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Why sales reps stop using CRM software.

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Your company has got a shiny new customer relationship management (CRM) system that is set to revolutionize how you work.

Your team has had their initial training on it, started playing around with it, and then month by month, they are using it less and less.

What happened? Why the decline in use?

This blog examines the 5 key reasons why sales reps stop using their CRM and gives you an action plan on how you can get them to start using it again.

5 reasons why sales reps stop using their CRM

1. Your CRM is too hard to use

A sales rep’s job is to sell and there are only so many hours to do that in between booking client meetings, traveling and sales preparation, so, if entering data into your CRM is too hard then they are highly unlikely to use it.

Of course, anything that gets in the way of them having time to make a sale is negative.

What can you do about this? You need to get to the core reason why they think your CRM is too hard to use, so ask them!

It’s then worth contacting your CRM provider for some further support. This could be in the form of booking them in for some refresher training or maybe sending them some how-to material such as a small document or keepsake which shows them how to do the CRM basics that they can store in their wallets or bags and refer to when they need a helping hand.

2. Your CRM is full of dirty data

A CRM system is only ever as good as the information that has been put in. It needs to be constantly updated to ensure that its users are getting the best experience.

Think of your CRM system like a car. You wouldn’t put diesel in a petrol engine, would you? The same goes for your data. Poor quality data can make your CRM system grind to a halt.

If the sales reps don’t trust the data in the system, then they are highly unlikely to use it and more likely to go back to using that trusty notepad and pen to record all of their customer interactions.

A good way to ensure that your CRM system is running as smoothly as possible is to give it a spring clean every so often.

It may be worth employing a CRM champion or, budget not willing, an intern every so often to sift through the system, crosscheck and make phone calls, ensuring the data in there is still accurate, e.g. email addresses, job titles – even that the employees are still working there.

3. Your sales reps don’t see the benefit of it

The make-up of a sales team is forever-changing, with that in mind how many of your sales team are new and weren’t on board when your CRM was implemented?

If they haven’t had the same initial training as other users, they’re less likely to see the advantage of using it, especially if it has any of the other 4 problems we mention in this blog.

A way to counter this is to have an internal CRM champion.

As well as maintaining the CRM, their job should be to train new employees on the system to make sure everyone gets the same consistent base knowledge.

They should not just talk about its features but also talk about the benefits of using it too whether this is more time to sell as a result of using it or less time spent searching for information.

The champion should then run checks to see if reps are filling out CRM as they should be.

Sound a bit big brother? Why not gamify or reward the process so that the CRM is viewed as a positive tool e.g. the person that’s filled in the most notes or the most prospects each month wins a prize.

4. Your CRM is just another thing for them to do

If your sales team just views your CRM as yet another pointless task then something is not right.

It should be that your CRM is essential for them to do their job.

It should replace excel sheets, word reports, diary records, Filofax records, etc.

Some CRMs even include document storage, so you can do away with your hard copy records altogether.

Your CRM shouldn’t be used alongside all these tools, it should replace them. If this isn’t the case, then maybe a culture change is needed in your company.

Your CRM should make a salesperson’s life easier so they have more time to sell and spend less time doing tedious jobs.

Some modern CRMs even include mobile app/cloud-based functionality so you can use the CRM when you are out and about, truly staying up-to-date with all of your prospects and accounts whilst on the road. 

5. Your CRM is out of date

It could be that the drop in usage is due to the CRM itself is out of date.

Have you got a lot of CRM fields that no one is using? Do you really need that ‘fax’ field to be filled in? The CRM you use should be constantly evolving so that old features are removed and new features with more benefits are being added all the time.

If you have an old out of date CRM that isn’t working for you it may be time to reinvest.

Software such as sales-i, is actually software as a service, meaning you subscribe and pay your fees for the CRM each year and not as an expensive ‘one off’. As a result, the software that you’re buying is not ‘static’ but is constantly evolving as the company that you are buying from wants to make sure that you renew your contract.

This means that new features are constantly offered, and you get the best support, etc.

Did you know that CRM systems have even moved on now so that they offer business intelligence too?

No longer are these systems just a place to store contact details and notes but they can also now link with your financial data to work for you and give you live data on what you’ve sold, what you haven’t sold, who’s stopped buying, who should be buying and who is buying one product but not it’s obvious to cross-sell partner.

sales-i is one such system, why not give it a try.

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