Getting your sales team to use the CRM can prove to be a bit of a challenge, especially if it’s new territory. Today on the Funnel we discuss why they resist, how to take a proactive approach, and what’s in it for you as the manager. As well as putting a focus on coaching, training, and a culture of accountability. As always if you have any questions feel free to schedule at FREE 30 minute consultation and i’ll do my best to help you in any way I can.


What we’re going to cover:

  • Why do they resist?
  • Proactive approach.
  • What’s in it for me?
  • Focused coaching and training.
  • Culture of accountability.



Why do they resist?


Either or situation.

“Either I used the CRM or I sell. If I’m required to do all of this work in the CRM I don’t have enough time to sell. And if I’m not going to have time to sell I’m not going to hit my quota. What would you like me to do?”

“I usually say yes, I’d like you to do both. I mean if we’re being brutally honest salespeople don’t spend every waking moment of every single day the full 8 hours on sales activities. I’m not saying sales reps don’t work I’m saying with that kind of freedom sales reps do take advantage of it to do some personal stuff. So, instead take that time to work on the CRM.”


“I couldn’t log on my laptop broke, my dog ate my homework, I should have done that it’s on me.”

“When you start hearing the same excuses repeatedly- it’s just not real. Occasionally stuff happens and you make a mistake but when you’re constantly saying it’s on me it gets irritating. Why? Because you’re not really addressing the root cause of this. You’re just throwing excuses at me.”

“If you keep saying it’s your fault but you’re not doing anything to solve the problem? Something is wrong here.”

Loss of control and Ownership.

“When you get to the root cause it’s about loss of control. They feel like they’re going to lose control over their prospects, their data, their information, they feel that they own it, that they have ownership of it and you’re trying to take that ownership away.”

 “Sales reps do not have air and mineral rights to their territory.”

“Yes, we value our salespeople, we pay them well, we expect them to do the job for us,and successful sales reps are rewarded. But the reward shouldn’t be not doing the company requirements. That’s not a reward that’s anarchy.”



“Sometimes they see it (loss of control) as a way for you as a manager to use it as a weapon against them every time something goes bad.”

“You know like in any relationship if people expose themselves to you and then you use that as a weapon later on in an argument that’s a horrible way to be, right? That’s not a good strong relationship, that’s not a strong friendship, it’s the same here. If you ask them to do all this work and then you use it as a weapon that’s not good.”

Proactive approach.


Decision making team.

“My suggestion would be to bring some salespeople, especially senior level salespeople onto the decision-making team. I can tell you with great certainty that I’ve seen a number of approaches to adding a CRM to the system and no sales reps were involved in the decision making process. And  the entire CRM is build around senior managements needs and desires. They’re not even the people using it everyday!

Yes, they want the data but how can you have a good decision making process without involving salespeople?”


Don’t dictate terms.

“Dictating terms to people creates problems. Yes, there are some deliverables, there are some things that you have to have and you’re going to make that clear. But I see a lot of companies with CRM’s just say ‘okay this is our new CRM we’re going to bring in so and so for a week and we’re doing some training’ and you’re expected to use it, no excuses.

You’re dictating terms. Everything from the CRM they’re going to use, to when they’re going to start using it, to how they’re going to be trained. Nobody’s going to adopt a CRM after a weeks’ worth of training.”


How the data will be used.

“Be proactive in explaining to them how the data will be used. How are you going to select it? What you’re looking for in a CRM? Get some feedback there, don’t dictate the terms of how it’s going to be brought to the table, how it’s going to be implemented. Explain how the data will be used so it’s not going to be used as a weapon.”


What’s in it for me?

“If you’re asking them to do all this work and there’s no benefit to them, it’s not going to increase their sales opportunities, they’re not going to increase their closing ratios, if it doesn’t show a benefit to them, it doesn’t give them back some time in a day, it doesn’t provide valuable data and information that they can use, why would they use it?”


Arm yourself.

“You as the owner or the manager need to arm yourself with the specific benefits. How do you do that? Through conversation. You provide specific benefits on how it’s going to help them be successful.”

Low hanging fruit.

“Go for the low hanging fruit. You don’t have to bite this off, you know? You eat the elephant one bite at a time. You don’t have to eat the whole elephant here. Show them all the things it’s going to do to help them and explain to them this is not going to happen overnight, we’re going to have to take this a little at a time.”


Role Model.

“But understand everybody has to use it, senior level people have to become a role model for this. New people, you come in and you want promotion opportunities, you want to grow with this company, this is part of it. You can’t just skip the things you don’t like, especially as you move up the food chain or move into different roles.”


Focused coaching and training.



“Think about what I said before about low hanging fruit, pick the things that you know you can get easy wins on.”

“The Hubspot CRM, easy in terms of adding contacts and companies. It doesn’t take a whole lot to do it because it’s very automated. So, I can do it in any number of ways. One of the biggest issues they have is ‘oh my god my contacts and information is not in there’. Okay well let’s do this, let’s figure out a way to make that happen. Very targeted.”



“So, my work with them is targeted and individual and it takes time, it’s over a space of time, it’s not easy. But we’re getting movement. I’ve got them using the CRM to the best of their ability right now based on their individual needs so it’s providing with a benefit out of the gate. And I’m teaching the rep who’s outreach, who’s objective? I’m teaching that rep how to do that through the CRM a little at a time.”


Managers and the CRM.

“And here’s another dirty little secret… I get the manager to learn it as well, if not better than the rest. So guess who I started with? I started with the sales manager before I even worked with the reps. That way if they had any questions and I wasn’t available, they could answer. They can’t make excuses or put the “either or” because the manager is using it.”


Culture of accountability.

“You just went through the basics on how to get sales reps. I can help folks if they reach out to me, feel free, I’ll help you with that. But once you get there, then it’s all about accountability.”


Coaching conversations.

“All your coaching decisions, your pipeline meeting, your forecast meeting, they’re all wrapped around what’s in the CRM. I’m not going to have a forecast meeting with someone that doesn’t have anything in the system. Why? Because I’m repeating conversations every week.”


Pipeline meeting.

“When I get in the pipeline meeting, I’m not going to remember everything you tell me all the time. So I’m going to look at your pipeline, and we’re going to discuss the pipeline and put notes in. So then, when I prepare for next week’s meeting, I’m looking at that and seeing the differences and the notes and I’m having very specific poignant conversations with you. I cannot do that if its not in the CRM.”



“I don’t care how good you are. If you’re handcuffed by your sales reps, your culture is messed up. No one person should handcuff a company, ever, none of us are that good. If you have all your ducks in a row and you know what you’re supposed to do from a sales perspective from running a sales organization, you’ll never put yourself in that position, or you’ll work really hard to get yourself out of that position.”


Decisions on data.

“In other words, if they have no documentation on something, how can you help them? How can I make a decision when I have no information, its that simple. Start moving to that culture of accountability.”

Final thoughts:

“Once you get this up and running, you’re building the team involvement in the CRM, you’re getting the buy-in, you’re doing the training, you’re supporting the heck out of them, your managers know what they’re doing, and you start holding them accountable to it. And you’ll see, things will move in a very positive direction.”

“Make no mistake about it, a strong CRM will help you sell more, and you’ll get more business.”


Keep Filling The Funnel

We would love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about this episode. Please feel free to reach out to us if there is a specific sales topic you would like me to cover.  You can find me on Twitter at @Sheajohnr or email me at  And if you get a chance, please feel free to review us on iTunes.


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