Top Reasons Sales Reps Don’t Use Their CRM (And Solutions)

No matter what industry they work in, sales reps don’t use their CRM for the same reasons. Understanding why is one step is forward to choosing the right CRM.

To Love or Hate a CRM

There are CRM successes and failures in this world. The harsh reality is CRM implementations fail because adoption can often be an uphill battle.


Why would sales reps want to go back to using spreadsheets or pen and paper to build their customer relationships? According to Cloudswave, using a CRM can lead to sales conversation rate improvements of over 300 percent. Hear it from our customer at Shaker Painting. After sales reps at Shaker used our CRM, the company increased revenue by 147 percent. Not 300 percent, but we think that is pretty impressive! And we know they are well on their way to increased success.


Here’s a look at some of the most common reasons we’ve heard from sales teams and manager sabout this problem and why they seek new solutions.

5 Reasons Sales Reps Don’t Use Their CRM

They don’t want to change

One of the most familiar sales tools to track client relationships is the spreadsheet. If a sales person has been so good at their job so far with spreadsheets, they might not want to fix what they feel isn’t broke.

A company needs to convince sales teams that CRM data benefits them, the sales team, and the entire company. Make it clear that when you close a deal without showing the steps taken to get there is a loss. A CRM brings value to that win moment because the company can understand the value of the deal for future reference and to gain future wins.

They don’t see the value

Speaking of value, another reason sales reps don’t use their CRM is because they feel like it was forced on them. This typically happens when a manager tells them they need to use a CRM without any discussion. The first thoughts are guaranteed to be any of the following:

  • “What a waste of time!”
  • “What a waste of money!”
  • “I can’t learn this.”

If sales reps don’t see the value, it is much easier to look at a CRM as a threat rather than a useful tool.

This issue stems back to not figuring out the sales reps’ needs during the buying process. Companies should seek a CRM that solves specific problems and relay those features to their sales teams. Explain how sales reps can close more deals if they use the CRM right. Make sure the final decision about a CRM is a shared decision by the sales team.

Software is too complicated

Good sales people want to spend their day selling rather than learning how to use software.


Choosing a complex CRM sets sales people up for failure. Unnecessary bells and whistles worsens the problem.

Choose a CRM that is known for its ease of use. Long learning curves won’t cut it.

CRM isn’t aligned with sales process

Another reason sales reps don’t use their CRM is that it isn’t aligned with the current sales process they know and that they are used to. This goes back to understanding a CRM’s features and how important they are. Many CRMs include features like pipeline management tools, deal stages, workflows which is great. However, not every business tracks sales the same way. As a result, if a CRM field doesn’t fit a sales process a sales team is familiar with, they’ll stop inputting data.

You want a customizable CRM. Period. Every company has a different sales process, with each stage defined by specific criteria. A CRM’s pipeline stages should be customizable to suit how a salesperson sells.

No training OR Support. Help!

No matter what industry you work in, software takes time to learn. Some folks are savvier at it than others. In the CRM space, those that don’t know how to use it will simply not use it or end up inputting inaccurate data.

Proper training is a must. This includes basic instruction about the CRM’s features. For example, our Customer Success team knows that and makes it a point to help clients create a policy to onboard new users.

Take advantage of CRM webinars, for example, to continue the learning process. Choose a CRM company with free customer support that is available when it is needed most. Keep in mind that many companies only offer support as a paid add-on and this can be frustrating and yet another reason sales reps don’t use their CRM.

CRM keeps them stuck at their desks

Salespeople naturally spend a lot of time in the field, meeting prospects and building relationships. Let’s face it, mobile phones are practically glued to our hands and for sales reps, mobile phones are a necessary tool for meetings 

on the go.


An Innoppl Technologies study concluded that 65 percent of sales reps with a mobile CRM reach their sales quotas compared to 22 percent of sales reps at companies without a mobile CRM.

Choose a CRM that is mobile. If a sales rep can pull up contact data, conversation history, deal history and more when they are out on the road – that’s a big advantage over sales people who can’t. Data matters here too. A mobile solution empowers sales reps to update their data right away rather than forgetting where they scribbled their meeting notes.

No time is saved

In the sales world, we can’t believe anyone ever said they liked data entry. Another reason sales people don’t use their CRM is because they feel it takes up too much time to learn and use.

Simply put, a CRM should automate as many sales tasks as possible. A CRM that can’t do that well, in our view, isn’t worth considering.

Very bad data is bad

According to a survey conducted by Experian Data Quality, inaccurate data impacted revenue for 88 percent of companies that participated in the survey. The average company lost 12 percent of revenue because of bad data.


What does this mean for that new CRM? Well, if it’s full of bad data it is a CRM that no one will trust to use. We’re talking about duplicate records and all types of out-of-date data. The outcome then ends up being salespeople end up doing their own analysis which leaves invaluable insight into the sale process or wastes time.

To avoid the curse of bad data and what goes along with it – sales reps that don’t use their CRM – a CRM rollout has to be executed well from the beginning.

Data needs to be cleaned up. Regular audits need measurable outcomes and data deduplication must be addressed.


There are many reasons out there why sales reps don’t use their CRM. Keep in mind there are many reasons that sales reps do use their CRM. The key is choosing the right CRM that sales teams will actually use.


Do you use a CRM? What’s your incentive for using it?

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