your team’s diverse set of approaches. It’s also beneficial in the long term. After all, when you get an update about a dusty old lead that you haven’t used in a year, it’s easier to locate when the data follows your convention.
CRM Mistake 3 - They don’t use a sales pipeline
Are you one of those managers who believes that sales funnels are just mumbo jumbo? Or perhaps you think that the default pipeline in your CRM is good enough. If you’re in either boat, you’re missing out on one of the most important ways to encourage CRM adoption and increase sales.
Your sales pipeline is a visual representation of your buyer’s journey toward purchase, broken down into predictable, manageable stages. What could be more helpful for a sales rep than instantly seeing which stage a particular prospect is in? Knowing where the lead has come from and where they’re headed next gives the salesperson the opportunity to tailor the pitch appropriately before picking up the phone. Without a pipeline, reps are either stuck looking up this information before each interaction or playing catch up during every call. So, if you’re not using this part of the CRM, you are actually forcing your talented salespeople to spend time doing clerical work with none of the productivity rewards. Very frustrating for them.
When you use a sales pipeline, in addition to efficiency gains, identifying clear sales stages also makes the sales process measurable. It’s a great way to pinpoint where leads are getting stuck or dropping off. However, the most powerful part is that even though the sales pipeline is a great tool by itself, CRM software takes the sales pipeline to the next level with automatic lead warming, task management, and analytics.
Intrigued? Check out this short video about our digital pipeline to see exactly how automated lead warming works and what you’ve been neglecting.
CRM Mistake 4 - They don’t automate routine processes
So, you’ve got a CRM, and you’re even using it for managing contacts and visualizing your sales pipeline. But how does the data actually get there? How are leads progressed through the sales process? If you’re relying on your team to input data and move leads manually, they’re wasting the time that they could be selling, and they know it. Nothing brings down morale faster than uncreative, routine tasks - especially when they could be done by the system. After all, automations are the bread and butter of CRM. Once you’ve got a sales pipeline that reflects your buyer’s reality, this software can free up your salespeople from numerous routine tasks like:
Lead creation and data entry
Mailout and social media campaigns
Dialing and call recording
Take 20 minutes to set up automations, and you will save your sales team hours each week so they can focus on what they do best - selling.
CRM Mistake 5 - They don’t follow customers across channels
When your salespeople see that competitors are stealing their leads by maintaining a social media presence, using ppc ads, and setting up clever email campaigns, they’re going to wonder “why don’t we do that?”. Well, you can, and you should.
It’s already old news that prospects are buying products differently than they used to, generally avoiding salespeople and doing research for themselves until they’ve already come close to making a decision. One really cool feature of CRM is that 3rd party integrations make it possible to get your brand out across all the main channels, so that you’re the one they’re seeing when they do their research. This means that even if you haven’t yet united your marketing and sales efforts, you can establish your presence where it counts.
CRM Mistake 6 - They don’t set goals or discuss metrics
A good CRM already offers you the stats and analytics for goal setting and tracking. In a high intensity profession like sales, your team needs all the boosts they can get to push themselves to perform. Are you using goals and metrics, or are you missing out on the benefits?
Achieving small milestones is intrinsically rewarding and gives salespeople a psychological boost that is good for confidence and work satisfaction
It’s positive for relationships to manage expectations so that everyone understands what targets to aim for
Setting goals also improves time management, since you can see your progress and can shift and prioritize work if you get off track
Measuring performance also means that you can witness how much you’ve grown or try different approaches and then compare which one was more effective
The idea is to equip your team with the knowledge they need to communicate effectively. If a sales rep doesn’t have the right information in front of them, then they won’t feel confident when they make a call, and could even feel like they’re floundering. If you’re forcing your team to fill in and use the CRM, but they’re still having this experience, then they’re likely to abandon the system. These 6 mistakes are common, but they are only the beginning of a long list of reasons that salespeople avoid using their CRM systems. The very best thing to do is to start the conversation with your team to determine where their frustrations lie.
Salespeople: have you found any other crucial mistakes that managers are doing to sabotage their CRM adoption rates? Tell us in the comments below!
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