Make Your Sales People Happy: 7 Tips for Designing CRM

Ah, the conundrum. 

“Sales reps don’t use our CRM! How hard is it to enter leads and schedule follow-ups?” says the CRM Administrator. 

“The CRM is too hard to use! It takes up half my day! Do you want me out there selling or inside sitting at my computer?” says the sales rep. 

Sales reps get beat up for not entering their data on a regular basis, and internal teams get beat up for not optimizing, enhancing, and training on new processes and solutions.

What can be done to help resolve this dilemma? What are quick things a CRM administrator can do to make the sales person’s life easier while still getting the information needed to analyze and report and, ultimately, support sales team members?


Helpful Tips


Remove unwanted fields and tab visibility.

Have you ever been paralyzed by the overwhelming feeling of too many options? That can happen to sales reps when they login to a CRM. Imagine for a moment that you are a sales rep. You just spent seven hours on the road. In and out of the car, visiting with prospects, being told “no” 90% of the time, having people pretend they never saw your email, having people not show up for meetings, etc., only to get home at 4:30 PM to begin logging your information for the day in the CRM.

After logging in, you realize you forgot the “search shortcuts,” so you begin to endlessly scroll through hundreds of other people’s records. When you finally find the right account, it reveals 57 blank fields. Unfortunately, you don’t have information at your fingertips for all 57 fields, but because most of the fields are required, you can’t save the record until they’re populated. 

Ten minutes of data research and entry goes by, but the correct option isn’t even available for some selections. Now what? “Maybe I’ll just do this tomorrow…”

As a CRM administrator, “less is more” can be the key to CRM design. 

Sometimes there are too many tabs at the top of the screen and it’s best to hide the ones that aren’t applicable. Also, consider hiding or removing fields from page layouts so sales reps only see what is important; too many fields can cause sales reps to become overwhelmed. Next, make only the essential and truly “required” fields required. Finally, think about only allowing sales reps to view their own records and data... 

All in all, keep the CRM visually simple and easy to understand.


Add location/geotargeting functionality.

The most popular CRMs today have existing mobile apps that can be installed on any device. In these CRM apps, a sales rep can access valuable information anywhere, from any device, at any time, without the need for a computer or Wi-Fi. Some of these apps now have something called “geotargeting,” which means they locate where the sales rep is and present him/her with key information in relation to the location. 

For example, a CRM app may have a built-in map where it first locates the individual, then shows all CRM leads within a 10-mile radius. Because of this feature, sales reps can “drop-in” and visit with leads nearby and maximize time spent on the road.

Sometimes geotargeting requires additional setup, and most of the time geotargeting within an app requires sales team training to get them acclimated/familiar with the feature.


Do training sessions specifically on the mobile app.

CRM mobile apps look different than CRMs on a computer. While the data are the same, the interface and usability can be different.

Most sales reps are on the road regularly. Logging information via the mobile app throughout the day, rather than all at once in the evening, could save considerable time (and stress).


Pre-populate fields when creating a new record.

Pretend again that you’re a sales rep. Today, you visited eight prospective customers... When you get home to log all eight leads in the CRM, each of lead entry requires populating the Lead Type field as “Prospect.” Wouldn’t it be nice if the Lead Type field was pre-populated with the selection “Prospect” and you only had to change the selection if the lead was NOT a prospect? 

Often, primary fields in the CRM are the same. For example, Account Type typically has the selection of “Customer.” When creating a new account in the CRM, why not automatically have Account Type pre-populate with “Customer?” If a current customer becomes a former customer, the field can be manually updated by the sales rep. 

When a sales rep must create many new entries in a single day, a lot of time can be saved by pre-populated fields.


Teach sales reps how to pull Views.

A View is like a report, but it’s specific to one area of the CRM. They are easy to create, manipulate, and save. For example, a Lead View is specific only to leads (not accounts, opportunities/deals, or campaigns). Views pull and filter information quickly to give a sales rep exactly what he/she needs to move on to the next task.

Expecting a sales rep to understand how to pull and filter complex reports might be asking too much, but they can easily learn to utilize the Views feature in a CRM on a regular basis With effective training, they will probably wind up loving Views; you’re equipping them with the tools and knowledge they need to do what they do best.


Set up integration with sales rep emails and calendars.

Sales reps have a lot of meetings and calls each day. Their days can be very start-and-stop-and-pivot and require multi-tasking. Integrating and syncing their calendars/emails with the CRM keeps crucial data and reference points at their fingertips. 

How often do we all go searching for “that one email I sent four months ago” or “what was that client’s name again?” Automatically saving and relating emails to the appropriate records in the CRM is a major asset to sales reps. And syncing calendar events can save managers time trying to figure out who is free, when, and where on any given day.


Give sales reps a weekly, individual dashboard.

Sometimes sales reps don’t know what management and CRM analysts are looking at and reporting on. 

When sales reps see analytics first-hand in a dashboard, they are more inclined to update what is missing. For example, when they see a dashboard showing pipeline goals and where they currently stand – even in relation to their counterparts – they are more inclined to step up their game. If a sales rep knows he/she did 15 follow-ups but forgot to log them in the CRM – a total of “0” is displayed on the dashboard and serves as a reminder to enter activities before the next sales manager review call. 


Dashboards drive behavior, reaction, and eventually proactiveness without management and CRM administrators becoming individual “pests.”

When designed appropriately, CRMs are a powerful tool, both from a reporting and collaborative perspective. Sometimes the power of the solution comes after a bit of customization, training, and simplification of the solution.

If any of these tips help with your team’s CRM adoption or collaboration, or if you have additional tips regarding what worked for your organization, we’d love to hear them! Please fill out the form below and someone at Three30 Group will be with in touch shortly to learn more.

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