While there could be a host of reasons why some CRM adoption strategies fail or succeed, we have discovered some common culprits.
Before we jump to our list, we read some statistics about CRM adoption that were super interesting.
- 22% of Salespeople don’t know what a CRM is. That’s basically 1 in 5 people. (source: HubSpot State of Inbound ‘16)
- 32% of sales reps spend over an hour on data entry every day. That’s 260 hours (or 10.8 days) a year spent on data entry, per person! (Source: Hubspot State of Inbound 2018 Report)
- 64% of Companies rate CRM tools as impactful.
CRM Adoption: 5 Reasons it’s CRM’s Fault
1. It’s too clunky/busy
CRM is both art & science. The art and aesthetic of how its designed is so subjective to each user.
Some people want streamlined and simple interfaces, simple colors and few places to click.
Others want robust features, and functions and find an oversimplified interface boring and elementary.
- Ask how configurable the CRM platform is.
- Can you move things around, and streamline it to your liking?
- Can you remove what you don’t need, and only keep want you want.
- Is that easy to accomplish with little technical chops (so you can DIY instead of paying someone to do it).
2. It’s antiquated
Antiques may be cool, but an antique CRM ain’t.
If the platform looks so outdated (beige on beige and very boxy, is what I think of), if the platform is not user-friendly, if it lacks a mobile app and if has none to very little integrations, then there’s no compelling reason to use it.
Cloud-based CRM is the way to go, as the subscription model is how current investments work. Technology should be sleek, sexy, fast and furious. The first place you can tell is by a company’s website. If they’re not at minimum investing in that, how can you expect that actual CRM to be any better? They need to get their “act” together 😉
3. It doesn’t get you
You wouldn’t fill your personal life with people who don’t understand you. Nor should you fill your professional life with platforms that don’t jive with your industry, your business process, your office culture. You need it to also measure your metrics, and measure your success.
Go vertical. Nowadays, you don’t need to invest in a generic-vanilla-based CRM and then spend all this time trying to determine how it fits your industry. The market is filled with industry-specific CRMs (finance, healthcare, CRE real estate CRM, nonprofit, B2C Consumer goods, etc..) Starting there will shave off so much time and dollars on your CRM search.
4. It doesn’t evolve
This is a little similar to it being antiquated, but even if it’s more modern, the platform needs to get updated (at least 2-4 times a year).
Why? Because that means the CRM vendor is serious about fixing bugs (and in technology, bugs are as common as summer nights).
It also means they are adding new features, and taking into consideration the user community feedback.
Ask how often new updates are released. Ask about the process for reporting errors/bugs, and what it’s like to request ‘nice to have’s’.
This is the last mile and the most important one. A CRM can only go so far, but if they have poor support (unresponsive or even hostile), and if they have no training resources (videos, documentations, real-live people to connect with), well then, the investment for an ongoing relationship is going to be tough, if not, non-existent.
See what others are saying about their support & training. Better yet, while you’re testing the CRM, take the support and training for a test drive.
CRM Adoption: 5 Reasons it’s Your Fault
- You have no time in general, and even less time to assess different tools.
- You lack the motivation to find the one tool you can commit to.
- The task seems too daunting, only because you already have your day job on top of that.
- When you do finally find one, you don’t spend the initial time getting to know the platform, so that in the long run you’re very good at managing it.
- You assume it will take you too long to learn, so somehow it does take you too long to learn.
If you’re in research-mode for a CRM, dedicate 1 hour a day to your research.
Start by browsing/reading about various platforms.
Choose a handful (a handful, not 10!) to try out and test.
Give yourself a deadline and pick one! If you’ve already made a purchase decision, and you’re lacking the time to log in and enter/read data that’s in it – well then find other ways to access it.
You can get the info on your mobile app (if you have time to check Facebook or LinkedIn, you have time for CRM).
You can connect most CRMs to your email (where you are pretty much living 24/7).
Make it a priority and a part of your everyday fabric. If you make it something you grudge, you’ll find an excuse to not use it.
Technology costs money. CRM is an investment. You might perceive it as a pricey investment, especially if it’s coming out of your own pocket. Look at those fees as an annual amount and determine the output you get from a CRM. Will its benefits outweigh the costs?
If you can’t afford it today, because your business is not quite there yet, then honestly, chances are you don’t need a CRM yet. You can get by on a spreadsheet. But if your business processes get more elaborate, or your book of business expands and you need to scale, then make the investment.
Just like countries have different cultures, so do companies. In some orgs, there is a culture of trust.
This implies sharing data in a CRM from one user to another is not perceived as a threat.
However, other companies may have a slightly competitive stance, and users may not like the idea of harvesting and working relationships, adding them in CRM, only to have someone else “poach”.
There are definitely some advantages to sharing data, and advantages to hiding it. There is often a delicate balance that can be made, and in a CRM those are generally handled with security rules. It’s not a matter of ‘can the system do it’ (because it can), it’s more a business decision of, can and should information flow freely, or should certain areas be restricted?
4. Can’t let go
You have crutches and addictions. They’re called Excel spreadsheets, Outlook, Google Drive, notebooks, Post-its, Word documents, a dry erase board and the back of a napkin. Choosing a CRM means breaking up with all of those.
It takes 21 days to drop a bad habit. You can do it.
5. Lack of direction/Unclear on business process
The top reason why you’re liable for why CRM adoption fails is that you’re unsure how to manage your leads, clients and everything in between; thus the usefulness of CRM becomes questionable.
You need to clearly define your own business process.
What is currently time to consume and manual and how can it be replaced with CRM automation?
Where are there gaps of visibility and where can CRM transparency assist?
What kind of reporting can you get?
How do you measure for success and forecast goals? Get a bunch of stakeholders in the room.
Answer these questions. Once that vision is clear, then finding and sticking to a solution is easy!
Some CRM Best Practices
Begin with the end in mind
You know how all those home improvement TV shows, show you the house after it’s been renovated and staged?
They present that to the buyer so they’re wow’ed and immediately sold on the vision.
That’s the end game. However, to start, you may have some bare bones to deal with. And so knowing the end result, in a way, helps you plan, measure, test, so that you take the appropriate steps to get to that end goal. Answer “what’s in it for me” for every user/team of the system.
Assign one main person as the admin
This is not always possible if you have resource constraints, but having one dedicated admin, who’s sole job is to set up the system, stage it, set up dashboards, add users, train users, create a customized video library, etc. will help immensely.
This person should have technical chops, not be burdened with too many other responsibilities, and have a fiduciary responsibility to the company. When you have a designated captain of the ship, the ship is less likely to sink.
Read more about CRM best practices.
How Can We Help with CRM Adoption?
We are in CRM consultancy business since 1996 and have helped thousands of users start using their CRMs efficiently.
We can help you to choose the best CRM software, with CRM customization, configuration, implementation, data migration, building custom apps, your employees’ training. We know how to increase CRM adoption of your users and will help you turn your CRM into the most appreciated tool in your organization. Contact us now and let’s discuss your project.
What is your experience with CRM adoption? Share your key challenges and tips on how to adopt a CRM in the comments below.
Source of all images: freepik.com