By the time a company is implementing a CRM solution, much has transpired. Traditionally, the IT department has researched various CRM applications, has obtained requirements from various concerned departments and personnel in the company, has pitched the solution to executives, has obtained purchase approval, and is now putting the application to work.
Now comes the crucial operation: getting the CRM application being fully utilized by company personnel.
CRM is the backbone of sales and all other customer relationships. In order to gain a rapid return on investment (ROI), it must rapidly become that backbone. To the degree that users fully grab onto and begin interacting with CRM, it will. Conversely, the longer it takes for user adoption, the more the company is
losing that initial CRM investment.
Here are 6 tips for rapid CRM adoption.
#1: Know What Users Need and Want
It may seem silly to discuss this point as part of CRM implementation, but it is a factor that cannot be stressed enough: you must fully research out potential CRM tool ROI for every concerned employee and department before purchase and implementation.
The reason we’re bringing it up as the first tip for rapid CRM adoption is simple: if you have skimped on this point, your CRM adoption by users is going to be difficult to say the least. Simply telling users that “senior management has approved this CRM application” is not going to cut it when users—such as salespeople—can’t
make heads or tails of how to use CRM, or (far more importantly) what it will do for them.
On the other hand, if the CRM application is something they truly want to use because your research was fully done, adoption will go much more smoothly.
#2: Get Everyone Onto the System
There are two basic errors that can be made when getting CRM into use:
- a) Slamming the staff onto it all at once with no transition, or
- b) Allowing employees to proceed at their own pace and take their time moving over onto the new CRM system.
Both are equally incorrect. While a) above will impact production because everyone is spending time learning CRM, b) will make the new CRM application more like an “option” and some may never even bother to learn it. If that number includes your sales force, you’re really in trouble. Sales management have to be prepared to act the moment, CRM tool is purchased.
Strike a balance that has the least impact on ongoing production but gets CRM rapidly into use.
#3: See to Rapid Training
Hopefully the CRM solution that has been chosen won’t require months of training—as this will obviously add considerable time to the return on investment. Have training planned out well in advance so it can start off with a bang, and get employees regularly learning on it every day. Of course the training will be more rapid if the CRM application is something that will really help company personnel—if only because they’re going to want to learn it.
As a side note, today’s leading-edge CRM system can be learned in a few days—not weeks or months. When scoping out potential CRM applications, this is a good feature to watch for.
#4: Integration of CRM Application
A CRM application should be as compatible as possible with all applications a company is using. Given such compatibility, you now need to get it rapidly functioning with those solutions. When users know that their tried-and-true applications work with CRM, they’ll be more willing to interact with and use the new CRM system and the flow within the sales pipeline.
#5: Obtain Feedback
As the adoption proceeds, you need to know immediately when users hit snags, or if there are elements they can’t understand or don’t like. All of these will be, to a greater or lesser degree, barriers to full CRM adoption. Maintain open communication for feedback on CRM, and be responsive to it.
#6: Once It’s Up and Running, Know It’s Not Over Yet
Company-wide adoption of a CRM solution is, in many respects, only the beginning. As salespeople learn more about and interact with the system, changes will very likely be required. As an example, better conformity to the actual sales process may be needed. A leading-edge CRM solution allows changes with a minimum of effort—so this is another feature to watch for in choosing a CRM application.
CRM application adoption is the most important aspect of its ROI—if CRM is not being fully used, it can’t possibly have any return on the investment. When it is being fully used, however, it not only provides ROI through saved time and effort, it empowers sales and contributes directly to the company bottom line.
Find out how the right CRM solution can fully meet sales and employee requirements—and provide rapid ROI. Sign up for one of our free webinars.