E-mail Mining: Improving the CRM Adoption Rate Among Salespeople

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CRM systems have been widely adopted as a mission critical enterprise application over the past decade. Salesforce.com is now a powerhouse, having grown from a startup in 1999 to a $5.37 billion company in 2015. While CRM systems are highly valued by management, they are generally considered to be a burden by sales reps that are expected to forecast deals, manage sales opportunities, and keep contact and company records up to date. Regardless of all of the hype surrounding these systems, their success depends on their overall adoption rate – which is low in comparison with the number of companies that have acquired them. Like many things in life, this is a problem that can be fixed with the proper solution. 

So just how popular are CRM systems today? According to the 2014 Sales Performance Optimization Study (SPO), the number of sales organizations using CRM systems reached 82.9%, a substantial increase from 48.7% just ten years ago. They did note, however, that for the first time there was a drop in the number of salespeople that actually use them. Of course, it’s impossible for companies to reap the benefits of these systems if salespeople aren’t using them.

The Disconnect Between CRM Purchase & Adoption Rates

So what exactly is the deterrence? There are a couple of factors that contribute to salespeople’s reluctance to incorporate CRM systems into their daily routine. The overriding factor is that they don’t find it to be an effective sales tool. On the contrary, it is a data entry process that merelydetracts time from selling. Since sales is a demanding job that requires persistence and dedication, sales reps’ time is best spent selling. Any other work, especially data entry of all things, is a distraction from the task at hand.

The quality of the CRM system data also goes hand in hand with the low adoption rates reported. Considering that sales reps don’t fully trust the integrity of the data, they are discouraged from using the system. Since these two concepts are directly correlated, data improvement would translate into greater usage of the CRM system. Of course, the data can’t be improved if reps aren’t making the time to update the system!

When it comes to implementation, CRM systems have proven to have higher failure rates than the majority of corporate software. According to analysts, this figure is in the 50% range! The cause of the failure is not, as one might assume, the technology. Rather, it stems from the fact that they have a low adoption rate. In other words, it is entirely a human problem. 

Poor adoption rates aside, Gartner predicts that the CRM market will be worth  $36.4 billion worldwide by 2017. With so much value placed in CRM systems, there must be a way to improve the product so that it can be beneficial to sales reps.

Solving The CRM Adoption Challenge

E-mail Mining technology is the solution needed to remove the manual data entry process entirely and to provide reliable customer contact data. Since the vast majority of communications today take place across company e-mail, a significant portion of sales reps’ customer contact info is stored here. Much like other contacts, these are also not entered into the CRM system. With E-mail Mining technology, email signatures are extracted from emails. These are then automatically transferred over to the CRM System, completely eliminating any manual work on the part of sales reps. In addition, automatic processes remove the possibility of human error, and therefore guarantee accurate and updated results. 

E-mail Mining: The Big Picture

As a solution, E-mail Mining works alongside sales reps in their daily sales activities to improve the CRM system. Sales reps can now view this perfected system version as more of a resource than ever before because they no longer have to perform manual work. Instead, they can focus entirely on selling and using the CRM system as a dependable informational source. This would mean a higher adoption rate among salespeople. With E-mail Mining, CRM systems have the potential to truly show their worth – all $36.4 billion of it – and benefit both salespeople and management alike.