CRM has a critical problem, one that affects nearly every single player in the space.
Adoption and usage rates for CRM software are bad. I mean, like prom-night-and-still-no-one-has-asked-you-out bad. Let me throw a few figures at you:
- In 2003, it was estimated that over $1 billion (that’s $1,000,000,000) had been spent on software that those companies weren’t even using.
- 43% of companies surveyed said they used less than 50% of their CRM software.
- 4 out of 5 senior executives informed that their biggest challenge was getting their staff to use the software. 4 out of 5!
This is only a snapshot of the growing black hole that seems to be inherent to CRM as a whole, but is it?
Why Is CRM Adoption Rate So Low?
If CRM is so good for business, then why don’t the businesses who have invested so much even use the software? You would think that companies would want to get the most out of their investment, and with such a high-value product, it’s almost impossible not to reap the benefits.
Why aren’t companies using them? They don’t have cooties, do they?
If you do a search (or few) on the internet, the only answer you’ll get is a bunch of how-to’s for businesses to try to improve their usage on their own; but is it really all up to the CRM users to make things better?
I would be so bold as to say that asking a user to do what the creator needs to do spikes of pride, and resembles the birth of the internet meme, “you’re holding it wrong.” It’s like make a dam upriver and telling people downstream to set up their village without actually damming the water. No matter how many times you tell them to just throw something into the water, it won’t stop it from gushing; that’s your job at the source.
Businesses, while not entirely free of responsibility, are not the reason for CRM’s low adoption rate. That honor falls squarely on the shoulders of the CRM makers.
How Can We Improve CRM’s Low Adoption Rate?
By taking our gaze off the user and back onto the creator, we can start to root out the issue.
So is it providing better tutorials on how to use the CRM? Is it offering 24/7 tech support? Is it providing unabridged dictionary-sized user manuals covering anything and everything twice?
While these are fantastic tools and should definitely be used, they are still only trimming branches. We need to get to the root of the issue.
The answer is actually very simple. In fact, I just gave it to you: Simplify.
Yeah, it is that simple, but simplicity isn’t as simple as you think to achieve. You see, one of the great necessities of CRM is the ability to cover all of a business’ feature needs. Almost always, more features means less simplicity.
But it can be done and it needs to be done in order to see an order of magnitude change in CRM adoption and usage rates.
Core Features and Modular Enhancements
Here at JobNimbus, we’ve seen this problem from day one. The very inception of our CRM software was based on the idea that the industry was starving for a makeover to allow what should be an extremely helpful system do its job.
We started by creating the JobNimbus Core, built on a simple design that can be easily learned and used. Stripping everything away, we’ve made our simple core to be fast and secure; the essentials in any CRM system but without all the fluff.
From the Core, we’ve branched out to include modules that can be turned on or off, depending on what your company really needs. This allows the CRM to not break too far from the Core but still provide the features necessary for your success.
Using our Core and Module system, we’ve been able to provide a fully functional CRM software that enjoys much higher adoption rates than traditional, disorganized, and even sloppy CRM systems.
Fighting the Problem at the Source
Until we see a change at the root level (I’m looking at you, CRM makers), we’ll continue seeing billions of dollars wasted, months worth of time lost, and hundreds of blog posts unheeded thanks to CRM’s abysmally low adoption rate.