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5 Warning Signs That Your CRM Is Holding You Back

By October 5, 2016 No Comments

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You researched the more than 350 CRMs on the market and spent a good chunk of time and change deploying your solution of choice. Your reps are using this new solution (as far as you know). Management is swimming in reports. But suddenly it dawns on you: for all the blood, sweat and tears that went into implementing your CRM, not much has really changed.

Despite the dollars and dreams you poured into this CRM, everything is business as usual. Shouldn’t your processes be improving, or your sales cycles be getting shorter, or something? So you start to ask yourself: is your sales success being limited within the confines and capabilities of your CRM? Here are 5 warning signs that your CRM is stunting your team’s growth, and what you can do to take your team to the next level.

1. Rep Adoption Is a Struggle

As consumers, we refuse to adopt technology that fails to make our days more productive. But as business people, we are often expected to use applications that actually make our lives more difficult. It shouldn’t surprise management that when employees are instructed to use outdated and Excel-like applications, adoption suffers, with 74% of sales teams using CRMs reporting poor adoption rates. In turn, data gets lost as reps invent alternate solutions like spreadsheets and pad and paper.

Start paying attention to how much and how often reps are actually using your CRM. Low sales platform adoption should serve as an indication to management that the value the software provides does not outweigh the effort it takes to use it. Search for a solution that is highly intuitive and takes its cue from consumer-facing apps like Venmo and Uber. Features and functionality like automatic data capture, drag-and-drop UIs and email integration inherently drive adoption by facilitating rather than hindering the sales process.

2.Your Team Has to Juggle Multiple Supporting Tools

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Today’s market is flooded with point solutions that seek to solve small pieces of the sales performance puzzle, from email tracking to call dialing and reporting. Rather than adding these functionalities to their platforms and upfront costs, many CRMs simply require businesses to also use and integrate these point solutions. At the end of the day, your CRM may be just one of 3, 5 or even 7 different platforms that reps have to use to get their jobs done!

In fact, 59% of sales reps believe they are required to use too many sales tools. In addition to hurting productivity, the more point solutions your team must use on a daily basis, the more data gets scattered across multiple platforms, and the less visibility management has into performance. Not to mention, these point solutions don’t come for free! Instead, look for a solution that provides calendar integrations, real-time notifications and other necessary tools in an all-in-one sales platform to enhance rep adoption and productivity.

3. It’s Not Connected to Your Company’s Existing Systems
Companies use an average of 7 different business management tools, from CRMs to marketing automation platforms and support systems. Within each of these platforms resides a goldmine of lead and customer data, but without the ability to make these systems talk to one another, each part of the business will remain blind to the others. This results in fragmented, impersonal lead and customer experiences.

If connecting the dots between your CRM and other business tools is proving to be a major hassle, if may be time to reassess your options. Future-proof solutions should provide robust APIs that enable, not inhibit, the ability to synch data between your sales software and other systems. Some vendors even offer key out-of-the-box integrations and extensive, hands-on API support.

4. It’s Not Mobile Friendly

Female with smartphone in public transport. Close up on hands

Does your business have a field sales team? Do your reps ever travel? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then you should understand the importance of your team being able to enter and access information in your CRM in real-time. Unfortunately, in an effort to avoid being left behind, many legacy sales CRMs launch mobile applications that are essentially read-only versions of their desktop UIs, leaving field reps squinting at tiny numbers and scrolling through lengthy tables on their smartphones. These solutions may be mobile, but they are definitely not mobile friendly.

To avoid information getting lost on-the-go and empower your field sales team to perform at their full potential anytime, anywhere, opt for a CRM that provides a fully native mobile application. Not only should this type of tool give your reps the same capabilities on their smartphones and tablets as they have on their desktops, but it should also provide special features tailored specifically for the field sales rep, such as geolocation and offline access.

5.You Have Data, but No Insights

While many CRMs promise deep insights into sales performance, the reality is that, with reps entering so little information throughout the sales cycle, achieving these insights simply is not possible from a data volume perspective. And even if it were, most solutions don’t really offer the big data infrastructure necessary to provide them. Instead, these solutions offer (or integrate with other solutions that offer) reports that provide simple snapshots of overall performance.

Try asking your CRM, “Are my reps performing according to plan?” Getting an answer to this yes or no question should be easy enough. But if you try to ask why they’re performing a certain way, or what can be done to improve, don’t be surprised if you’re met with radio silence. Since legacy sales tools were not built for the big data era, they typically collect only basic information and provide list-like reports. In contrast, next-generation sales platforms not only enable businesses to understand their results, but they also provide in-depth sales insights that prescribe the actions a company can take to achieve a desired outcome.

Don’t Get Left Behind
Your CRM should help reps and managers alike move faster, sell better, close more easily – you get the picture. Don’t settle for a platform that limits your team to “business as usual.” Keep an eye out for these 5 warning signs, and for more advice on finding the right CRM for your business, download this free white paper: 7 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Sales Software.



Rachel Serpa is Content Marketing Manager at Base. For more tips on how to take a scientific approach to sales, visit the Base Blog and follow @getbase on Twitter.

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