Why Your Investment Sales Team is CRM-Resistant — And How to Change That

As an investment sales person, you’re probably tired of hearing that you have to keep your CRM data updated and fresh. We know you know this, and yet, it’s still the worst part of your day. 

As a sales leader, you’re probably at the point of frustration, wondering why your sales team can’t accurately report on their progress and pipelines. 

We know these things to be true, because since 2006, Dakota has overcome many hurdles as it relates to CRM adoption. Now, using Salesforce to create a killer follow-up system is part of our company DNA. 

We know that our CRM is the backbone of our sales processes, and it’s part of our culture to have every part of our sales team use it effectively. But we also know it isn’t easy, and you can’t force it. 

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably a salesperson yourself, or a sales leader trying to encourage CRM adoption. You’re probably wondering: is the sales team the problem? Or is Salesforce the problem? 

We’re here to tell you that it’s probably a little bit of both — but there are ways to overcome all of those challenges. 

In this article, we’re going to give you an overview of why your sales team isn’t adopting a CRM the way you would like, how to ensure that they make Salesforce a key part of their sales process, as well as the most critical fields that should be maintained for sales success. 

By the end of the article, you’ll have a defined plan for CRM adoption across your organization

First, we’ll dive into the reasons your team might be resisting a CRM.

Why isn’t your sales team adopting a CRM?

While this can come down to a few contributing factors, we’ve found that a few reasons show up the most among salespeople. 

The answer is simple: you’re asking them to do something they aren’t inclined to — and don’t want — to do. Chances are though, you already knew that. 

The personality type and the activity are on the far spectrum from one another. We know this better than most, because that’s how our sales team is, too. Salespeople want to be making sales calls and following up, not entering information. 

Why don’t they want to do it? It boils down to a few things. 

1. The CRM is full of bad and incomplete data 

No one wants to add more fuel to a raging fire. If your CRM isn’t being actively maintained, your sales team probably doesn't see the value in it. If they aren’t using the information within the CRM, why would they add more information to it? 

They won’t. 

You can overcome this by making an active effort to update and maintain your team’s data. Make it part of every sales person’s onboarding to train them on using the CRM. If you start building the habit from day one, they will get into a rhythm of inputting accurate, up-to-date information into your CRM. 

You can also hire a dedicated Salesforce Administrator to ensure that the data is fresh and clean. This has been helpful for the team at Dakota, supplementing the data the sales team works to put in at the end of every meeting each week. 

We know that this can feel a bit like a chicken and the egg scenario, but it comes down to the fact that you have to start somewhere. Start by tackling the date you do have, and your sales team will be all the more inclined to use and update information. 

2. Data entry is a manual process

This is another one that feels obvious, but you hired salespeople to do what they do best: sell. Build relationships. Close deals. 

Manually entering data and meeting notes at the end of a long day is probably the last thing they want to do, especially if they’re traveling and their head is spinning with next steps and follow up notes. 

How do you combat this? Make it easier for them to enter notes. By creating a sync between their calendars, Slack, and Salesforce, you can start to remove the manual factor of inputting data. 

There are plenty of great resources to help with that, which you can read about here. (Note: our own product, Dakota Paradise is on this list, along with several other helpful apps, to help you make the most informed choice.)

3. They’re only focused on getting meetings

We know: this is a great problem to have. 

It means your sales team is performing at their best and doing everything they need to close deals and manage relationships. 

The only problem with this is that if they’re getting meetings without entering any information about them into a CRM, things will more than likely fall through the cracks, making those meetings a waste of time, and no one wants that. 

Instead, encourage the team to view the CRM as a tool at their disposal to help them set even more meetings and continue to crush their foals. 

You might be wondering how this is done, but the answer is simple. By entering the name, firm, date, time, and meeting type into a CRM as an activity, you’re essentially creating a sales trigger for your future self. 

Once you have this information entered into Salesforce, you can use it to create opportunity and activity reports, reminding yourself or your sales team to follow-up in a timely, effective manner. This creates a constant cycle of meeting and following up, without your team ever having to lift a finger. 

Now that you know why your sales team is CRM-resistant, we’ll get into the key information you need to make your CRM into a sales machine. 

How to ensure your CRM — and your sales team — is setup for sales success

If you’re a sales leader, you probably want the best not only for your sales team, but for your company. 

And, as we already covered above, there is, essentially, a chasm between what the sales team wants to be doing and what they should be doing. 

The ideal situation is a blend of both, wants and shoulds. How do you get there? And why is it important for the salesperson to get information into SF? 

Think about what it takes to enter information into a CRM: First, you need to be seated at a laptop, or somewhere where you can use your phone easily.  

This is the first challenge: salespeople are mobile, they’re traveling, making calls, and don’t have the time to login to a CRM. 

For the most part, they’re only logging in to do admin late at night. Because they aren’t doing it in real time, and because there is no app making it easier to get information in, they don’t update the information, and it’s often lost. 

Full stop. Lost.

It’s critical to retain that information, and therefore it’s critical that we make it easier for them to enter information. Don’t worry though, we have it boiled down to a few critical things every Salesforce instance needs for success. 

Here’s how to find out what works for you:

Define your account and contact field “must haves”

At Dakota, the fields within our CRM vary by account, contact, and meeting, but a few stay the same. These are our “must haves.” 

On the “Account” object, these include:

  • Account name
  • Account type
  • AUM
  • Rating (this is an optional field)
  • Metro area
  • Address
  • Phone number 

On the “Contact” object, these include:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Title 
  • A short bio 

Now, remember that these are the minimum number of fields that need to be filled out by our sales team. For more detail and greater success, you can (and should) add to these.

And, of course, these are nothing without the activities you associate with them. We’ll get into that next. 

Define your meeting note “must haves”

Again, ask yourself: why is it so important for the salesperson to get the basic amount of info from a salesperson into your CRM? What is key, critical information that you need to run your business?

We’ve found that the following meeting details are what we need to run and maintain activity and opportunity reports for our team. 

When a meeting it schedule by one of our salespeople, this information includes:

  • Who it was scheduled by
  • Account name
  • Name of the person you met with
  • Location
  • Date
  • Time
  • Type of meeting (first time, follow-up, etc.)
  • Associated product

Now again, remember: we’re talking about the minimum amount of information needed to be useful. 

After a meeting has been scheduled, it then becomes completed, and you’d like to get those call notes into the CRM. 

This brings us to the third piece of the puzzle… 

Create an opportunity after the meeting

All you need to do at this point is take the information you’ve already entered and use it to create an opportunity you can use to follow-up with. 

This is where you go into the database, create and name the opportunity, describe what type it is, associate it with a product, select the stage and the amount for the win, and then attach a person to it with their contact information.


Finally, it’s time to use your CRM to create a killer follow-up system

If you’re familiar with Dakota, you already know that this is something of a motto for us. If you’re new, you’ll hear this phrase a lot

But that’s because it works, and we’ve come to swear by it. 

Again we’ll ask: why is it so important to enter information? This time, we’ll even give you the answer. It’s to make follow up, tracking, and evaluating the progress of your sales efforts efficient. Creating opportunities is critical because, if done right, with one click, in under five seconds, you can find exactly what you’re looking for and follow-up with that person. 

It’s about collecting and hardcoding information about your sales team’s activity that creates value. 

Here’s how:

Once you have your opportunities created, use them to create a pipeline

Next, sort that pipeline by stage. These reports can include anything you want including the account name, the opportunity name, AUM, product type, the individual name, email address, phone, etc.

Once you have your pipeline sorted by stage, you can make it part of your day to day to keep checking on and working through it. 

Taking a moment every morning to quickly scan that list means the difference between getting the relationship and letting it falter, because you’re staying on top of who you should be following up with. every morning, basically every day. Once you get into a rhythm of following up and reviewing your reports consistently, you should see more and more deals moving through the pipeline. 

Segment the channels within your pipeline and execute against Your TAM

Finally, what you want to do as you're growing is segment the channels to know how you're doing against the TAM in that channel. 

You can do this by creating custom opportunity reports against a particular channel or vertical. For instance, if you cover consultants, you should have an opportunity pipeline report for just consultants that separates them into small, medium, and large segments, so you know exactly where you stand. 

You can also create custom fields, let's say current status and next steps. This way, as you update your Salesforce with new notes and meetings, those reports will dynamically update. You can continue to scan down those opportunity reports to see where you stand and then how you should be taking sales action. 

This is the most efficient way, and you can apply this methodology whether you cover banks and broker-dealers, RIAs, etc. This way, you can look at things in different areas and you're chunking it into smaller, bite-sized pieces, making it very easy to follow up and penetrate that particular channel. 

For penetration and total addressable market, you want to be able to create individual vertical pipeline reports so you can focus on how you're doing against each one of those verticals. 

If you can do that you’re going to grow exponentially, simply because you're going to be able to so much more easily access information, see where you stand, and set up follow-up meetings.

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Still unsure how to take your CRM to the next level? Dakota Marketplace for Salesforce could be just the tool you need. Click here to schedule a fifteen-minute consultation to see how we can work together to transform the way your team uses Salesforce. 

Written By: Gui Costin, Founder, CEO

Gui Costin is the Founder and CEO of Dakota.