According to CRM Magazine and Introhive partner Danny Estrada, 91% of businesses in North America with over 10 employees have a customer relationship management (CRM) system. 91% is a staggering statistic, but why do so many organizations report having trouble getting high user engagement and adoption?
Within that 91 percent of companies, it’s safe to assume that less than a third feel adequately equipped with the tools they need to actually be successful. While CRM like Salesforce has the potential to radically transform an organization’s sales culture, most managers struggle to articulate the value and downstream impact CRM can have on sales, which results in low engagement.
With roughly 20% share of the CRM market, Salesforce is the leading CRM vendor in the space. Their technology is widely utilized across almost every industry and the tech giant’s ecosystem has grown at breakneck speed over the last decade, with a valuation of $97B as of June 2018 according to Forbes. But even Salesforce has to combat poor CRM adoption rates, data quality concerns, and a lack of “who knows who” across accounts.
To combat these common CRM challenges, below are 5 ways you can unlock relationship intelligence in Salesforce CRM to increase user adoption and enablement.
- Tear Down the Cultural Barriers
- Leadership Needs to Be All-In on Salesforce
- Gamify Adoption & Measure Engagement with Leaderboards
- Eliminate Manual, Mundane Data Entry with Automation
- Enable Sales with Timely Intelligence from CRM
#1 – Tear Down the Cultural Barriers
Typically, companies implement Salesforce and then attempt to change their business processes to fit the tool. However, this doesn’t always work as it requires your end users to change how they do their jobs. It’s disruptive.
To really drive adoption right out of the gate, you need to optimize Salesforce to fit within your culture. This means disabling the features that won’t be used or that your business development or marketing teams will find distracting. In addition, you need to work closely with Salesforce to activate features or customizations that your marketing and business development teams will appreciate and find impactful to their day-to-day operations.
By transforming Salesforce into a system that truly supports your end goal (e.g. accelerating sales cycles, generating new revenue, increasing customer retention, etc.) and fits within your existing workflows, you’ll see greater alignment and engagement from your end users. And through increased engagement, end users will spend more time making sure that their contact records contain useful insights and information, improving the relationship intelligence in Salesforce.
Additionally, automating mundane tasks such as creating new contacts, logging tasks and activities in Salesforce can dramatically impact the engagement rates of sales and business development teams, because rich insights are available in Salesforce without the user having to do anything to get it there. Click here to learn more about syncing data directly into Salesforce.
#2 – Leadership Needs to Be All-In on Salesforce
Besides making sure that Salesforce fits within your culture, successful CRM implementation happens when your leadership team believes in it, as well. Advocacy needs to start at the top of your organization for your team to take CRM seriously.
For example, if your executive team doesn’t all agree that Salesforce is the system or the tool that will help you reach your goals of growing your business or improving retention, there will be uncertainty among your sales and marketing teams.
You need to first make sure that your leadership team is educated on what Salesforce will do and how it will help improve the firm’s sales process. It’s also a good idea to appoint a senior leader to champion and programize the change to drive the transformation. Having an advocate at the top of your organization will inspire additional support from your sales and marketing teams and build long-term commitment to CRM. Without taking these steps, there’s no real motivation for your team to use Salesforce or input quality relationship data.
#3 – Gamify Adoption & Measure Engagement with Leaderboards
Another good way to increase CRM adoption is to make the tool more engaging and rewarding for end users. For example, by gamifying CRM use, relationship growth, or network growth, you’re promoting the behaviors that lead to increased adoption, relationship insights, and the number of relationships your company will have access to for prospecting.
To do this at your firm, make sure you’re tracking metrics like number of logins, number of relationships identified, or average relationship score for your end users. Then, create a leaderboard that ranks your end users based on their performance.
In seeing where they stand with their peers, your end users will be more motivated to use the CRM system and improve their relationships. CRM will become something they want to use in order to be recognized and rewarded for their hard work. In fact, 60% of learners believe that gamification like leaderboards and other competitions motivate engagement.
Beyond gamification, taking a more creative and engaging approach to CRM training and onboarding is also helpful. For an idea of what to do, you could transform your training program into a fun game or scavenger hunt or leverage tools like WalkMe to simplify the learning experience. This gets your end users more engaged and excited for CRM, increasing your training attendance, participation, and learning retention.
#4 – Eliminate Manual, Mundane Data Entry with Automation
Manual data entry and maintenance is routinely one of the top CRM adoption problems that businesses need to solve.
Salesforce, like all CRMs, is a powerful tool, but is only as good as the data that lives within the solution. To maximize insights, users of the system need to be diligent in entering data; everything from new contacts, meeting activities, tasks, assignments, notes, and more. Let’s be real for a moment, it is hard to keep up with all the data entry when you are running from meeting to meeting.
An additional problem is that all this data entry takes up a considerable amount of sales rep time. In fact, the average CRM user spends 5.5 hours each week working in the system entering data when they could be out selling.
Instead of spending all of this time in Salesforce, a lot of CRM users may choose to not input data or spend less time making sure their data is accurate. This causes data quality and integrity to erode.
To encourage better adoption and increase the level of relationship intelligence, you need to reduce the amount of manual work that Salesforce requires. Tools like CRM automation or relationship intelligence automation can help eliminate those mundane processes so your CRM end users don’t have to spend hours each week entering or maintaining their data. With more time to spare, they can focus on using the insights within Salesforce to develop stronger relationships.
#5 – Enable Sales with Timely Intelligence from CRM
So, let’s assume you have strong user adoption AND your data quality is top notch. The next challenge you will face in your adoption maturity curve is empowering and sharing CRM insights with your sales and business development teams when they need them most.
This is where predictive relationship analytics can make a huge improvement in Salesforce’s relationship intelligence. Through relationship analytics add-ons, including our own platform, Introhive, Salesforce can compile and decipher your CRM data into useful, relevant, intelligent insights and identify new cross-selling opportunities, mutual connections, at-risk accounts, and more.
Relationship Intelligence Starts With Culture
At first glance it may seem like a stretch, but getting more relationship intelligence from Salesforce starts with your company culture. If your CRM isn’t a good cultural fit, your end users won’t use the tool. And if your CRM isn’t being used, it won’t generate relationship intelligence.
To encourage adoption and use, your culture needs to be your first priority, followed by motivating your team, eliminating data entry, and enhancing data analysis.
If you want to real life examples of how to maximize relationship intelligence in Salesforce, read our customer case studies to learn how other organizations are using Introhive’s platform to maximize business development and marketing impact.