Companies invest significant resources deploying CRM systems in hopes of improving sales. The expected return on this CRM investment comes in the form of two combined metrics: 1) Accelerated Top-Line Revenue (Sales Effectiveness), and 2) Decelerated Cost of Sales (Sales Efficiency).
These results, however, depend on one major factor: adoption. Sales managers and ales reps must use their CRM system consistently, but that’s easier said than done. Based on my recent webinar with RingLead, here are the top four excuses why sales team members resist adopting new CRM systems, along with tips on how to overcome these barriers.
1. Poor Past Experiences
If a sales rep was scarred by a poor CRM experience at a previous company, then they will naturally be skeptical of new CRM deployments. In these cases, find out specifically what went wrong in the past so you can address their fears head on. These concerns will also act as healthy check-points to see if you are at risk of making the same mistakes.
2. Perceived Waste of Time
In the world of sales, time not spent selling is time wasted. Sales reps are very sensitive to this. Apprehensions quickly arise when they feel too much time has to be spent on “clerical” activities such as populating a CRM system. You can mitigate this perception by adhering to the following guidelines to protect precious selling time:
– Avoid too many required fields.
– Hide fields that are not relevant to each sales role and opportunity type.
– Synchronize your CRM system with your calendar and task management system, so double-entry is not required to capture activities.
– Provide reports, dashboards and lists that make it easy for sales reps to quickly access their accounts, opportunities and leads.
– Deploy your CRM system on mobile devices so reps can access and manage their contacts, opportunities and activities in real time while they’re on the go.
– Ensure timely support to address sales reps’ questions and challenges quickly.
– Deploy all sales tools within a unified CRM environment, so reps don’t have to learn and manage multiple systems.
3. Fear of Accountability
This is a very real struggle. Sales reps may fear accountability for one of two reasons:
They don’t trust their leadership.
In this case the concept of accountability threatens their sense of autonomy. The fear is that the transparency created by proper CRM management may only serve as ammo for their managers to call into question their sales habits. This would become a distraction that will ultimately hamper their performance.
They don’t trust themselves.
This is an easy one. If a sales person does not trust his or her own habits or has something to hide, then they won’t welcome accountability, even though it’s exactly what they need! Make sure you establish for them a weekly cadence of reviewing their opportunity progress and activities in your CRM system. Review more frequently if needed. The issue here is not so much CRM adoption, but the habits and behavior that your CRM system helps to facilitate.
4. Difficulty Changing Habits
Changing a habit is difficult for everyone. There will be sales people who sincerely want to adopt your CRM system, but struggle to do so. You can help them in the following ways:
If they are genuinely trying to change their habits, but are struggling, then they are already putting pressure on themselves. Make sure they know that you’re cheering them on, expecting their success, not watching for their failure. Don’t allow them to get discouraged and want to give up.
Provide real-time visibility.
When developing new habits real-time visibility is not an option. Imagine trying to lose 30 lbs in 3 months and every time you weigh yourself your scale shows you only what you weighed last month! If reps know where they stand in real-time, then they can adjust in real-time. If managers know where their reps stand in real-time, then they can manage them in real time. Don’t wait until your next weekly team meeting to congratulate or coach your reps. Leverage the visibility you’ve worked hard to create and manage your team as things occur.
Find creative ways to thank those who show consistency in their adoption. You’re simply creating momentum to help solidify their new habits. Recognize them in front of their peers, so others will want to follow their example.
At the end of your sales period, compare your sales results with CRM adoption habits by rep. Hopefully there is a strong correlation between those who adopt and those who make money! When you find that correlation, herald it throughout your sales organization!
If you don’t find that your strongest CRM adopters are also your strongest performers then something may be wrong with your CRM implementation. In this case, watch our webinar, entitled, How to Inspire CRM Adoption.
Learn more tips to get your team adopting CRM with the free ebook below.