Why Your Field Sales Team Hates Your CRM (And How To Change Their Minds)

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As a business owner or executive, you already recognize the value that customer relationship manager (CRM) technology delivers to your company. When properly utilized, your CRM’s data storage capabilities can elevate several important client-facing components such as customer communication, buyer engagement, and overall levels of service. Internally, an innovative CRM system yields a multitude of benefits as well. Your system should automate mission-critical tasks, help generate leads, improve data analytics and reporting, and optimize efficiencies across your organization.

With so many proven advantages, a CRM should be a welcome addition to your business’ internal technology arsenal. However, while your marketing, management, and back office teams may sing the system’s praises, you may find one department staunchly united in their mutual aversion for your new resource: sales. Why? While no two sellers are alike, there are a few common reasons why you may find your sellers dragging their feet to embrace your CRM including:

No Buy-In (aka No One Likes Being Told What To Do)

Business owners, thrilled about the extensive benefits of a CRM, often purchase a product without consulting their end users during the selection process. As a result, your account executives may dig in their collective heels and resist what feels like a forced solution from management, especially if they believe their current approach is yielding results.

Change Is Hard

Let’s face it; change can be challenging for everyone in your organization who already has a preferred method and process for doing, well, everything. However, for salespeople tasked with hitting monthly and quarterly numbers, taking time off of the phone to learn the intricacies of a new system can prove overwhelming.

Sharing Is Even Harder

Your sellers have worked hard to establish their client relationships and industry networks, which can make some of them a smidge hard-pressed to share with other account executives in the office. Uploading the details of conversations and potential leads into a system that’s easily viewed by others can be a major deterrent.

The Dreaded Data Entry Time Waste

Salespeople automatically assume that the new system will require them to enter far more customer information into the platform than they usually do. This is especially true if their current method falls less into “state-of-the data capture” group and more into the “handwritten notes and post-its” category.

Big Brother Concern

Many salespeople believe the CRM is not necessarily a tool for driving revenue, but a way for management to monitor those responsible for driving revenue. Worried about the C-level staff tracking their every call, email, and conversation, they may opt not to enter in any data at all.

No Support

Technology is amazing, but as with any complex resource, there’s a learning curve. Even highly motivated reps will abandon the process if they start to feel frustrated with the system and feel like there’s no designated support to walk them through the process when they need it.

Help Your Sellers See The Value In Your CRM Technology

Fortunately, it is possible to dial down CRM antipathy from your sales team. The first step in a successful transition? Consult with your account executives throughout the process to not only get the team’s buy-in but also to pinpoint the features that will resonate most with them so you can customize the technology to address their specific needs and resolve their unique pain points. Also, as you consider various options, look for a data capture platform that’s innovative, yet intuitive enough to ensure a user-friendly design that reduces training sessions and overall time spent acclimating to new technology.

Once the system is implemented, designate support personnel and resources, so everyone on the team knows where to go to get answers to questions and minimize general frustration levels.

Finally, reassure your team that the system is, in fact, a sales tool and not a way for management to redistribute their accounts or monitor every contact and activity. Demonstrate the value of the CRM and celebrate every selling victory it helps your company realize to encourage your reps to keep the system current.

In return, a robust, updated system will help optimize efficiencies, grow pipelines, and achieve the ultimate CRM objective: more closed deals.


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