October 23, 2017

How to Get Your Employees to Use Your CRM

BY Caitlin Delohery IN CRM Software, Relationships 0 Comment

Did you know that over 60% of all CRM implementations fail?


A CRM isn’t like other tools. It syncs with your team’s workflow, influences how they run outreach, and impacts the ways they pursue sales goals. When a change is this far-reaching, it makes sense that you might meet some resistance from your team.

But, you’re here reading this article, and you aren’t going to let your team become a statistic!

Here’s how to get your employees to use your CRM.

Pick a CRM that’s a good fit.

First, you need to make sure you have the right CRM for your team.

If you’re a small business and your CRM is overwhelmingly complex, your team will have to slog through a lot of unnecessary bells and whistles before they can access the tools they need.

If you’re a Fortune 500 company with a six-figure database, an overly simple program just won’t cut it.

To make sure you choose the right system, talk to your team from the get-go. By giving them input from the start, you’ll be more likely to get their buy-in when it’s CRM Installation Day.

And, at the end of your team conversations, you’ll have the kind of detailed information on what CRM features will be most powerful for them:

  • The size of your database
  • An understanding of your team’s current workflow
  • Details on their outreach processes, procedures, and needs, such as:
    • Daily, quarterly, and annual phone and email volume
    • Email sequences, schedules, and other routine outreach
    • Event- or seasonally-specific outreach needs, such as email campaigns tied to trade shows or holiday website traffic upswings
    • Existing templates and template ideas
  • The lifecycle of a typical customer, from lead to fan

Though each company may need something a bit different based on the above info, here are some hallmarks of a good fit:

When your team sees that your CRM is the right CRM — and one they helped choose — they’ll be eager to use it.

Put a ring on it.

Okay, you don’t have to marry your CRM.

But, because your CRM is so powerful, you can’t be a commitment-phobe and expect your team to be on board.

We get why it’s hard to commit. You’re overworked, you’re stressed, you’re busy. You’ve got leads to call, emails to send, referrals to generate. That’s why you need a CRM! But you feel like you don’t have the time to implement the tool that will help you work smarter.

We’ve all been there. It’s hard to pause and get down to the strategic and preventative work that can make your life easier down the road. But here are a couple of secrets.

Secret #1

Bringing on a CRM can be easy … and fun! (see below)

Secret #2

Launching your CRM will yield big rewards in the long run.

Develop a CRM strategy.

So, now that you’ve cleared a little time on your calendar, you want to jump right in, right? Let’s get this CRM party started! you’re saying.

Not so fast. Because along with poor fit and ambivalent leadership, another cause of CRM Failure Syndrome is lack of strategy.

Without a strategy, your team will be adopting your CRM willy-nilly. While willy-nilly is fun to say, it is not at all fun to sort through data that has been entered willy-nilly, to attempt to align on a dozen email strategies that have been implemented willy-nilly, or to otherwise de-willy-nilly your CRM.

So, before your team digs in, get everyone on the same page on how you’re using your CRM. Think about:

  • Data entry standards
  • Contact ownership
  • Email template creation
  • Outreach protocols
  • Individual and team schedules

Offer an engaging relationship-building training.

Your strategy will help your CRM fit right into your larger relationship-building workflows and superpower your outreach. So, to get mega-buy-in from your team, hold a relationship-building training.

By showing your team how your CRM fits into making meaningful connections, you’ll also help them to understand that the CRM is more than just a piece of software. It’s a tool to help you understand, grow, and strengthen your business relationships.

Here are some tips for creating an engaging training on relationship-building:

  • Roleplay best practices for phone calls with prospects and meetings with customers.
  • Encourage your team to share examples of their most effective email templates.
  • Discuss successful customer conversion stories and analyze what works.
  • Create collaborative templates and conversation guidelines together as a team.

Make it fun.

CRMs are all about relationships, and relationships are built on fun. When your CRM is a good fit, when everyone is onboard to use it, and when you all see how it ties to the bigger picture, getting your team to use your CRM is a piece of cake.

Here are some tips to keep it fun:

  • Include CRM knowledge sharing in your weekly meetings. Tap team members to talk about their unique uses or favorite features.
  • Gamify outreach goals, data collection, and strong reporting. Create a little friendly competition and give prizes to the team members who:
    • Send the most successful outreach emails from the CRM in a quarter
    • Import their existing contacts into the CRM most accurately and quickly
    • Integrate the CRM into their daily workflow most effectively
  • Share success stories related to CRM use.

If your CRM is fun to use, and clearly tied to big dividends, like strong relationships and more closes, you won’t be able to keep your team away.

Looking for more on your team’s CRM use? Check out our article about why your team hates your CRM.


Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn.

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