Why Your CRM Is Only as Good as the Data You Gather: Part II

Before you read this blog post, I invite you to read Part 1 here. In today’s post, we will discuss four steps you can take to improve CRM utilization and drive better business outcomes.

As you may recall from Part 1 of this blog, the ultimate reason salespeople don’t enter data into the CRM is because the personal cost-benefit analysis for them is skewed – the pain of doing it simply outweighs the benefit.

Many companies have tried and failed to remedy this by administering negative consequences for non-compliance, which generally, and unfortunately results in minimum compliance and bad data.

We Need To Do Better for Our Salespeople Before They Can Do Better for Us

The solution? We need to do a better job of aligning the CRM with the needs of your salespeople. Here are four quick recommendations to help ensure CRM systems HELP salespeople be more effective by entering meaningful data. The guaranteed result is better learning, better coaching, and better selling – the combination of which will produce dramatically better results.

1. Establish a common methodology.

You can’t align a system to dozens, let alone hundreds, of different selling methodologies. Therefore, the most fundamental step to making the CRM a valuable tool for salespeople is to get aligned around a single model and set of agreed-upon information objectives for qualifying opportunities.

Unless EVERYONE can agree on what information they want from prospects and customers, they won’t ever agree to enter it into the CRM.

2. Use the information to help salespeople win more business.

If you’ve defined a common set of information objectives, use what’s entered to help your sellers better understand their win probability and how to improve their chances of winning each opportunity they pursue. Not only will it benefit the salespeople by increasing their closing ratios, but it will also increase the accuracy and efficiency of sales forecasting — a major friction point for many sales teams.

3. Leverage the information to help them learn and develop.

When gathering information becomes a shared objective, and your salespeople see first-hand the indelible link between what they know about opportunities and how often they win, they will want to become more proficient. Leveraging your CRM investment to help them do so is the Holy Grail in the struggle to capture meaningful information. When the system can recommend solutions, learning, and winning strategies and tactics based on the data people enter, and when managers use this same data to provide more useful feedback and coaching, your people get significant rewards for their time investment.

 4. Make it easy to enter data.

Last, but certainly not least, it’s incumbent upon the sales operations/IT team to find ways to make data entry easier. Beyond employing pick lists and drop downs wherever possible, it’s critical to find ways to better leverage data already in the system.

For example, you may have multiple salespeople in various geographies calling on local decision-makers for a national or international company. Why should each and every person enter the same information about that company or the current solutions he or she is employing? Once the first rep or account manager has entered it, it should be available for the others to pull into their respective opportunities.

This single capability allows everyone to benefit from data across multiple opportunities without duplicating an administrative function.


No matter the severity or frequency of the stick, salespeople will continue to fight the directives to use CRM until leadership makes the CRM serve the salespeople. However, if done properly, this has the potential to transform your sales organization and provide you with a sustainable competitive advantage.

Seem impossible? Remember the words of Nelson Mandela when facing far greater obstacles than these, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Want to learn more? Axiom provides a unique alternative to traditional sales training. Unlike traditional sales training events, we embed our methodology into your sales cadence, delivering dramatically better sales results. To learn more about our Mindful Selling Methodology, Kinetics Sales Effectiveness Platform, or our unique, guaranteed approach, please visit us at

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