Did you know that only 40% of businesses achieve a CRM adoption rate of 90% or higher? This startling statistic serves as a wake-up call to organisations worldwide, highlighting a significant gap between the deployment of CRM systems and their effective utilisation within the workplace. 

In a world where every interaction counts, this disconnect not only hinders the potential benefits CRM systems offer but also reflects the crucial need for strategic approaches to evaluate and boost CRM adoption within organisations.

The benefits of improved CRM adoption are not just theoretical. Real-world success stories illustrate the impact of effective CRM strategies. For instance, businesses that have prioritised CRM adoption have witnessed savings averaging $8.7 million, alongside boosts in sales productivity and reductions in sales cycle times. In sectors like real estate, top-performing agents who have embraced CRM and lead management solutions are approximately twice as likely to achieve success compared to their peers. 


Evaluating Current CRM Utilisation

A crucial first step in improving CRM adoption is evaluating your organisation’s current level of CRM utilisation. This process involves assessing how frequently and effectively different departments and teams are using the CRM system, identifying barriers to effective use, and understanding the features and functionalities that are underutilised. 

Key indicators of utilisation include:

  • User login frequency
  • Data entry completeness 
  • Usage of advanced features

Identifying Barriers to Adoption

Treating the symptoms is pointless if you do not find the root cause; identifying the barriers that prevent full adoption is the first, and arguably the most important, step to achieving a higher CRM adoption rate. Pinpointing the causes paves the way for a smoother CRM integration, allowing organisations to tailor their strategies to overcome them. Common barriers include complex user interfaces, lack of adequate training, the absence of customisation to meet specific business needs and most commonly, resistance to change.


Addressing resistance to change requires a careful blend of communication, support, and incentives from senior management. Surprisingly, research has shown that employees would like to have better training and onboarding on CRM systems, noting that these would be impactful initiatives leaders could take to boost CRM effectiveness, indicating a widespread desire for improved CRM literacy.

Therefore, organisations should focus on providing adequate training prior to onboarding as well as transparently communicating the reasons behind the CRM implementation, including the benefits it brings to individual employees and the company as a whole. 


Strategies for Improving CRM Adoption

1. Tailored Training and Onboarding

A focus on customised training programs that cater to the specific needs of different roles within the organisation can significantly improve user competence and confidence in utilising CRM tools​​. Engaging employees through interactive learning modules, hands-on workshops, and regular refresher courses can ensure continuous engagement with the CRM system.

 2. Encourage Cross-team Adoption & Data Sharing

Better cross-team adoption of CRM systems enhances data availability and effectiveness. Creating a culture that values data sharing and collaboration across departments can lead to more informed decision-making and a more cohesive use of the CRM system. Encouraging open communication about the benefits of CRM and how it can simplify tasks can motivate teams to fully integrate it into their workflows.

3. Leveraging AI for Proactive Recommendations

Integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into CRM systems can transform them from mere data repositories into dynamic tools. AI can automate repetitive tasks, provide predictive insights, and personalise customer interactions, making the CRM system more valuable and easier to adopt for your team. 

4. Fostering a Data-Driven Culture

Encouraging a culture that values data-driven decision-making helps employees understand the direct correlation between CRM utilisation and business outcomes, such as improved sales productivity and shortened sales cycles, making them more likely to embrace the system​​.


The Importance of CRM Customisation

A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works with CRM systems. The adaptability of CRM systems to the unique processes and needs of an organisation is critical for their adoption. Building custom CRM solutions allows businesses to meet the specific needs of their organisation, making the system more intuitive and relevant for users.

Unify’s Role as a CRM Advisor 

At Unify, we understand that each organisation’s CRM journey is unique. That’s why we offer customised CRM strategies that are meticulously designed to meet the specific needs of our clients as well as ongoing support to ensure your CRM strategy aligns with your business objectives and drives tangible results:

CRM Strategy & Roadmap Consulting: Tailoring CRM strategies to align with business objectives and enhance user adoption.

CRM Maturity Assessment: Identifying areas for improvement in CRM usage and strategies for alignment.

Leveraging our expertise in Salesforce consultancy, we offer customised solutions that span from strategic advice and system customisation to the integration of AI technologies, all aimed at enhancing CRM adoption rates. Our holistic approach not only addresses the technical aspects of CRM systems but also focuses on the human element, ensuring that your team is fully equipped and motivated to utilise these tools to their full potential.

Improving CRM adoption within organisations is a multifaceted challenge that requires a strategic, tailored approach. By focusing on customised training, enhancing cross-team adoption, leveraging AI, and fostering a data-driven culture, businesses can significantly increase their CRM adoption rates.

Contact us to find out how working with CRM, data, and analytics specialists for enterprise-level organisations can transform your digital transformation. We work with ambitious companies on their digital transformations and use their data to drive actionable outcomes and drive efficiency. As a Salesforce and Microsoft Partner, we can help your digital transformation program or conduct a customised data and process audit for your business. Contact us today to find out how we can assist you.


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