improve CRM adoption

Improve CRM Adoption by Overcoming Your Sales Team’s Objections

You’ve realized your company needs CRM software, but your sales team isn’t sold on the idea. They have years — even decades — of experience managing customer relationships without it, and they’re understandably skeptical. CRM adoption is far from consistent: less than half of companies claim a CRM user adoption rate of 90% or higher, according to G2. 

Here are some of the most common pain points you may hear from your team and how to respond. 

5 CRM User Adoption Challenges

The desire to maintain the status quo

Change is daunting for most of us on some level because we tend to overestimate what we believe we’re giving up and underestimate what we’ll gain in return. Human nature gravitates toward what’s familiar and fears the unknown. Some of your sales reps may also have firsthand experience with a failed CRM implementation or another technology that overpromised and underdelivered. 

That’s why it’s important to focus on what your entire organization will gain by using a CRM system to improve sales, marketing, operations, and customer support. Present them with a vision of what success looks like when everyone has full visibility into your best opportunities and the technology to act on them efficiently. 

How would it change sales conversations (and your company’s trajectory) if your reps could easily see which accounts are most profitable and which products are your best sellers? 

Fear of being micromanaged

One of the biggest benefits of CRM tools is improved transparency, which is likely appealing to your executive team but may make some of your sales reps uncomfortable. They believe increased visibility will lead to increased oversight, a greater emphasis on sales performance metrics, and possibly even a threat to their job if they aren’t meeting their targets. 

While accountability is critical, remind your team it’s a two-way street. 

You have a responsibility to help them set realistic goals and support them just as much as they should be accountable to achieving those goals. A CRM with built-in business intelligence can help you set more accurate sales forecasts and empower your entire team to support your sales reps. 

Inside sales reps can record notes from individual contacts that may be connected to a larger account. Customer service reps can log interactions and follow up with tasks assigned to them so nothing is missed. Your accounting team can easily see outstanding invoices and address them quickly. 

Consistent CRM usage isn’t about tracking your sales team’s every move, but improving accountability and collaboration across your entire company. 

Inability to find what they need fast

Many CRM software solutions have evolved to become overly complex, including features that may not be relevant for distributors. This can create an overly complicated user experience, making it more likely that frustrated sales reps or marketing managers will stop using them. 

A CRM tailored for distributors and integrated with your ERP includes the most relevant insights your sales team needs to see at their fingertips. 

Rather than requiring them to compile reports from several different systems, it brings all the essential information to the surface in a single screen. 

With easy access to customer scorecards, your sales team can see everything they need to have the most profitable conversations with each customer they work with, including: 

  • Sales history
  • Open quotes and orders
  • Top products
  • Purchasing history 
  • Invoices and accounts receivable balance

These insights also help them plan marketing campaigns and sales outreach. If you notice an uptick in a certain product line, you can actively promote it to other contacts with similar needs. 

A customer scorecard also keeps your team focused on the most profitable accounts and prioritizes the actions that will have the most impact on your revenue goals. 

customer scorecard

Lack of mobility 

Many ERP systems have added CRM features, but these systems aren’t necessarily easy to access for a sales rep on the road. Most modern CRM software solutions have mobile apps, but they often have so many features they’ve become difficult to navigate. Some are just framed-in responsive versions of the full website, requiring too many clicks to find what you need and not designed for robust mobile UX. 

The best CRMs should include a mobile sales app that makes it easy for your outside sales team to: 

  • Quickly see their appointments and priorities for the day
  • See key details for every account and customer, including sales, open orders, and invoices
  • Record notes simply by speaking into the app
  • Assign follow-up tasks to team members
  • Book future meetings 
  • Email opportunities

It’s too time-consuming to use

If you’ve experienced a failed CRM implementation before, it was most likely because the system was too difficult for your team to learn and use consistently. The distribution sales cycle is unique, including many accounts with dozens of different contacts and ship-to locations, hundreds or thousands of products, numerous vendors, and various sales channels. 

That’s why it’s vital to use a CRM for distributors —  one that’s built with all the data integrations and templates your team needs to get started on day one. It should be as intuitive as their favorite mobile apps and require little to no training. It shouldn’t take them more than a few minutes to log their activity. 

Show them how the right solution will ultimately save time by automating manual tasks, including: 

  • Reporting on sales performance
  • Following up on open quotes
  • Remembering to call customers with late orders
  • Sending cart abandonment emails to customers who leave your website without a purchase


How To Increase CRM Adoption

Involving your team in the process of choosing a CRM will help them overcome these objections and begin to see how it will truly make their life easier. 

Once you’ve chosen the right one, follow these quick tips to turn CRM skeptics into power users.

Show them the impact on sales performance

Help your team understand how a CRM will transform sales processes, helping your company hit its targets and bring in more commissions.

Identify your CRM champions

Most companies have at least a few people who are early adopters of technology. Look for the sales rep who is constantly mentioning new tools, apps, or platforms they’re using to manage their work – or the one who is already using AI to write better emails (or sonnets to their significant other). They can help get the rest of the team excited about the possibilities. 

Identify metrics that matter

Make sure you’ve clearly defined what success looks like for your team. Set specific, measurable goals and determine what key performance indicators you’ll use to monitor progress. You can set company-wide sales goals and have individual goals for each sales rep. 

Celebrate the launch

Implementing a CRM is a big reason to celebrate — and a sign of bigger wins to come. 

Build some excitement around the rollout of your new solution with a party. Have some incentives for early wins or sending the first email campaign. 

Use your CRM for company meetings and performance reviews

A CRM with built-in business intelligence and easy-to-read dashboards is a great way to showcase your company’s wins. Start your company meetings by showing your sales pipeline and focusing on top accounts. Use sales rep scorecards to have more personal conversations about individual goals. 

Don’t enable laggards

Your sales reps may be accustomed to using familiar tools. Removing legacy systems once you’ve implemented your new CRM will eliminate the temptation to go back to old habits. Make it clear that using the CRM is an expectation, not an option. 

Win More Buy-In With White Cup 

White Cup CRM is built by distribution experts who understand this industry. Built-in business intelligence and insights from your ERP system give your sales reps everything they need to win the day so your whole team can win more customer loyalty and deals. 

The White Cup mobile app makes it easy for reps to see meetings, tasks, and a full picture of their clients and customers so they can be prepared for every conversation. They can quickly record notes with speech-to-text functionality, assign follow-up actions to other team members, and schedule automated emails to keep deals moving forward.  

Once your team sees White Cup in action, the only question they’ll have is why you didn’t show them sooner. 

Schedule a demo today.