Create a Culture that Includes “The CRM Habit”

Create a Culture that Includes “The CRM Habit”

We all know it isn't easy to build a new habit. In researching the psychology behind building a new habit, you might find a few excellent books that have been published recently: Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg and Atomic Habits by James Clear. Both resources focus on how you can build habits. Their habit-forming methods will transform how you look at achievement in your life and when it comes to adopting CRM in your business, the principles these resources teach are priceless! Let me summarize how that might look for you and your organization.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle to fully benefit from a CRM is having everyone use it. The system becomes more valuable to everyone in the company as more people use it. Building a CRM habit has enormous implications for business success.

Let's marry these resources' methods and apply them to building the CRM habit.

(1) Make it obvious (trigger)

(2) Make it small (easy)

(3) Make it desirable (motivation)

(4) Make it satisfying (sticky) or unsatisfying (pressure)

(5) Make it rewarding (addictive)


Building the CRM Habit

First and foremost, repeating a habit is essential. Per the experts, it is important that all the steps above are followed in the exact order they are listed to successfully embrace and create a habit.

1st: Make it Obvious 

  1. Ensure your CRM is easy to access. Make sure your CRM opens quickly when needed and you have an icon in your taskbar or pinned to your start bar.
  2. Keep the CRM app open all day long. Also, keep Microsoft Outlook open, as it should integrate with your CRM to seamlessly record appointments and emails
  3. For consistency, always keep your CRM application on the same screen in the same place.
  4. Ensure your CRM integrates with all your most frequently used apps, especially Outlook, but consider your ERP, SharePoint, maps, digital marketing platform, Word, and Excel.

By doing the above, you've made your CRM more accessible, visible, and compelling.

One trick is to tell yourself that each time you power on your PC, you make sure your CRM is open.

When I turn on my PC, I also make sure that my CRM is open. Powering on your PC is your trigger or clue to make sure CRM is omnipresent!

2nd: Make It Easy

There are many ways to make your CRM easier to use. Here are a few tips:

  1. Make the effort small; in other words, make constant minor improvements in your data and system. For example, make sure that all your contacts are in CRM, don't let your business cards pile up! Having confidence in good contact data is paramount to relying on CRM.
  2. Use your CRM to record simple actions like follow-up call reminders, notes, opportunities, or cases. Each of these actions are small, but over time, you build up a history of all your interactions with an individual or company. It is like eating an elephant one small, easy bite at a time.
  3. Build a home dashboard with all the information and updates you need. If you are in sales, you likely want a leads dashboard, an opportunity pipeline, and an activity panel in your dashboard. If you are in customer service, you will want to see your cases with their corresponding activities.
  4. You can automate much of the work that CRM requires. Let's take an example of someone visiting your website and filling out a form. This form submission may trigger a notification email and the recipient must decide what to do with it. Will they call right away? Will they enter it in CRM to follow-up? This allows for potentially mistyped or lost data. Instead, you can connect it to your CRM so that upon submission, form fields are automatically entered and assigned to someone for follow-up. The salesperson now has all they need in CRM automatically.
  5. Build notifications that help you in your day-to-day activities. For example, if you are assigned a lead, ensure the email notification informing you of that new lead includes the URL that takes you directly to that lead record in your CRM. That will allow you to take immediate action.
  6. Making CRM omnipresent is essential, including when you are out of the office and networking. Make sure you have CRM installed on your mobile device; it is remarkable how many tasks you can perform on the go! Within a contact or opportunity record, you can quickly dial a customer, dictate your notes, and even access Google Maps, so there is no need to retype any address.


3rd: Make It Desirable

We make our homes beautiful because we want to enjoy where we live. Do the same with CRM. What does making CRM attractive mean?

  1. Choose a CRM system with an up-to-date look and feel. CRM started in 1987 with software like Goldmine, Maximizer, and Act! Today, these dated solutions are cumbersome and unwelcoming to most new users. Upgrading your system may require work, but it will make using it much more desirable. In a more attractive CRM, you have a screen that shows everything at your fingertips.
  2. Build your CRM to be more effective. Most current systems need minor adjustments that align with your business objectives to maximize their effectiveness for you and your teams. For example, if you sell many services, you may want to know when a contract starts and when it is due for renewal. The system can trigger a notification, so you do not need to monitor it.
  3. Desirable may also mean that you make the CRM an integral part of your sales team's goals. The ability for salespeople to know where they stand with respect to their targets is essential for motivation. From a well-maintained pipeline, a salesperson can track what is closing and stay on top of all opportunities. It is less likely that things will fall through the cracks. Making it possible to measure and achieve targets is highly important to the success of a sales team. CRMs like Microsoft Dynamics D365, Zoho, or HubSpot have the capability to implement targets per salesperson.


4th: Make It Satisfying

  1. CRM helps you track progress, an enormous boost toward achievement many employees thrive on. Monitoring and measuring your efforts in sales, marketing, and customer service shifts mindsets to focus on what is measurable and meaningful to the organization as a whole.
  2. You can track measurable feedback in CRM. A salesperson may have a revenue target, a consultant may have a billable hour target, a customer service rep may have a target for the number of cases closed successfully, and a company may have an NPS (Net Promoter Score) target. With an integrated digital marketing platform, you can even store NPS in CRM from customer survey results. You can then display that data as a visual graph or a number. Metrics also show progress and changes over time.
  3. Another satisfying aspect of CRM is seeing other people adding valuable information to the database. One of CRM's greatest benefits is its ability to keep everything in one place to be shared appropriately, increasing the productivity of each CRM user. Creating new accounts and contacts is rewarding because it helps you realize all the additional opportunities that may come along. If all your contacts are in CRM and your digital marketing automation platform integrate, salespeople may see current customers re-visiting your website. If configured correctly, salespeople will be able to see which webpage was visited to give an indication of interest. These valuable insights can be tracked automatically and available to CRM users. This alignment between sales and marketing is possible with many CRMs. It may require some integration, but this feature is gaining a lot of popularity. At TopLine, we never fail to ask our customers about sales and marketing platform integration. We even created a new product – SymphonySync™ – to achieve seamless integration between systems.

5th: Make It Rewarding

  1. Reward your CRM users for their interactions with CRM, not only reviewing their results to guide your discussions but also congratulating them on the progress they are making! Thank them for doing a great job and moving the needle toward their wins. Emphasize their win rates. Compare their efforts as they move up from month to month or year to year.
  2. Additionally, celebrating success is only possible when we can clearly see what was achieved. Shared views within CRM make the data undeniable, so when good things happen, all should know. Celebration should be done as soon as possible after achievements because it links the effort with the reward. Fast recognition is important to all of us.

Finally, Mandate It

  1. A little pressure goes a long way! Let's remember that what gets measured gets done. Having targets motivates people who thrive on a challenge.
  2. Drive accountability through CRM by using the metrics it generates. However, it might be challenging for a team to agree on effective metrics, so it is important to have good discussions, consensus, and planning before rolling out any accountability parameters. Simply using the CRM allows for a lot of insights into your business. The more you use it, the more the data reveals. It can help a salesperson be self-guided or a manager to provide crucial feedback!


CRM adoption is often the most crucial element of a CRM project. The entire initiative can succeed or fail based on adoption alone. The long-term success of your CRM necessitates full adoption for all users and beneficiaries. Building the habit of using your CRM properly is critical. Training helps and is very important.


If you have any questions, TopLine Results can help you build, configure, and deploy a CRM that improves "The CRM Habit" significantly. Call us at 800-880-1960 or email us at

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