Long-term success with CRM depends on user engagement
It’s inevitable: Things change in the business world, and we’d better be able to keep up. How can you help your team adapt to change when you adopt new processes and technology? Doing so is crucial because your CRM initiative won’t be successful without them.
Typically, employees feel uncomfortable with the idea of having to change their routines and adjust to something unfamiliar. Over the years we have learned several helpful ways to promote CRM as a business culture and achieve better user adoption. Part of our service includes designing an adoption strategy to engage those who will use it.
Consider these hints to maximize buy-in of end-users.
1. Build a case for change- answer the "What's in it for me?" Think about the impact of CRM strategy on people. What are the benefits and consequences of changing or not changing? Demonstrate clearly to those involved that the new system will benefit them. Spend some time to demonstrate clearly to everyone involved how the new system will benefit them directly and not just the company as a whole. Once they’ve learned it, how will it make their work easier? Unsure about those benefits and how to communicate them? Let us help - give us a call: 269-445-3001
2. Involve stakeholders in the design and pilot phase. Early participation with feedback is key to long term adoption. Ask them how the new CRM can best facilitate their day-in-life activities. What steps can be eliminated or reduced? Test options during the pilot and make needed adjustments
3. Communicate project progress. Hold regular meetings across all departments to communicate how it is going. How can interactions among various departmental personnel be improved and important data captured and shared? Keep employees in the loop by providing information and clarity about what is happening. Pilot team members should share in the progress.
4. Encourage employees to speak up about changes and listen to what they have to say. For example, discover what sales processes they are already carrying out using Microsoft Outlook and then see what can be leveraged into the CRM application. Schedule a regular feedback process.
5. Give employees time to make the transition and adjust to the new approach. Provide ongoing training, not just a one-time session. Identify specific struggles users might be having. CRM is a journey and some people adapt faster than others
6. Give them one piece of the pie at a time. Think baby steps. Understand that effective implementation of CRM is a cultural process: it will take time for everyone to adjust to new ways of doing business. Start with entering sales contact key information, performing lookups and navigating. Later, move into sales opportunity management and business analytics.
7. Support the managers who are leading the CRM march toward greater success. Identify what activity roll up reporting could eliminate the need for sales call reports. Implement dashboards that provide snapshots of their department's key performance indicators. We often customize dashboards and reports to provide the most meaningful information as requested by managers.
8. Inform and involve customers in the company's vision for a customer-centric strategy. Get their feedback as you make changes. We had one client make valuable quote form changes and lead follow-up progress changes because of early feedback from helpful customers.
9. Communicate that growth of the company is enhanced when users share information that they gather about customers such as their concerns, needs and wants. It's about building a customer relationship and sharing profile characteristics.
10. Provide useful educational resources that are focused on the desired results for each audience. Make them easily accessible. Web-based how-to's in an audio-video format work well and can become quick refreshers.
11. Conduct frequent audits, review progress, make adjustments. This is a discovery process. Continually assess results weighted against the expectations. Invite the sales team to review weekly or monthly reports and share feedback. Verify data quality and consistency - we all need to have good information.
12. Reward the adopters, the power users, those who help their associates, so the whole ship rises to new levels. Make part of their pay dependent on activities within the CRM solution. Several of our clients have replaced ineffective salespeople with those who became engaged with the use of CRM shared knowledge - and sales increased! Get the right people on the bus and go in the right direction.
13. Celebrate the successes, large and small. Talk about the improved happy customer experiences, smarter on-time customer information, greater professionalism, and so forth.
14. Use experts as effectively as possible. Enlist the support of a professional CRM systems architect and implementer - ideally someone with experience in various business roles: owner/manager/employee in sales, marketing, and customer service. Success with CRM provides just such expertise to our clients. Reach out to us today! 268-445-3001
15. Neglecting to change practices and habits to provide tangible rewards and intangible benefits is a dangerous cow-path that you will want to avoid. Don’t let innovation take a back seat to what seem like more pressing issues. Implementing a quality CRM strategic solution is one of the simplest ways to induce a dynamic change in your organization. and we will help you experience success with CRM.
Contact us and we will help you experience success with CRM.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in May 2012 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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