As companies look at different ways to improve their business and broaden their understanding/relationship with their customers the topic of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is going to come up at some point.
While this is correct, I've seen organisations make hefty investments in having these tools implemented, however, they spend a lot of time post-implementation battling with staff to make the CRM their daily driver and not getting the business intelligence they need, ultimately making this a wasted expense.
In this article, I discuss a four (4) reasons why CRM adoption rates are low and what can be done to fix them.
Lack of understanding
It's used to police and not coach staff
Overall company strategy
I don't understand why no one is using it - Senior Manager
1. Lack of understanding
I remember having a discussion with a past manager and he expressed his frustration with getting the team to start using the CRM as their daily driver. "I don't know what to do again," he said. "I've told them they need to start using it, but they do not listen."
Because I was part of the organisation at the time I shared with him that the biggest reason was the team's lack of understanding of what the CRM was and it's value to them, the department and the organisation.
The tool was just introduced as something we will be using, but no one ever really explained its value and how to use it. When introducing any tool especially ones as important as software its important to take the time to explain the benefits to all the stakeholders.
2. It's used to police and not coach staff
This one goes out to all managers that get excited when they realise a CRM gives the ability to monitor their sales team's members activity.
While this is good and has value for the organisation. I believe the approach to using the data to police and reprimand sales executives and not coach or mentor them is incorrect. No one wants to be policed or feel spied upon and as a result, they will not use the tool. Or, if they do use it, it will be for compliance reasons and not a commitment to getting better.
"All management wants to do is track us" - said Sales Executive
However, if managers, team leaders, head of sales, etc. take the time to use the data to understand team members shortcomings and coach them, then you would see an increase in adoption rates as the tool is being used to make staff better at what they do.
This can also have a positive impact on employee engagement, performance and overall performance.
3. Poor Integration
This point I'll like to encourage all C-Suite level executives to pay attention to as it's one of the most important parts of proper CRM implementation.
"Yeah, but that's their process, not ours!" - Department Head
Properly mapping out the processes from the sales, marketing and service/operations departments is vital in making sure that the implementation successful.
Vendors responsible for selling the CRM should take the time to meet with the stakeholders to understand their processes even looking at areas of inefficiencies/redundancy that the CRM can help improve/eliminate.
4. Overall Company Strategy
In most instances when we think Customer Relationship Management we think sales departments. However, CRM has to be something that is adopted by all departments.
What does this mean? This means marketing, sales, service, finance, operations, etc. has a role to play in improving or maintaining the level of the relationship between organisation and customer.
It's important that the CRM is used to help connect the dots between buyer and seller properly tracking that journey and the level of satisfaction a customer receives/experiences and not just how much was sold.
In conclusion, these reasons listed above are just four of the many different reasons that adoption rates are low in most organisations. It's our belief, however, that proper communication of the company's goals and objectives leading up to decision and implementation of the CRM is key in increasing the utilization rates and companies getting maximum return on investment.