Adopting a CRM within your company is more about changing business process than changing technology. Yet many companies focus on the technology aspects, forgetting about the CRM users in the process. At OroCRM, we have seen hundreds of CRM implementations, including a few of our own internally. Through this, we have determined our five favorite CRM adoption best practices.
1. Let Business Users Be Part of the Implementation Team
This is critical to CRM implementation success, because they will tell you the features the teams want and areas where they are lacking. Allowing certain users to be part of the implementation team gives them a voice in the process and allows them to share ideas that would make their job easier. As you build the team responsible for the implementation of your new system, make sure each role is represented in the process and their feedback is taken into consideration. If you don’t do this, you will likely end up with immediate technical debt you need to fix because the system is configured in a way that doesn’t match a business users work process. This will immediately hurt the business change you are trying to make.
2. Get Executives Involved
One of the most critical CRM adoption best practices is to get the executive team involved. Make sure they have access to key reports and dashboards and use the CRM as a way to share information with them about the status of the business. A CEO commenting on a specific deal or creating a task for the customer service team or sending a note to a sales person on how good their pipeline is looking goes a long way to motivating the entire team to use the new CRM. If business users know the CRM is a tool for visibility to the entire organization, they will be motivated to use it. Also, giving executives access to key reports, dashboards and campaigns so they can see real-time results is a great and simple way to build immediate value to the project. Executives love at-a-glance views of business performance and projects that give them those views.
3. Build a Common Language and Process
Making sure the language and processes in the CRM match the way you talk and work within the organization allowing the CRM to add value to work processes and standardize communication. This is especially true of organizations where multiple people may work with a customer or in a sales opportunity. Your CRM can be a valuable tool to engage internal resources on your opportunity or engage another team to solve a customer issue. Don’t be afraid to adjust the system to your business language and sales process. If you find yourself bending your business to the technology, stop, and make sure you have the right system for your needs. You should ensure that CRM language and workflows match what is going to bring real visibility, value and efficiency to your business.
4. Add Real Value and Listen to Feedback
Even with business users involved in the implementation there will still be areas of improvement once it is rolled out to the broader team. Make sure there is someone the sales, marketing and customer service team can go to with enhancement requests or issues and be responsive to those requests. This will eliminate people complaining among themselves and ultimately not using the system. It is also critical to look at friction areas and redundancy in people’s work and ensure the CRM is reducing instead of adding to it. If you add to people’s productivity, they will be more patient with issues you need to address along the way and you will have more flexibility to make progress over time.
5. Training, Training, Training
Have we mentioned training yet? Show business users the importance of the CRM transition by taking time to properly train them on how to use it. Make sure managers are also training the right work process and are enrolled in helping people to adopt the CRM. Offer a few ongoing meetings where users can ask questions and give feedback. Give them a place to go with questions they need answered. Make the transition a positive one by providing assistance along the way. Your employees will thank you by making the CRM transition smoothly.
We hope these CRM adoption best practices increase your chances of CRM success and if there is anything we can do to help along your CRM journey, please let us know.