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10 Surprising CRM Adoption Stats (and how to avoid becoming one of them)

By: Amy Sariego, Director of Content Marketing

As a salesperson, you’re probably already rolling your eyes at the title of this article. You’re tired of hearing about how important it is to enter data and meeting notes into your CRM. As a team of salespeople ourselves — we get it.

But we’re here to shed some light on just how important it can be in the grand scheme of your organization. In fact, at Dakota, where we’ve raised over $40 billion since 2006, it’s one of the most tried and true aspects of our success.

Without a CRM, we would never know when to follow up with a prospect, what kind of meetings the sales team is holding, and we’d never know how we were progressing against our pipeline.

In short, having a CRM is critical, and we’re here to agree with everyone who has already told you as much.

In this article, we’re going to highlight some shocking statistics about CRM adoption, and what you can do to avoid becoming one of them. In the end, true CRM adoption will change the way you do business, and by the end of this article, you’ll know the steps you can take to improve your team’s path to CRM adoption.

1. Manual data entry is the #1 reason why CRM adoption fails (source)

It’s cumbersome to log into Salesforce and enter meeting details right after you’ve scheduled a meeting with a client or prospect. Expecting a team of sales professionals to do double data entry for every meeting can feel unrealistic.

To avoid falling into the data entry trap, focus on automating your data entry so that it only has to be done once rather than multiple times across multiple platforms. We’ve talked before about integrations that do exactly this that you can read about here and here.

2. Introducing a data automation software to your CRM can eliminate up to 5.5 hours per week of manual entry for each sales person (source)

Think about how much more time your sales team would have if they weren’t spending all of their time manually entering information into a CRM. They could be setting more meetings, doing more follow-up with qualified buyers, and furthering the company’s goals.

While this may feel like a chicken and the egg scenario, the first step is to use the existing Salesforce data to start creating pipeline reports, then executing against them. Once the team sees the value in that data, in combination with a data automation software, they will be more inclined to continue inputting those meeting notes and details.

3. 32% of sales people spend over an hour on data entry every day (source)

This goes hand in hand with our next statistic. Which is:

4. 65% of an average salesperson’s time is spent doing things apart from selling (source)

Of course, when we say we think everyone should use a CRM, we don’t mean that they should spend all of their time keeping it updated and error-free. We definitely aren’t saying that it should be taking up 65% of your time. An all-in-one solution could mean the difference between wasting hours on data-entry and wasting time and effort doing meetings that never end up getting logged into a CRM and therefore forgotten. 

5. Less than 37% of sales people actually use their company’s CRM system (source)

You might be wondering what causes this. What could make salespeople prefer a trip to the dentist over entering meeting notes. At Dakota, we've found that this comes from a lack of structure within the CRM, and a lack of clean data. We have some tips on how to combat both of these that you can read here. In short, it boils down to effective training, embracing technology, and managing data effectively. 

6. Under 40% of organizations have a CRM adoption rate over 90% (source)

A troubling number, yes, but one that comes down to one thing: many people don't know how to define what CRM adoption looks like for their firm, let alone how to measure it. There are measurable goals you can put into place that include usage, data quality, and business performance metrics. You can find out more about each of them here

7. 91% of data in CRM systems is predicted to be incomplete, stale, or duplicated each year. (source)

This can be an especially tricky one in an industry where up to 65% of people's job titles or functions change every year. We all hate to call on the wrong person when it can be avoided, but there is an even greater cost to incomplete and inaccurate data. Luckily, it's one that can be avoided.

8. Sales teams spend around 18% of their time in their CRM (source)

The goal here is to make the most of the time they do spend within their CRM, which should be reviewing sales reports, reviewing their pipelines, and creating a follow-up plan, rather than entering data. 

9. 22% of salespeople do not know what a CRM is (source)

Chances are, if you're reading this, you already know what a CRM in. But in the event that you're still not quite sure what it is and how it applies to you, Salesforce defines a CRM as: "A technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships to grow your business. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability."

10. Implementing a CRM software can improve sales by up to 29% (source)

Once you have your CRM successfully implemented, you're likely to see big results from the processes and procedures you put in place. This has been true for Dakota over the last fifteen years, to the point that we've become evangelical about CRM usage. 

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