Customer relationship management (CRM) should make life easier for business owners, marketers and salespeople. Businesses that use CRM software see sales increase by 29%, and 47% of CRM users say that their CRM has a significant impact on customer satisfaction.
However, CRM can sometimes become a source of extra stress, especially when it comes to choosing the best CRM tool for your business. LinkedIn's State of Sales 2018 report found that more than half of sales professionals (64%) use CRM applications – but this means that 36% are yet to adopt one.
Read on for some of the most common reasons why businesses don't use a CRM, as well as our advice on finally implementing a system. With the right choice, you can benefit your sales, lead nurturing and customer retention – and banish all CRM-related stress.
11 of the most common obstacles to adopting a CRM
1. “No CRM fits my business perfectly”
Here's one honest truth: your business isn’t as unique as you think it is.
So many teams think that they have one-of-a-kind problems and needs. But in reality, they're usually pretty common.
Still, as with all tools, when it comes to choosing a CRM you're unlikely to find a solution that perfectly matches your business in every way. However, there are hundreds of tools out there, all with different features and strengths for different business types, sizes and industries.
2. “I won’t get enough support”
In 2019, Salesforce shared that 84% of customers believe that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. This will be hugely important as we head into 2020.
Not only should your own business focus on providing the best possible experience for your customers, but the tools and services that you're researching are also competing to give you the best experience.
CRM tools need to provide you with a stellar customer experience to stand out. This drives up the average support, resources, onboarding guidance and benefits that you can expect to receive, especially if you're choosing one of the best CRMs on the market.
3. “I don’t know which CRM I need”
Many businesses don't know where to start with CRM – so if this applies to you, don't feel bad about it! 18% of salespeople still don't know what a CRM is.
Once you're familiar with CRM and how it can improve your business processes and results, there are more resources than ever to help you choose the right system.
4. “My managers hate change and I can’t convince them to adopt a CRM”
34% of SMEs without a CRM say that resistance to change is a top reason why they haven’t adopted one. Often it's top-level management who are reluctant to adopt new tools.
Find some stats to convince them in our list of the best CRM stats, including the top benefits of implementing a CRM system.
5. “I’m overwhelmed by choice!”
What if you have several CRM options on your shortlist, they all look great, and you have no idea which one to choose?
First off, make sure to use the free trial periods that most CRMs offer. During this time, get another person or two from your team to help you out and give honest feedback on which tool they prefer using.
Here are a few areas to compare CRMs on during your research process:
- Cost – Does the CRM fit your budget? Will there be any hidden costs, such as for additional users or advanced features?
- Implementation - How easy will it be to move from your current system to the new CRM? What will need to happen? On what timeline?
- Features – Does the CRM fulfill your feature requirements? Are there any extras that can make your work even easier?
- User experience – What is the CRM like to use? Can you understand where features are and how to use them? Will you and your team enjoy using the tool?
There are several user-friendly sites that make choosing software so much easier, like the helpful review platform Crozdesk.
6. “It’s too much effort to set up a CRM”
40% of SMEs without a CRM say they lack the resources to implement one, says Workbooks.
However, there are ways around this, starting with the tool you choose. Check point #8 in this post for a list of easy-to-implement CRMs to save needless stress.
There are also countless resources out there to help you thrive with the CRM you choose. Ask each CRM's onboarding team about the free resources and guidance they can offer you, or check these online CRM review sites and communities.
7. “A CRM is too expensive for my business”
38% of British SMEs cite cost as an obstacle to adopt a CRM. While traditional methods might look cheaper than a CRM subscription at first glance, the time and efficiency loss can tell a different story.
Using cheap or free solutions that aren't designed for CRM can be an expensive hidden cost for your business. Look into cost-effective CRM solutions that boost your team's productivity and banish stress without maxing out your budget.
8. “My team isn’t tech-savvy enough to implement a CRM”
38% of businesses without a CRM say they lack the required IT skills to implement one. To these businesses, we want to say this: you don't need to be very technical to implement a CRM!
In fact, several CRM providers have designed their tools with smaller and less tech-savvy teams in mind...
Some of the simplest CRMs to set up:
- Less Annoying CRM – Simple contact management software for small businesses.
- Copper – A new kind of productivity CRM that's designed to do all your busywork, so you can focus on building long-lasting business relationships.
- Freshworks CRM – A sales CRM built to help you stop juggling between multiple tools.
- PipelineDeals – A sales productivity platform that combines sales engagement and CRM in one simple app.
- Salesflare – An intelligent CRM that small businesses selling B2B love to use, featuring a zero-input sales pipeline tool that thinks and works for its user.
- Zendesk Sell – Sales force automation software to enhance productivity, processes and pipeline visibility for sales teams.
- Nimble – A CRM for Office 365 and G Suite that offers award-winning contact management solutions.
- Nutshell – CRM software that helps small-business sales reps win more deals.
- Pipedrive – Web-based sales CRM & pipeline management software that focuses on making more sales happen with less time and effort.
You can find an updated list of the easiest CRMs to get started with on G2 Crowd.
9. "My business is using an outdated and badly chosen CRM... and it's terrible"
So you've joined a new team, completed the onboarding process... and worked out that their ancient tools, well, suck. What can you do?
It's likely that your team members are so used to their existing processes that they think work needs to be this stressful (spoiler: it doesn't).
If you notice your team struggling with the wrong tools, give considered feedback on the pain points and blockers you're experiencing and suggest how it could be different. Also offer a few examples of intelligent yet easy-to-set-up CRMs that could benefit the business.
10. "I've tried implementing a CRM but it failed. My team won't adopt the new system."
Between 18% and 69% of CRM implementation projects fail, according to CIO Digital Magazine. One explanation why CRM investments don't deliver is that "CRM is focused on executives, not sellers," says Entrepreneur.com.
To solve this source of CRM stress, make sure to involve your team in CRM buying decisions. While your management team should enjoy the extra access to data and pipeline revenue, also ensure that users on the front line can save time, close more deals and complete tasks more easily than before with the new CRM tool.
11. "I can't integrate a CRM with my other tools"
17% of salespeople cite lack of integration with other tools as the biggest challenge using their existing CRM.
PieSync is made to solve this. With syncs between 190+ tools and more added every week, you can seamlessly connect your favorite tools and streamline your business processes around your new CRM.
To see how PieSync can save you stress and time by syncing your contacts, get started with a 14-day trial.
How to stress less about CRM
To banish your CRM worries, here are a few final pieces of advice for you to choose the right system and ensure a seamless implementation process:
Don't choose an overly complex CRM – there are so many simple and user-friendly choices on the market, so don't settle for a system you struggle to use.
Choose a CRM that's right for your business size. Many are designed with SMEs in mind.
Get the right people involved during the decision process, seeking out input from a salesperson, customer support technician and marketer as well as your management team.
If your business's decision makers need more convincing, show them how a CRM can impact team-wide performance and provide access to more insightful data.
Integrate your CRM with other key tools, such as your accounting system and email provider, to save time and keep your customer data updated everywhere for best results.