CRM Adoption: 10 Best Practices
CRM adoption comes with challenges. Implementing these best practices will increase CRM adoption and enable your business to fully benefit from an invaluable tool.
So your business has invested in an “all-singing, all-dancing” customer relationship management (CRM) system. Job done, right? While a CRM is vital to business success, It’s not easy to get 100% system adoption. Research shows only 40% of businesses claim a 90% CRM adoption rate, but there are ways to optimize it. Firstly, you need to understand what the barriers to adoption are.
When used correctly, a CRM system enables meaningful, informed, and efficient conversations — with both internal teams and customers — preventing duplication of effort.
It’s useful to liken this to another scenario. If you’ve ever had a medical issue, you’ll know that if a practitioner hasn’t read your medical notes in advance, you end up repeating the same conversations again and again. This repetition is both tiring and concerning. You question whether they understand your condition and whether their decision-making is informed. The same goes for clients. If a supplier is repeatedly qualifying the same points, not actioning requests promptly, or communicating irrelevant information — it demonstrates a lack of care and process.
Just like medical notes record interactions in minute detail, so too should a CRM system for your clients. Of course, this only works if everyone in your organization uses the system methodically and consistently.
CRM Adoption Challenges
In an ideal world, employees would pick up the new CRM technology as they go. However, this can lead to inconsistent usage and disengagement. We’ve all heard of the age-old saying “garbage in, garbage out” — and this is the danger of using a system without clear processes and stakeholder buy-in.
CRM adoption challenges include:
- Selecting the wrong CRM system for your organization
- Benefits of the CRM system not being understood
- Stakeholders not feeling involved
- Inadequate training
- Lack of a clear process
- Insufficient ongoing support
How can you break down these barriers and encourage high levels of CRM system adoption across your organization? Crucially, you must invest time and resources towards implementing CRM software. Fortunately, this effort will be repaid in the long run through efficiencies and improved customer satisfaction levels.
Top 10 Best Practices for CRM Adoption
Here are 10 of the top strategies for increasing your company’s CRM adoption rate:
1. Appoint a CRM guru
This person should be the main point of contact for all internal and external CRM system queries. Ideally, they will be familiar with setting up and running this type of software and understand the bottom-line benefits associated with doing so.
By having one person responsible for overseeing the rollout and adoption of the software, they will be able to capture a bird’s-eye view of the implementation and potentially work with a technical consultancy to help optimize on an ongoing basis.
2. Involve stakeholders early
The earlier you engage with employees when migrating to a new system or updating an existing system, the better. To ensure that people aren’t missing out on communications, it can be helpful to draw a stakeholder map and even document what each stakeholder group will require from a CRM system to help them realize their objectives.
3. Select the right system
If you’re looking to move to a new CRM system, research is essential. Using a prioritization system such as the MoSCoW technique can help identify the most important features of CRM software for your business.
MoSCoW is an acronym for the prioritization categories for features:
M = Must have
S = Should have
C = Could have
W = Won’t have
By allotting your company’s requirements into these categories, you can easily assess the plethora of CRM software solutions available to you. And by selecting the system most aligned with your requirements, you are more likely to achieve higher rates of CRM adoption.
4. Sell the sales team
There are many CRM solutions available, but choosing one that has sales teams front of mind is advantageous. Here at Mole Street, we have chosen to specialize in HubSpot — not least due to its remarkably intuitive user interface. The importance of ease of use should not be underestimated when it comes to sales team adoption. The less time required to navigate a CRM system, the more time there is to sell. Furthermore, with time-saving tools and automation, the HubSpot CRM is a worthy solution for any organization that values sales efficiency.
Here are just a few of the features that will reduce administrative tasks for the sales team and mean more time selling:
Visualize your sales process to predict revenue and identify selling roadblocks using deal pipelines and stages. While the feature comes with a pre-set pipeline with seven deal stages, companies can add, edit, or delete any stages to make salespeople’s jobs easier. This also ensures your company’s sales reporting is more specific to the organization.
For example, the default pipeline has Stage Three as “Presentation Scheduled” and Stage Four as “Decision Maker Bought-In.” Your sales team might determine it’s worth adding an extra stage in between these steps for “Presentation Held.” This ability to customize should give your sales team confidence, knowledge, and excitement from knowing their sales tool is setting them up for success while allowing for bespoke service.
Predictive lead scoring
HubSpot’s predictive lead scoring tool highlights the best-qualified leads for your sales team so that reps know who to prioritize first.
The tool uses machine learning based on criteria and behavior you deem valuable to assign a metric to each contact in your CRM. Sales leaders can work with the marketing team to determine which website page visits, points of their most recent visit, engagement with emails, and form submissions indicate purchasing behavior from leads.
Based on these factors, the lead scoring tool will quantify a prospect’s likelihood to close within the next 90 days to become a customer.
For a detailed walkthrough on how (and why) to use the lead scoring tool, have your reps watch this HubSpot Academy lesson on Understanding Lead Scoring.
Salespeople spend just 35% of their time actually selling. If researching prospects was automated or made simpler, reps could dedicate more hours of their workday to actually making the sale.
According to a report, 90% of more than 500 enterprise companies found that improved CRM adoption reduced sales cycle time and boosted sales rep productivity.
A quality CRM system will integrate with social selling tools such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which assists notably in the lead researching process.
Whittling down your prospects from a list of dozens or even hundreds of contacts and determining their purchasing intent is one of the more laborious and thankless parts of the job.
Salespeople want a solution to help them prioritize which leads are worth going after. Focusing the team on features such as this will help bring them onboard.
Not only does communication take up much of your sales reps’ days, but time spent thinking through communication also adds up. This happens when salespeople spend time and effort planning out what to say, how to say it, and when (or how often) to communicate to each individual prospect.
CRM tools such as sales email templates allow for a repeatable yet customizable process for reaching out to prospects with proven language. Salespeople can also leverage their own successful prompts and make customizations to the template.
Aside from sales outreach templates, the excellence of HubSpot’s features really shines in its automation tools — notably with sequences and workflows. These automated features in the HubSpot software literally remove the manual work for salespeople when it comes to timeliness of correspondence, seamlessly and naturally moving prospects through the funnel without the sales team having to set reminders.
Read More: Best Practices for Email Marketing Automation
5. Optimize workflows
Traditionally set up by the marketing team, workflows are marketing automation tools that funnel inbound leads to sales using increasingly product-focused emails. For example, once a contact fills out a form to download a content offer, that contact is enrolled in a workflow to show them similar content offers. This will be followed by customer case studies, and then followed by an invitation to speak to sales.
An optimized CRM system should be set up with automated sequences to reduce the manual elements of moving prospects down the sales funnel. By showing how this helps deliver high-intent prospects, key sales stakeholders will be convinced that embracing the system will help them meet their objectives.
6. Make reporting work for you
The ease of reporting with a CRM system is a notable benefit and will help save users time and energy. By training stakeholders in how to pull data relevant to their job roles, you are more likely to optimize CRM software adoption.
HubSpot provides more than 90 reports and the ability to build up to three dashboards. These tools give team members the power to collect and analyze metrics that matter the most to them and their teams. Some of the most popular features include funnel reports showing the progress of contacts moving through the pipeline and stage probability weighted forecast reports gauging the likelihood of hitting sales goals.
The richness and diversity of reporting options in your CRM system help sales leaders see into each team’s and rep’s performance, providing clarity while maintaining individual competitiveness.
7. Agree on process
A service level agreement (SLA) is used to ensure the expectations of separate parties are aligned. This can be internal between teams or external with clients. By confirming an internal SLA to ensure that everyone is using the CRM system in a consistent way, the quality and usability of the data can be vastly improved. In turn, this increases adoption of the system.
8. Customize training
Initial and ongoing CRM system training is essential for high levels of adoption. Some organizations set up training programs internally, but many appoint a CRM consultant to run training at regular intervals.
By tailoring training to different stakeholders, the benefits and relevant sections can be succinctly demonstrated without the need to sit through irrelevant elements. Indeed, with ongoing training, 68% of users on average will utilize the system more effectively.
9. Review regularly
Businesses and CRM systems evolve and develop, so the way you use your chosen software should, too. CRM systems will have a roadmap of features on the horizon that they plan to implement, and these up-and-coming features can offer further efficiencies for businesses — so make sure these opportunities don’t pass you by!
10. Monitor adoption
The only way to know if your CRM system is being used effectively is to measure adoption. By regularly reviewing what functions stakeholders are engaging with and how they are using them, you can assess the success of your training and development.
Tip: When adoption rates are low, keep coming back to the best practices listed above to see where improvements can be made.
Realize Higher CRM Adoption with Our Help
CRM software is a significant investment in a company’s operations and has the ability to make efficiencies and improve the customer journey. However, this is only possible if the system is integrated well from the start and regularly reviewed, helping optimize CRM adoption rates.
Mole Street is a certified Elite HubSpot Solutions Partner and we’d be happy to help your Sales team get up and running in an optimized way with HubSpot. We consult with organizations everyday to help Sales and Marketing departments connect seamlessly to generate a better ROI on marketing initiatives.
Ready to make the most out of your HubSpot software? Learn more about our programs and how our senior consultants can help your business thrive using HubSpot. Schedule a call to connect with us today.