Why You Are Never Finished With CRM User Adoption

CRM Advice


If your organisation is planning to implement CRM, or has already deployed a Customer Relationship Management system, user adoption is one critical factor that you can't afford to lose sight of!

The capabilities and configuration of the CRM technology are an obvious focus but without user acceptance, understanding and support no system will deliver the expected results.

When CRM projects fall short of expectations, frequently this is because listening to user needs and delivering CRM training didn't receive sufficient focus and attention.

CRM should only be considered a success if it meets the objectives of the business and, most crucially, the requirements of its users.

In this post we've listed a four prerequisites for project leaders and sponsors to secure CRM user adoption. 

Communicate the Reason for CRM

Effective buy-in is much more difficult if users have no understanding why they’re being told to use a new CRM application, or if they no longer consider this relevant to their needs.

Without a clear understanding as to what CRM can do an individual, and the business, their interest in the system and motivation is likely to be lukewarm at best.

From the outset, seek opinions from users and document their suggestions and requirements that a new CRM system must deliver. Use this feedback to ensure that valid requirements and ideas are 'baked in' to underpin the configuration of CRM and its processes.

To make sure that existing users remain on board and empowered, carrying out regular reviews that involve capturing user feedback. 

Some user requests will need to be deflected or deferred but a transparent process to design and evolve CRM will always help to create and retain user goodwill.

Consider creating a customised user guide that not only explains what the system can do and how to physically use it but, more interestingly for the user, what they can expect to gain from it.

As part of our scope led implementation approach we ask organisations to define their CRM vision. This brief statement should be shared with users together with the organisation's main CRM goals.

Measure CRM Usage

Keep track of how your staff are using the system.

This is not designed to be a ‘witch hunt’ to find those that are not using it but, rather, an opportunity for you to identify adoption challenges and then offer the necessary support (be it training, further explanation of how the system can help support objectives, etc.) to correct the problem.

Just as important, focus on positive reinforcement and show a link between those that are using it and how it has improved performance.

Effective CRM systems are about helping individuals to be more productive. For example, if a sales person is now using this technology to have more conversations with customers, gain more insight about their pipeline and are closing more opportunities this individual is a shining beacon providing a clear link between CRM usage and increased performance.

Microsoft Dynamics features a series of dashboard charts enabling administrators and CRM leaders to rank the most engaged users. More granular reporting can be created by job role, for example including number of service cases closed and completed activities.

Ongoing CRM Training

It’s easy to fall into the trap of providing an intensive CRM course on day one and then never revisiting the subject again.

Most likely, this will result in overwhelmed and unmotivated users that lack the depth of training and support they need. 

Instead, consider training bite-sized and regular, with each session focusing on a different element. 

Be sure to include a Q&A opportunity at the end of each session to ensure that users have the chance to address any specific issues that they have encountered.

CRM will always evolve over time and user requests are a healthy sign of acceptance, adoption and empowerment. 

CRM training is even more accessible with a managed service agreement. This includes a bank of CRM hours which can be allocated for user training and other CRM related requirements so that appropriate user requests are swiftly implemented to retain user interest and enthusiasm towards CRM.

Promote Usage

Successful CRM systems provide a single source of truth about customer relationships and every critical process that matters to your business.

Some users will attempt to hold onto familiar practices and prefer to submit reports in familiar formats involving spread-sheets and manual compilation.

This is where CRM leaders must show leadership and enforce a policy that data must be CRM.

Leaders must be active users and critically promote CRM usage that will give them confidence to trust this data, and ultimately user CRM data to make more informed and timely decisions that will benefit the business.

Partner with Preact and we'll help you implement and support a CRM solution that is embraced by your team and evolves your business to reach higher performance levels. We'd be delighted to discuss your requirements and help you achieve your goals with CRM. Contact us now and let's talk!

RELATED: 22 Actions for a CRM User Adoption Strategy