Why your sales team isn’t using your CRM

According to CSO Insights, less than 37% of sales teams use their company’s customer relationship manager (CRM). That means that not only is your marketing team missing out on vital insights into your customer base, but your sales teams are also not operating at 100% of their potential. 

In fact, studies have shown that sales teams that properly leverage their CRM see a 29% increase in sales!

So why do sales teams struggle to adopt a new CRM software? The answer comes down to two things: they don’t know how to use it and/or they don’t know why they should.

(Read more: The 4 pillars of digital transformation - people)


With the adoption of any new technology, ensuring that your team understands how to use it is key. Adoption rates vary from person to person and one thing that can help accelerate any digital project is getting your team the training they need to succeed. Here are a few tips for making sure your team knows how to get the most from your CRM:

  • Schedule training - This one may seem obvious, but setting up a formal training session for your team can work wonders. While you may have some team members who are early adopters and are happy to play with a new tool until they understand it, that won’t be the case for everyone.

    A formal training session can help you set your whole sales team up on an even footing and encourages people to try the new CRM before dismissing it out of hand.
  • Set up a sandbox - Encourage your team to be more curious and willing to try this new way of working by giving them an area of the CRM to play around with and possibly make mistakes without affecting the whole platform. This can be done with dummy accounts and contacts.
  • Acknowledge early adopters - Find those sales team members who have quickly adopted the new technology and make them CRM ambassadors. This gives your team people to ask questions and discuss issues with.

(Read more: The benefits of hiring a HubSpot certified trainer) 


The second reason that CRM adoption projects fail is that your team doesn’t understand why they should be using the system.

This isn’t just a problem with CRMs. In fact, most digital transformation projects fall short in this area. If you don’t want that to happen to your CRM change, getting your team on side is key.

Here are a few simple ways to help your team understand the benefits of transitioning to the new CRM:

  • Get more from your ambassadors - Those early adopter CRM ambassadors aren’t just beneficial because they can answer questions. They also can help spread enthusiasm and showcase the benefits of a new system just by using it regularly.
  • Set up demonstrations - In addition to training your team and nominating ambassadors, you can put together demonstrations of best case use scenarios. This can be especially effective if your sales and marketing teams will both be using the CRM.
(Read more: 8 ways to align marketing and sales )
  • Communicate - Setting up clear expectations and explaining your reasoning behind wanting your team to use the CRM is probably the most important thing you can do. Take your team on the journey with you and share your vision. Help them get excited about possibilities.

Once you’ve implemented these tips and ensured that your sales team knows both how to use the CRM and why it’s in their best interest to do so, your adoption issues will be a thing of the past.

If you find that you are still struggling to get your sales team to embrace your CRM or if you’re interested in how HubSpot’s CRM can accelerate your team’s growth, get in touch.

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