5 Ways to Drive CRM Adoption & Maximize Your Sales Tech Investments

By Lindsey Tishgart | July 18, 2023

Unlike in the movie Field of Dreams, when it comes to Customer Relationship Management (CRM), year after year, users have proven, “if you build it, they won’t (necessarily) come.” CRMs are known as the lifeblood of  every sales organization. The dollars and time invested by admins and ops teams is significant — and yet, nearly every organization struggles with CRM adoption amongst their sellers. 

Sure sellers will login. But getting them to use CRMs consistently is a huge challenge. The question is why, and more importantly, how do we fix it.

Let’s start with the why: 

The CRM market is massive, projected to grow from $71.06 billion in 2023 to $157.53 billion by 2030. Ninety-one percent of companies with 10 or more employees invest in a CRM tool. However, despite the sizable financial commitments organizations allocate to their CRMs, it’s a tool that’s failing sales teams and one that B2B organizations constantly struggle to maximize the value of. There are myriad possible reasons for this. Seventeen percent of businesses say that manual data entry is their biggest challenge in using their current CRM, and another 17% say that a lack of integration is their biggest challenge. 

The reality — CRMs were built for sales leaders and revenue back office managers — not for sellers. Instead of helping sellers do their jobs more effectively, sellers often view CRMs as barriers to doing their jobs. Gartner estimates that only 10%-20% of sellers use legacy technologies like CRM daily, compared to seller-first tech which they estimate 60% of sellers use daily. As a result, CRM data is often flawed, outdated and incomplete. Too often CRM data isn’t trusted, leaving revenue teams with more questions than answers.

And now to the how: 

Year after year, improving CRM adoption rates is a top priority for sales management and sales ops. Often they attempt many “quick fixes” but most don’t look at CRM challenges from the proper lens and fail to improve CRM adoption.

It’s 2023. Today we have the technology to ensure CRMs are used effectively to drive company strategy and revenue growth. It’s finally time to solve the challenge once and for all. First it’s important to get alignment on what CRM adoption truly is, and what it is not.

CRM Adoption is NOT simply counting log-ins. That would be like getting in your car, but never turning on the ignition or driving to your destination. Ultimately, what’s the point?

CRM Adoption is also NOT C-level mandates, having admins enter data or inputting information only to make a rep eligible to collect their commission. While slightly better than the first scenario, users are still only adding the minimum amount of information necessary and they are doing it after the deals cycles are complete—so there is no impact on the deal, no visibility for forecasting or pipeline management, and very few details that will help in the future around customer success and renewals. Here, you’ve started the car and are in motion, but you’re stuck in traffic jams, wasting time without improving the outcome.

To get the most value out of your CRM investments, CRM Adoption should be judged based on consistent interactions that deliver value back to the user—most often the rep. To improve adoption organizations need to make their CRM work for sellers – it needs to be trusted, easily accessible, intuitive, ultimately helping them win deals.

This means not just serving as a repository where reps manually input, store data or run reports, but rather a tool that understands what’s already there, what’s missing and how it all works together—then provides sellers with valuable information on how and when to engage the deals they’re working, or deals they should be working.

This definition runs counter to many of the tips that have been shared for many years, but the reality is more training, more mandates and more forms aren’t going to work. Instead, to get more out of your CRM and ensure your sales team truly adopts it you should:

When the data is accurate and complete, your CRM starts working for your sellers—rather than them working for it. It’s like getting in your car and taking the most efficient route to your destination, as your car makes recommendations to you about things you can do on the way to make your life easier. No surprise traffic, construction or detours, and helpful recommendations to make the trip as effective as possible and save time.

Ready to get started? Request a demo and let Mediafly help you make the most of your CRM investment and increase CRM Adoption with embedded actions, content designed to work with data on what we know works for each buyer persona, and trusted insights from every buyer interaction that will help sellers move deals forward right from your CRM.

If you want to learn more about CRM adoption check out “CRM in a Hybrid Selling Environment: How to Increase Adoption to Maximize Your Sales Effectiveness” on our website!

Lindsey is a senior marketing leader with a passion for creating highly engaging brand experiences through storytelling, digital marketing, design, product and events. She joined Mediafly through the acquisition of InsightSquared where she served as CMO. Her 20+ year career spans multiple industries and disciplines from startups to Fortune 500, SaaS to live music and entertainment.

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