Why is it that salespeople generally dislike and do not use CRM software implemented by the Company that they work for?
After all as commission based salespeople don’t they stand to benefit from the primary reason CRM exists – to improve sales!
To start with you might even question this proposition. Perhaps in your organisation your salespeople do use your CRM. That is great if they do, but let me assure you that in most organisations with CRM software, the greatest problem with true implementation is getting salespeople to adopt and use the software. Over the 20 years that we have been building and implementing CRM software in the property industry, this has been and continues to be the single most difficult issue.
In the property industry we can charactarise a number of reasons that management elect to implement CRM software. We believe they are:
– improve sales
– improve systemisation
– provide better data clarity
– reduce costs
– reduce risk
I will go through each in turn:
1. Improve Sales. This is the most obvious reason and ostensibly the primary reason for putting in a CRM. “Lets capture every lead, put in sales source automation, coupled with fully integrated database marketing, and lets see our sales rates improve”.
2. Improve systemisation. In the property industry this includes everything from capturing leads, then implementing systematic database marketing, price list management, contract administration, financial reporting and so on. The implementation of a system to manage this entire process is a compelling reason to implement a CRM.
3. Provide better data clarity. A CRM should provide clear and realtime data on everything from leads, to live price lists, contract status, financial exposure and so on. All critical information to be a successful property business.
4. Reduce Costs. This is really a by-product of Point 2 – Improve Systemisation. Through implementing a CRM successfully, you should be able to reduce operational costs in your business.
5. Reduce Risk. This is not raised as often as it should be as a reason to implement a CRM. By centralising your company data into a single ‘silo’ you will eliminate significant risk in that data walking out the door, being lost and generally misused. Data is becoming an increasingly valuable asset to all property businesses, and a CRM should be an essential tool for collating and securing that data. Through systemisation of your business CRM will also reduce a businesses reliance on specific personnel, reducing the impact on any one or multiple employee’s leaving.
Quality CRM software is now generally good at delivering on the last 4 of these points. Industry specific software such as our foxEnterpriseCRM, are particularly powerful at Point 2 through many years of continuous optimisation to meet the specific needs of property developers, project marketers, investment groups and so on.
Point 1 – improving sales is however still a significant challenge for almost every CRM implementation I have seen. Why you might ask? The answer is simple. If you salespeople do not systematically use your CRM software, your sales pipeline has failed at the very point where it starts. If your salespeople are not entering new leads, are not updating leads as and when they communicate with them, if they are not following your automated activity plans, and not even accessing live price lists and other essential sales information via the CRM, then your attempt to improve sales through improved conversion rates, cross selling, database marketing or other techniques will fail…. or at the very least will struggle.
So we come back to the question at hand: Why do salespeople hate CRM? I will pose this in another way. What do salespeople want in a CRM? In our view it is the following:
1. Software that is easy to use.
2. Software that helps them perform their sales or admin tasks more easily.
3. Software that gives them the essential sales information they need (live price lists, sales kits, floor plans, fly throughs etc)
4. Software that is available to use no matter where they are
I have included below a screen grab of Salesforce, reputably the most popular CRM in the world.
The No 1 reason salespeople do not use CRM software is complexity. CRM software is just too complicated and confusing to use. When looking at this Salesforce screen grab there is nothing ostensibly easy about reading and certainly entering this data. Lots of of fields, lots of categories, lots of buttons. If you use the toolbar and start going into Accounts, then Opportunities and so on it just gets worse and worse. If this software was developed and implement for salespeople, as every CRM vendor purports, just why has it ended up being so complex and difficult to use!
I am not just picking on Salesforce here. The is no CRM software that is as powerful and as full of features as our own foxEnterpriseCRM. For 20 years we have been customising and improving it with feature after feature to meet the specific needs of the property industry. The answer as to why foxEnterpriseCRM and other CRM software is just so complex can be found on my earlier points on why CRM software is implemented in the first place. As pointed out earlier CRM software is expected to do a lot more than just help salespeople make sales. Points 2 through to Pt 5 above all have nothing to do with salespeople and helping them make more sales. Each of them are fundamentally important reasons to implement a CRM however, so we can not say that a CRM should be developed solely for the needs of a salesperson. Marketing Departments, Contract Administration teams, Customer Service and Handover teams, Management and so on all have detailed requirements, and the CRM software has to meet all of them. By virtue of this, the CRM inevitably and inexorably morphs into a complicated beast that salespeople will simply not use.
If you have read this far then you are desperate to know the solution (or are a competitor of ours!). So I will let you out of your misery. The answer is you need 2 CRM’s. One for your salespeople, and one for your admin team!
One that gives your salespeople exactly what they want and need, and another that gives your administration staff exactly what they want and need. We think this is a revolutionary idea and is going to change forever how people think of CRM software. We are calling it CRM V2
One size does not fit all. One CRM does not work for all! Your current CRM almost certainly does not work for your sales team. So we have developed and launched a new CRM that runs side by side with foxEnterprise CRM – its called SalesCRM and as the name suggests it is made exclusively for salespeople. It is easy to use, beautiful, fast, available on every device and did I say simple to use! And it works.
Your salespeople will love it, and your management team will love foxEnterprise. Two CRM’s, working as one representing a whole new approach a successful CRM implementation.