New CRM User Adoption Tips
The most important factor of any software tool is user adoption. This is especially important with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. You want your sales teams to like the software and actually use it. If no one is using the system, you’ve wasted a lot of time and money and will not see the benefits of a CRM system.
The primary goals of implementing a CRM application are to increase productivity, generate more revenue, and make your customers happy. The first step is to make sure your company has a successful implementation. After the application is installed, you should continue to make sure everyone is satisfied with the system, and they are using it as part of their daily work life.
You must buy a CRM system that has the functionality that addresses your critical business requirements. If you don’t have a solution that completely fits your company’s business model, it will be next to impossible to get user adoption.
Now the hard part. The culture of your business must be ready to use the CRM. This is the case for any software that changes the routine of employees. The hard truth is that it is human nature to resist change. The key here is setting the correct tone based on your company’s business practices.
The Carrot or the Stick?
The “carrot” approach is selling the idea that the CRM will be of great value to the user. They will achieve greater performance with more efficiency. In other words, it won’t be another chore on their daily list. The solution will decrease the number of menial tasks that need to be performed. For sales reps, it could translate into less paperwork and manual processes. This includes excessive data entry. Your sales team will free up their day and be able to face the customer more frequently. The end result will increase sales, improve customer relationships, and more money in your rep’s pocket.
The “stick” approach requires a top-down edict from management. This approach requires all appropriate employees to use the CRM system. The messaging has to be consistent, and management is visibly and actively involved. The message is that the success of the company is reliant on their 100% involvement.
It is imperative that your CRM vendor listens and learns about the “day in a life” of each type of user. The vendor will extract essential data and automate your best practices that
enable your business to function properly. The vendor should also make recommendations based on best practices and experience. The result produces a streamlined, easy-to-use system that fits your business model.
One key note here…no business model remains static. The market is dynamic, and over time your business model will change. Your CRM must reflect these changes. Communication with your CRM vendor must remain open and active even after the initial implementation. Clear C2 has this “continuous involvement” approach as part of our support model for the C2CRM product.
Proper training for your CRM system is a must. This fosters more frequent and appropriate usage of any software application, especially a CRM system. Continuous and ongoing training educates users of software updates and modifications of your changing business model.
Ongoing CRM Usage Tips
CRM systems only work well when business objectives are achieved. They must be monitored and assessed regularly. One big hint that your business’s CRM isn’t meeting your company’s most important business priorities is when usage among your users drops. That is a clear sign that the software isn’t as useful and intuitive as it was when you originally implemented the system.
Schedule meetings with key team members to discuss issues and changes that may affect CRM usage. The easiest way to solve a problem is to ask about it, so do that regularly. This allows you to head off issues before they grow into something unmanageable. TIP: Include members of all customer-facing teams like sales, customer service, and marketing for the CRM usage meetings.
Track CRM Usage
Install tools in the CRM that track usage. What was the old saying, trust but verify? Even if employees say they are using the software, there are ways to track whether they actually are. Having those tools in your CRM can help you ensure data integrity.
TIP: Lead Scoring is not only crucial for your potential customers but you should also use it for your current customers. Schedule workflows to assign tasks to sales reps if they aren’t regularly communicating with top customers.
Notes from Management
Have managers issue reminders to their teams explaining the importance of using your CRM software. Sometimes a simple reminder that usage is the expectation can get people back on track. In that reminder, include the reasons why usage is critical.
Some people are motivated by competition. By tying prizes and rewards to CRM usage you incentivize participation. TIP: Have a contest for the salesperson’s actual sales are the closest to their forecast.
Talk to your Vendor
Ask for your vendor’s advice. Your CRM adoption/usage issues aren’t unique to your company. Ask for their suggestions on what ideas they would recommend to increase usage. Ask what tactics they’ve seen others use. Your vendor is a resource for more than just software. Use them. TIP: Use a vendor that has experience in your industry. Not all business processes are alike, but at least the vendor’s expertise can give ideas on companies like yours.
It is essential to continue training even after the initial software implementation. You will have new employees, people will change roles and your processes will change. Make sure everyone is happy and confident using your CRM software.
If your CRM system reflects your business model and automates your processes, you have already accomplished the biggest hurdle in user adoption. Continued training, automated tasks, fun games, and reporting tools will keep your data fresh, productivity will improve, and your customers will be happy. If you need help with your CRM user adoption, give Clear C2 a call at 972.304.7110
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