The CRM software market keeps growing in 2021. More and more companies are adopting CRM solutions to boost their business performance. But it turns out that not everyone is happy about this.

87% of salespeople say that their companies require them to use a CRM system to track their activities, but a whopping 78% admit that they only ‘check the boxes’.
[Super Office]

Although we live in the era of a rapid technological advancement, a lot of salespeople seem to have a problem with using CRM systems.

Some believe that CRM systems are unnecessary, while others don’t like the additional work associated with it. The thing is… On a number of occasions, these ‘challenges’ salespeople face aren’t real.

We’ve looked at the most common CRM myths that prevent salespeople from leveraging the benefits of CRM and decided to debunk them all and for once!

Old School vs New School: It’s Better to Just Use a Notebook

Challenge: ‘I’d much rather use a piece of paper to keep track of my leads’.

It might sound like an older generation problem, but, really, Millennials are no strangers to jotting their ideas down on paper, too.

There’s just something so soothing about a notebook. It’s always with you, you’ve known how to use one since you first learned how to write, and you can keep things informal. Finally, your notebook is a pleasure to look at (we’re all guilty of rooting for cute kittens on the cover a little too much). What’s not to like? Just pull it out wherever you are and scribble down anything you want.

In theory, this works just fine. In real life, however, a notebook will never be able to replace an advanced CRM system:

  • You can’t automate data entry. The only way to be making notes in a notebook is to enter your data manually. This is often associated with data gaps as there will always be circumstances that are out of your control that can prevent you from recording every piece of information about your leads.
  • It’s difficult to keep your data in order. Even if you’re a highly disciplined salesperson and have a dedicated notebook instead of using a pile of papers, there’s still a high chance that you’ll be able to keep track of all of your entries, which can result in double-entries and lead to a lower quality of the data.
  • It takes a lot of time to find the appropriate record. You can’t just CTRL+F your way to the lead you’re interested in.
  • It’s impossible to work collaboratively. It’s your personal notes that only you have access to. Sounds great, right? It does, until it doesn’t.
  • It’s not scalable. There are only so many pages a notebook can have. If you’re only dealing with 10 leads at a time, paper is superb. But if you have to keep track of hundreds and thousands of leads, a notebook no longer sounds that appealing.

The only advantage notebooks have is their mobility. You can jot down whatever you want wherever you are. But even that isn’t a reason to dump CRMs.

Almost all modern CRM systems offer mobile access and even have mobile apps for you to always have access to your database, even if you’re on the go.

CRM Is Way Too Complex

Challenge: ‘I’m a salesperson, not a computer guy. How do you expect me to wrap my head around all this technology?’

This ‘challenge’ and the previous one go hand in hand with each other - a lot of salespeople prefer other things to a CRM system because they simply can’t be asked to learn how to work it. A lot of them perceive a CRM system as a complicated and straight up scary piece of technology that requires months if not years of experience and prior knowledge to master. Their argument is that a tool with such a diverse functionality can’t be simple in its essence.

The truth is, you don’t have to be a computer genius or even a particularly tech-savvy person to wrap your head around how to use a CRM. Almost all modern CRM software is very straightforward and user-friendly, so you shouldn’t be afraid of not understanding how to perform a certain task.

However, it would be bare rude to just dispose of this myth without breaking it down first and addressing a couple of ambiguous details.

If you feel like you don’t want to use CRM because it’s too complex to operate, you need to answer the following questions:

  • Do I have a solid understanding of how everything works?
  • Do I know what every feature does?
    Am I satisfied with the actions I need to take to complete a task in the CRM?
  • Do I have anyone to talk to in case I need help with the CRM?

If you answered ‘NO’ to any of the above, it could be that your management isn’t on track with the CRM implementation process.

CRM systems aren’t difficult at all. If you think they are, it could be a signal that:

  • You require better training and/more support.
  • The CRM your company is using isn’t suitable for the business.
  • The CRM system was poorly customised during the initial implementation.

All of these can be easily fixed through a simple conversation with your company’s management. Ask for better training, an in-house CRM expert to help you out, or simply voice out your concerns about mismatched software. It’s one of the few occasions when you can actually hate the player and not the game.

CRM Is a Time Stealer

Challenge: ‘Using a CRM system takes up too much of my time without any direct benefit from doing so for me’.

The whole point of employing technology is to minimise the time spent on carrying out tasks manually. The idea behind implementing a CRM system is to streamline the sales process and, therefore, spare more time to spend on the tasks that require human attention and creativity.

That’s where we have a problem. A lot of salespeople complain about the fact that they spend too much time entering data into a CRM, and this distracts them from the actual selling.

According to Super Office, this isn’t the case at all:

How salespeople spend their time
Source: SuperOffice

Besides, these days, most CRM systems allow you to automate all the processes, including data entry.

CRM Is Only Good for Storing Data

Challenge: ‘I don’t see why I need to use a CRM system. It has no value besides keeping a log of leads’.

We’ve already established that you don’t have to waste a lot of time to stay on track with updating the CRM system. If you know the right tips and tricks, you can easily automate the process and minimise the time spent completing mundane tasks. But is there even a point in learning the tricks mentioned above? Surely, it would be more efficient to set up a good old spreadsheet and call it a day. After all, CRM is just a fancy database.

That’s where you’re wrong, my friend! You, and thousands of other salespeople who don’t understand the benefits of having a CRM system in place.

While CRM software is, indeed, amazing for storing information about leads, it has plenty of other uses, too. Some of the biggest benefits of using a CRM system for a salesperson are:

  • More accurate targeting allows for better sales.
    CRM software makes it significantly easier to organise your leads into categories and appeal to them, respectively. Segmented data allows you to identify valuable opportunities via criteria based selections.
  • It helps to maximise sales efficiency.
    You can easily prioritise specific leads over others based on their buyer behaviour. If you see a communication gap, you should attend to them as soon as possible to revive your connection and seal the deal. Modern CRM software is capable of capturing and computing critical decision-making data.
  • It allows staying on track with your schedule.
    Apart from being a sales tool, CRM is also a great piece of technology to enable teamwork. Thanks to its numerous teamwork features such as shared calendars and email integrations, CRM software provides salespeople with an opportunity to communicate and collaborate. Besides, having access to the company’s sales insights and processes allows salespeople to determine which approach works best for which types of customers and, therefore, optimise their selling practices to increase profitability.
  • It compiles reports automatically.
    Instead of wasting your time pulling information about the sales you’ve made, and the ones you have not. Most modern CRMs provide its users with an option to automatically compute a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly report. That way you can create a transparent report to inform your management about what sales are currently in process in a couple of clicks.
  • It simplifies lead generation.
    This benefit could be a little bit of a far stretch, but it’s true in reality. Granted that you have a full history of your communication with all the leads in your sales pipeline, you can easily identify those who are likely to help you out with referral clients. Replace cold calling with approaching your old satisfied customers and enjoy an increase in sales.
  • It’s great for analytics.
    Most CRM tools allow its users to analyse their performance to understand better which practices work and which don’t.  

All in all, CRM is a multifaceted tool that can be more than just a repository for your contacts. By mixing and matching its various features, you can generate more sales and close the existing ones quicker.

CRM Is a Tool for Management But Not for Salespeople

Challenge: ‘I feel like I’m being spied on’.

Lack of freedom is, by far, the most frustrating thing salespeople admit to face when forced to use a CRM.

A lot of forums and professional discussions on the internet talk about the ‘Big Brother’ effect that the implementation of a CRM system has. Salespeople commonly feel like they’re being watched at all times. Some of them even argue that CRM is a tool for management to spy on them and not the actual salespeople:

‘Managers can see if I’m meeting my quotas and if I’m not, they just keep nagging me about my work. What they don’t realise is that selling is not a linear process.’

While there’s definitely sense in these words, The Big Brother effect is more of a myth rather than an actual problem. Big Brother is not really watching. Managers can turn to the CRM system to get reports and draw some data to analyse, but usually it’s done to spot the trends, identify the ways to shorten the sales cycle, and see the overall pace at which the business is growing.

Besides, we’ve already discussed the benefits of CRM systems for salespeople, which makes it clear that salespeople can, and should, use this tool for their advantage.

Low Data Quality

Challenge: ‘CRM data quality is really low, and there’s no way anyone can change that’.

Data is the most valuable asset of any salesperson. So it’s in their best interest to keep it as relevant, as complete and as accurate as possible.

According to a lot of sales rep, the aforementioned is often too difficult when using a CRM. Many of them complain about the CRM data being incomplete, and there being too many duplicates. In fact, they’re desperate and believe they hit a dead end here.

Happy to announce that this is false information!

These days, all the best CRM software offers a duplicate detection mechanism that spots duplicates and merges them together to allow for the highest quality data. On top of that, it’s also possible to automate lead capturing to eliminate the human factor and ensure the data you enter into the CRM is as complete as possible.

The latter fixes the data inconsistency problem, too. Since the importance of the information obtained about the lead is subjective and is determined by the sales rep themselves, a lot of important pieces of info get lost when recorded outside of the CRM or simply deemed too insignificant to make a note of. In fact, when entered manually, only 40% of data about leads would actually get recorded in a CRM.

In order to maximise the quality of your data, you need to make sure that every little detail is recorded and available upon request. Automating the process with the help of a CRM definitely does the job.

There’s Too Much Tab Switcharoo

Challenge: ‘I use a different system for communicating with leads, and I can’t be asked to keep moving back and forth between this system and the CRM to enter data. It’s just too much’.

Sometimes, the reason why data doesn’t get recorded is because sales reps don’t have the energy to keep switching between different tabs and windows to make a record about their latest interaction with the lead.

However, it’s merely an excuse rather than an actual problem. The CRM software market is vast nowadays, which means it offers a lot of different niche options. You can easily find a CRM system (or a web extension) to make the lead capturing process as smooth as possible.

For example, if your primary lead generation source is Gmail, you could opt for a Gmail-integrated CRM system and update your records from within your inbox. Similarly, if you’re a LinkedIn lead generation adept, you should look for a CRM that integrates with LinkedIn.

If you are both… Just give NetHunt a try!

It’s Difficult to Keep Data Secure

Challenge: ‘I feel conscious about the data I put into the CRM system because I can’t guarantee its security. What if someone steals it?’

Finally, salespeople are known to be fairly protective of their leads. Fair enough, their commission depends on those, and it could be a real shame if they got stolen. That’s why when it comes to CRM systems, a lot of salespeople are wary of using those because they don’t know what’s happening to their data and who’s responsible for its safety.

The two most important questions that interest salespeople are:

  • Who owns the data?
  • Can my data be sold or used by others?

The answer is straightforward: you and the company associated with you are the sole owners of the data you enter into a CRM system. Service providers can’t legally use or distribute the data you put into the CRM, and are meant to protect it from security breaches.

Sometimes, you just need to look at your enemy from a different perspective for them to become your dearest friend. So, if you’re a salesperson who’s yet to discover the bliss a CRM system is, don’t wait any longer and hop on the bandwagon!

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