How to make your sales team use CRM

Bartosz Majewski in

Blog/B2B Sales Strategy/How to make your sales team use CRM

CRM can be a lifesaver, but it has a significant downside – someone need to fill in all these blank fields to keep it up to date. And we all know how it looks like in the trenches. Do you have problems with CRM adoption in your company? Or maybe with data correctness? Here is my advice on how to make your team keep CRM up to date.

First, look at the problem from the point of your salesmen. They were hired to generate the biggest number of sales they can. Filling in forms about customers takes up the time they could use to make more sales. It prevents them from working at maximum efficiency, which is frustrating, especially if they get money for every sale they make. You instruct them to generate many leads, penalize them if they fall behind, but at the same time you want them to focus on tasks which don’t lead to selling more products. I

When they are avoiding filling in these fields, they don’t do it out of ill will. They simply want to focus on what they are getting paid to do. So how to make your salesmen fill in CRM data, which will in future result in reports that will be useful mostly for you, but not for them?

Make Your Forms Faster to Fill In

Have you thought that your forms need to change? The fewer blanks your salesmen have to fill out, the more likely they are to properly fill data in CRM. Even one word less to type makes a difference in a year time. What information is essential varies depending on your industry, but whatever it is, you should analyse your CRM forms and get rid of everything that’s not necessary. If you work in a SaaS company, you might need only email addresses of your prospects. Collecting their phone numbers and street addresses may be unnecessary, at least until some point of the deal. You should do such reviews regularly, observe, and cut inessential fields from your CRM. Your sales team will thank you for that.

Integrate Your CRM with Other Software You Use

Save time of your salesmen automating the process of filling in the essential information. Integrate your CRM with other software you use and automatically export as much information as you can from them. Proper fields should be auto-filled with information provided by the prospect in a form on your website. Phone calls with leads should be recorded and automatically pinned in a right place of your CRM. It’s easiest when you are using VoIP or SIP to handle your conversations.

It’s also worth to integrate the CRM system with a calendar, which will not only save your team time, but may actually make their work easier by improving next contact scheduling.

Big portions of CRM fields could be filled this way. Remember that there should be a way for your salesmen to manually correct those imported data, as there is always a chance of an error during a transfer. Not having that possibility would be frustrating for your team and fatal for you when it will come to reporting.

Using a More Forceful Method

Show it in the CRM or it did’t happen. If your salesmen pay is commission-based, why not use the system as a way to prove a successful sale? This strict method should be put to use only when you are sure that your CRM is user-friendly or your team’s motivation will significantly fall.

Show Your Team The Bigger Picture

You can force your salesmen to put everything into the CRM, but this might lead to getting data swarming with errors. A better way is to show your team how through analysing the data their provide in the CRM, the company creates new strategies leading to more sales and more pay for them. Show how much money they can bring or lose based on this information. This method has a chance to make salesmen appreciate the existence of CRM and to improve your relationship with them. Most people are demotivated by a busywork they deem unnecessary. Show your salesmen that it’s not the case.

Adapting to New Technologies Might Be Difficult

In the case of your older employees, the problem with filling in CRM may be the fact that they are used to keeping everything in spreadsheets. For people accustomed to Excel, learning a new tool may be challenging. This problem can be solved with an extensive training.

If after making use of my advices, you still have problems with your employees not filling the CRM, then there are only two explanations. Either you failed at explaining its usefulness to your sales team or your system is not a good one. If your company is using its own CRM, then return to the drawing board to find ways to improve it. If, like most businesses, you are using a SaaS CRM, you should talk with your service provider about necessary changes to the software. Maybe you have chosen a provider who is not up to the task and you should consider switching to another CRM?

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Bartosz Majewski

Co-founder of RightHello. Ten years of experience in sales. Has executed business expansion into 38 markets on 6 continents. A regular speaker at business conferences. An active snowboarder outside of work. Avid book reader and blogger.

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