Why Your Team Isn’t Using Your CRM (And What To Do About It)

April 26, 2018 Brian Signorelli

Did you know the average sales rep only spends about 36.6% of their time actually selling? Even scarier, only 18% of their time is spent using their customer relationship management software (CRM). The study, from InsideSales.com, finds CRM’s aren’t enough to answer the needs to today’s salespeople.

They’re consistently trying out new technologies to streamline their workflow, help them move up on activity boards, and close more business.

So, what are the biggest roadblocks to front-line CRM adoption by sales reps -- and how to you turn it around?

Because, after all, using and maintaining your CRM regularly is the best way to manage your time and make the most out of every precious moment in a salesperson’s quota. To find the answer, I talked with HubSpot partners and sales experts. Here’s what they had to say.

Why Reps Aren’t Using Your CRM

Joonas Villanen, marketing and sales leader, JoonasVillanen.com

Biggest blocker: Sometimes we don’t give reps enough support, offer inadequate documentation, and a poor content pool. If you expect reps to magically come up with emails, sequences, and other sales content, you'll see your efforts go right into the gutter.

How to Turn It Around: Find the right people. Pick a small group of change-eager reps to work with. They might not be top reps, because it's more difficult to change behavior when they’re already receiving good results.

Give this small group everything they need, from openers and messages to sequences and links). You might offer hands-on support in the beginning. Then, once they get the hang of it, you should be able to author them to do the work.

Once they see clear results from their new tool and sales habits, they’re more likely to keep using them. Good results will ultimately win over the rest of the team as well. Because, hey, who doesn't want to make more sales?

Eric Quanstrom, CMO, Cience

Biggest Blocker: The biggest obstacle is that the CRM is often seen -- or actually is -- a burden to actual sales work. Will updating my CRM be the best use of my time? Will a CRM help me close more deals? These are two of hundreds of questions every front-line sales rep has pondered.

How to Turn It Around: Make the CRM relevant to the front-line sales rep. Show them how it will allow them to do their jobs better, and you’ll have a CRM convert on your hands. It might take training and time, but it will be worth it.

David Fletcher, CEO and Co-Founder, Maven Sales Group

Biggest Blocker: Status Quo! Nobody likes change -- especially salespeople. Reps struggle with change and are often intimidated by it. Once you get them to understand minimal documentation is required, they’ll be more apt to put in a little data -- especially when they realize what they’ll get out of it.

How to Turn It Around: Help your reps understand the CRM acts as a sales assistant in a variety of ways. CRMs amplify their efforts, maximize time, and increase productivity. Those positives add up to closing more deals and building greater revenue.

Hugo Fernandez, CEO, Just Digital

Biggest Blocker: The biggest barrier to CRM use is cumbersome software that doesn't integrate with existing tools. And if reps have to spend more than a minute updating their CRM, forget it.

How to Turn It Around: Give them a CRM solution that works simply and is easy to update. And make sure to provide simple, short trainings for each new rep before they start their position.

Mallory Durrick, Owner, Durrick Designs

Biggest Blocker: Fear!

How to Turn It Around: Teach them. First, let them know it's okay to be uncomfortable. As a consultant, I often say it's time to get a little uncomfortable to get comfortable. We're creatures of habit.

In 21 days, it‘ll feel like normal again and they’ll learn to appreciate the process. We all learn in different ways, and that's okay. Reps need to adopt their own way of managing their CRM. It might be different than someone else in the company, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

Time management is crucial to being a successful rep. Make sure your salespeople are well-trained on how to use your CRM, why it’s important, and how it can benefit their workflow and their quota.

CRMs are necessary to keep sales moving smoothly and clients happy. If yours isn’t working -- or if you simply don’t know how to get the most from it -- switch systems or reach out to customer service for a refresher.

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