How to Overcome CRM Application Resistance

    The single biggest challenge with any customer relationship management (CRM) application is getting salespeople to use it. Most CRM applications are selected by sales and finance managers in collaboration with IT to improve revenue forecasting. The issue is that CRM applications require salespeople to enter data about customers that many of them view as their own. The individual value of a salesperson is often intimately tied up in their personal contacts and professional network. Many of them are not always eager to share every aspect of those relationships with the company that employs them.

    To make CRM applications more enticing to salespeople, Nimble developed what it describes as contact relationship management software that makes it simple for salespeople to leverage CRM applications, calendars and social media networks to instantly know more about a potential prospect. The company has extended that effort via a 3.0 update to the mobile edition of Nimble CRM that adds, among other things, the ability to scan business cards to instantly to create a record in a CRM application as well as immediately access any email or calendar reference involving a specific customer.

    In general, Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara says the way salespeople sell is now forever changed in the age of social media. Making random cold calls to try to drive business is simply ineffective, says Ferrara. Most end customers won’t pick up a phone today unless they know who is on the other end of the line.

    “The day when salespeople made calls to close is dead,” says Ferrara.

    Instead of making random cold calls, salespeople now leverage social media along with a variety of personal productivity applications, email, and CRM software to make offers that are much more relevant to the needs of individual customers. That approach, however, requires additional research that Nimble software makes much simpler to accomplish, says Ferrara.


    Because Nimble as a plug-in piece of software makes the data residing in the CRM application now more accessible and relevant to the sales team, Ferrara says, resistance to the CRM application drops accordingly.

    Most salespeople today are essentially keeping two sets of records. There’s the data they collect and then the data they enter in a CRM application to get paid. The gap between what a salesperson knows about a customer and what’s in the CRM application may never get fully closed. But as sales motions become more tightly wrapped up with more social media, a unique opportunity to narrow that gap is now presenting itself.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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