Sales Force Automation (SFA) and its big brother Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms have taken off in recent years, but what's the current state of the CRM market and what barriers to adoption still exist?
According to Silverpop (an engagement marketing solution which blends CRM, SFA and marketing automation together), Salesforce.com is the most popular solution by a landslide, accounting for almost 40% adoption by the several hundred surveyed (see graph).
What's more astounding is the lack of adoption. About 20% reported using no CRM solution at all. What's the disconnect?
The answer is, for a majority of B2B companies, CRM platforms are a valued asset to senior management and a necessary evil to sales and support staff tasked with learning and using the solution daily.
First off, CRM and SFA solutions are all based on similar GUIs and use similar terminology, so when the sales team learns one platform, learning a different one is cake.
Secondly, solutions like these are supposed to be tools, not "TPS Report" hoops for them to jump through. Demonstrate the solution's value to team members, enforce its use above all other methods of communication and watch as adoption skyrockets.
As a former client put it to his staff, "If it ain't in Salesforce, it doesn't exist!"