Why do your salespeople hate your CRM?

CRM adoption: why aren't your sales reps using it?

Alexis Lecomte
9 February 2022 - 4 min reading
Updated May 29, 2024

One of the biggest problems in getting your teams to use CRM is getting them to accept it!

Sales managers are less aware of the drawbacks of such tools than people in the field, mainly because they are often involved in the selection process from the outset. Conversely, sales teams are rarely involved from the outset, which is often the first mistake when implementing a CRM.

Let's take a look at 5 factors holding back your sales force's adoption of CRM, and how to overcome them effectively.

Lack of consultation and involvement

Not involving your sales team in the process of adopting your future CRM is a major obstacle. As the first users and entry points for data, your sales people need to be involved.

Even the best analysis tool is useless without reliable data. So solving sales problems means solving management problems. Without data, your crm application is an empty shell.

This exclusion can lead to frustration and conflict. Adopting a CRM should be a cooperative effort, not a confrontation between management and the sales force. Inform your sales force of your intention to change CRM tools, and ask their opinion on the shortcomings of the current tool. To be effective, a CRM must be a team effort.

Consultation is therefore crucial to getting your teams on board with your new sales CRM. They need to see the added value. Make sure they share your vision, because without transparency, buy-in won't be guaranteed.

The perception of surveillance

Why do salespeople see CRM as a tool for keeping tabs on them?

Sales people are often perceived as autonomous individuals who value their freedom and are judged on their results. When a tool is introduced to increase their productivity, they may feel monitored and controlled.

How do you approach the notion of "flicage"?

The problem is often not the monitoring itself, but the lack of information sharing. A good CRM should help sales reps to reveal the challenges they face, and enable them to set achievable targets in full transparency.

Communication is the key to successful CRM adoption. Reassure them that the application is there to help and save them time, not to monitor them.

Changing habits

Sales people can be reluctant to change their established working methods for a number of reasons.

First of all, comfort. Your sales people have developed work routines and techniques that they find effective and familiar. Changing these habits can be perceived as a disruption to their comfort zone, and therefore destabilize them, prompting questions such as "Why should I change my habits?".

Which brings us to the second reason: uncertainty and fear of failure. The introduction of a new system, such as a new sales CRM, may raise fears about their ability to use it effectively, which could adversely affect their performance and results.

That's why you'll find certain profiles resistant to change. Generally speaking, people can be naturally resistant to change, especially if they don't immediately understand or see the benefits of the new system.

The most resistant to adopting new sales software will be those who perceive it as a waste of time. Learning and adapting to a new CRM can be seen as an initial waste of time, distracting sales staff from their core tasks, such as sales and customer relationship development.

To solve a collective problem, you need a collective response, and to avoid painful consequences, you need to change quickly. So allow time for change management.

This phase must be easy to understand and implement. The fewer questions the migration generates, the faster and more widely accepted it will be.

Stages of change management

  1. Preparing for change: Analyze the current situation and define a clear vision of change.
  2. Communication: Inform and engage all stakeholders.
  3. Training and support: Provide the necessary resources and support.
  4. Implementation: Implement changes gradually.
  5. Monitoring and evaluation: Measure progress and adjust strategies based on feedback.

To overcome these obstacles, it is crucial to clearly demonstrate the benefits of CRM, provide adequate and ongoing training, and create an environment of support and understanding during the transition phase.

Sales people don't understand the tool

Your sales team may not understand the tool for two main reasons: lack of perceived added value and tool complexity.

  • Unperceived added value: If your sales reps don't see the tangible benefits of CRM, they'll be less inclined to use it.
  • Complexity and lack of intuitiveness: CRMs can be perceived as too complicated or difficult to use.

How can you support your sales force in adopting CRM?

  1. Make time and forgive mistakes: Give sales staff time to get used to CRM. Be forgiving of initial mistakes, recognizing that learning takes time. You can't act on all the levers, but you can bring more serenity by supporting your teams with kindness.
  2. Supportive coaching: Support your teams proactively and positively. Encourage them by offering ongoing assistance and being understanding when faced with difficulties.
  3. Promote the benefits of CRM: Clearly communicate the concrete benefits of CRM for salespeople. Show how the tool can facilitate their work, improve their performance and simplify their daily tasks.
  4. Make your messages concrete: Make sure your messages are specific and directly linked to the needs of salespeople in the field. Use practical examples and testimonials to illustrate the benefits of CRM.
  5. Identify and use ambassadors: Find team members who are convinced of the benefits of CRM and who can positively influence their colleagues. These ambassadors can share their experience and enthusiasm, helping to reduce resistance to change. By mimicry, they will pass this milestone one after the other... and never under duress.

By following these steps, you can improve your sales reps' understanding and acceptance of CRM, facilitating smoother, more efficient adoption of the tool.

Lack of support

Supporting sales staff in their use of a CRM is essential to ensure its adoption and effectiveness. Without proper support and ongoing training, they can feel neglected and frustrated, which can lead to misuse of the tool.

Lack of support

Lack of support can manifest itself in the absence of quick answers to questions, a lack of teaching resources or a lack of follow-up after initial training.

To alleviate this problem, it's important to set up an internal contact person, who can be the CRM manager or sales director, to answer questions. What's more, when choosing your CRM, be sure to check that your subscription includes a dedicated support team as well as clear communication channels (such as a dedicated chat or e-mail address), and easily accessible online resources (guides, FAQs, webinars).

Lack of training

Insufficient training can lead to mistakes, and a feeling of helplessness and frustration among your sales team.

Often, initial training is too brief or too general, not sufficiently covering the specific needs of users. What's more, training sessions can be quickly forgotten without regular practice.

To improve training, it is essential to offer ongoing training sessions, adapted to different skill levels, and to provide opportunities for practical application.

At Sidely, we recommend that the operational team test the CRM software during the free trial period. Once they've explored all the functionalities, we organize a "kickoff" training session where our team answers all their questions. This makes the training more concrete and specific, because sales people see exactly what it's all about: it's neither theoretical nor vague for them.

In short: how do you get your sales force to buy into a new CRM?

An enlightened and collective choice that meets the needs of the field and then of the Sales Department, which must be accompanied by a rapid transition and long and benevolent support.

This article is also addressed to management who refuse to implement a CRM to their sales people even though they ask for it 😉

Sidely is the simple, mobile, implementation-free CRM/SFA that helps field sales people be more effective and fulfilled in their work. It helps management grow their brand or agency faster.

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