How to drive CRM adoption in Sales teams?

You invested a lot of time as well as money trying to implement a CRM solution across your organization but it ended up as a failed project.

How does it feel? It doesn’t sound cool. Isn’t it?

But this is often the case with many organizations who are unable to derive value from their CRM implementation even after making huge investment in this regard. The biggest reason for CRM project failure is low CRM adoption among the end users of the system. If sales leaders can lead their team to adopt CRM faster, they can quickly start reaping tangible benefits out of their CRM implementation. 

Photo by Mikael Blomkvist from Pexels

Here is what you can do to drive CRM adoption within your sales team:

By the way if you are still looking for a CRM software for your sales team, do check out ToolsonCloud Sales CRM.

1. Keep team involved from the beginning

When you are implementing a CRM solution in your organization, try to involve the end users from the beginning. Listen to their challenges, ask for feedback, implement their feedback. This way you make them a stakeholder in the implementation. When you respect others’ input, they tend to associate themselves as a part of the project. They tend to own it end to end. This way you stand lesser chances of failure since the end users are going to drive it in future on their own.

2. Choose an easy to use CRM

One reason why users tend to avoid using a CRM is due to the complexity of using it. The objective of implementing a CRM is to make the lives of the sales team simpler and easier rather than making it more complex by asking them to use a hard to use CRM. Always ensure to take trial of the CRM software and test its usability and user experience before making a final purchase.

3. Provide adequate Training

If the end users are not familiar with the terminologies, various stages and workflows in a CRM, they would hardly use it to maximum potential. Always provide adequate training to your end users on the various functions of a CRM and the purpose of using it. Making people familiar with the basic controls and letting them know the purpose of using it makes it much easier for driving faster adoption.

4. Provide appropriate user guide

When you are providing training, the users may tend to forget it overtime unless and until they are actually using it. Conducting regular CRM training sessions may not be feasible for numerous reasons. Assigning a peer to help a new employee to learn the tool may not bring out consistent knowledge transfer. This problem can be solved if you have a well documented User guide. It can serve the purpose of looking up for some on-demand information or clarification which the end user may have. You may request your CRM vendor to provide the same or may also refer to the knowledge base section of the respective product page such as we have it for ToolsonCloud Sales CRM.

5. Establish easy to follow CRM processes

Often the sales team tends to think of a CRM to be a database rather than a modern tool to manage your sales process. This ideology may prevent them from updating their sales activities in real time and they will end up updating the tool once in a while just to keep the data in place. This way the CRM system will end up reflecting stale and unusable data for the sales leaders to analyze and get insights as to where they can step in for certain tangible help. To solve this, you may need to establish well defined guidelines and processes which can serve as a single stop blueprint for your team to follow.

6. Create CRM Advocates

Creating CRM advocates or ambassadors from the end user of the tool is always helpful. Modern marketing revolves a lot around influencer marketing. You are much more likely to religiously try a new product if you were told about its benefit by an influencer having a similar background as yours. Your sales team will be able to appreciate the value of crm implementation only when they start using it. They will religiously use it for sometime only when you have CRM ambassadors from the team guiding them on the best practices and effective utilization of the tools.

7. Reward early practitioners

Getting the sales team to adopt a new tool can be tough. But it can be made easier if you start rewarding those early adopters who shall be setting up a benchmark and advocating best practices to peers. Reward the users who religiously update the tool and keep the status up to date. Reward the users whose CRM data is clean and is of high quality to derive fruitful insights out of it.

I hope you will find these tips useful for you. 

If you are looking for a CRM solution for your team, feel free to try out ToolsonCloud Sales CRM. It’s Free!

Difference between Cloud CRM vs Self Hosted CRM

What is a Cloud CRM?

Cloud CRM is the CRM software that is deployed on the CRM vendor’s cloud infrastructure and is available for use to you from the public internet. You can use cloud CRM application from any place, any time, and any device.

In this case, the customer only pays for the subscription cost of using the application while the infrastructure, enhancements, upgrades, deployments, as well as backups, are taken care of by the CRM service provider (also called CRM vendor).

In case you are looking for Cloud CRM, you may check out our CRM 

ToolsonCloud Sales CRM, Sign up for a free trial and instantly experience yourself


What is a Self Hosted CRM?

Self Hosted CRM is usually installed on a company's own server infrastructure and is available only on the organization’s network unless they have hosted it on a server accessible from the public internet. 

Usually, in the case of self-hosted CRM, the customer buys the complete CRM solution and installs it on their own server. In this case, the customer bears the cost and responsibilities of maintaining the server infrastructure as well as doing CRM maintenance tasks such as software upgrades or enhancement. 

Difference between Cloud CRM vs Self Hosted CRM?

1. Accessibility

Cloud CRM being on the cloud servers is accessible over the public internet, so we need not worry about being in an office network with a VPN connected device. It can be accessed from any place and any device, 24x7.

Self Hosted CRMs are usually hosted on a private local computer or a server. It requires you to keep the server always up and running in order to access it anytime. Since the local computer may not be accessible over the public internet, you might be required to create a VPN connection from your device to your office network in order to access it from outside the office.

2. Capital Expenditure vs Operational Expenditure.

Cloud CRM providers mostly charge a minimal monthly subscription fee which becomes your operational expenditure. It doesn’t require you to spend any upfront capital investment for implementing a CRM. This converts your capital expenditure (CAPEX) to operational expenditure (OPEX).

Self Hosted CRM comes with a huge capital expenditure cost in the beginning since you may be required to buy the hardware infrastructure required to install the CRM. This is usually on top of the usual license fees you pay to buy a self-hosted CRM. In addition to that, you may be required to invest in the operational expenditure of running and maintaining the application in terms of the server running cost and IT staff cost for CRM administration.

3. Software Maintenance & Upgrades

In cloud CRM, the software upgrade or patch installation for bug fixes is taken care of by the CRM service providers. This takes off the workload of the customers who can focus on their core business activities. 

In self-hosted CRM, the software upgrade is usually released by the service provider but installing the upgrade or patch becomes the responsibility of the customer or the CRM implementation partner appointed by the customer. This always adds up to the cost for customers and affects their work due to application downtime. 

In the case of self-hosted CRM, sometimes the data of the customers may result in incompatibility with the upgrade or patch provided by the software provider. This may cause issues with CRM usage and may be required to be fixed manually by the customer. But in the case of Cloud CRM, this responsibility is taken care of by the vendor.

4. Latest Market standard features

Cloud CRM vendors try to stay up to date with the latest trending technologies in the sales and marketing stack and keep improving their software. This ensures the software is always equipped with all the latest features as per the latest market trend. This ensures the customer is not left behind due to technical incapabilities.

Self Hosted CRM tends to get lesser upgrades from the vendors constantly. If any new features are added, mostly they come up with an additional price tag in the form of software version upgrades which costs you a fee. If the CRM is not upgraded with the latest features, the customer is left with outdated CRM software which ends up wasting more time for their team instead of saving time.

If you are interested in trying out a cloud-based CRM, head on to our website and

Try ToolsonCloud Sales CRM today. It’s Free!

Related Reading:

Benefits of Saas Softwares for Businesses

How CRM helps in Deal Tracking?
Being a Sales Professional, when you are involved with multiple B2B sales deals, the only way you can taken them to closure is by regular and effective tracking. Most of the people start with tracking it within an excel workbook. But soon they realize they cannot make out anything of that data or are unable to find any relationship between multiple data sources and tables pilling up in so many excel based tracker files. 

Moreover, the time taken to do data entry of all those deal histories eats up more than 3-4 hrs of your productive work hours per day. 

What an ultimate way to dissipate your precious time! Isn't it?


How does a CRM help in Deal Tracking?

  • You can get a view of all the active deals in various stages and view it visually to know where to act at that moment.
  • Closing sales consistently requires that you build a steady pipeline of opportunities and follow up with the prospect for closure. CRM helps you visualize your pipeline in real-time so that you know where are the opportunities getting stuck and need your action.
  • With you having a visual view of how your pipeline looks, you shall understand whether you need to put effort towards building your pipeline or need to spend some time on the the so many deals which are getting stuck in negotiation stage of the sales pipeline or if you need some more efforts on the multiple deals lying idle since you missed to follow up after the first contact you made.
  • Better visibility on the Deal Value shall give you the insights to take call on which opportunity should be taken on higher priority than the one with lesser Deal value based on the way you operate your business. It differs from the way businesses operate, Some prefer to try the hard but big deal value opportunity, while some prefer trying to grab the low hanging fruits with low deal value first, so that the risk remains low since you iteratively get the revenues confirmed in small small deals.
  • With the Estimated Deal close date, you get the visibility on which opportunity is taking more time that expected and where the deal should be expected to be at this point of time if the expected date of closure is within 1 week. Time is money, if you don't close the deal on time, some other vendor shall close the same deal and you shall lose it. Hence this shall keep your team informed on the expected timelines.

Hope you found this post useful, do comment below and let us know.

If you are a Toolsoncloud CRM user, do take some time to write or share about your experience on your blogs or social media handles.

If you are yet to try out ToolsonCloud CRM, what is it are you waiting for? Try Toolsoncloud Today!

Free Sales Activity Tracking Excel Template

Dear Readers,  After a wonderful response on my last two post on various sales tracking excel templates, In this post I would like to share with you another excel template for Free. This template helps you track various sales activities or tasks which you would most probably have if you are following a well organized Sales process in your organization.

Free Contact Management Excel template

If you are looking for a Free excel template for managing your Contact List, you have come to the right place. In the previous post, we shared our free excel template for managing your sales leads. Some of you got interested on how they can manage their contact list in excel. Go ahead and read more on this.

You may need to manage your contact list at one place for various reasons
  1. You may want to organize your customer contacts.
  2. You may want to organize your prospects' contacts.
  3. You may want to organize various contacts of your vendors
  4. You may want to organize contacts of your affiliates, distributors and channel partners.

You can use this contact list template to manage all of them. Feel free to download this template from here:

Link will open in Dropbox, you can click on download button to save it.

Though this contact list template can serve your purpose well if you are just looking for organizing contacts. However if you are looking for a solution to organize your complete sales process from organizing your contacts to tracking your leads, deals and sales tasks, then you should better go for a CRM.

If you are interested in trying out  a CRM for your business, Feel free to check ToolsonCloud CRM. It also comes with a free plan for startups. 

Anyways, let’s get back to the excel template which you just downloaded.

You may want to understand the terms and fields used in the template if you are new to this. Here is a quick overview of each of the fields to help you understand that.

  • Company Name: Enter the name of your company beside this field

  • Contact List Name:: Enter a unique name of the contact list to identify it from other lists. This is required if you are handling more than 1 contact list such as customer contact list, vendor contact list, prospect contact list. Giving a unique name will help you differentiate it from others.

  • First Name: Enter the first name of the contact person.

  • Last Name: Enter the last name of the contact person.

  • Job Title: Use this column field to capture the job title or the professional position of the contact person in the organization where he works. For e.g. It can be CEO, Director, Sales Manager, HR Director, Procurement Manager, Assistant, Associate, etc.

  • Organization: Use this column to enter the name of the company where the person works.

  • Email: Enter the email address of the contact person under this column,

  • Office Phone: You may use this field to capture the office phone of the contact. If you are selling to B2C customers, then this column may not be required in your context, so you can ignore  or remove this column.

  • Mobile: Use this field to enter the personal mobile number of the contact. Try to keep mobile numbers and regular landline phone numbers in different columns for your ease. For. e.g. you may need to send bulk sms greetings or promotional messages on mobile phone. So if you keep both mobile number and landline phone number in same column, then it would become difficult for you to segregate later or may result in wastage of your SMS credits if you try to send SMS on landline phones.

  • Address: Use this field to store the address of your contact. If required you may add an additional column for office address and residential address based on the context of your business requirement.

  • Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter URLs: Use this field to store the social media urls of your contact. With time, business selling has evolved to be more of social selling. So it is high time you stay updated with what your customer has to say and believe by following on social media and engaging with them regularly in order to build a good customer relationship.

  • Conversation Logs: This field has to be used to record your notes or conversation logs with your contacts. Try to put it along with a date stamp so that it is easy for you to remember the conversation in a timeline manner. I know this is a bit complex, that is also one of the reasons you should try out the contact management solution of ToolsonCloud CRM to better keep track of your conversations with your client in a more visual timeline way.

  • Date Added: Enter the date when you first added the contact to this list. This helps you keep track of the age of your relationship with the contact.

  • Added By: Enter the name of the person who added the contact in case you are having multiple users in your team who would be updating this sheet. 

I hope you will like using this template for managing your contacts. 

In case you are looking for a CRM solution to manage your contacts in a more streamlined manner, do check out ToolsonCloud Sales CRM. Try it today, It’s Free!

Free Sales Lead Tracker Excel Template

Dear Reader, Greetings and welcome to ToolsonCloud Blog!

We have been listening to our reader's demands and many of you expressed interest in a Sales Lead Tracker template to organize your leads in excel. In this post we would like to share with you a universal sales lead tracker template prepared in excel. You can easily reuse it as per the sales process followed in your company.

How to capture leads and contacts from Website into CRM

If you have a website or a blog, sooner or later you will start getting enquiries from visitors who might be interested in the products or services you offer. If the enquiries are limited to a few per month, then probably it is manageable. However, once the enquiries start increasing you will soon realize that you are ending up doing a lot of copy paste work of the form data received from your website contact forms into an excel tracker manually.

4 Sales Qualification questions to ask every lead

In any organized B2B or B2C sales team, Sales Development Representatives (SDR) are assigned the task of generating new pipeline of opportunities by qualifying the leads from their database. But most of the time, SDRs are little unsure on what kind of questions should they ask in order to qualify their leads.

In this post, let me tell you 4 important things you should check while having the first conversation with them in order to check if they are qualified to be pursued further or not.

Remember that your screening or the so called Lead Qualification is critical to the operational output of your quota carrying Sales Executives, because they should work on only the valid leads so that it increases the chances of conversion at the end.

Being in SDR team, you should also measure your KPI by taking into consideration the final conversion of the leads which you qualified earlier. Never measure your metrics only with the mass numbers of leads you qualified if the Sales Executives are not able to convert them later, wasting your organization's productive time and energy.

When you get a Lead from a database, networks, conference or through inbound channels while a customer tried reaching you or subscribed to your newsletter, you should first log them into your CRM as a best practice. It will help you organize your sales effectively.

You may checkout Toolsoncloud CRM if you are looking for a Sales CRM.

Once you add your leads, start reaching out to them via their preferred medium may be Email or Call. It is preferable to have a telephonic discussion so that you understand their context in detail.

While you probe them further for qualifying, focus on the following 4 areas:

1. Fitment of Customer Pain point against your Offering.

In the qualification call, always understand the pain point of client first. Let them speak first about their challenges which they are trying to solve instead of going big bang with a pre-recorded & rehearsed Sales presentation of your product.

Once you understand their problem, try to assess from your own understanding whether your organization is equipped with solving the challenges of the prospect. If the answer to this is "Yes", then go ahead for the next question.

2. Customer Budget

Many a times, you would find that you can solve the customer's problem, but not within the low budget of the Client. To be frank & practical, When you have a lot of leads lined up, It is unproductive for a sales team to spend too much of time and resources to convert a deal where the Customer do not have the required budget to purchase your offerings. You shall simply lose the other potentially qualified leads with budget over the ones who do not have the required funding.

It is good to acquire new customers with some lower budget in the beginning if you are looking for more business from them in future and they do have that much of wallet to give the expected scale of business later.  But the decision of how much of sales executive time should be allocated on those deals, should be taken with the joint decision of your internal sales team leaders.

Do not be hesitant to ask the budget related questions to your Client. Go ahead and explicitly ask details regarding the budget they have planned or allocated for the deal or purchase. If the budget is not worth the effort, then move on or mark the lead on low priority.

3. Timeline for Purchase

Before you pass on a lead to your Sales Executive, he should be apprised on the expected timeline of closing that deal, so that he can align the meetings and follow-up accordingly.

You can ask your lead:

  • What are the processes or steps they need to do internally to complete the purchase?
  • What is lead time for each step of the process? 
  • What kind of challenges might be expected in some stages so that the executive can proactively coordinate to solve them and take it to logical closure.

4. Stakeholders associated with the Deal.

Every purchase whether it is small or big, involves a decision maker and some associated stakeholders like influencer, gatekeepers, actual users, etc. Always ensure you know them in advance so that the Sales Executive can do some homework researching about the stakeholders in order to present a solution which works best for their context. 

When you are asking the lead for the timelines for the purchase process, you may add another question on who shall be the decision maker or stakeholders involved in each stage of the purchase process.

Disclaimer: Funny Images sourced from Multiple Internet sources, No copyright claimed

I hope you liked reading this post, do comment below and let me know your thoughts.

If you are looking for a Sales CRM to manage your sales leads, why don't you check out ToolsonCloud CRM?

Complete CRM Implementation guide

If you are a Sales Manager having a team of Sales reps working under you. Very soon you would realize, you are unable to get any meaningful insights out of your Sales Deal tracker Excel sheet.

You might be already facing various problems like the below ones:

5 features to look before buying a Sales CRM
Very often CEOs and CMOs of startups who are searching for a CRM for their Sales Team find themselves in a confused state. With numerous CRM applications available in the market, they are in a dilemma to choose from various available options.

To decide which CRM is the best for you, you need to list down the functionalities you expect from a CRM system. After my interaction with multiple people in sales on LinkedIn, I found a number of things which are being expected from a CRM.