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No excuses: 5 ways to overcome resistance to CRM software

Mar 06, 2023

It happens all the time: Companies invest in top-of-the-line CRM software and get lackluster results. In most instances, the technology plan was solid, but the people plan wasn’t fully activated.

Change is hard, even when it can help salespeople up their game and maximize results. These are five common roadblocks to CRM adoption — and how you can avoid them:

1. “I feel micromanaged.”

CRM systems track user activity, including tasks completed, records updated and emails sent. Some people fear that digital evidence will be used against them or that managers will micromanage their every move. When salespeople view CRM software as a threat, they are less willing to adopt it.

How to lead through the change:

Always lead with a what’s-in-it-for-me approach. For salespeople, missed opportunities equal lost commission. CRM tools can help staff self-manage their accounts and stay organized. With visualized data, they can find areas to improve performance — and potentially increase their income.

2. “I already have my own sales process that works.”

CRM systems track touchpoints with customers and establish required contacts throughout the customer journey. A formal, step-by-step process may clash with a salesperson’s method. They might argue they want to build relationships, not work through a flowchart.

How to lead through the change: 

Customers enter the pipeline at different stages of the buying cycle. A CRM system makes it easier to track progress, so salespeople can respond with the right information at the right time. Templates and tools also make it easier to send personalized follow-up messages or answer common questions. It’s about working smarter, not harder. CRM software can help salespeople work efficiently and keep track of their success.

3. “Is this data helping me or the company?”

Often, salespeople don’t see how CRM data can help them do their day-to-day jobs. They aren’t setting big-picture sales and revenue targets, so they just want to work their accounts.

How to lead through the change:

CRM tools provide easy-to-read graphs and dashboards that salespeople can put to practical use. For example, they can see what’s working and what’s not, the length of an average sales cycle and how they compare to peers. Sales is a competitive sport. With data, salespeople can plan to move more customers through the buying process and win. Reports and notes in the CRM system can help them focus their time on the most lucrative deals.

4. “I don’t want to duplicate work.”

If salespeople aren’t on board with a CRM system, they might be maintaining their own spreadsheets, research files or to-do lists. That makes entering data into a CRM system seem like redundant busywork and a waste of time.

How to lead through the change: 

A CRM system usually eliminates the need for other systems and processes — and most tasks are automated, which removes a lot of manual work. CRM systems also save history, so there’s just one place for salespeople to look for customer engagements, communications and notes. And if a customer makes a change mid-buying cycle, a CRM system can help salespeople reconfigure the follow-up path and avoid duplicate work.

“I just want to sell.”

This is the most common reason for resistance. Salespeople make money by working with people, not systems. Documentation and process management may not be their strengths, with or without a CRM system.

How to lead through the change:

Once implemented, salespeople can access account information from practically any device. That means they can ask questions, collaborate with peers and sell from anywhere, any time. Automation also frees them from time-consuming manual tasks, so they have more time to sell.

When you adopt a new CRM solution, include plans for people and change management. Teams that are excited about new software get better results, faster. And better employee experiences turn into better customer experiences.

A partner like Wipfli can help you navigate change, whether you’re rolling out a new system, a new process or a new mindset. Learn more about how we can help you with a CRM solution.


Kyle Aulerich
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