In theory, customer relationship management (CRM) tools offer a range of awesome benefits and empower sales reps to excel.
In reality, many salespeople have a less-than-pleasant relationship with their CRM. In fact, many sales reps downright hate their CRM platform.
If CRMs are so great, why do so many sales reps have horrible experiences using them? More importantly, how can you ensure your team has a healthier relationship with your CRM?
Let’s take a look at the most common reasons salespeople hate their CRM platform.
Why Most Sales Reps Hate Their CRM Tool
1. Wasting Time on Excessive Data Entry
A CRM platform is supposed to save time and resources, but that’s not always the case. Some CRMs end up creating extra work by requiring sales reps to manually enter ridiculous amounts of data.
Certain CRMs even require a full-time administrator to keep them up and running smoothly.
If your CRM requires too much data entry and doesn’t auto-update, it’s easy to view it as a time-waster rather than a time-saver. How can you focus on selling if you’re busy keeping your CRM updated?
So, what’s the solution here?
Sales automation! You should choose a CRM that automatically updates customer information in real-time.
A powerful CRM should capture data automatically from email conversations and allow for easy bulk uploading and updating.
2. Poor User Experience
No one wants to use technology that’s unreliable or slow. It’s no wonder that a bad user experience is one of the biggest reasons salespeople hate using their CRM.
The issue stems from the fact that many CRMs are not developed with salespeople in mind. Yes, the software is designed to improve sales, but the interface isn’t user-friendly or intuitive.
One of the ways to ensure you don’t get stuck with a poorly designed CRM tool is to take advantage of the free trial before you start your subscription. Test out every feature and find out whether the product is actually going to create solve more problems than it creates.
3. Steep Learning Curve
For a system that’s supposed to make selling easier, there are plenty of CRMs that are just plain hard to use. This goes beyond user experience because a platform can be well-designed but still have a steep learning curve.
If the onboarding process is too difficult and proper training is not provided by the CRM company, then getting everyone on your team to start using it can feel like pulling teeth.
If the software is really tricky to get the hang of, even features that are normally considered benefits can turn into burdens.
For example, it’s important for your CRM to offer some degree of customization since it allows you to ensure the CRM works exactly how you need it to. However, if setting up those custom fields and steps is too difficult, then the CRM will be a source of delays, frustration, and confusion.
4. Low Adoption Rates
Though low adoption rates are more of a side effect than a standalone issue, it does contribute to the general perception that most CRMs suck. That’s because low user adoption makes the experience even worse for reps who do try to use and stick with the system.
Because the more people who commit to using the CRM, the more accurate the data will be. If half your team refuses to adopt it, the system won’t be kept up-to-date and no one will get optimal value out of using it.
A poor user experience and confusing onboarding process both reduce adoption rates. So, make it a priority to choose a user-friendly CRM and ensure your reps have access to the resources they need to get started. You’ll not only have better adoption rates, but your team will be happier and more efficient.
5. Not Flexible Enough to Support a Fluid Sales Cycle
Before you can choose the best CRM tool for your business, your sales processes need to be defined. This ensures you know what to look for in a CRM and can find one that supports your team and your goals.
However, not every sale follows the same path. So, while most CRMs are designed to track a linear sales cycle, the reality is that selling is fluid and each sales cycle is slightly different.
If your CRM is too rigid, it won’t be helpful or applicable in the majority of scenarios.
Ideally, a good CRM will allow you to create multiple paths and pipeline options to match the buyer’s journey for different types of leads. It should be customizable, flexible, and easy to tweak for each opportunity.
Otherwise, your reps will be forced to conform to a pre-defined sales path, which simply isn’t practical.
6. Doesn’t Integrate Well with Other Sales Tools
The point of a CRM is to streamline your contact and data management. If your CRM doesn’t work the same way as your sales reps, it’s not streamlining anything – it’s creating conflict.
Having to switch between different apps and tools to see the full picture isn’t just frustrating, it also increases the odds of making a mistake. If you can’t access crucial data when you need it, then you’re less likely to make a positive impression and connect with your prospect.
You should look for a CRM that seamlessly integrates with the tools and platforms your team uses every day, including your preferred email client and apps. For example, Propeller is designed for salespeople who want to sell directly through Gmail, so it integrates perfectly with all Google Apps.
7. Doesn’t Assist with Lead Generation
Data alone does not equal more customers.
If you don’t use your existing customer data to define an ideal customer profile, create customer personas, and develop a balanced lead scoring system, you’re not using that data effectively.
So, half of this problem comes down to incomplete sales strategy. The other half can be attributed to CRMs that don’t help sales reps reach out to new customers.
Once you’ve built out your business processes, you need a powerful CRM that can help you create, run, and manage outreach campaigns.
For instance, since Propeller works within Gmail, our platform makes it easy to execute cold email campaigns, track responses, and capture the data you need to turn those leads into customers.
8. Complicated Reports and Lack of Insights
This is a pet peeve of many sales reps and their managers: CRMs that don’t provide valuable insights or easy-to-understand reports.
Even if your data is 100% accurate and you’ve filled out every possible field, you can’t draw any real conclusions without clear, simple sales reporting and forecasting.
The best CRM software allows you to generate beautiful, visual reports (like the reports Propeller creates!). These reports are easy to read at a glance and can be customized to provide more detailed information when you want to dig in deeper.
The key is to find a balance between reports that don’t tell you much of anything and analytics that are overly complex.
9. Designed to Monitor, Not Assist, Salespeople
Unfortunately, many CRMs are designed first and foremost to make management happy. These systems tend to focus on monitoring sales reps’ activity instead of helping them do their job better.
So, rather than forcing sales reps to adapt to a system that’s not built to work the way they sell, find a system that fits into your established sales processes and integrates with the key sales tools your team already relies on.
If you’re in management, try to avoid bogging down your sales reps with unnecessary tracking and data entry. Don’t ask your team to complete too many fields for each opportunity – trust them to enter the important information they need to close the deal.
You Need a CRM that Works the Way You Do
If you can relate to any of the problems listed above, you’re likely in the market for a better CRM solution. Whether your current platform isn’t powerful enough to meet your needs or simply isn’t the right CRM to support your sales strategy, there are other options available.
So, why suffer with a CRM that creates more problems than it solves? Choose a CRM that you and your team actually want to use.
If you want to make sales directly through Gmail, Propeller CRM might be just what you’re looking for. Not only does it seamlessly integrate with your current sales tools, it allows you to cut back on data entry, and generate new leads via cold email – so you can dedicate your time to simply making more sales.