Drum roll please.
The paperwork has been signed. The invoice has been paid. And after months of deliberation, you are about to kick off the implementation of your new CRM system - a cool bit of software that brings with it high hopes, impressive targets, and expectations of a speedy return on investment.
Is that a little bit of perspiration on your upper lip?
Yeah. It can be quite the daunting task, can’t it?
If you've done your research, you'll know there are three factors that contribute to a successful CRM implementation:
Technology – A good software vendor that will have your back to make sure the technology delivers what you need.
Process – You have smart people in your organization who know how this will best work for you.
People – This is the part that is often given less attention than it needs. It is easy to focus on the top two and just hope your employees will love it.
The simple answer is that engaged employees are the true secret to the success of your CRM plans because if they don’t use the system in the way you intend, you won’t get the results you want or need.
The turn-key ethos of today’s CRM technology makes it seem simple to implement. But despite this simplicity, implementing a new system is still a pretty major change for your employees, and any change to their way of working can impact the way they feel in their role as well - including their comfort levels and even their confidence.
The good news is this can be managed by treating your team like the human beings they are. Listen to their concerns, address their fears, and help them see the potential. With a little work, you can have a team that is as focused on success as you are. With that being said, here are six foolproof ways of increasing employee adoption of your new CRM system:
1. Vision: Create a vision that your employees will relate to
This isn’t just the vision of where it will take your business. Make it personal. Map out the vision of what the working day will be like for your employees and how the CRM system will make their roles easier.
Now sell that vision. And I use the word ‘sell’ purposefully. Your employees will have to accept some disruption and extra work as you get things off the ground. The most important thing to remember is that you want them to stick with you, even if things aren’t perfect from day one.
2. Messaging: Plan out timely, consistent communication with your team
They need to know
- What is about to happen?
- Why is the project necessary?
- What the expected outcome is?
- Project status and successes to date?
- What they personally need to do?
- How success will be measured?
- Make it clear what is in it for them
3. Resources: Think hard about how you will resource this change
Most companies don’t have resources sitting around waiting to implement a new CRM, so it is likely that your team will have to do some extra work initially on top of their already full workload. Talk to them about it. Let them know you understand it will be tough for a while. Don’t just dump it on their shoulders.
What can be deprioritized to get this done? This is where it is critical that you sell the vision.
4. Action Plans: Be realistic
Factor in any resource or financial constraints you may have. Be realistic with dates as missed deadlines impact the perception of success.
5. Skills: Provide the training to make them feel comfortable
Train up your team ‘just in time’ – if you train them too early, they will forget. Record the training for future reference and for new hires who join.
6. Incentives: Make sure your team are motivated to make the new CRM work
There are two sides to this
- Find ways to celebrate milestones. Team incentives work well to make sure everyone is adopting the new behaviours together.
- Disrupt the status quo. Get rid of the previous way of working as soon as you can. Make the new CRM the only way to do things so your team doesn’t fall back on old habits
Look what happens when any of these six are overlooked.
Doing this right can bring you two major wins: a CRM implementation that has met all the targets (you never had any doubt, right?), plus an engaged team that feels it contributed to this successful outcome.
That positive feeling alone can have immeasurable impacts across the whole of your organization.
Also, our CRM system is now available in the cloud! To make things easier, we've put together a comprehensive webcast to outline everything you need to know about Microsoft's new Canadian Cloud and how it will help your organization.