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CRM Adoption Rates Too Dismal? Here’s 5 Reasons Why and What to Do About It

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In recent years, the market for Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) has skyrocketed. This all can be attributed to one major infection point that occurred about 8 years ago when annual CRM usage spiked to 75% from 55%. Today, few tools are as ubiquitous to different organization as a solid CRM system. But why do companies even need CRM?

Well, most organizations rely on highly sophisticated customer relationship management tools for numerous functions. They help manage orders and revenue as well as manage business flows. Similarly, implementing these tools helps modernize sales processes and improve customer experience by empowering their sales teams. Thing is, almost every company is aware of how the right CRM tool can accelerate productivity and completely transform their sales workflow.   

Unfortunately, just investing in CRM alone doesn’t guarantee broad user adoption. According to research by CSO Insights, only 40% of businesses can claim a 90% and above CRM adoption rate. Reports by IBM place CRM adoption as low as 24% which equates to approximately $13B in annual wasted expenditure. This leaves a majority of businesses struggling to encourage similar system adoption. It’s safe to assume that implementing your CRM will not always lead to a success story. So, how do you turn the tables around?

Simple; by getting to the root cause of the problem – low user adoption. Veloxy’s done all the legwork to find the top reasons why CRM adoption rates are so low and how business leaders can go about tackling these issues.

5 Reasons CRM Rates are Too Dismal

1. Lack of User Centricity

Looking at most CRM platforms, they seem tailor made for business leaders and sales managers. In case you didn’t know it – this is no accident. Managers are the key decision makers when it comes to CRM purchase decisions. So in an effort to sign deals, suppliers tend to focus optimizing CRM features that are most applicable to decision makers. These include features pertaining pipeline visibility, reporting, and forecasting.

This results in ease of use being deprioritized ending in CRMs that are too cumbersome and not intuitive enough for reps to adopt. Unsurprisingly, the most common complaint among reps is that the CRMs are too time consuming. 71% of reps complain most of their time is spent in data entry. Naturally, this time expenditure drives many reps to avoid using CRMs with 79% of opportunity related data collected by reps never being entered in the CRM.

2. Sales People Want to Close Deals

Sales reps don’t segment data, build statistics or listen to what marketing is saying. They’re a busy and efficiency driven lot focused only on winning deals and exceeding quotas. Once they’re priorities are set, they only have time to listen to simple solutions. And yet the tool they’re asked to use on a daily basis wasn’t actually created with them in mind! So why would you be surprised if there’s low user adoption?

CRM Software is designed for managers and marketing teams that need visibility over activities. Salespeople on the other hand see it as a constraint which doesn’t really help them with their daily workflow. The CRM is often updated right before a sales meeting instead of when the reps are interacting with clients or prospecting. That’s why you’ll hear questions like, “Did you update the CRM?” instead of “Was the CRM helpful?”

3. Market Dominance

A lot of markets are quite concentrated. You’ll find a single company owning the lion’s share of a market for a given product or service. If we’re talking search engines, then Google is the big fish. If it’s beverages, then Coca-Cola and Pepsi have the market covered. Well, turns out that the CRM industry is no different. Here, salesforce is the clear dominating force. A whopping 1/3 of CRMs use Salesforce with only a few other giants combining with it to usurp 75% of the market share.

With such dominating power, many companies follow suit before realizing that the CRM isn’t exactly right for their needs. Challenging the status quo is never easy – especially not when the market dominance is unquestionable. Turning your back on behemoths like Salesforce takes a lot of faith. But it’s necessary if the system won’t satisfy all your professional needs. If you’re not satisfied with your current CRM, it’s smarter to rip the band aid off and find a better alternative. Or at least one that’s more suited to your organization’s needs.

4. Lack of Training

As opposed to investing heavily in training and customization processes, a lot of companies simply purchase a CRM and ask employees to figure things out on their own. As a result, employees focus on navigating their way through complex systems often overwhelmed by the number of features and new tech. After a while, most of them would rather resort to old method such as working with spreadsheets.

After all, they seem easier than navigating through the complicated, unchartered waters of CRMs. Even if a few companies take the initiative and develop solid training programs for their employees to boost adoption rates, there’s another challenge. Traditional system education methods are just not suited for the digital world anymore. They’ll only set your teams up for failure.

5. Status Quo's Good Enough

According to Horowitz’s book, innovations that only offer a less than 3x improvement are highly unlikely to motivate any adoption. His argument is that it new technology must offer a 10x improvement for people to find sufficient motivation to use it.

Despite low CRM adoption rates, approximately 75% of companies and businesses still intend to keep on utilizing their existing systems. This clearly shows that there are few products on the market offering credible and tangible improvements worthy of a 10x magnitude.

And that’s the problem; most companies are more than satisfied with the status quo. This adherence to a good enough mentality leads to companies missing out on other solutions. Solutions such as Salesforce that will give them a significant advantage over other dominant CRM providers.

How to Tackle Dismal CRM Rates

A. Demonstrate Software Value / Training

Demonstrating software value will not only solve the lack of user centricity, it will also bring your employees onboard from the get go. Your reps play the most significant role in successfully implementing CRMs. As such, the smartest thing to do would be involve them from the beginning of the implementation process while exhibiting how the new system works. Run everyone through the features and gain their perspective on the ideal CRM experience. They will help determine which applications and workflows will improve sales efficiency.

B. Act on User Feedback Regularly

Your employees and sales reps should always feel empowered to provide improvements and suggestions. If a tool or process is too complex, they need to know their inputs and opinions will be valued. This will keep them engaged and keep them invested in boosting the adoption rates. That’s why it’s vital for organizations to keep their finger on the pulse of the users by regularly collecting feedback and channeling it to make improvements.   

Conclusion on Dismal CRM Rates

CRM is a highly effective tool that need not be feared by salespeople. It organizes data and contacts based on a targeted group of customers and provide results that give ample direction to a business. It’s up to managers and business leaders to bring their sales teams in the fold and let them know how these systems can make their lives easier. However, it’s also equally important to pay attention to what users want. Give them a chance to voice any concerns and suggestions and before you know it, user adoption for new CRM will be off the charts.

If you need any help understanding, navigating and improving Salesforce CRM, make sure you get the right assistant tools. One of the best plugins for Salesforce is Veloxy. Veloxy takes all the work out of updating and navigating Saleforce so your teams can focus on more productive activities. Similarly, Veloxy Mobile lets your teams log activities on autopilot and get alerts out on the field from their phones. Get Veloxy today and watch your company’s CRM user adoption rates soar.   

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Samir Majumdar

Samir Majumdar

Samir is the CEO and Co-founder of Veloxy. After spending 20+ years creating corporate systems, boosting revenue, and eliminating inefficiencies, Samir started Veloxy to help sales professionals shorten sales cycles, accelerate pipelines, and close more deals.

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