Sales Performance Enhancement

Looking to boost sales performance? 4 reasons why CRMs struggle to get you there

Jonathan Hubbard
Jonathan Hubbard
March 1, 2024

Powerful business tools designed for managers and analysts, CRMs are a great tool for making major business decisions based on customer behavior insights.

However, CRMs struggle to provide the same value as a sales performance enhancement tool; why is that?

In this article, we’ll explain a CRM’s key limitations as a sales performance tool and how to recognise your CRM is affecting your sales team.

How to tell your CRM isn't helping, but hindering sales performance

1: CRM’s aren’t intuitive to use, and their learning curves are steep

Think back to your CRM onboarding experiences. At first you couldn’t find what you needed, but after months of extra training courses, independent how-to guides, and support calls, you were a natural.

However, without the outside support, you would’ve been in big trouble. Would that extra content still exist if the CRM was truly intuitive? A sales rep should be able to pick up a new software that’s built specifically for them and quickly begin using it to optimize their workday, however, if the software isn’t intuitive, they’ll only be wasting time.

2: CRMs can overwhelm reps, decreasing their engagement and motivation

Your CRM’s customer data section is empty, the team is falling behind target, and to top it off, they’ve all gone back to pen and paper. Is this a familiar situation? Chances are your sales team has been overwhelmed by your CRM.

If your management, onboarding, or IT Department misses the mark with CRM setup, it’ll become overwhelming for reps to use. If it’s a struggle to use, reps can become disengaged and lose motivation to use the CRM. An overcomplicated improperly setup software, doesn’t easily fit into a sales rep workflow, even if it’s intended as a tool to streamline regular activities. 

3: CRMs can often break rep’s workflow, occupying sales-making time

How many times have your reps asked: “Do you want me to sell stuff, or do administration?”

Often, CRMs disrupt sales rep activity by pulling them away from their main role as a salesperson, interrupting their workflow; a classic example being sales note taking.

Having to hastily catalog a potential sales opportunity into the CRM between meetings wastes a rep’s time and explains why notes are not detailed, or non-existent. Without that information, management will have no idea if forecasted targets will be met, or if performance is on track at all. 

4: The sales CRM doesn’t provide the individual rep with value- they use it for others’ benefit

Company managers/management decide what information is relevant for reps to use and enter, even if it’s unrelated to sales performance. Spending time entering data unrelated to their job for management’s benefit decreases rep efficiency and could discourage them from using the CRM altogether. 

Now, sales target progress cards, sales team leaderboards, and sales live feeds are all tools which deliver valuable insight for a sales rep. Unfortunately, in practice, your CRM isn’t designed to deliver this value to the sales rep; the value is delivered for management only.

CRMs have their uses, but don’t cut it for reps who exclusively need sales performance insights. In practice, asking a rep to use a CRM to meet their target is like asking an accountant to use a compass to do finances; the tools don’t apply. It’s vital to have the right tools for the job, something you can learn more about here: sales performance app vs sales CRM.

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