Customer relationship management (CRM) systems have become vital in managing customer data, creating effective sales processes, and boosting sales team efficiency. However, one of the obstacles to implementing these crucial but advanced systems is a low CRM adoption rate from the team that needs to use it.

So, how do sales managers and their teams overcome this challenge? It all depends on the CRM system. Today’s online-centric sales landscape requires sales reps to adapt quickly to technological advancements in the software necessary to connect with customers and prospects. 

But improved technology sometimes comes with more complex interfaces, features, and tools that can be overwhelming for team members who would prefer to just get on with the job of selling. That’s why sourcing a user-friendly CRM, like Nutshell, designed to simplify the sales process is crucial for successful team adoption. 

This post uncovers some of the most effective strategies for increasing your team’s CRM adoption rate. But before we dive into those, let’s clarify what we mean by “CRM adoption” and take a closer look at some of the benefits associated with higher adoption rates.

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What does CRM adoption mean?

CRM adoption is the extent to which a company or individual accepts and uses an available CRM system. When we talk about a team’s CRM adoption rate, we’re referring to the percentage of team members using the CRM software compared to the total number of team members meant to utilize it or the number of licenses purchased.

When you bring a new CRM system into the fold, you aim for a high adoption rate to ensure teams maximize the value they get from it. CRM adoption can be a significant challenge for companies with inadequate training, tedious onboarding, complicated features, and resultant poor user experiences.

Why is a high CRM adoption rate beneficial?

Your team may have survived without a CRM system until now, and you may share some of the concerns of those reluctant to embrace the new software. However, there are numerous tangible benefits to a high CRM adoption rate you won’t want to ignore. 

In short, increased adoption rates can impact business growth and profitability significantly. And with the right CRM system in your arsenal, there’s a good chance adoption rates will soar.

Some of the core benefits of attaining a high CRM user adoption rate include:

  • Elevate your team’s efficiency: High CRM adoption ensures more team members automate manual tasks, saving time and making them more efficient sales reps.
  • Get ahead of the competition: When all team members utilize your modern CRM system, they leverage the latest in customer relationship management technology, putting them at a competitive advantage.
  • Place less strain on tech support: With improved adoption and increased experience using the software, your team will be less reliant on tech support for assistance with using their CRM.
  • Enhance customer experiences: When used to its full potential, teams can access better customer data and tools, allowing them to build stronger relationships through personalized messaging and brand experiences.
  • Improve data management and evaluation: Better CRM adoption gives your sales team a wealth of data and reports to help them sharpen their lead generation, targeting, and engagement strategies.
  • Communicate more effectively: Adapting to cutting-edge CRM systems allows for enhanced team collaboration and more effective customer and prospect communication, all from one platform.
  • Increase your bottom line: When CRM adoption is high, sales teams can improve sales processes, increase deals won, and improve the business’s overall revenue.

Potential CRM user adoption stumbling blocks

Implementing powerful CRM software within your organization can be a turning point for your sales team. When utilized properly, your team has all the tools needed to build unbeatable sales processes and create memorable customer experiences. 

However, poor technology adoption is common in the workplace and can be detrimental to your sales team and business success. It’s best to know the challenges you might face so that you can come up with possible strategies to overcome them.

These are the most common stumbling blocks sales managers face when incorporating new CRM software into their sales departments:

  • Reluctance to adapt: Some people resist change, worrying about whether they’ll have the skills to operate new complex systems or simply not giving the CRM much attention due to disinterest.
  • Insufficient training: Without sufficient training your team may fail to understand the CRM’s capabilities and how to use them effectively, leading to low CRM adoption rates.
  • Ineffective system integrations: Integrations can be tricky, and when they don’t work as expected, it can make operating on different platforms cumbersome for your team, leading them to drop the CRM and revert to the software they know.
  • Inaccurate data: It just takes one incorrect input to throw sales-related data and reports out of whack, which can affect trust in the system and reduce adoption rates.
  • Costly CRM systems: Companies with limited budgets may purchase CRM software but need more funds to implement it fully in terms of training and development, leading to a dip in adoption across teams.
  • Apprehension regarding security: Some businesses may be concerned about storing sensitive information on an unfamiliar system and whether the system can protect the data adequately, affecting CRM adoption rates.

A great CRM helps overcome these stumbling blocks

While there are several techniques you can employ to improve your adoption rates, which we’ll cover next, the path to overcoming these stumbling blocks begins with exceptional, easy-to-use CRM software.

Great CRMs exist, and sales teams across the globe love using them. Nutshell is one of those CRMs. It lays to rest some of the most common adoption hurdles faced by sales managers by offering the following:

  • Seamless integration with your favorite apps, bringing your new CRM into the fold with minimal disruption or learning curve
  • Unbeatable security to ensure your company and customer information is safe
  • Cutting-edge automation and intelligence tools to keep your data as accurate as possible
  • Affordable pricing so that businesses, startups, solopreneurs, and anyone who needs it has access to top-notch CRM software

As a result, teams find that getting up to speed with their new CRM system is a breeze, ensuring more than incredible adoption rates—sales teams actually enjoy using CRMs like Nutshell.

Looking for an easy-to-use CRM with all the features you need to boost sales?

Nutshell has what you’re looking for.

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12 best techniques for improving CRM adoption

Now that you know the benefits of strong CRM adoption and how to identify possible challenges, let’s delve deeper into strategies to influence and achieve a high CRM adoption rate.

1. Let your team know the benefits

Detailing the benefits of a new CRM system is a great way to get your team on board. Provide your team with a clear explanation of how CRM adoption will improve their productivity and growth, both personally and for the business.

2. Get users involved in the implementation

Bring your team in on discussions and decision-making before you settle on the ideal CRM system. Ensure each team member has the opportunity to provide input, making them an integral part of the CRM’s adoption success. Then, get them involved in the implementation process to ensure the best possible adoption rates.

3. Make the CRM user-friendly

Most CRM systems let you customize features to a certain extent. Where possible, tailor your new system to match your business’s current processes for easier team adoption. You can also look into simplifying processes using CRM tools and creating personalized experiences for team members to encourage higher adoption rates.

4. Give your team the training they need

Draw up a comprehensive training program to equip your team with the skills required to make the most of their CRM. Include information in different formats, such as video tutorials and in-person training, to make it easier for diverse teams to absorb the information. Bring in a dedicated support team member to help, particularly for the first month or two.

5. Make sure integrations run smoothly

Plan ahead to ensure your new CRM system integrates seamlessly with the other tools your sales team uses to execute their work. Reducing the risk of disruptions is a sure-fire way to increase interest and adoption of the new software. The integrations should also streamline your team’s workflow, making adoption easier.

6. Take advantage of CRM automation features

One of the best benefits of incorporating an up-to-date CRM into your sales department is that it allows you to automate admin-intensive and non-selling tasks. These automations help your team stay on track and reduce the time spent on administrative tasks, giving reps more time to focus on selling and building customer relationships.

7. Ensure hassle-free on-the-go collaboration

The best CRMs offer a mobile app allowing reps to track tasks, access data, receive notifications, and input information on the go. These apps also enable teams to collaborate and stay up to date on the latest leads and deals, regardless of where they are.

8. Leverage the power of peer advocacy

The reality is that there will likely be a group of team members who aren’t keen to learn or use a new system. To minimize resistance, you need a few CRM user adoption advocates to spearhead positive adoption within the team. While hiring staff to champion your new system can be effective, it’s often best, and less costly, to identify existing team members with influence to get the job done.

9. Share your success stories and wins

Even the best CRM implementation plans may still be met with skepticism from the odd team member. The best way to put those doubts to bed is to share CRM-related wins and success stories with your team as soon as they happen. This will reinforce the benefits of the software and should eventually get those outliers onboard, lifting your adoption rate to where it should be.

10. Maintain high adoption rates over the long term

Employing a sound CRM system and meticulous adoption plan now is fantastic. But what about five or 10 years from now, when your team could potentially double in size as the business expands? Invest in a flexible CRM capable of scaling with your business without any roadblocks to ensure your adoption rates remain high when your company grows.

11. Get a dedicated CRM manager

Depending on the size of your team, it may be helpful to appoint a dedicated CRM manager or supervisor to oversee all CRM adoption-related duties, such as offering additional, on-demand guidance, dealing with issues, and rolling out updates and the associated training. A designated CRM manager may help simplify the adoption process and make it easier for team members to use the software.

12. Make it an enjoyable experience

Turn your CRM adoption mission into a game to make the process more enjoyable and encourage higher adoption rates. Set up a friendly competition among your team members, rewarding them for reaching specific milestones in their CRM usage. This should motivate your sales reps to engage with the software and have fun at the same time.

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Crucial CRM adoption metrics

It’s helpful to keep an eye on a few important metrics to gauge your team’s adoption rate. You can group these metrics into three primary categories, namely:

  • Basic usage
  • Data quality
  • Performance

Each category includes several vital metrics you should track to determine whether your team has fully embraced the power of CRM or there’s still some resistance.

Team usage patterns

You could track any number of metrics to pinpoint how often your team uses the core features of your CRM system. But here are four central metrics you should definitely prioritize:

  • The percentage of your company’s total CRM subscription licenses in use
  • How many sales reps log into the CRM daily and monthly
  • How often those sales team members log in daily and monthly
  • The number of sales rep interactions per period and deal

Paying close attention to dips in these figures can help you identify where your team faces the most challenges when using the software. Your team may just need a little more training and guidance to overcome these challenges.

Input data quality

Getting your team to use the CRM is the first step. The next step is making sure they use it correctly. These are a few metrics to monitor to ensure that team input data quality is where it needs to be:

  • The accuracy of data captured through form fields
  • Lead capture channels and responsible parties
  • Information omitted from prospect records
  • Data missing from customer records
  • Expected close dates for leads in the pipeline

It’s best to do a thorough data quality check at least every two months, auditing records and data captured over the past 60 days.

Overall team performance

When team members are using the software and you’re confident the quality of the data they input is satisfactory, it’s time to assess whether the system is effective. If your team uses your CRM system correctly, you should see a marked improvement in their overall performance and efficiency when you check the following metrics:

  • The difference in pipeline growth from before to after CRM adoption
  • Whether pipeline stage and overall sales cycle times have improved since implementing your CRM
  • The amount of win rate growth experienced year-over-year
  • The type of activities and tasks undertaken by team members

If you notice an increase in performance since you integrated your CRM system into the sales process, it’s a sign that your CRM adoption rate is high.

Nutshell is the user-friendly CRM sales teams actually use

If you want a CRM system your sales team will actually want to use, look no further than Nutshell. We’ve designed our CRM with a specific focus on making team adoptions as easy as pecan pie. 

That’s why Nutshell is known worldwide as an easy-to-use CRM platform that helps teams simplify the sales process and deliver the best possible customer experiences. It’s also why our powerful CRM software is listed on G2 as one of the top 10 CRMs worldwide.

Choosing Nutshell is one of the best decisions you could make when aiming for high CRM adoption rates because it’s designed to be user-friendly, with an incredibly easy-to-navigate interface that our customers rave about. Plus, Nutshell is one of the most affordable CRM systems on the market.

Nutshell’s industry-leading CRM features

Our robust software provides your team with the latest in sales and marketing management software, including unparalleled features like:

  • Sales task automation: A host of options to automate non-selling tasks and streamline your team’s workflow
  • Analytics and reporting: Get the reports you need, when you need them, and in the format you prefer.
  • Email sync: Link your business email to your Nutshell account so you can send emails to customers and prospects directly from your CRM—everything stays in one place.
  • Web form builder: Design and embed custom forms from Nutshell onto your website and let Nutshell seamlessly capture incoming lead data.
  • Team collaboration: Communicate with your team using Nutshell’s team collaboration tools and make sure everyone stays in the loop to improve customer satisfaction.
  • Contact management: With Nutshell, your customer data is organized, centralized, and easy for anyone across your organization to find.
  • Pipeline management: Set up customized pipelines and take advantage of Nutshell’s attractive interface with multiple display and filtering options for easy pipeline management.
  • Lead attribution: Determine which channels bring in the most and best leads so you know where to focus your marketing efforts.
  • Email marketing: Use Nutshell’s email marketing tools to send drip email campaigns, newsletters, broadcasts, and more with professional templates to get you started.
  • Sales intelligence: Get the information you need to turn website visitors into leads and track competitor behavior with Nutshell’s sales intelligence tools.

If you’re ready to sign up with a CRM that’s easy for your team to adopt, give Nutshell a try. Sign up for a 14-day trial—it’s absolutely free, and there’s no credit card required. Alternatively, sit in on one of our scheduled 30-minute live demos to see Nutshell in action.

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The post 12 Proven Techniques for Improving Team CRM Adoption appeared first on Nutshell.