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13 tips to get business teams to use your CRM system

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | March 28, 2013
Having a great new customer relationship management system won't be worth much until you figure out how to get everyone to use it.

5. Keep forms simple. "Sales people are busy," explains Andy Cronk, development director, Aspire Technologies Limited, a Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution provider. "So to ensure your sales users can quickly enter data about a lead/opportunity, make sure there are no more than five fields to complete."

6. Don't bombard users with features."Make sure your system is as simple as possible for what you need," says Jamie Diamond, founder , a solution that simplifies the management and tracking of customer information. "If you need a full blown Salesforce CRM system with every feature possible, so be it. However, most companies can get more people using more features if you only give them what they need."

7. Provide customer support. "Make sure to have all the information [regarding use of your CRM software] available and easily accessible, so customers don't need to call support for common how-to issues," says Sweary.

8. Make sure high-level executives are using it, too. "Nothing gets an employee's attention like when a CEO sends an email, I was looking in the CRM and did not see....'," says Susman.

9. Make it fun (and competitive) and reward use."Turn it into a game--with badges, leaderboards, rewards and public recognition," says Misha Sobolev, managing director,, which provides sales leads for tech companies. "Salespeople are competitive. Play to that."

10. Foster cross-departmental communication."Cross-departmental communication is key," says Mike Wierzbowski, vice president of solution innovation for TOA Technologies, which provides workforce management software. "Any new system potentially impacts everyone--marketing, dispatch, the call center, even the systems operations center examining a network. They ALL must understand the benefits for a successful adoption," he says. "Marketing can't sell products if the field can't deliver it. The CSRs can't enter requests if even one part of the system is ineffective. With all these interdependencies, making people across all departments aware of what's going on and how it impacts them is imperative."

11. Check that your system is mobile-device friendly. "Today's sales teams use a range of smart devices, such as tablets and iPads, on a daily basis," says Gary White, the CEO of White Springs, which provides sales training technology. "They expect to have access to information while on the move. And of course it makes them more effective if they can [access the CRM software] while out of the office, to help them close a deal." So make sure the CRM solution you deploy is mobile-device friendly.

12. Make sure your CRM integrates with other key systems and applications. "If users see that they will have good integration with some of the main tools they need daily--like MS Outlook, MS Office and external reporting tools--they will adopt the CRM more enthusiastically," argues Jorge Defreitas, senior product advisor for CRM with IFS North America, which provides a component-based ERP suite. "And don't overlook seamless integration with, and access to, ERP," he adds.


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