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What ACTUALLY Makes CRM Indispensable?

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In a recent post on Salesforce’s blog by Jason Jordan of Vantage Point Performance, the author set out to show readers “how to make CRM indispensable.” And Jordan and I were on the same page up to a certain point: he acknowledges some of the major goals of CRM use (the ability to “make better, data-driven decisions and improve forecasting”) and the common struggle to get an entire organization to adopt a CRM. Jordan’s solution, however, does not solve the core problem I hear from the market. He claims that by “reducing the information load” of CRM reporting by 90%, organizations can exponentially increase system use.

Jordan and I differ on the major unsolved problem of CRM: what it takes to get a company to adopt. People aren’t driven away from CRM by access to too much reporting. No, CRM adoption issues have much more to do with the fact that really valuable information never makes it into the system because of the amount of manual input expected from users. Unfortunately, most CRMs on the market today require a great deal of manual data entry, so it’s no wonder that many deployments struggle with adoption challenges.

Right from the beginning, many users whose companies decide to introduce a new CRM realize that they’re expected to put relevant data into the system on their own. And if they fall behind on getting current data into the system, the CRM becomes irrelevant. Unfortunately, the very people who are most adept at relationship-based sales processes are also highly mobile people, and they’re quite unlikely to sit and enter the mounds of customer data they’ve gathered. Most people would rather spend time working on closing a deal than inputting data into the system after each and every meeting.

Some companies try to force adoption through data entry by setting pipeline or activity goals that must occur in the CRM. But this can create an even more dangerous situation than missing data: bad data. I recently spoke with a software sales executive who realized that some of his salespeople had been inputting fake account data and pipeline just to hit his organization’s monthly adoption goals. Let’s face it: there aren’t many people who can spare 30-45 minutes at the end of a long day to recap events in a CRM. As a result, data becomes out of date and adoption goes awry.

The Breakthrough in CRM

What if your CRM could listen for and gather critical customer intelligence for users so that their time with the system could be spent strategically leveraging data?

Fortunately for today’s CRM users, not every system on the market requires a heavy manual workload from its users. Bullhorn CRM software uses its Pulse technology to pull data into the system automatically, meaning that your team is actually free to spend its valuable time working on real business issues rather than wasting it on tedious data entry. With patented automatic data capture technology working for your team, you’ll never miss an important conversation or development. You know when people are meeting and talking with your clients and what they’re saying: the good, the bad, and the important.

Your company should be looking to solve the unsolved CRM adoption problem with ease of use, mobile availability, and elimination of manual tasks above all else. And I don’t mean ease of use after severe modifications and updates (and drastic reductions to reporting) – I mean an easy CRM system that’s radically accessible right out of the box and ready to help your company confront its business challenges. If your CRM software pulls data into the system without your team having to lift a finger, your company will have more power than ever to forge a path through everyday clutter and achieve real business goals.