In today's world, more and more companies are seeing the potential benefits of implementing technology into their workflows. At the same, many are seeing the pitfalls of selecting the wrong technology.

One of the major pitfalls in selecting technology is that it's simply too difficult to get started with or too complex to use.

In marketing and sales, the most commonly used tools are customer relationship management systems (CRMs). They are home to relevant data about your customers to enable your sales team to be more productive and efficient, and consequently make more sales.

It's obvious that if a business is going to reap the benefits of having a CRM, employees must use it. But increasing employee adoption of a CRM is no small task. Make the adoption process easier by selecting the right system for your team's needs.

What a company needs in a CRM will differ from team to team and business to business. For example, the needs of an small-to-midsize business (SMB) are going to be much different from those of a large enterprise. At the SMB level, it is crucial to find a basic CRM that won't drain all your team's time and resources.

Here are four components that an SMB should look for in a CRM to help drive employee adoption.

1. Efficient Onboarding

Nothing will hinder employee adoption like a lengthy onboarding process. Some CRMs require the devotion of a full-time employee to implement, train, and manage. That is not only unrealistic at the SMB level but also unnecessary.

CRMs with a lengthy onboarding process are likely too complicated, decreasing the likelihood of employees' using it. Find a CRM with an efficient implementation process. The less training and time it takes to get going, the better. Employees are more likely to use a CRM they can get started with right away.

2. User-Experience

It is frustrating to not know how a new tool works. When we become confused, we tend to give up completely if it takes too long to figure out. The same is true of a CRM. The minute the software becomes complicated and we have to start asking others how to use it, it becomes tiresome to use, resulting in decreased use.

Sales reps spend more than half their time at work using technology, so they can't afford to spend time trying to figure out often-complicated software. Take it as a warning sign if a CRM comes with lots of training: It might just be too complicated.

3. Automations and Features

In any given business, there are processes that can be automated. CRM systems are the perfect platforms to host those automations. Many CRMs come with bells and whistles, but you have to ask whether they are necessary for you. Too often, those fancy add-ons end up overcomplicating the CRM experience. Features should result in time saved, not additional work, for your team.

The most time-saving quality of a CRM system is the ability to automate day-to-day tasks and processes. For example, when you send an invoice, it should automatically sync with your CRM. When it does that, you know who has paid and who hasn't. There are other time-consuming tasks to automate, such as generating sales reports. The more data you automatically pull into the CRM, the more it can become the source of truth for all your customers, which saves your team time and allows them to focus on other things, like nurturing relationships with customers and prospects.

Make sure all the right automations are there for your team—not ones that will clog up an employee's screen but not add any value to your business.

4. Integrations

There are numerous tools for marketing, sales, finance, and project management. Each employee is likely touching a combination of all of those tools. Therefore, it is essential to find a CRM that integrates with the tools your team uses. Employees desire integrations so they don't have to be in and out of various software.

Integrations can bring all customer data into one place, creating a home for holistic analytics regarding your customers, and allowing each team member to get a big-picture view of where each customer stands. Creating a go-to place for all customer information can save a massive amount of time.

* * *

When selecting a CRM system that employees will actually use, let simplicity drive the decision-making process. A complex CRM that's full of unnecessary bells and whistles will likely go unused and drain money and resources from your company.

When the time comes for your SMB to select a CRM, look for an option with an efficient onboarding process, user-friendly interface, time-saving automations, and necessary integrations. When those four components are in place, your team is much more likely to use the CRM.

And when employees begin using the CRM, there will be an increase in efficiency and more accurate, beneficial data to help your business grow.

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image of Ciaren Diante

Ciaren Diante is head of customer success at Capsule, a customer relationship management (CRM) SaaS platform. Ciaren has 20+ years' experience helping businesses to grow rapidly.

LinkedIn: Ciaren Diante