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CRM Adoption.jpgI’ve received a lot of feedback over the years from clients around the notion that user adoption is the key to a successful CRM rollout. But how do you specifically ensure that users will actively engage with your CRM software?

There are many tactics you can use both before and after implementation to help increase user acceptance and adoption of a CRM, or any other enterprise application.

Everyone loves top 10 lists… so the Emtec team and I have created our own version of a top 10 list – Top 10 Strategies to Improve CRM User Adoption.

Pre Go-Live CRM Strategy

  1. Don’t start user adoption tactics at go-live. You need to ensure user adoption is heavily addressed throughout the design and planning stages of the CRM project. Make sure to get users heavily involved in these early stages because it not only benefits the final product but also gives them a sense of ownership that can significantly improve their buy-in.
  2. Make sure it works. Although this should be obvious, CRM technically needs to work not just from a performance perspective, but also in the same manner and process that users expect.  Focus on this over the extra bells and whistles. Nothing will stop people from using the system faster than it running slow.
  3. Accessibility is more important than ever. Review the scenarios in which users will access and use the CRM software. For instance, perhaps they visit factories where Wi-Fi is sporadic at best. Then they will need offline capabilities. If they are making frequent visits to clients and want more iPad-type access, then ensure the system displays well and works fast in that kind of environment.
  4. Focus on business value. Ensure you explain the business value of the CRM solution you create to each of the various user groups. These discussions should be personalized to each specific group.
  5. Ask “Why” not “How”. Always follow up a decision about a new CRM software functionality or process with “why would users want to do this?” or “why would they input this data?” instead of simply how they will do it. The technical aspects are the easy part.

Post Go-Live CRM Strategy  

  1. Don’t hesitate to reward internal champions. This is important to show other users that these people are benefitting from using the system.
  2. Leverage the carrot AND the stick. Make sure to have processes that reward people for using the CRM system, as well as potentially discredit those who don’t. For instance, new leads can be assigned to users who have the highest follow-up rate. Old leads can be removed from users who don’t show activity after a specific timeframe.
  3. People need to see immediate benefit from CRM for themselves. The benefits aren’t just for the management team or company. Ensure you are leveraging functionality like marketing campaigns and worklists that can benefit individuals and groups as a time saver or lead generator. If people see direct benefit to themselves, they will use the system.
  4. Leverage the power of analytics. As people put more data in the system, ensure they are leveraging the benefit of that information to make smarter, faster decisions. One of the largest benefits of a CRM system is the ability to see across each tactical activity and better understand the processes and successes (or lack thereof) the group is having. This allows users to make better decisions on a timelier basis. For example, providing easy to use dashboards for your sales team will give them immediate visibility into progress or lack thereof toward their goals.
  5. Training does not end-at go-live. Consider “tips and tricks” and refresher training sessions to ensure everyone feels comfortable using the application on an on-going basis. Remember the crawl-walk-run concept when it comes to training. Show users pieces at a time so they have time to digest and put it into practice.

Have any techniques that have been successful in your company to drive engagement with your CRM software? Would love to hear from you.

Emtec’s CRM team has assisted hundreds of organizations with the implementation, support and successful adoption of a new CRM system. Contact us today to find out how we can help you do the same.

Written by Don Sweeney

Managing Director of Packaged Applications

Don Sweeney brings more than 20 years of experience to the firm and is responsible for providing strategic direction and executive team leadership to accomplish the company’s objectives. Leading the company’s growing Oracle BI practices, Don has held positions working for PeopleSoft and Andersen Consulting in their financial and ERP divisions. With a love for travel, Don is on a search for the perfect pint of Guinness.

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