A well-executed CRM deployment will change the way you do business by transforming your relationships with prospects and customers, and by refining and revamping internal processes. But for CRM to achieve its full potential, it must be embraced and actively used by all stakeholders.
Resisting change and clinging to what’s familiar are part of human nature, even when such resistance works against us. What can you do to improve user adoption and ensure CRM success? Use value selling techniques to convey CRM’s worth to employees, just like you do with prospects and customers!
Employees need to understand CRM’s importance to the business and how it benefits them personally. Closing more sales, earning higher commissions, and meeting performance goals can be powerful motivators. So can improving customer satisfaction and net promoter scores. Like anything else, if users understand how CRM can make their life better, they are more likely to learn and use it.
Here’s how you can generate excitement and increase user adoption by engaging employees before, during and after implementing your CRM system.
Start with the Configuration Process
Would you embrace a system that doesn’t solve your problems or help you excel at your job? Of course not. Users know best what will help or hinder their success, and appreciate being part of the solution. Ask, listen, and include their real-world perspective when configuring CRM.
To ensure CRM delivers value to diverse stakeholders, the needs of every group should be represented as the system takes shape. We recommend working with carefully selected delegates from sales, marketing, customer service, accounting, and any area that impacts the customer experience.
Validate that CRM captures the data each group needs, and provides reports, views and dashboards that support decisive, goal-oriented actions. Solicit feedback on the effects of planned process changes. Seek ways to make customer activity transparent and promote collaboration across groups. And make sure the benefits of CRM are accessible on all appropriate devices and platforms.
Test Before Going Live
When users help configure their own CRM solution, they are naturally invested in its success and will gladly participate in acceptance testing before going live. Now it’s time for them to experience how CRM meets their needs and lives up to its promise. And you will learn what lies ahead in terms of system development, training and employee acceptance.
Use the testing phase to uncover blocks to user adoption and take steps to address any impediments, now or as future enhancements. Once convinced of CRM’s value, these users are instrumental in persuading their peers to accept CRM and support the organization’s mission in deploying it.
Training, Training, and More Training
CRM training takes many forms throughout the lifecycle of the system. Unfortunately, when training is approached as a “one size fits all” endeavor, user adoption and organizational satisfaction suffer. Comprehensive training and educated, enthusiastic users are essential for CRM success, so build your program with the following considerations in mind.
User acceptance can’t be mandated, but it can be earned by including select users in the CRM process from inception to implementation and beyond. It’s also essential to with a technology partner who understands the direct relationship between adoption and CRM success.
With comprehensive planning that emphasizes user engagement and a robust training program, you will be rewarded with a CRM system that changes employee behaviors and drives strategies that improve sales, marketing, and organizational performance. Call me at 330-929-1353, extension 224, for more insights.