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Top 6 reasons sales reps do not engage with CRM systems

Today there are many options available to companies to manage their customers.

While every CRM claim to have all the fixes to customer management there is one thing for sure, almost all sales reps are allergic to data entry! Why do we find it so difficult to use a tool that’s supposedly customised to make our jobs easier and why do companies find it so difficult to implement the use of a CRM system? Here’s the top 6 issues.

  1. Most CRMs have two tier levels, for example leads and opportunities, to sales teams, every lead is an opportunity and every opportunity is a lead! Can you see where I am going here. Trying to log this separately into any CRM takes time to segregate in the system and in our heads! CRMs do not need to be that complicated! Think about the sales funnel we all relate to; everything is included there with the main differentiator being the progress and probability of converting to a sale.
  2. No matter how much information is entered, the senior teams will still need the same data in a different format! How many times have you spent hours updating the CRM to ensure accurate values and other information are entered only to be asked for a forecast or summary in excel or PowerPoint! Frustrating right, this is because often those colleagues who do not have a need to engage with the CRM do not understand the time it takes to manage that and to provide custom formats for their meetings. CRMs are getting closer to helping in accurate forecasting, but it is not there yet.
  3. The fear of being bombarded with questions on an opportunity that you have just entered for tracking and reminder purposes while others expect a detailed synopsis of the opportunity and the date for the PO before any real discussions have started.
  4. If they log it and lose it, will they be seen in a negative way by their boss or peers! Some reps that I know only log opportunities when they have a really good idea that they will win it. They do this for several reasons, the time spent on updating progress will be significantly reduced and their performance level could be viewed as more successful over their peers. What these reps are forgetting is that it takes a whole company to win a significant lead. There are many situations that occur that results in a lost opportunity, the key is to record and communicate it effectively.
  5. No one else in the organisation bothers to review or tries to understand the information in there. Many reps see CRMs as a waste of time, they are expected to input data to many fields and the only ones interested are themselves. This can be a major issue, if you are going to implement a CRM at least ensure that the stakeholder departments have access to the information and are encouraged to engage with it too.
  6. Some companies over integrate the CRMs into their business across many levels without full understanding or buy in from the various teams, when this happens, data entry becomes a monster as sales reps are generally expected to store in all information and tick all boxes even those outside of their remit.

I think there is a fundamental problem with how organisations view and try to incorporate CRMs.

CRMs should be renamed, they are not a customer relationship management tool, your sales reps, customer service people and other customer facing people within your organisation manage the relationships. CRMs are an opportunity management tool (OMT). It should be designed to support sales not to hinder them. The key functions should be to manage contacts, manage opportunities, drive sales through the sales process, assist sales to ensure no lead is unintentionally forgotten about. CRMS, need to forecast and deliver and report relevant performance indicators that can be easily exported to excel or PowerPoint for those times when the executive team request those alternative formats…

In subsequent blogs, I will be discussing “The Top KPIs for Your Sales Department” and “What is the most Important information for CRMs to store”