If you’ve ever tried to convince a sick child to take some medicine because it will be good for them, you know how difficult that can be. Convincing a stubborn or skeptical sales rep to fully buy-in to and use a customer relationship management (CRM) system – such as Salesforce.com – can be a simlarly harrowing experience. There are a host of CRM adoption challenges that prevent full rep buy-in and ultimately limit what sales organizations can do with their CRM.

According to research from Forrester that examined the struggles to a successful CRM implementation, 22% of all reported problems were people-related or linked to user adoption. While many often cite the technological difficulties in implementation, the real obstacles are in winning over non-believers.

Here are 4 tips and best practices to eliminate CRM adoption challenges and get full buy-in from your sales reps.

1) Show them specifically how CRM can benefit them

Naturally, the first step to take is to sell your reps on all the numerous benefits that operating within a CRM system will deliver. Information is an increasingly powerful weapon in sales – especially inside sales – today. When used correctly, CRM systems can be not only a great organizer of all the important account and customer information, but provide tremendous visibility.  At one glance, sales reps will be able to pull up all the essential information they need on the accounts they are working on, such as the last person they talked to or how the last conversation went. Having that type of organizational convenience, coupled with the 360-degree inside view of the account, should be a great help at work and help reps close more deals.

Additionally, CRM systems like Salesfore.com provide some basic capabilities for generating reports and performing trend analyses. With this type of deeper dive into their accounts and their own sales processes, sales reps should be able to diagnose the issues in their sales process – with the help of their sales coach or sales manager – and use this information to generate more sales.

2) Integrate all levels of the company

Without universal adoption of the CRM system within all tiers of your organization, you are ultimately limiting its vast capabilities. While sales reps stand to benefit most from entering and organizing their important account and customer information, other departments – such as marketing or customer-facing employees – have much to gain from diving into the CRM.

Consider the issue of sales and marketing alignment. If your marketing team is particularly adept at its job and is generating copious amounts of leads, it can be easy for some of these valuable leads to fall through the cracks, escaping the attention of your sales reps. However, with a seamlessly integrated process for entering leads into the CRM and full visibility of these leads on the part of the sales rep, it is less likely that either party will drop the ball.

3) Synced with existing tools that reps use

Some sales reps are particularly obstinate, set in their ways in terms of the processes and the tools they use in their day-to-day selling. If that’s the case, integrating a new CRM system that throws off their tried-and-true practices might be a jarring request that is met with hostility. This CRM adoption challenge is made all the more difficult when the CRM system does not easily integrate with the tools they actually use. Make sure you have scouted this problem out ahead of time to find a CRM system that is versatile enough to include third-party tools, or that you have found alternatives to these third-party tools.

For instance, some reps use click-to-dial software that allows them to click on someone’s number in the software and instantly call them. That type of software can be synced with Salesforce.com, but might not work with another type of CRM. Or, if your reps and managers depend on a third-party sales analytics and reporting tool, ensure that your CRM works with such software….like InsightSquared with Salesforce.com!

4) Provide more-than-sufficient training

Finally, make sure that each of your reps gets all the training they need to be as comfortable as possible when working within the CRM. Ask them to identify their needs and pain points, in terms of account information and data entry. Teach them specific ways of solving their existing issues within the new CRM integration. Look for particularly complicated areas of the CRM system and devote sufficient time to making sure that all employees in your organization can navigate their way around and use the CRM in ways that benefit them.

Eliminating CRM adoption challenges and increasing buy-in from sales reps comes down to one simple concept – what can it do for me? Once you answer this question and demonstrate all the ways that having a new CRM system synced perfectly to the team’s sales process and integrated with all necessary third-party systems, your sales reps will be beating down the door to be first-in-line to try out the new CRM integration.

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