A customer relationship management system (CRM) has the potential to boost any business, providing it with precise, organized data about clients and standardized processes. However, it’s not always easy to adopt CRM in day-to-day work.

Sometimes, your colleagues might simply forget to use a CRM system; maybe they just don’t want to do it. This leads to error-prone information, disorganised client databases, and messy working processes. Since you invested in a CRM system, it’s understandable that you want your teammates and employees to use it.

In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to increase CRM adoption by your employees and colleagues.

Opt for an easy-to-use CRM

The CRM industry is large, thriving with so many CRM options available out there. In 2020, stats estimated the overall CRM market size at $43.7 billion. The study also suggests that 91% of companies with more than ten employees use CRM in their daily workflows.

Before you decide on a CRM, you need to understand which one you will opt for. There are cloud-based and server-based solutions, plus you can choose a Gmail-integrated CRM or a standalone version. Do you use LinkedIn for lead generation? Reporting and analytics are essential. Web forms! The list goes on.

Different CRMs have different features, so you need to consider which ones you need and choose the easiest-to-use-and-implement software. If you opted for a CRM with too many features, it would be hard for your employees to get started. You need to make sure the tool you are planning to use is intuitively clear, easy, and perfectly equipped for the teams’ day-to-day.

Here is a list of standard features for a CRM system...

  • Data import from existing data storage solutions
  • Sales reporting and analytics
  • Modular design for system customization
  • Multiple sales pipelines and deal views
  • Team performance statistics
  • Essential CRM integrations; both native and third-party hosted
  • Sales automation workflow builder
  • Team task management
  • Email marketing functionality
  • Bulk email campaign features; mail merge, segmentation, and unlimited send.
  • Mobile apps; Android and iOS

Share the CRM advantages

If your employees are used to working with spreadsheets, it could be difficult to change their minds about CRM quickly. They might see new software as something added to their daily tasks, making their lives harder. You need to show them that actually, a CRM system will take some of their work from them as it helps automate various workflows.

Automate CRM notifications on different communication platforms
Slack is a business communication tool. It offers loads of IRC-style features like chat rooms organised by topic, private groups, and direct messaging. Workflows by NetHunt CRM can directly communicate with Slack through webhooks, alerting you either through a private channel or in a group channel. Webhook notifications are also available for Google Chat and through email. Go read the article about it!

A list of other benefits a CRM brings to your business might be...

  • More time to focus on other tasks due to sales automation of mundane tasks
  • Quicker workflow thanks to the organized database with clients’ information
  • Visible progress with your sales processes thanks to a sales pipeline
  • Make more profit by turning leads into customers quicker and more easily
  • See how effective your performance is with sales reports and analytics

Speak to your sales team and persuade them that a CRM system has so many advantages to take their workflow to the next level. Hold a presentation to show them how to use the system to make their lives easier. With a list of the clear and obvious advantages for CRM prepared, you can’t lose!

Appoint a CRM manager

A CRM manager is the person that makes sure CRM adoption and implementation is smooth. They oversee the CRM processes in place, helping a team work with CRM effectively. They build customer profiles based on CRM data; they coordinate the work of sales and marketing teams in CRM, aligning them and giving them access to the same data for a seamless customer experience.

A list of responsibilities of a CRM manager might be...

  • Creating workflows in a CRM system
  • Tracking analytics to monitor progress
  • Updating accounts in the system
  • Making sure your sales pipeline works
  • Suggesting new approaches to your customers

You could hire a brand-new CRM-specialist for this position, who has experience with CRM adoption. You could offer the position to one of your existing employees who are good with your CRM and use it on a daily basis. In that case, it would be more of a CRM ambassador.

Either way, a CRM manager should be highly personable, creative, analytical, responsible, educated, and experienced.

Write a guide and train your employees

Create a folder in the shared drive with different guides about how to use CRM to its full potential. Any time an end-up user has questions or hurdles, they can check up the guide and find the answers. Develop a library of different workflow templates to improve their processes. Laminate a list of CRM FAQs and answers for them to refer to.

Let the guide be their source of information on which data they need to work with in CRM.

It’s natural to be overwhelmed by the thought of needing to get used to something new in their working routine. It’s crucial to hold training sessions to show them that the CRM is here to help them, not make their lives harder. Train employees to use CRM in several short sessions and hold workshops to show them how to use new features. Oh, and always, always CRM-onboard new employees!

At NetHunt CRM, we use internal guides to make our lives easier. Our marketing team has a library of product screenshots. We use them to write articles and video scripts for different automatic processes workflows which are divided into subcategories so we can find what we need. We’ve also written a style guide so our message is standard across the team!

If you need inspiration for your next training session...

Our product experts write articles for our Help Center where it’s possible to find all the information on different NetHunt features. What’s more, we host a YouTube channel with simple and informative videos about how to use the product. Help yourself!

Here are tips and the checklist for successful onboarding of a new sales hire.

Gamify your CRM system

Sales gamification is the process of turning sales into a fun game. This is a strategy that helps gamify sales metrics to create friendly competition between sales representatives. They are usually competitive people, so sales gamification can really get them motivated!

"87% of employees say gamification does make them more productive"

Source: Bravon

Of course, where there’s competition, there is reward for the winner! Hold a sales gamification winning ceremony in weekly meetings and award a prize to the winners to motivate other employees. You’d be surprised at how excited a sales team can get over the smallest prize.

To encourage adoption, gamify metrics that can only be tracked in a CRM system. This way, sales representatives don't have an option but to look in the CRM system to find the metrics that matter.

Automate sales team processes

One of the best things about a CRM system in place is that it automates sales. Sales automation is delegating manual sales tasks to CRM so that your sales representatives can work with more important things like closing deals. Make your salespeople's lives easier and implement sales automation with the help of a CRM system.

For example, a CRM system helps automate lead generation. Without CRM, you’d have to collect all the data manually and type it into Spreadsheets or similar tools. With CRM, lead generation happens automatically through a variety of channels.

In NetHunt CRM, you can use web forms to automatically collect data for website leads before sending them down the same sales funnel. This screenshot shows a web form lead being generated in NetHunt CRM, before receiving a pre-set welcoming drip campaign.

Web form lead generation to automatic dip campaign in Workflows by NetHunt CRM

With sales automation in place, your sales reps will spend less time on manual tasks, enjoy their job more now that they are focused on more creative things, get more tasks done, and have time for an occasional cup of tea.

Key takeaways

  • Choose an easy-to-use CRM to increase its adoption
  • Convince employees with advantages they will get if they use CRM
  • For better CRM adoption, appoint a CRM manager
  • Create a guide for your employees they can look at when necessary
  • Train your employees for better CRM adoption
  • Reward those who actually use your CRM system
  • Automate sales processes to free your salespeople from mundane tasks

Don’t have a sales CRM system yet? Try NetHunt CRM for 14 days for free. We have different subscription plans for companies, so you can choose something that really suits your needs.

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