Woman Reviewing CRM Adoption Statistics

Choosing and adopting a CRM for your company is a lot like setting your sales team up on a blind date. Unfamiliar with the tool, your team doesn’t know what they’re in for or how it’s going to benefit them, making for an awkward first impression filled with anxiety. With all of this uncertainty, it’s no wonder that sales teams have a hard time warming up to the idea and logging in beyond the first session.

According to Merkle Group Inc., 63% of all CRM projects fail, showing that the above scenario has hindered CRM adoption at nearly two-thirds of all CRM-enabled businesses. And this isn’t the only CRM adoption statistic that shows the odds are against you.

So how can you go about ensuring that your implementation is successful?

Before you implement a CRM or optimize your existing tool, there are some things you need to know about CRM adoption in general. Here are seven CRM adoption statistics you need to know and how they could impact your success.

1. 91% of Companies With 10 or More Employees Have a CRM – CRM Magazine

At the end of the day, many companies see CRM as a necessity to grow their business. And they’d be right. Without a repository for your company’s contacts, how can you expect to stay on top of your business relationships? And if you’re relying on spreadsheets to house that information for you, there’s only so much Excel can do until you need to scale your operation.

Due to the importance of customer relationships for business growth, an overwhelming majority of companies use a CRM system to manage their customer and prospect relationships. Regardless of the many CRM adoption challenges, companies still flock to CRM providers for a solution that addresses their business needs.

2. 22% of Salespeople Don’t Know What a CRM Is – HubSpot

Let’s take a moment to just take that in. Over 90% of companies have a CRM, but 22% of all salespeople don’t even know what one is. This represents a major disconnect between salespeople and company objectives. What’s the point of investing in a tool for your team if nearly a quarter don’t know what it is or how it benefits them?

Before you go to implement your CRM or even select a CRM vendor, make sure you speak with your team about the tool and how the solution will benefit the sales organization directly. An open line of communication is key so that your entire sales team can see the benefits of the CRM system and how it makes their lives easier. Without taking the time to explain the solution, you may end up with even more salespeople that are out of the loop and out of touch.

3. Only 45% of Organizations Use CRM to Store Their Lead and Customer Data – HubSpot

Less than half of today’s businesses use a CRM for its intended purpose — to store and manage customer data. Instead, 40% rely on informal tools like Microsoft Outlook or Excel, and the remainder use Google Docs or physical files (that last one scares us a bit).

Why does this matter?

Even though the majority of businesses have a CRM, they still aren’t using the system correctly or even at all. And relying on document-based processes for managing customer data results in lost opportunities due to limited visibility into key customer insights and increases the risk of data getting lost or misplaced. A CRM system is only as healthy as the data that lives inside of it, and without users storing and managing that data, investing into CRM can be a waste of capital.

4. Less Than 40% of Businesses Have a CRM Adoption Rate Over 90% – CSO Insights

This CRM adoption stat is important because it shows how rare good CRM adoption is in organizations. Many times an organization’s biggest hurdle with gaining user adoption is to overcome the status quo. We’ve all heard the phase, “This is how we’ve always done it. Why change now?” There will always be internal push back but it’s important to look for tools that can help you reach your user adoption goals. There are a few solutions outlined in the next few sections that can help.

5. Manual Data Entry Is the No. 1 CRM Adoption Challenge – HubSpot

If your team isn’t using your CRM, it’s not the internet or your other software systems. It’s your CRM data entry process. Ranked as the No. 1 reason companies struggle with CRM adoption, you need to eliminate any manual data entry required by your CRM to achieve successful adoption. For example, setting your CRM up with CRM data automation eliminates up to 5.5 hours per week of manual entry for each sales rep, which makes your CRM system easier to use and minimizes the time commitment to keep your CRM data up-to-date.

6. 32% of Sales Reps Spend Over an Hour on Data Entry Every Day – HubSpot

Speaking of time commitment, let’s dig into all of the reasons why your salespeople hate CRMs. Because CRM systems rely on data, your sales team can get bogged down in entering client contact information, keeping it up-to-date, and digging through the system to find actionable insights they can take into their client meetings. In other words, your CRM system is asking a lot from your sales team, making it more of a hindrance than a support.

Knowing that CRM systems can take your sales team away from interacting with customers and steer them towards digging through a CRM, it’s important that you do everything you can to reduce their CRM workload. In addition to CRM data automation, you can optimize your CRM with tools like relationship intelligence automation (RIA). Through RIA, your customer data can be collected, analyzed, and delivered automatically to your sales team via their email inbox or even on a mobile device without any manual input.

7. 64.2% of Companies Rate CRM Tools as Impactful or Very Impactful – LinkedIn

CRM systems and tools can directly impact your bottom line, and nearly two-thirds of companies have seen those kinds of results. By providing your sales team with relationship intelligence that matters like mutual connections and new upselling opportunities, your sales team can accelerate sales with warm introductions and enhanced collaboration. This can help speed up the sales cycle and create larger deal sizes, enabling your team to close more deals that bring in more revenue. Plus, automation can increase your CRM’s ROI by keeping your client data clean, eliminating manual data entry, streamlining processes, and more. Check out the rest of these CRM automation benefits to see how else you can improve your organization.

Don’t Be Just Another Statistic

The lesson here is to not be deterred by any of the CRM adoption stats above. While adoption is a difficult stage in the CRM process, it’s a necessary one to go through. For your best chance at CRM adoption success, communicate closely with your CRM end users and give them helpful tools they actually want to use.

Looking for more ways to protect your CRM investment? Encourage adoption at your own organization by reading EY’s steps on how to boost CRM adoption.