We invited our valued partner, ForceManager, to share their thoughts on a technology trend or topic that highlights new trends in the market. Enjoy this latest post on CRM user adoption from CEO, Oscar Macia.

The development of technology over the past 20 or so years has been mind-boggling. Really, if you would have told me we’d be talking about artificial intelligence and sales when I got into the business, I’d have laughed at you (I mean, back then we were still using a Rolodex…). However, with the unveiling of their “Einstein” platform at Dreamforce this week, it appears Salesforce are on the verge of this breakthrough.

Boasting advanced machine learning, deep learning, predictive analytics, natural language processing smart data discovery, predictive future behaviour and intelligent cloud delivery – it’s guaranteed to be the most action-packed, feature-filled CRM to date.

Great, brilliant, awesome! With all these brand new features my sales reps have everything they need to go out and sell more, right?

Well, maybe we need to hold on a second here.

Technology does have the ability to transform the sales industry, especially mobile CRM but only if utilised correctly. The software has to be designed with the end-user mind.

There has been a recurring issue for some time now concerning consumer CRM ROI. Too often companies are buying into a system that fails deliver on their investment, with a staggering 63% of CRM deployments not working out.

But why is that? If we have an abundance of ground-breaking technology at our disposal that’s supposedly transforming the way sales representatives work?

It essentially comes down to user adoption and to how deeply front-end users buy into the system. You can have all the latest bells and whistles that your chosen CRM offers but unless data is being entered correctly, it will deliver about as much insight into your sales process as the next door neighbors’ pet gerbil.

Small pockets of resistance to CRM adoption can form for a number of reasons, with the first and most common incidence being a rejection of the platform altogether.

Sometimes, there are just so many features crammed onto a CRM interface that it looks like it could burst open at any second – like a suitcase refusing to accept that last piece of luggage. Hence for a rep simply looking to log a sales call, locate an account or their daily schedule, it can be an incredibly frustrating system to navigate.

To help iron out this issue try thinking from the outside in; how are the sales reps actually navigating the system? Are there areas you previously thought necessary that are in fact being completely ignored? Are there any features that can be improved, guided by customer feedback from the operations team?

Taking the time to answer these questions helps providers build a system that places the needs of users’ front and centre, while also maintaining the insight sales management needs to make accurate forecasting predictions.

Another barrier facing user adoption is data entry. To say reps can be averse to this process is an understatement. For them, reporting sales calls, detailing client visits or remembering to set appointment follow-ups deviates precious time away from what they’re paid to do – selling. However, it’s a catch 22; without accurate data input the sales teams’ performance cannot be optimised and improved.

Again, this is where technology comes into play. It can be used to automate as many mundane processes as possible for sales reps. For example, using the iOS10 Siri for mobile CRM sales reps can report the details of a sales meeting in under 10 seconds or, receive contextual information detailing approximate ETAs that take into account current traffic conditions to the next sales visit.

While the technological innovation and forward thinking taking place within the industry is truly remarkable, CRM user adoption remains a major problem in the industry that has to be tackled, not ignored. It doesn’t matter how many artificially inseminated insights the software can throw out – if the data input is incorrect, out of date or worse, non-existent…well, you get the idea.

Sometimes the evolution of technology grows so big and happens so quickly, we forget about why and who it was created for.

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