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Why Do Sales Reps Loathe CRM?

You are a great leader.  You have a powerful sense of mission and purpose. You energize and motivate your sales force to achieve seemingly impossible goals.  You aren’t afraid to take risks but you also know to rely on data-driven decisions such as the one you just made to implement a new CRM system. According to Aberdeen Research reports, companies that use a CRM system have 14.8% better customer retention rates, 40% better team attainment of quotas, and 41.7% better individual sales rep attainment of quotas, as well as better insights into the sales pipeline. Sounds amazing! So why does your sales team appear to hate it? And how can you help them get on board?

  1.     Poor implementation

Although you looked at all the research before choosing a new CRM system, did you involve the sales team prior to implementation?  A new application rollout is a major overhaul that disrupts everyone’s daily work experience and productivity. It’s important to take time to communicate to your reps why the new system is being implemented, what outcomes are expected, and the overall benefits once it is implemented.
  1.     Inadequate training
Having to learn how to use new systems can be scary and overwhelming.  And some CRM systems are complex and hard to use, even for those of us who are more tech savvy.  Your reps will be more inclined to use the CRM system if they feel that they are receiving the proper training and support.  Another option is to complement your CRM system with a performance support system that will shorten the training duration by supporting users in real-time, in the live application.
  1.     The fear that management will use CRM to micro-manage

You think you are enabling your sales reps by implementing a CRM system – but the reps don’t see it that way. As any salesperson has overheard, and CSO Insights research shows, the CRM system is not really about helping the salesperson sell – it’s about giving everyone else visibility into the sales pipeline and specific sales activities.  To lessen their fears, ensure your reps that your company will only be tracking the necessary information and not using it as “Big Brother” to scrutinize every single action they make.

  1.     More time spent on non-sales activities 

As we all know – time is money.  And time is something that sales reps can’t afford to waste on non-sales activities.  Updating each customer record with every email, phone call, meeting, canceled meeting, change in status, change in schedule, revised proposal, and so on and so forth is not work that benefits the individual salesperson. So they aren’t motivated to do it, except under threat such as “no more leads” or “no bonus.” To help your reps keep their CRM records up-to-date look at automated solutions that will automate as much data entry as possible so your reps can save valuable time.

When adopted and used correctly, a CRM system can be a great investment for your company and your sales force. If you invest in the right tools and devote the necessary time and effort to configure the system in a way that meets your salesperson’ needs, then you will gain their trust and participation.  And they might even begin to love it!


Looking for additional guidelines to improve your organization’s sales performance and empower your salespeople for success? Claim your free copy of our newest eBook: An Insiders Guide to Top Sales Tools.  

Topics: Sales Operations



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