Getting the most ROI out of your CRM relies heavily on your team embracing and using the software correctly.
Yet, there are many obstacles to proper CRM adoption, and driving up user adoption rates continues to be challenging for many businesses.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and challenges of CRM adoption, show you how to evaluate your user adoption metrics, and offer tips on improving your adoption rates.
The benefits of CRM adoption
A modern CRM system is more than just a sales tool that improves revenue generation. It is a complete work management platform that impacts every aspect of your business.
Realizing this potential impact requires buy-in from your team and clear instruction on how the CRM platform will be used.
While this takes forethought and careful planning, the benefits greatly outweigh the effort needed.
Some of the benefits of effective CRM adoption include:
- Greater control over your work processes – A CRM platform provides the tools to create and enforce codified business processes. These processes are more efficient, ensure alignment, improve collaboration, and enhance the customer experience.
The more your employees adopt and embrace these processes, the greater the benefits for your business.
- Centralization – A modern CRM + work management platform is a virtual workspace from which your whole company can operate. Integrating with your other software tools can make a CRM system the single source of truth for your employees, reducing the time lost jumping between programs or entering redundant data.
This centralization can also help reduce the time and cost of employee onboarding since learning how to use a single platform is more straightforward than learning the ins and outs of several different programs.
Better data analysis – A CRM is great for tracking data and converting that data into easy-to-digest dashboards and reports. The higher quality of data a CRM has, the better it can perform these functions, so adoption and proper use of your CRM goes a long way.
CRM adoption metrics
The value of effective CRM adoption is clear. That said, evaluating your adoption rate can be its own challenge.
The right metrics can help you overcome this and provide the insights you need to get the most out of your CRM.
CRM adoption metrics can be placed into three distinct categories. Each is important and offers a different perspective that can help inform your CRM adoption strategy.
- Usage: These metrics tell you how many people use your CRM and what they use it for.
- Data quality: These metrics tell you how accurate and reliable the data in your CRM is.
- Performance: These metrics tell you how effective your CRM strategy and processes are.
CRM usage metrics to track
The first step in getting the most out of your CRM is getting your team to use it. The following CRM metrics are excellent indicators of how successful your efforts are in this regard.
- Login numbers: Track how many team members log in to your CRM in a given period.
The unique work processes of your business will determine your engagement cadences.
Knowing your daily or monthly active user count can help you identify outliers who are not using your CRM enough (or at all).
- Activities: Track how many activities a team member performs each day/week/month.
You should also track the specific activities performed to give you an idea of what your team is using your CRM for.
The number of activities performed will vary by process and role, so assess these CRM metrics accordingly.
- Interactions: Track how many interactions your team is having in your CRM. These include calls, emails, texts, and chats.
Interaction metrics provide insights into how many calls it takes to close a deal or how many people interact with a single account.
You can use these engagement metrics to inform your communication cadences and set expectations around customer management.
- Leads, accounts, and contacts: Track how many leads, accounts, and contacts are created in your CRM every day, week, or month.
Knowing these numbers can help you set targets for your team. These metrics can also be gamified to provide real-time “scoreboards” that keep your team motivated.
CRM data quality metrics to track
Ensuring your team is using your CRM is the first step, but making sure they are using it correctly is just as important.
- Form fields: Track the data captured in your form fields. You want to track form completeness and data accuracy.
The quality of the data you capture relies heavily on the setup of your form fields and integrations. Incomplete or inaccurate data may indicate the need for refinement.
- Attribution: Track which marketing campaign a lead came from, which sales rep closed a deal, which company referred a prospect, and so on.
Attribution metrics can help you make decisions about marketing strategy, sales quotas, and performance bonuses.
CRM performance metrics to track
After you have verified that your team is using your CRM correctly, you can assess how effectively your CRM is performing.
- Pipeline: Track your pipeline growth before implementing your CRM to give yourself a baseline to work off of.
Your pipeline will grow as your sales process becomes more efficient and your marketing campaigns more targeted.
- Cycle times: Track how long it takes to move from one stage to another (e.g., lead to opportunity) and how long it takes to complete one business cycle (lead-to-won deal).
Your cycle times will decrease as you build out more automations, use more task alerts, and integrate with more of your essential business tools.
- Win ratio: Track how many deals you win against how many deals you lose.
CRM technology can help you increase your win ratio through tools and insights to improve your customer interactions. The more your team uses your CRM and follows your sales processes, the higher your win ratio will be.
The challenges with CRM adoption
Many challenges can interfere with your efforts to drive CRM adoption.
- Redundancy: Any tool that creates more work for your employees will be strongly resisted. While a CRM should eliminate redundant data entry and help refine your work processes, it can have the opposite effect if poorly implemented.
Cutting corners on data migration or failing to take advantage of automation features can leave your employees wondering what the CRM is doing.
- Lack of training: While modern CRMs have made great strides with usability, they can still be complicated and intimidating tools for the uninitiated.
Ensure your team is comfortable using your CRM and knows how to do so correctly. The challenge lies in demonstrating the value of this training to leadership.
Too many companies fail to allocate enough resources to train their employees in proper use of their CRM technology.
Opting for a learn-as-you-go approach leads to poor product adoption and inconsistent practices.
- Lack of support: Even if your CRM never has a technical issue, you will need support from time to time.
Implementing new features, creating new workflows, or experimenting with new automations and tools can benefit from customer success manager input.
Many CRM vendors employ third party companies for their support channels. This makes getting assistance slow, inconsistent, and under-qualified.
Booking time with an in-house “product expert” can take weeks or even months. And when issues fail to be resolved quickly, the user experience suffers.
Employees stop using the feature/tool and find workarounds — sometimes less-than-ideal ones.
- Lack of user focus: CRMs provide many tools to help your specialists and reps work more effectively.
They also provide tools that can offer valuable insights to your leadership team.
The challenge lies in balancing your processes around effective and efficient workflows and data capture and analysis for each audience.
Getting this balance wrong can leave one part of your team feeling like the CRM isn’t for them, making adoption a struggle.
- Inconsistent adoption by leadership: Buy-in comes from the top. If your leadership team isn’t reinforcing the value of using your CRM, your efforts to drive adoption will fail.
Clear expectations must be set and enforced from the C-Suite.
Improving your CRM adoption rates
The following considerations can go a long way to improving your CRM adoption rates.
- Implementation strategy: How you roll out your CRM goes a long way toward determining adoption and overall success.
Generally, it is better to start small and grow slowly. Begin with one team and a few integrations and expand from there.
Our article, Successful CRM Implementation: A Step-By-Step-Guide, can help you create an implementation strategy for your business.
- Training: Training should be ongoing. Allocating monthly training hours is a good way to demonstrate the value you place on proper CRM use.
It is also important to consider different learning styles. Provide an assortment of training materials in various forms (written guides, recordings, videos, hands-on training) to support the differing needs of your employees.
- Personalize/customize: Modern CRMs can be set up and configured to work how you need them to.
Individual team members can personalize certain aspects to reflect their preferred working style.
Configure your CRM to offer as little disruption to your existing work processes as possible. This will help your team adjust more quickly.
- Simplify: A CRM should make the day-to-day life of your employees easier, not harder.
People naturally choose the path of least resistance, so if your CRM removes redundant steps or automates monotonous tasks, you won’t have any problem getting them to use it.
- Shared ownership: When people are invested in the process, they will go above and beyond to make it work.
Identify employees eager to learn new systems or seek leadership opportunities and leverage them to support the rest of your team.
Having a peer to turn to can make some employees more willing to reach out for support.
- Mobility: If your team can access your CRM from a mobile device and via the cloud, your usage and adoption rates will increase.
Remote work has become essential in today’s business environment, and tools that support this are embraced.
FreeAgent is the CRM your team will want to use
Nothing will impact your adoption rates more than choosing the right CRM. FreeAgent CRM is the right choice — and here’s why:
- Modern: FreeAgent CRM is designed for today’s world of work. Our interface is simple and stylish, and our tools are powerful and intuitive. Even if you have never used a CRM, you will have no problem learning to use FreeAgent.
- User-configurable: FreeAgent is user-configurable with no knowledge of coding required. This means you can setup FreeAgent to work the way you do, reducing the disruption that comes from implementing new tools and processes.
- Personalized: Individual team members can personalize their menus, dashboards, views, reports, and more. With FreeAgent CRM, every member of your team has agency over their own experience.
- Customer support: All of our customer service is handled in-house. That means you get answers to your questions faster, and since no one knows our software better than we do, you can trust those answers to be right every time.
Get started today with FreeAgent CRM and improve your work processes, speed up your business cycles, and win more deals.