CRM Adoption Isn’t About Compliance

You’ve spent hours pouring over Capterra reviews and sitting through demos with pushy sales teams. You’ve spent weeks learning, customizing, and fully implementing your shiny new CRM system and you’re finally ready to unleash it to your sales team.

After a few days, it looks like only a few people have logged in and started to enter their data. No big deal, you can send out a reminder email.

After a few weeks, barely anyone is updating records. Nothing to be overly concerned with, a quick training video will do the trick.

After a few months, you look up and realize most of your team hasn’t logged into your expensive system in weeks and is back to keeping track of their deals using their old Excel template. Now… You’re a bit peeved.

If you’re reading this, you likely recognize this scenario. The excitement of a brand new productivity tool destroyed by a lack of adoption.

For shame.

I spend my days talking to sales managers that are experiencing the same issue. An overarching lack of user adoption that has many consequences. Decreases in productivity and collaboration which lead to a decline in sales, which lead to a not so fun year-end meeting with your boss.

What these otherwise brilliant sales minds fail to understand is that CRM adoption isn’t about simply changing technology or upgrading a process. It’s about changing a culture. Nearly 70% of CRM installs fail because these sales managers don’t realize that changing a CRM is about systematically breaking habits that some sales reps have had for years, and then instilling in them a process that’s 10x better than it was.

Your sales reps will resist change. They love their processes. If you ask them there is no better process in the world. So as a sales manager, you need to guide your sales reps to see the value they will receive out of your CRM, not the value you or your company will receive.

To lead your team to the waters of productivity you follow the three pillars of CRM Adoption:

The three pillars of CRM Adoption


  • Involve users
  • Choose a CRM ambassador
  • Invest in training
  • Reward early adopters


  • Daily Consistency
  • User Consistency
  • System Consistency


  • Make it easy and intuitive
  • Ensure your data is clean and correct
  • Automate whenever possible

I’m sure you noticed that it never says create so many rules and regulations around your CRM that you create a culture that hates your CRM. Yep, let’s try to avoid that.

CRM adoption is about developing a sense of value and ownership of the CRM for each and every user. If you rely solely on beating people over the head with compliance rules, then you’ll end up with salesforce that is using your CRM out of fear.

This isn’t to say that there is no place for compliance standards and regulations. You shouldn’t lean on compliance rules however to be the number one way you obtain CRM adoption buy-in.