Success with CRM: 4 Tips for User Adoption

In the previous post of this series, we talked about why a comprehensive CRM training program is critical for success. Related to training, is user adoption. Low user-adoption rates are the root cause of more CRM project failures than any other factor. That’s not surprising, enterprise software has been notoriously hard-to-use. At the same time, the digital revolution has made the workforce very reliant on the apps and devices that power an always-connected lifestyle. No one wants to spend their free time basking in the conveniences of modern technology and then step back in time when forced to use archaic software at work.

While accountability is important, I should note that executive mandates (“you are going to use the new CRM or else!”) rarely lead to long term success. If your team does not understand how CRM is going to make their lives easier, and help them do their jobs better, than they probably won’t use it as much as they should.

With that, here are four tips for driving user-adoption.

Power to the People (Get user buy-in early in the process) – There are a lot of decision-makers who must be convinced when it comes time to choosing a CRM. One group that is often left out though…the daily users. One of the best ways to get your team excited about a new solution is to invite as many of them as possible to vendor evaluations and demos to gather their opinions before the initial purchase.

UX Matters – Speaking of those daily users, they’ll be much more likely to buy into a CRM that jives with the way they want to work. A modern, engaging and consisting experience that is tailored to every user’s unique needs across any device is essential for a successful CRM roll-out.

Integrate the CRM into the way People Work – People are naturally resistant to change, and going with a new CRM will be a big change. But, ideally, it doesn’t require a complete 180 in the way your team gets things done. Instead, it should integrate with your other front- and back-office systems and with existing workflows and processes. The more the CRM is complementary to what you already do versus a complete overhaul, the better.  

Keep it simple – It’s easy to fall into “more features, means a better CRM” fallacy. And, honestly, many CRM vendors push this theory as well. We call it bloatware, and it’s a barrier to adoption. Users hate interfaces that are cluttered with irrelevant features which create confusion. Instead, start by focusing on the essential CRM features that your business will use everyday. Once your entire team gets good at the basics, then more features can be implemented.

We will delve further into the bloatware versus essential CRM functions in the next post.

-Andrew

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *