Surprise, Surprise: CRM Isn’t So Bad After All

The top reasons that organizations dislike their CRM system are well chronicled: too much time spent on manual data entry, a clunky user interface that is hard to use, extra features that provide limited value, and a record-keeping system that doesn’t move deals forward. However, maybe we’ve been a little too hard on CRM.

According to a survey of 400 sales executives in the United States and United Kingdom, a CRM system is the most used and most valuable tool for the sales team in both the U.S. and U.K. Not only did 70 percent of respondents say their sales team uses CRM, most sales teams utilize CRM systems more than any other hardware or software tool. Nearly all (92 percent) say the CRM system is extremely or somewhat valuable to increasing the effectiveness of their sales teams.

“Over the last 20 years, CRM became a four-letter word in the eyes of many frustrated sales reps who viewed it more as a hindrance than a helpful tool,” said Brent Leary, principal at CRM-Essentials, a leading management consulting and advisory firm. “However, this new data is encouraging. CRM is clearly viewed as valuable, if not indispensable. The era of the empowered customer has forced organizations to realize a modern CRM solution is essential to help reps provide customers with the right information at the right time.”

This survey data is part of a larger “SalesTech Report” conducted to define what the technology stack for a modern sales team looks like. CRM-related data highlights include:

62 percent of respondents said the most important goal when choosing a CRM system for their organization is improving the customer experience they provide, compared with 38 percent that believe improving the effectiveness of their sales team is most important.

10 percent of organizations aren’t currently using a CRM, but wish to do so. They cited cost as the top barrier. Some also cited organizational resistance, complexity, lack of awareness of benefits, and lack of senior-level buy-in as reasons they do not have a CRM.

CRM systems are the most used tool to increase the effectiveness of sales teams, even more than smartphones or laptops. Companies with more than $25 million in revenue are more likely to say they use a CRM system than companies with less revenue.

“Though there is work to be done, the results of the survey indicate CRM has turned a corner. It is heading in a direction where it has the capability to tell sales teams far more about the customers than they could possibly know on their own,” said Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM. “By automating data entry and developing AI-related features to generate insights, CRM is becoming a smarter, revenue-driving tool. Organizations are clearly taking advantage of its increased value.”

For the complete survey report, please visit:


CITE Research, on behalf of SugarCRM, conducted a survey among 400 business professionals, with 200 respondents in the United States and 200 respondents in the United Kingdom. Respondents were screened to be employed full time, work in sales or business development, and have a job title of director-level or above. All respondents worked at companies with 100 or more employees.