Sales reps hate CRM. They really, really do.
Go poll all of your sales reps, and you’ll find that the vast majority use it as little as possible. A CRM that’s used 100% of the time still isn’t particularly effective, so imagine how much good a CRM that’s only used 10% of the time can do. Not much good at all.
Why do sales reps hate CRM? We could get super nitpicky about every little “feature” that’s frustrating or difficult to use, but that would take almost as much time as adding a new account in CRM. Instead, let’s focus on some of the main distinguishing aspects of CRM that conflict with what sales reps need to succeed.
Check out this infographic for the short and sweet version, then read below for an in-depth analysis of CRM’s weaknesses and how to get past them.
Now that we’ve piqued your curiosity, here’s the more comprehensive analysis of why sales reps hate CRM:
CRM IS TIME-CONSUMING AND TEDIOUS
Think about the average sales rep’s personality and behaviors. Typically, sales reps are outgoing individuals who thrive on conversation and interaction with their customers. They’re doers, people who want to be in the thick of all the action where they can make concrete strides toward achieving their quotas.
Does that sound like someone who wants to spend a bunch of time typing contact details into forms? The unfortunate truth is that sales reps don’t spend the majority of their time actually selling. In fact, Sirius Decisions found that the average sales rep only spends 18% of their time interacting with customers and prospects. That’s only 7.2 hours a week, which leads to the question: what are they spending the other 32.8 hours doing? According to InsideSales, reps are spending an average of 7.5 minutes making notes after every single call!
Sales reps want a system that automates data entry as much as possible. For the data that can’t be automated, they want a system that makes it super easy to enter data. We’re not talking about adding a bunch of extra features onto CRM. The base functionality has to be intuitive. According to SalesLoft, 72% of CRM users would gladly trade all of CRM’s extra features for a CRM that’s easier to use.
CRM IS DESIGNED FOR MANAGEMENT
What do sales reps get out of CRM? A way to locate information about a particular prospect? Sure, but there are plenty of note keeping programs out there. A way to easily communicate with the customer? There are better options out there, I promise. A way to manage sales content and customize it for each customer? Not even close.
Prospects also gain little from CRM aside from the chance that sales reps will use it to enter information relevant to the customer’s needs. CRM doesn’t really help customers and sales reps communicate easily, nor does it provide prospects with an innovative or quick way to gain more insight about the vendor’s products.
The only people really benefiting from CRM are managers (and even then, CRM still falls short). According to CSO Insights, more than half of sales managers are measured on how well their team adopts CRM, with 11.6% of those managers also compensated based on that performance. Managers can take the data entered into CRM and use it for projections, pipeline forecasting, sales activity assessments and so forth. CRM becomes a tracking system to see what actions your sales reps are doing on a regular basis (assuming your sales reps are actually entering that data to begin with).
CRM IS PASSIVE
Having metrics for managers to use to set sales quotas, strategies for revenue increases and plans for training is a great help for businesses, but even there, CRM misses the mark. It has some data regarding selling activity, but it doesn’t have the predictive or prescriptive analytics functionality to use that data effectively.
There is nothing actionable about CRM. Unless you add on plugins or integrate with other platforms, CRM is simply a record keeper, a place to store data on the off chance that it might be needed when interacting with prospects. Sales reps simply don’t see the value in a record keeper (probably because the value for them is low).
Sales reps see value in tools that help them sell, and CRM doesn’t do that. It doesn’t suggest next steps to move a deal forward or remind them that the prime window for reaching an opportunity is about to close. Instead, it places the burden on the sales rep to create tasks or to-do items to remind themselves of something at a later date, and that means the reminders are only as good as the insight sales reps have at the time they create the task.
CRM IS A SILO
80% of companies give CRM access to the sales department, but that number drops below 50% for all other departments, according to research by Capterra. By isolating sales processes and opportunities from the rest of the organization, CRM is hindering departments’ ability to work together.
Even if businesses give access to all departments, CRM doesn’t capture enough data to be effectively leveraged across the entire organization. According to MHI Research Institute, only 23% of organizations believe their CRM system is highly effective for enabling collaboration across departments. If a business has visibility into how buyers respond to different pieces of sales materials, that data can be leveraged by marketing or sales support to improve the materials sent out by sales. And if sales is sending out more effective sales materials, they’ll be able to close more deals. Everybody wins… Except for customers relying solely on CRM.
OKAY, CRM ISN’T WORKING FOR MY BUSINESS. NOW WHAT?
Best-in-class companies are 115% more likely to integrate their CRM with other sales enablement technologies (Aberdeen). A sales enablement platform can build on CRM to provide sales reps with a tool they actually WANT to use, leverage analytics to guide sales reps in the activities most likely to close deals and give sales reps back more time to do what they do best: selling.
Let us show you how easy selling can be. Schedule a demo today to see how Accent Accelerate combines the best of CRM with new tools to revolutionize sales execution.