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Data Entry & Productivity Part 2: A real life story about salespeople and CRM

As we discussed in our last blog about data and productivity, data entry can be tedious, and manual data entry often leads to errors. However, CRM systems depend on data, but often this job is handled by people who may not necessarily be data entry specialists. Contaminated data has led to multiple companies losing billions of dollars. CRM data entry challenges are among the top reasons teams are underproductive and inefficient. Not to mention, poor data entry leads to frustrated users and unhappy employees. 

I am going to use a personal example of data entry gone wrong. My husband is a salesperson and is not a fan of CRM. His company spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a fancy CRM implementation, yet half of their salespeople despise using it. The company makes them use it to put in orders and such, but because of the complexity of their CRM, along with their lack of training, I hear his sales team constantly complaining about it on all of their calls. As the Marketing Director at GreenRope, I have to sit back and laugh a little. They should be using GreenRope. 

 But since they are not using GreenRope, I wanted to explore what would entice them to actually use their pricey and overcomplicated CRM? My husband let me watch him put in some data, and he even asked me if I could help. Of course, I assumed I could figure it out easily. I work in CRM, right? I know technology. WRONG. This CRM was COMPLICATED. I was so lost. This particular CRM company was  making him input data in different places, and if you didn’t completely update one area, you couldn’t save it, and to make matters worse  the system also wouldn’t tell you where you messed it up. I could see why they hated it so much. Not only were they wasting time inputting data, but the system was so complicated they needed WAY more training in order to effectively use it. 

So, instead of my husband and his team entering data accurately the first time, they would regularly input, delete, and then input updated data again. Not what you want if you are using CRM to track sales opportunities and order progress. This terrible method of entering data was basically rendering the system useless, leading to poor reporting and overall lacks insight into the sales process. 

As commission sales reps, the only work they want to do is work that makes them money. To them, that means selling NOT entering data into a system they already don’t want to use. 

After going through the CRM with my very frustrated husband, I came to the following conclusions. 

Fancy & expensive doesn’t always mean it’s the right fit.

Don’t choose a CRM because it’s fancy and well-known, choose a CRM that your salespeople can and want to use. CRM is not one-size-fits-all. Some CRMs require a lot more technology savvy than others. They are not intuitive and require a lot of training  to use properly. 

Selecting the right CRM for your sales team shouldn’t be a decision solely made in the C-Suite, this decision needs to include buy-in from sales managers, top performers, marketing, and more. Have a few people who will actually have to use the CRM try the CRM and get their feedback. Is it user-friendly? Is it a system that the sales team can get behind? The more inclusive you are in your CRM decision-making process, the more likely you are to find a CRM that your team will actually use. 

Never under any circumstances forego training.

Whether you choose an extra complicated CRM or a more user-friendly CRM, invest in training. I mean real training. My husband’s training consisted of a few meetings with the marketing team and some system walkthroughs. For a guy that has never used CRM and does not consider himself a techie, this was highly insufficient. Even myself, with an advanced knowledge of CRM, I would have needed hands-on training to understand how to efficiently use this CRM. Training should be your top and first priority when implementing a new CRM system. 

When your sales team understands the benefits of up-to-date and accurate data, they will follow the required data entry protocol. Use forms and mobile CRM and reduce your data points. It'll double productivity.

Check in with your team often. 

A lot of outside salespeople do not work in an office. They are on the go, in and out of offices, warehouses, etc. First, you need a mobile app to ensure they can input data on the go, and second, you need to check in with them regularly to make sure they have the tools they need or have any questions about how to enter their data accurately into the system. 

Create hassle-free ways to input data. 

As I mentioned earlier, sales people do not want to spend their time entering data into a system they don’t like. In fact, their building frustration will get worse when forced to use a complicated system on top of everything else. You need to find ways to make data entry easy for them. A lot of salespeople do their data entry at the end of the day, after a long day of sales calls. While this might not be ideal, it’s the reality of how they work, and that’s ok. If you are going to require them to use the CRM, you have to make it easy for them to do after a long day of selling. 

A great way to make data entry easier is to create forms they can fill out at the end of the day that, when submitted, automatically updates the system. GreenRope makes this really easy since we have signup forms already built into the system. Unfortunately, the system that my husband is using doesn’t have this functionality readily available. 

Automated CRM data entry merges contacts and prevents duplication. If two records for the same contact exist in the CRM, the system automatically incorporates them. This merge prevents the contact from receiving the same message twice or mixed messages.

GreenRope CRM  tools can also identify inactive, bounced, or unsubscribed contacts. The sales team becomes more empowered by using accurate data to support their decisions. According to a survey, sales teams using CRM automation witness a sales increase of up to 10%

If my husband’s company just used one or two of these methods it would significantly improve their reporting, as well as the productivity and efficiency of their sales team. Currently, I see thousands of dollars wasted each month with the current state of their implementation. Talk about draining resources. Consult, train, check in, and automate. These are the 4 ingredients for sales team success with CRM. 

If you are a small or medium-sized business looking for ways to maximize your CRM, contact us for a free demo. For more information about our services, call us at 1.442.333.7577

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Alessandra Gyben Blog Bio

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