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7 Signs Your CRM Setup is Too Complicated

By Jarrick CooperOct 3, 2016

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B2B marketing and sales leaders with well-thought-out CRMs know the software can do wonders for a sales team.

What are its superpowers?

It can:

  • Simplify sales reps’ jobs
  • Reduce lead saturation
  • Shorten the sales cycle
  • Earn reps more money
  • Help reps meet quotas

And if the CRM is connected with your website forms, it can drastically reduce data entry for the sales team while increasing transparency and lead intelligence.

But anyone who has ever implemented a new CRM knows that reps won’t use it if it only slows them down. And one of the first places poor CRM processes start is with CRM setup itself.

If your reps aren’t taking advantage of your CRM to the extent you had hoped they would, one of these warning signs may resonate with you.

1. It Has Too Many Unnecessary Features

According to Salesforce, approximately 72 percent of CRM users say they would trade functional complexity for a simple CRM that is easier to use.

Feature-heavy is not always a good thing. It’s easy to fall for an elegant sales call or persuasive marketing (on behalf of a CRM provider) only to realize later that you don’t need all the whizbang as much as you need a simple, straightforward, easy-to-use software that your sales team will like.

In general, younger reps are more comfortable with technology, while older reps don’t take it seriously and may not want to use a CRM at all. Too many features can deter from your goal of streamlining sales and getting a better ROI.

2. You’re Tracking and Entering Too Many Irrelevant Points of Data

Are you requiring your sales team to enter data that has no business value whatsoever?

The more data points you choose to track and enter, the more complex the system will become. Some are essential to successful lead management, but others are superfluous and detract from your ultimate goal—closing deals.

Take a closer look at your data points and determine which are crucial. Cut off the excess. Minimize data entry as much as possible.

3. Initial Setup is Lengthy and Complicated

Ideally, your CRM software shouldn’t require a lot of upfront work to understand.

If you and your team are new to CRMs, then you can expect there to be a bit of a learning curve ahead. But if you have some experience, and you’re finding the initial setup process is laborious, then you may want to find a different piece of software. Especially so if the provider doesn’t offer much documentation.

4. You're Not Automating

Are you manually entering call logs into your CRM? Are you constantly re-entering information into your CRM that’s already stored elsewhere?

This is a good indicator that you aren’t using workflows to automate to the extent that you should be. Re-entering information is going to slow things down and make the use of your CRM platform too arduous to be worthwhile.

Learn about the different ways you can automate processes with your CRM. And if you’re trying to connect apps that won’t otherwise sync or talk to one another, try creating recipes with IFTTT or zaps with Zapier.

5. You’re Having a Hard Time Getting Buy-In

To some extent, this is inevitable. Your sales team may not immediately jump on board and support your decision to implement a CRM.

If this is happening before you even implement your CRM solution, then it may just be a phase you need to push through. But if the sales department is pushing back after the system is in place, there could be a bigger issue at work.

Marketing and sales should be in constant communication as you look to develop a system that supports sales. If you’re experiencing an unusual amount of adversity as you’re encouraging adoption, either consider simplifying your setup, or look for another CRM solution that’s easier to use.

According to HubSpot, sales contribution to strategy means a 15 percent revenue increase. Make sure to ask for their input.

6. Your Sales Team Can’t Find What They’re Looking For

It could be that you have too much information associated with individual contacts. Or maybe the platform is too hard to use, and it takes too many clicks for your reps to find the information they need.

There are several reasons why this can happen:

  • You haven’t given your reps adequate access permissions. Some companies have red tape that gets in the way of empowering their team members, and only allow users to see the bare minimum of data. This can be very frustrating for sales reps.
  • Your data infrastructure is too overwhelming. You’re tracking too many points of data, making it difficult for sales to find the information they need.
  • The platform is too hard to use. It may be time to find another solution for your team.

Talk to your sales reps and determine whether or not the have easy access to the information they need.

7. Your Sales Team Can’t Focus on Sales

Finally, if your sales team is spending more time within the CRM—on data entry, digging for information, solving login issues or cleaning out duplicate records—than they are on selling, it’s a clear sign your CRM setup is too complicated.

The objective of CRM implementation should be to save time and increase sales effectiveness. If it gets in the way of that, and your sales team has to fiddle with the software instead of sending emails and making calls, then it isn’t good for anybody.

Simplify Your Setup

When it comes to CRMs, striking a balance between simplicity and functionality can be tricky. When in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of simplicity, as you can always go in and tweak your process later. No matter how good it is, your sales team may not jump on the bandwagon immediately. Keep the lines of communication open and work together to achieve an efficient system.

To learn more, download The CMO’s Guide to Sales Enablement and CRM.

Sales Enablement and CRM guide

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The Author

Jarrick Cooper

Through the years, Jarrick has taught himself graphic design and Web development before going on to become a marketing director for various industries, including commercial and municipal lighting, real estate, hospitality and golf. Jarrick prides himself on being a “jack of all trades” and loves to use his creative and business skills to help companies and marketers develop strategies that facilitate growth and drive sales.
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