CRM adoption is key to meeting your 2021 sales goals

Ruben CRM, Sales performance

CRM adoption is key to meeting your 2021 sales goals

As a result of the global pandemic, sales teams all over the world have had to change the way they work. Most, if not all, sales teams now have to operate remotely from each other as well as from their prospects and customers. That meant that new sales skills and behaviours have had to be developed by both managers and reps in order to hit their sales targets.

Unfortunately, yet understandably, a large number of businesses have failed to meet this challenge. A huge survey from Hubspot revealed that over 40% of sales leaders missed their 2020 revenue targets. There are several reasons for that happening:

  • Organisations didn’t adapt their sales models properly.
  • Organisations didn’t enable their teams with tools and technology or failed to adopt new tools and behaviours.
  • Organisations didn’t use data to focus on coaching opportunities.

Another thing that has proven to be still of great importance in this new era of sales is a well-adopted CRM. The data and insights it delivers teams and managers enables them to accomplish a far more timely, efficient and transparent sales process that will lead to increased sales.

We know from experience that a lot of organisations are still struggling with CRM adoption today and are held back from consistently reaching sales targets. The successful use of CRMs will be indispensable in 2021 and beyond. So in this blog we’ll guide you through the challenges you might be facing when it comes to your CRM, how you can overcome them and what the value of a well-adopted CRM brings.

CRM challenges

Low employee engagement and adoption rates

Unfortunately, resistance is a problem that will always arise when trying to implement a new way of doing things and something that you might have experienced yourself already. Recent history has shown that most sales people find it extremely hard to change the processes that work for them.

CRMs have proven to be challenging for organisations since the very beginning. When organisations first started introducing CRMs there was already a lot of resistance, and that has not changed over the years. Why would salespeople leave behind their trusted ways of working for something unknown or (initially) more cumbersome? This might have a recognisable ring to your ears, as more than one in five businesses find ‘embracing technology’ one of the biggest challenges they face.

So how can you tackle low CRM adoption rates? What you need to do to increase adoption rates is to build a case for the change and provide proper training. Answer the good old question “What’s in it for me”, think about the impact of the CRM on your people. Remember that people are most motivated by how something makes their lives easier.

What we’ve noticed at clients is that for many sales teams, reps see the CRM as just a database for storing customer or prospect information. Of course they’re not wrong, but often they don’t realise the CRM can help them achieve smarter and more effective sales. Managers need to make the benefits clear to employees, and get them to understand it’s not just something that’s being forced upon them without good reason, but actually makes their jobs easier. Chances are that your team just aren’t aware of all that yet.

Another fundamental part of increasing CRM adoption and engagement is to assist users in changing their current habits. This can be accomplished by delivering timely and personalised reminders and refreshers to users - what we call 'nudges'.

Inaccurate CRM data

Your sales reps most likely communicate with clients or prospects in a myriad of ways, from phone calls, to emails and virtual meetings. Data is created via different channels and it won’t take long for all the information in your CRM to become inaccurate or outdated. Reps don’t like to get out of the selling zone by switching to data entry and therefore postpone their data entries to a later moment or just completely forget about it. Human error is the biggest reason for data inaccuracy and this is because reps don’t show consistent behaviours.

By chance, nudging can also help solve data inaccuracy, as it enables you to drive consistent behaviour that prevents inaccurate information from slipping into your CRM. For example, based on CRM activity data you can send reps that have had appointments an automated reminder at the end of their day, pointing out that they were the only one in the team that forgot to log critical information in the CRM. This increases the chances of the employee logging the information and keeping the CRM up-to-date. Besides sales is done between people and relies heavily on relationships, so make sure reps capture and log perceived client or prospect emotions as they are really valuable in helping to close deals.

The value of a well-adopted CRM

According to a study from Salesforce, companies that use CRM successfully are 8x more likely to be heavy adopters of technology that optimises sales processes. Just think about the impact of having an engaged sales team consistently using your CRM. When your whole team is engaged your sales will be much more efficient and effective - a study from Salesforce even showed that it improves sales by 29%, productivity by 34% and forecasting accuracy by 42%. Besides that, you’ll have more (qualitative) data that can be used to continuously coach and improve sales processes on an ongoing basis.

There's literally no downside to having a fully adopted CRM, but it's crucial to embrace a strategy that enables your sales team to change its behaviour in a proven and systematic way. That will be key to your success in 2021 and beyond.

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CRM adoption is key to meeting your 2021 sales goals

As a result of the global pandemic, sales teams all over the world have had to change the way they work. Most, if not all, sales teams now have to operate remotely from each other as well as from their prospects and customers. That meant that new sales skills and behaviours have had to be developed by both managers and reps in order to hit their sales targets.

Unfortunately, yet understandably, a large number of businesses have failed to meet this challenge. A huge survey from Hubspot revealed that over 40% of sales leaders missed their 2020 revenue targets. There are several reasons for that happening:

  • Organisations didn’t adapt their sales models properly.
  • Organisations didn’t enable their teams with tools and technology or failed to adopt new tools and behaviours.
  • Organisations didn’t use data to focus on coaching opportunities.

Another thing that has proven to be still of great importance in this new era of sales is a well-adopted CRM. The data and insights it delivers teams and managers enables them to accomplish a far more timely, efficient and transparent sales process that will lead to increased sales.

We know from experience that a lot of organisations are still struggling with CRM adoption today and are held back from consistently reaching sales targets. The successful use of CRMs will be indispensable in 2021 and beyond. So in this blog we’ll guide you through the challenges you might be facing when it comes to your CRM, how you can overcome them and what the value of a well-adopted CRM brings.

CRM challenges

Low employee engagement and adoption rates

Unfortunately, resistance is a problem that will always arise when trying to implement a new way of doing things and something that you might have experienced yourself already. Recent history has shown that most sales people find it extremely hard to change the processes that work for them.

CRMs have proven to be challenging for organisations since the very beginning. When organisations first started introducing CRMs there was already a lot of resistance, and that has not changed over the years. Why would salespeople leave behind their trusted ways of working for something unknown or (initially) more cumbersome? This might have a recognisable ring to your ears, as more than one in five businesses find ‘embracing technology’ one of the biggest challenges they face.

So how can you tackle low CRM adoption rates? What you need to do to increase adoption rates is to build a case for the change and provide proper training. Answer the good old question “What’s in it for me”, think about the impact of the CRM on your people. Remember that people are most motivated by how something makes their lives easier.

What we’ve noticed at clients is that for many sales teams, reps see the CRM as just a database for storing customer or prospect information. Of course they’re not wrong, but often they don’t realise the CRM can help them achieve smarter and more effective sales. Managers need to make the benefits clear to employees, and get them to understand it’s not just something that’s being forced upon them without good reason, but actually makes their jobs easier. Chances are that your team just aren’t aware of all that yet.

Another fundamental part of increasing CRM adoption and engagement is to assist users in changing their current habits. This can be accomplished by delivering timely and personalised reminders and refreshers to users - what we call 'nudges'.

Inaccurate CRM data

Your sales reps most likely communicate with clients or prospects in a myriad of ways, from phone calls, to emails and virtual meetings. Data is created via different channels and it won’t take long for all the information in your CRM to become inaccurate or outdated. Reps don’t like to get out of the selling zone by switching to data entry and therefore postpone their data entries to a later moment or just completely forget about it. Human error is the biggest reason for data inaccuracy and this is because reps don’t show consistent behaviours.

By chance, nudging can also help solve data inaccuracy, as it enables you to drive consistent behaviour that prevents inaccurate information from slipping into your CRM. For example, based on CRM activity data you can send reps that have had appointments an automated reminder at the end of their day, pointing out that they were the only one in the team that forgot to log critical information in the CRM. This increases the chances of the employee logging the information and keeping the CRM up-to-date. Besides sales is done between people and relies heavily on relationships, so make sure reps capture and log perceived client or prospect emotions as they are really valuable in helping to close deals.

The value of a well-adopted CRM

According to a study from Salesforce, companies that use CRM successfully are 8x more likely to be heavy adopters of technology that optimises sales processes. Just think about the impact of having an engaged sales team consistently using your CRM. When your whole team is engaged your sales will be much more efficient and effective - a study from Salesforce even showed that it improves sales by 29%, productivity by 34% and forecasting accuracy by 42%. Besides that, you’ll have more (qualitative) data that can be used to continuously coach and improve sales processes on an ongoing basis.

There's literally no downside to having a fully adopted CRM, but it's crucial to embrace a strategy that enables your sales team to change its behaviour in a proven and systematic way. That will be key to your success in 2021 and beyond.

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