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CRM Adoption – Is 48% Good Enough?

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In a recent LinkedIn poll, 52% of sales managers said reps don't use their company CRM like they want them to. Yikes!  You can have the best CRM implementation in the world and it just doesn’t matter if sales people won’t use it.

The value proposition of a CRM is pretty clear, but there’s a catch.  The system is only useful to the extent that it contains detailed information about every interaction with a client or prospect.  If you are running reports against incomplete data, you can’t get helpful guidance on improving your business.

So, why is getting sales reps to use the system such a challenge?  Let’s look at the most common way your sales people interact with prospects.  The telephone.  To understand your business, you need them to log every call into the system.  It is the only way you can answer simple questions like, “How many calls does it take to close a deal?”  If your salespeople are like most and they only log calls that they view as “important,” you’ll never know.    The reason all calls aren’t logged is simple.  It isn’t natural or compulsory.  Heck, it can take longer to log the call than to make the call.  Productivity and good analytics become at odds.

Fortunately telephone technology has caught up with cloud based CRM solutions and there is now an elegant solution to this problem.  CRM systems can be configured to control phones featuring CTI (Computer Telephony Integration).  At M5, we call this M5 Connect.   This means that instead of dialing a phone and logging the call into Salesforce.com as two separate tasks, users simply click on a phone number inside of the CRM and the phone is dialed.   Even better, the call is automatically logged into the contact record and the user is prompted to make notes.   The process is seamless and the friction between productivity and analytics is removed.

Of course, this is just one aspect of user adoption, but it is huge.  Integrating the telephone with the CRM helps answer the “what’s in it for me” question that users ask even if they don’t say it out loud.  The idea of never dialing a phone or manually entering a call is appealing even to the most resistant sales reps and will help you avoid joining the long list of companies who could just never make CRM for them.