Unlike in the movie Field of Dreams, when it comes to CRM, year after year, users have proven, “if you build it, they won’t necessarily come.”

The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) market is massive—expected to reach more than $80 billion in revenues by 2025 [1]. And yet despite all the investment, it’s a tool that’s failing sales. A tool that B2B organizations constantly struggle to get maximum value out of.

Year after year, improving CRM adoption rates is a priority for sales management and sales ops. Many quick fixes attempted but most don’t look at CRM challenges from the proper lens and wind up delivering the wrong improvements.

It’s 2020. And it’s time to solve the challenge once and for all. First it’s important to get alignment on what CRM adoption truly is, and what it is not.

CRM Adoption is NOT simply counting log-ins. That would be like getting in your car, but never turning on the ignition or driving to your destination. Ultimately, what’s the point?

CRM Adoption is also NOT C-level mandates, having admins enter the data or inputting information only to make a rep eligible to collect their commission. While slightly better than the first scenario, users are still only adding the basic amount of information and they are doing it after the fact—so there is no impact on the deal, no visibility for others in the organization, and very few details that will help it the future around customer success and renewals. Here, you’ve started the car and are in motion, but you’re stuck in traffic jams, wasting time without improving the outcome.

To get the most value out of your CRM investments, CRM Adoption should be judged based on consistent interactions that deliver value back to the user—most often the rep. 

This means not just serving as a repository where reps manually input, store data or run reports, but rather a tool that understands what’s already there, what’s missing and how it all works together—then shares information back.

This definition runs counter to many of the tips that have been shared for many years, but the reality is more training, more mandates and more forms aren’t going to work. Instead, to get more out of your CRM and ensure your sales team truly adopts it:

  1. Personalize the view. Prioritize the interface and experience based on what matters most to each individual sales rep. Just like your search engine knows what you are looking for or Netflix knows what you’ve watched recently and then displays what you are most likely to want to see. Take the step to make your CRM as intuitive as possible so your reps get what they need with minimal clicks. Sticking with the “old 90’s style” legacy database data entry paradigm hasn’t worked for decades and it won’t moving forward, especially with the newest generation of reps barely alive in the 90’s. If you haven’t learned about Systems of Engagement (SOE), take time to do the research.
  2. Automate data entry. Remove reps from the data entry game by using native integrations to connect activities that happen in other sales tools to your CRM. Automatically pull in important details from email, calendars, LinkedIn, messaging and more. But don’t stop there. Sync this data back to your CRM and make sure it’s available to you at any time, for any purpose. Your company’s data should not be in siloed tools. To get the most out of your CRM, you’ll want to  ensure you have an easy way to identify what is there, as well as what was missing—and track changes over time. Each of those elements can make a big difference in deal trajectory.
  3. Embed actions. Now that you have better insight into your opportunities, embed Actions for each rep that mimic your sales process, essentially giving reps their own daily list of steps that will move deals forward. Make sure tips are intelligence-based and only are suggested if it’s actually an Action the rep has yet to take. The last thing your rep wants is another Task list. But everyone welcomes helpful hints, especially if they are based on proven best practices. These can ultimately help speed up ramp time and allow all reps to learn from top reps.  
  4. Connect other departments. Sales and Marketing alignment has never been more important, and the same can also be said for customer success, and even support and finance. Reps don’t win deals alone. Make sure deal data is collected from and readily available to anyone that touches the deal. If they are engaging with your prospects or existing customers, they should be operating from the same playbook.
  5. Correlate outcomes. Apply machine learning and other analytics to measure what’s working and what’s not. Then adjust fields in your CRM and steps in your processes on the fly to help improve pipeline velocity.

When the data is accurate and complete, your CRM starts working for you—rather than you working for it. It’s like getting in your car and taking the most efficient route to your destination. No surprise traffic, construction or detours.

Ready to get started? Let InsightSquared help you increase CRM Adoption, for good.

[1] https://www.superoffice.com/blog/crm-software-statistics/

mm
Director of Marketing, InsightSquared
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