As an investment salesperson, you’re probably used to rolling your eyes when the word “CRM” is mentioned. We’ve all done it.
CRMs have long since gotten a bad reputation within the industry. However, they are a necessary platform that can help you exponentially grow your business and increase your sales team’s productivity.
At Dakota, we’ve used Salesforce CRM for over twenty years, and have raised over $50 billion in that time, something we wouldn’t have been able to do without the diligent use of a CRM. Now, we know what you might be thinking — the way I’m currently doing things is fine.
And that is probably true.
But it’s also true that it could be improved with the help of a CRM.
In this article, we’re outlining the 2 major reasons why CRMs get a bad rap, along with the ways to overcome those challenges. You read that correctly — the reason why sales teams are so loath to use a CRM boils down to two things: bad data and bad design.
By the end of the article, you’ll have a clear understanding of how to combat the pushback and tension your sales team may be feeling in regards to using a CRM.
First, we’ll jump into the most important reason: bad data.
1. They’re full of bad, stale, or incomplete data
The one thing a salesperson needs to do B2B sales well is a database that’s well-organized and up-to-date.
If a salesperson goes into their CRM and finds nothing but outdated leads, incorrect contact information, and incomplete data, chances are, they’re not going to be motivated to login and add their own accurate notes to it.
In fact, they probably aren’t going to login at all if they know that’s all that’s in there.
To overcome this, you as a sales organization have to prioritize putting clean data into the CRM in order to get value out of it. Then, once the sales team starts adding accurate, detailed information of their own, the rest of the team will see that there isn’t just outdated, stale data, but accurate and relevant contact information they can use in their outreach.
This will take time and dedication to clean and accurate data, but the payoff will be huge for your sales team, giving them hours of valuable time back in their days.
2. The CRM is clunky to log into and isn’t laid out well
This one is not the fault of the CRM or the salespeople — it falls on the organization to organize their CRM in a way that’s very useful for a salesperson. If the CRM is not well laid out, then it makes it even harder to input the necessary data to keep the sales team — and the organization — running smoothly.
What happens when a CRM is set up poorly? Salespeople don’t adopt it, and the cycle begins again.
It is incumbent on the sales organization to keep the data up to date. However, most places don’t see it that way, often because there is no dedicated budget to CRM setup and maintenance. While having someone on-staff full time can be an expense that many firms don’t have, however, you can start by asking your sales team what fields and setup they would find helpful within the CRM, what their must-haves and nice-to-haves are, and go from there.
Additionally, while having a data administrator onboard is expensive, there are other ways to make sure the data going into the CRM is clean, like software platforms NeverBounce or Rocketreach.
Additionally, most CRM apps require a lot of programming, setup time, and are still not easy for the salesperson to use. This means that they will most likely need to be in front of their laptop in order to enter meeting details and notes. Typically, this results in the salesperson waiting until the end of the day or even the end of the week or month to enter information.
By this time, of course, the information and conversations are no longer fresh in their minds, and some get lost entirely. This leads to a never ending loop of frustration and missing information, and eventually means the difference between the organization getting their CRM adopted or not.
What is the cost of a poorly managed CRM?
Now that you know why salespeople are so reluctant to rely on their CRM, let’s talk about what it costs to have that loss of information.
To keep it simple, we’ll think in terms of round numbers.
Say your salesperson makes $100,000 per year, and each year they do roughly 200 meetings. t’s $500 per meeting by the time you factor in travel expenses and time.
If that salesperson doesn't enter their meetings in the CRM, they don’t know how many meetings they’ve had, with whom, the types of meeting, etc., and they can't follow up effectively. This means they will not only lose deals they would have closed otherwise, but it makes it incredibly hard to replace them should they leave the firm. The incoming salesperson also will have no record of who has already been spoken to.
At the end of the day, this means the firm just wasted that $100,000, because no one knows what’s happening in terms of meetings.
So what can you do to make a CRM more useful to the sales team?
This also comes down to two things:
- Update the contact information within the CRM
- Establish an easy to use UI for your CRM
Once you can get past the updated data and organized UI, there are only two things that a salesperson needs to do to be effective from a data standpoint. Two critical things need to be captured:
- The meetings that have been scheduled by the salesperson. If you can do this, everything changes, because you’re able to see and report on dozens of things around that one specific activity.
- The call notes from those meetings.