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How to Increase CRM Adoption Enterprise-Wide

CRM adoption isn’t a new problem for sales teams at traditional businesses, but it’s certainly one that has become more acute as companies have embraced hybrid-working environments.

A CSO Insights poll found that companies with less than 75% CRM adoption have worse sales performance than those with higher adoption rates. CSO insights also revealed that only 40% of businesses that purchased CRM platforms have adoption rates of 90% or higher.

Businesses can maximize their CRM investment and boost adoption rates by combining some proven techniques with the automation and accessibility capabilities of a sales engagement platform. This article will show you how.

Overcoming CRM Adoption Challenges

People are creatures of habit. One of the significant challenges of getting someone to adopt software in an office setting—including a CRM system—is the refrain, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Tenured sales professionals who have mastered their own methods for success are often reluctant to change up their workflows to incorporate mandated processes or technology.

So how can a revenue leader inspire their legions of salespeople to accept a new way of doing things? Appeal to their appetite for success. In short, develop a seller’s mindset.

The Challenges of People

Groove email and calendar trackingRegardless of how successful a salesperson may be, CRM adoption can help them reach even greater heights. With the power of information at the click of a button—from a customer’s sales history to data on sales campaign performance—the knowledge, insights and services enabled by high CRM adoption complement the powers of any tenured salesperson.

The first key to adoption is to make it clear to your sales team that a CRM system like Salesforce isn’t there to make up for any of their shortcomings but to add to each salesperson’s strengths.

To sweeten the pot, look into leveraging a sales engagement platform’s automated activity capture capabilities to eliminate the need to manually capture activities. That way, data about every sales interaction gets into the CRM without the rep having to lift a finger. As a result, reps don’t have to take time out of their day to input data. They can focus on selling and then leverage that CRM data to fine-tune their efforts. 

The bottom line? When a CRM system is used in conjunction with a sales engagement platform, it frees up a salesperson’s time so that they can build deeper relationships and make more money.

Work-from-home and remote work bring other challenges for managers attempting to drive CRM adoption. Not only is it more difficult to enforce adoption, but it’s also more difficult to demonstrate the value. However, a CRM is essential for managing relationships, which is at the heart of sales. By illustrating how CRM data can help deepen sales relationships, sales leaders will be more successful at increasing CRM adoption.

Despite the myriad of benefits a CRM can bring to a sales team, overall adoption is an uphill battle if a company provides ineffective communications and requirements. A sales manager can overcome this challenge by taking an inclusive approach to their team.

If the main obstacle to CRM adoption is how it takes reps out of their workflows, try implementing a sales engagement platform with email and calendar integration to bring the data to where the reps are already working. You can try beta testing the sales engagement platform with a small group, and when success is demonstrated, it will be easier to get others on board.

The Challenges of Process

Even with enthusiastic reps ready to adopt a CRM, the adoption process can create roadblocks that inhibit success. One of the significant pain points comes from remote work.

Rolling out training requirements while teams are working remotely is inherently difficult. Schedules are hard to match, attention is often tough to capture and maintain, and follow-ups—including questions from users—can get lost in the cracks. To address this challenge, it’s often helpful to start small. 

A phased rollout with low-stakes teams can be an easy and relaxed way to demonstrate success. Those small wins can snowball: Not only will those teams become advocates, but managers can refine their roll-out strategy while ramping up to more mission-critical teams.

Collaboration is critical in an organization, but when it comes to adopting a CRM, getting multiple teams on the same page can be difficult. One easy solution is to share adoption strategies, training, and processes, so multiple teams can collaborate on best practices and move through CRM adoption together.

How a Sales Engagement Platform Can Help

Accessing Salesforce in from Email InboxOne simple way to improve those adoption numbers is through a sales engagement platform that makes accessing, inputting, updating, and leveraging data simple and easy. 

Let’s consider the stumbling block of manual data entry. One concern that sales reps often have is that they have to take the time to add the data that just came from a sales meeting into the CRM. A sales engagement platform can eliminate that block by automatically advancing the deal stage based on meeting type, and making it easy to input meeting notes without the rep leaving their email or calendar. 

Another sales rep concern is the added step of leaving their workflow (usually their email) to update data in the CRM. Using a sales engagement platform that integrates seamlessly into your email system enables reps to have relevant CRM information at their fingertips whenever they’re on a call or sending a message. 

Also, using a sales engagement platform that can leverage all of the activity and engagement data in the CRM boosts those adoption rates by enabling collaboration and revealing insights. The reports made possible by accurate and comprehensive CRM data will show reps what tactics are working and which aren’t. 

The easy access to CRM data and full-team collaboration capabilities made possible by a sales engagement platform will help your sales team see CRM adoption as a necessity. 

Why Adoption is Necessary

CRM adoption is vital for the long-term success of any business. In fact, it’s the cornerstone of modern sales and customer relationship management and should be seen as a baseline for doing business. 

What makes it so essential? 

  • It provides relevant and trackable information, making it an invaluable tool for understanding where a customer is in the sales funnel. This alone gives a salesperson the immediate context they’ll need to optimize any communication—email, chat, call or more—to increase their sales potential.
  • It provides a company with the tools it needs to communicate at scale. This alleviates any potential pain points when a business is quickly growing, whether seasonally or in the long term. Creating automated message flows that leverage CRM data can help remove a bottleneck in the sales funnel and move customers more swiftly along their journey toward a purchase.
  • It can help maintain campaign objectives by clearly delineating and reporting on metrics like KPIs. By matching campaign objectives with accurate sales metrics, a company will find it easier to align with its goals.

What Companies Gain from Adoption

Salespeople respond to cold, hard facts like this one: According to a Salesforce report, high-performing sales teams are two to three times more likely to use guided selling. In fact, sales teams of all levels anticipate that using adaptive intelligence to aid sales tactics will grow by nearly 100%. 

Similarly, high-performing sales teams are almost three times more likely to focus on personalizing customer interactions as a result of implementing automations that free up salespeople to give customers added attention.

Additionally, when a CRM is used in conjunction with a sales engagement platform, it maximizes the potential for collaboration. In this increasingly global and remote workforce, collaboration is important for the vitality of a business. CRM adoption has a big impact on cross-functional collaboration, which improves the effectiveness of sales teams to hit their revenue goals.

Drive CRM Adoption with Groove

CRM adoption is a mission-critical initiative that should be treated strategically, inclusively, and with a seller’s mindset. Adoption accelerates naturally when used in conjunction with a sales engagement platform to automate activity capture and bring CRM data into a seller’s workflow. 

To learn more about how a sales engagement platform like Groove can maximize CRM adoption, request a demo

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