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Article 6 min read

The three most common UX mistakes CRMs make (and how to avoid them)

Make sure your CRM provides a good experience for your sales team.

Par Uzi Shmilovici

Dernière mise à jour April 5, 2024

If your CRM is not a value-add to your sales reps, they will not use it. In order to get full user adoption of the CRM, it needs to be optimized for their experience.

The single biggest failure of CRMs on the market is their inability to engage their users (that is, sales reps) and consequently their inability to return meaningful data. If sales personnel are not using the CRM, it is not possible to track best practices, identify mistakes, or prescribe ways to close deals.

Here’s a look at some of the most common UX mistakes CRM platforms make, and how to correct them.

Disjointed and manual data entry

The whole point of investing in a CRM is to have all of your customer data and sales activity in one place. But Salesforce and other leading CRMs charge extra (sometimes upwards of $100 per person per month) simply to monitor activities and perform basic functions like syncing with email.

The way many CRMs work now feels like a disjointed effort. For example, with many CRMs, if you want to track your email activity, you have to BCC your own CRM on every email.

All this does is add steps and friction to the user experience that often lead to lost data and inaccurate insights. Most CRMs are designed for C-level executives, with little to no thought going into the experience that sales reps will have.

Complicated and manual data entry is a hindrance to productivity and profit. Having to take the time to collect basic information like log calls jams up the process, keeping your sales reps buried in red tape. Studies have shown that a good CRM experience makes for a faster learning curve and makes it easier to onboard new sales representatives. A positive experience with the CRM can accelerate time to value by 40 percent.

The Zendesk Sell difference: We embrace automation throughout the sales pipeline.

Base’s CRM can automatically log sales activities (and that doesn’t cost extra because that is the whole point of a CRM). For example, you can sync Sell with your email (and even send emails directly from our CRM) to cut out the need for a BCC. Our CRM also automatically pulls all past communication, matching it with your contacts.

Even if you fire off a quick email from your iPhone, that information is automatically stored within the CRM. Metadata from calls and emails are easily stored and cataloged for quick recall. In fact, Sell’s CRM captures 30X more data than other popular CRMs, enabling your company to make smart decisions based on accurate insights.

Poor structure and organization

The question every sales rep hates to hear: why did you lose this deal?

In many leading CRMs, when a deal is lost, the data just gets archived or deleted, never to be seen again. That doesn’t help the sales rep who has to start at square one if the client decides to re-engage later on. It doesn’t help the manager, who doesn’t know if the fault was the sales rep’s or a process shortcoming. And it doesn’t help the company, as it is left to wonder if they are even targeting the right kind of customers.

Data can become fragmented and ineffective when you have dozens of sales reps describing why deals failed in hundreds of different way. CRMs that do not understand data lack a system for categorizing results in logical, structured and user-friendly ways. The outcome is dozens of voices contributing (maybe) meaningful information that is ultimately unusable.

Not only does this make it difficult to go back and understand what drove a deal to be won or lost, but finding even basic information about prospects and information can become an inquisition. Again, this level of complexity drives sales reps to forego their CRM software in favor of keeping their own notes in Excel or inboxes.

The Zendesk Sell difference: We leave nothing to chance. Our CRM enables sales teams to create and enforce a standardized set of reasons why through custom pipelines, fields and tags. This way, each sales rep is using the exact same phrasing, losing nothing in translation.

We know that data is the lifeblood of any sales department. When you have weak, fragmented data, you have a weak, fragmented sales pipeline. Our CRM makes it clear why a deal succeeded or failed, keeping all information organized and in context so that you can always find what you need via Smart Lists and activity feeds.

Little ROE (return on effort)

Because most types of CRM solutions do not capture meaningful or complete data, they have no idea when a deal is at risk of falling apart. They also cannot send predictive alerts or help you figure out how the problem arose in the first place. Good luck reading the tea leaves to figure out how to correct those problems in the future.

What’s more, sales professionals quickly weigh the frustration of manual data entry and lack of helpful alerts against their CRM’s benefits, which can be minor because CRMs are not designed to help the people actually using them. This further impacts CRM adoption and the ability to capture accurate sales data and extract meaningful insights, ultimately fueling a vicious cycle.

The lack of helpful, predictive alerts, coupled with the inability to extract valuable insights from sales activities, harms the user experience. Absent of user-focused incentives, CRMs consistently fail to engage sales reps by requiring more effort than the value they deliver.

The Zendesk Sell difference: We believe your sales reps need to know when things are going well and when they’re about to fall apart.

Our CRM delivers intelligent alerts, using real-time analytics to draw attention to problems early on. Sell CRM users are able to see breakdowns before they become deal-killers, allowing managers and sales reps to improve their win rates.

Additionally, by automatically logging key pieces of activity data, Base can help your sales reps discover best practices based on past performance. Wondering whether those email templates are working or how long a deal should sit in a particular stage? Base users know.

We’ve looked at the reasons that many CRMs fail through poor user experience. We took that information to build a better platform, one that leads to a 75 percent boost in productivity and a 95 percent rise in user adoption.

At the end of the day, the CRM you go with needs to be one that your sales reps love to use.

This post originally ran on the Base blog. Please visit if you’d like to learn more about Zendesk Sell.

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