11 Reasons People Aren’t Using Your CRM System

Reasons People Aren't Using CRMWhether your company’s CRM system was implemented a decade ago or it was launched last month, there are likely “pockets of resistance” to using the CRM system. There may even be people within your organization who refuse to use the system altogether. Here are eleven reasons that people resist using a CRM system.

1. Your CRM System Has Entered the Land of Legacy

If your CRM is in the “implemented a decade ago” category, there may be technical barriers to usage, such as the need to first make a connection into your corporate network and then use terminal services to access the database. If it’s onerous for users to simply get access to the system, adoption will suffer.

2. Your CRM System is Filled with Garbage Records and Field Values

When your users need to wade through mountains of duplicate records and are confronted with too many fields and pick lists with dozens of choices, they become discouraged from using the CRM application. Having a high number of “long gone” contacts in the database adds to the clutter.

3. Your CRM System Was Over-Designed

CRM database design tools are more powerful than ever.  While developing a normalized database structure is good practice, there can be risks to over-designing a CRM database and forcing users drill down to many levels to enter and to access data. Too many levels of database hierarchy can also make report generation a challenge.

4. Your CRM System Was Under-Designed

Sometimes, CRM administrators who are new to the role of managing a database application will under-leverage the relational capabilities of a CRM database and will design an overly flat database structure. A classic example is the addition of secondary contact fields to the account level, which makes for easier data entry, but which cripples future one-to-one communications with those contacts.

5. Your CRM System Doesn’t Match Your Business Processes

There are ample stories of organizations for which certain business processes are driven by the way the CRM system works – not the other way around. It’s critical to develop your requirements first – even in advance of buying a CRM system.

6. Your CRM System is Platform Dependent Instead of Platform Independent

If your CRM system doesn’t work on users’ preferred browsers and devices, it may severely limit users’ ability to even get access to the system. To what degree does your CRM run on assorted versions of Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome, Safari, Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, etc.?

7. There’s Nothing for Users to Get Excited About

Many people log into Facebook first thing every morning, because they are looking forward to seeing what’s new and exciting on their timeline. If a salesperson knows that every time they log into the CRM system, that new, quality leads will be waiting for them, they will have something to look forward to. Are marketing-qualified leads flowing directly into your CRM system?

8. Users Don’t See Added Value

Sales users in particular, need to have the belief that using a CRM system will add to their paycheck. If a CRM system isn’t going to help increase sales, why bother using it? What functionality does your sales team need to shorten sales cycles and improve closing ratios?

If customer service users can’t manage customer email communications within the CRM system, that will be a disincentive for those users to adopt the CRM system.

9. A Lack of Executive Level Involvement

Often, busy executives don’t take the time to understand what the issues are with the company’s CRM system that are causing a lack of usage. Therefore, the CEO or COO may not financially support changes to the system or a replacement of the system – either one of which would lead to higher adoption of CRM.

10. New Users Aren’t Getting Trained

New users of your CRM system are given a username and password – but no training. An ongoing training program is essential for maximizing new user adoption. “We never got trained” is a common complaint among CRM users.

11. Your CRM System Isn’t Social

Social is becoming a bigger component of internal company communications, external communications with customers and prospect research by salespeople. Social components can drive user adoption.

Only by identifying the specific reasons for under-adoption can steps be taken to improve adoption. It’s important to interview users so they can articulate their reasons for under-utilizing or rejecting the current system.

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