3 Ways to Increase CRM Adoption Across Your Sales Team

By: Morgan Holycross

A CRM is one of the most important assets for any sales team because it houses all their leads and data. What matters is the information you put in, otherwise it’s just a container. Think of your CRM like a cookie jar — full of information that allows you to email people, maintain lists, and house technology to find which emails have bounced. 

However, this also means that your CRM is only as good as what you put inside it. 

We know it can be painful to get your sales team to adopt and embrace a Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) — we’ve been there. However, we also know that there’s nothing more important to the sales enablement tech stack than a CRM.

One hidden gem of a CRM is that if used properly, it can give your company and salespeople leverage. The better the data inside the CRM, the easier it is to find. In turn, this results in better, more efficient results. Companies that are dedicated to up keeping their CRM have better sales people, better marketing campaigns, better access to in-depth operations, and overall a more efficiently run operation. 

At Dakota, we’ve raised over $35B since 2006 by having clean and curated data within our CRM. We’ve been using Salesforce as our CRM for fifteen years, and have even created our own Salesforce App to correspond with our Dakota Marketplace platform.

In this article we’re outlining three key ways to get your sales team to use a CRM effectively. By the end, you’ll be ready to empower your firm to take its data to the next level

First, we’ll dive into the reasons why your sales team may not like using the CRM:

1. Infrastructure 

It's possible that the processes and procedures of your sales organization aren’t set up in a way that will lead to a higher CRM adoption. A classic example of this, that has never ended well, is having the sales professionals enter their call notes at the end of the week, rather than directly after a meeting.

At Dakota, we’ve found that the number one thing institutional sales people hate doing is entering their call notes after a meeting. For anybody reading this article, if you’re in the investment business, you know exactly what we’re talking about. They hate executing this data entry task and procrastinate it until the end of the week. 

2. They aren’t technologically savvy 

Because Millennials grew up using apps and technology in their everyday life, it’s more habitual for the younger generation of salespeople to keep up with their data entries and use the CRM. However, this is not the same across the board, and their peers may not be as technologically savvy. 

Building a culture of learning and growth mindsets can help salespeople of all ages overcome this knowledge gap. 

3. The CRM is full of bad data

The kryptonite to any sales team is stale data. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that it’s frustrating to go into an account just to find that none of the contacts are up to date or several emails you sent bounced. This is one of the biggest reasons salespeople don’t like using a CRM, stale data. 

With Marketplace, we’ve taken a good hack at this. Because our data is up to date we’re able to hyper-focus on creating opportunities, not entering data. 

So the question is, how do you convince your sales team that implementing a CRM is to their benefit? We’re going to switch gears and go over three ways to change your sales team’s thinking on CRMs by making it easy for them. 

How to make it easy for the sales team to use a CRM

1. Train sales people properly using Salesforce

Having your sales team properly trained with Salesforce will create greater efficiency in their personal sales role because they’re leveraging a very effective tool to do so. 

There are three main objects in any CRM: accounts, contacts, and opportunities. If you establish the fact that everyone uses opportunities to create pipeline reports, you’ll get your sales team to adopt a CRM from day one.

If the culture of your company is managing the business based on opportunities, you'll want to see all the opportunities across your team. The company won’t be able to do this if you and your team aren’t religiously creating and updating their own opportunity pipeline reports. 

If you train your sales team to create opportunity reports, when you have your sales meetings, you will be able to review these pipeline reports on a weekly or bi-weekly basis so the whole company can review them, and see where your opportunities lie. 

2. Enter meeting notes

If your sales team is entering their opportunities in the CRM, they should simultaneously be entering their notes on meetings they’ve set up and completed. It’s more important for the salespeople to enter call notes than anything else. 

This will save you hours of time, resulting in punching above your weight. Imagine being as productive as 4-5 salespeople combined, simply by leveraging technology. This is due to the fact that you’ll no longer spend hours searching for information. It will all be in one easily accessible place. 

3. Track activity 

Activity is referring to entering the meetings you’ve completed and attaching a contact, account, email, and phone number to this activity. Following this, you’ll set up 3 activity reports for each salesperson and their meetings/calls completed: 14, 30, and 90-day reports on all their activities. 

The activity reports make following up simple because they serve as reminders. You can’t follow up without entering these activity reports. At Dakota we refer to these reports as “sale triggers” because it forces you to take action in moving that relationship forward.

The butterfly effect of a curated CRM

Your CRM is essentially providing you with instant access to information you’d normally be searching for. This makes for a very happy, efficient sales team which ultimately makes for a happy upper management. They’re capable of running reports to see exactly what’s being done and how their pipeline is progressing. 

We’ve only highlighted a few benefits to utilizing a CRM, and there are many more you can read about.

At the end of the day, it comes down to properly training your sales team to enter data, enter activity, and create a pipeline of activity reports. Salesforce does a magnificent job of making these reports easy to access. 

Your company has 100% control over whether a salesperson uses their CRM or not, but it is incumbent on the company to make it easier for their team to use the CRM. If it isn’t made easy, I guarantee you your team will become frustrated and give up on it.

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