Did you know that less than 40% of businesses
have a CRM adoption rate above 90%? That means 60% of all businesses
have poor CRM adoption. If this sounds like your current situation, the
good news is you’re not alone. The bad news? No one is using the CRM
your company invested thousands of dollars in.
There are many reasons businesses might struggle with CRM adoption:
employees see data entry as a chore, people don’t want to take the time
to learn something new, the expectations feel overwhelming, teams assume
the program won’t “work” for what they need, etc.
Incentives and gamification can be successful motivators, but what
happens when you’ve “tried it all” and still cannot get the adoption
rate you need? Change your approach.
Your users are ignoring the CRM because they can. This isn’t to say
you’re not pushing its use enough. The real reason they ignore it is
because it is not indispensable to them. Could sales reps ignore email?
Could a services department ignore their telephony system? Nope! Because
the users see those systems as essentials for their work. If you alter
the way your teams think about the CRM, you’ll alter the rate at which
they adopt your CRM.
So, how do you do that?
Approach managers the same way you’d approach a customer. When you’re
trying to sell something to a customer, you take the time to understand
their needs and frustrations first. Once you know their roadblocks, you
know how to sell them on the solutions to those roadblocks.
Understand what each team’s biggest challenges are. Meet with each
manager and ask them to lay out what their team struggles with. Then,
use the CRM to provide the solution. For example, if the sales manager
says his team struggles with low win rates, you could generate a CRM
report of pipeline data to show him where in the sales cycle his
prospects are dropping off. Are there patterns? Odds are, there are
indeed patterns, and by shedding new light on that issue you’re creating
something exciting and empowering for the manager to run with.
Too busy for individual meetings? Send out a survey to these
managers. Surveys should be short and ask direct questions about their
struggles. Reserve a comment space for questions and clarifications for a
more telling survey result.
When the manager takes these insights back to his team, he can sometimes be met with pushback. “We already give you reports, but you never look at them,” they might say. Although it may not seem like it, this pushback is a win for CRM adoption. Combing through detailed reports is time consuming. But, use the CRM to generate clear and concise reports and you make the manager’s task more efficient. He’ll be able to understand the value of that data faster and respond to more of the requests laid before him.
This leads to my next point: data overload.
While the idea of having mountains of data aggregated in one system
is thrilling, it can also become overwhelming if it’s not properly
managed. Companies that cut down the QUANTITY of reports and focus on
the QUALITY, do better with CRM adoption than those who do not. Instead
of pulling 100+ multi-page reports from the CRM, carefully select 25
data points that are compelling for each team and generate 10 simple but
comprehensive reports from that data. This cuts down on the confusion,
the perceived effort to create a report, and the time to assess report
results. The data is straightforward but multi-faceted, telling the
story the managers need to hear. If you aren’t sure where to begin with
organizing your reports, ask your CRM training partner for help.
A final note about increasing CRM adoption…
The number one reason companies struggle with adoption is manual data entry. Employees don’t want to take the time to enter all the information in the CRM. Mitigate that issue by using data automation wherever possible. Optimize with CRM tools like relationship intelligence, which will do the bulk of the research and data entry for users. For example, SugarCRM offers a tool called Hint, which uses the name and email address entered in the CRM to scan the digital universe and fill in the blanks on social profiles, company stats, educational history, and more. According to Nucleus research, Hint saves sales reps an average of 17 minutes per lead.
In general, relationship intelligence can save 5.5 hours per week on manual data entry. Integrated systems like telephony or ERP can also cut down on this data entry. When these programs are connected to your CRM, they fill in the data gaps and help build more complete profiles, which enhances the level of reporting you can do and cuts down on double data entry between systems.
Don’t let your CRM adoption lag. Start getting your teams excited
about the CRM. Make them feel the CRM is indispensable and they won’t be
able to ignore it any longer.