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How to get staff to actually use your CRM system

13th Jun 2018

Simple ways to ensure that your team adopts your CRM solution and makes it part of their day-to-day. 

People are naturally resistant to change. While that’s not always a bad thing, I’ve encountered my fair share of people resistant to the changes and massive opportunities that social CRM creates for business teams.

Since Gartner’s 2001 study found a 50% CRM failure rate, study after study has reported failure rates between 30% and 70%. A primary cause of failure is lack of use: people would rather spend their time working around their CRM, continuing to manage their contact relationships via email and retaining customer information on spreadsheets, rather than change their work habits.  

They are even less inclined to adopt a CRM that adds time-consuming tasks to their workload. According to Sales Hacker, the average employee spends four hours per week entering data into their CRM, equating to an astounding 25 days per year.

A CRM which requires its end users to manually update conversation histories and contact information is faulty at its core. Instead, it should free up your time to be more effective at customer engagement, cross-selling, upselling, and so on.

Here are a few simple ways to ensure you have a successful CRM implementation right from the get-go:

Pay attention to user needs and benefits

Clearly demonstrate how using the right CRM can vastly improve user productivity. Nimble CRM’s 80% end user adoption rate attests to the intrinsic value business teams see in fixing deep-rooted contact management issues. Once your team has a grasp on the “what’s in it for me” factor, they’re more likely to stick with your newly implemented contact relationship management tool.

If you’ve already picked a CRM that lacks business solutions designed to make end users more effective, look into sales enablement add-ins that deliver intrinsic value to the end user such as:

  • Sales intelligence tools like DiscoverOrg or InsideView for people and company information, which saves users time they’d otherwise spend Googling prospects and entering the data they find in the CRM.  

  • Email tracking tools like Yesware, which provides the ability to see engagement signals such as opens and clicks to helps end users identify optimal engagement points and improve communications with prospective customers.

  • Sync contacts and payment status from invoicing and payment systems such as Quickbooks or Due.com to ensure contact data is current in the billing system, and payment status is communicated among sales and business development team members.

Clearly define company-specific CRM usage protocols

Don’t enter into a new CRM with the mindset that increased sales, productivity, and effectiveness will just happen naturally. That’s like giving someone a desk from Ikea to assemble without providing the instructions manual. Define specifically what features are to be used, when, how, and why to optimize users’ time and efforts.

Decrease your team’s time spent on busy work

On average, a salesperson spends nearly two-thirds (64.5%) of their time on non-revenue generating activities such as administration and data entry. With the right technologies (such as Nimble’s new Prospector tool for sourcing verified contact data, social profile matching and newly optimized Today Page to help you prioritize outreach) and the right processes, you can easily cut time spent on busy work in half.

Start from the bottom, up

It’s unrealistic to assume people will learn to effectively use every facet of your social CRM at once. Start by setting the basics in place before layering more advanced processes on top. Focus first on the simpler features, followed by those that require a higher level of comfort with the CRM application and new processes. Ongoing change is best achieved when done over time, with plenty of positive reinforcement along the way.  

Looking for a new CRM solution? Download MyCustomer's new CRM Buyer's Guide to help you choose the right system. 

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