“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”. As it goes with horses, so it often seems to go with CRM systems. A common challenge we hear from clients and prospects is finding ways to maximize CRM user adoption.
There’s no perfect way to solve the problem, no magic bullet, but borrowing a tactic from the sales and marketing side of the house may help shed some light on how to get started.
When focusing on customers and prospects, sales and marketing teams will often develop a “buyer persona” — a detailed description of a (usually) hypothetical person based on an amalgam of common traits and relevant statistics that represent a company’s target buyer group.
Switching this tactic around, it can be useful for companies that are evaluating CRM solutions, or are preparing for implementation post-purchase, to develop “user personas”. Developing CRM user personas can help management evaluate their employees and find the optimal way to introduce CRM and begin the training process.
While every business is different, and the circumstances and environment of each CRM deployment are unique, there are a handful of common traits to look for in employees that will help ensure high CRM user adoption and get a new implementation off to a great start.
Having employees that are familiar, comfortable, and intuitive with technology is almost a prerequisite for successful CRM deployment.
We frequently hear about sub-optimal CRM adoption due to a general lack of technical sophistication in a company’s workforce. Having employees that are familiar, comfortable, and intuitive with technology is almost a prerequisite for successful CRM deployment.
Getting a team familiar with web applications, things like collaborative document creation, shared calendars, even social media — these things can help put a less tech-oriented team on the path to being ready for a CRM deployment.
Possibly the most important trait of a successful CRM user, being detail oriented will ensure a CRM system is not just being used, but is being used correctly.
A large part of using a CRM solution is data entry–filling out names, numbers, times, dates, amounts, etc. Along with logging conversation notes with prospects and customers after each call, and making sure any sent or received email communications are logged into the system, these are the day-to-day tasks that users will be performing. Users that are naturally detail oriented will find CRM to be a great enabler for this kind of activity and will make them more productive, often dramatically so.
Not be confused with a ‘taskmaster’, employees that are goal or task oriented will find a lot to love about CRM. A simple example is having a daily calls list. By setting up calls to specific prospects and clients on certain days (part of being detail oriented), it’s easy to generate a simple task report in CRM that lays out which calls need to be made on which date.
Something as easy as the example above can have a major impact on workflow. Task oriented employees can quickly and easily go down the list each day, completing each task and setting a new one in it’s place.
This also enables management to quickly assess and quantify how well a sales or account management team is doing, just by looking the number of completed activities in a given time period.
… any employee that can look at streams of information and glean insight and actionable information will find CRM very empowering and will quickly adopt it into their daily management or work routine.
If there’s one thing CRM offers, it’s information. Reports, dashboards, logs, and a dozen other options allow users to focus in on particular details, or see the big picture at a glance.
While this is a category that often falls under the purview of management and CRM administration, any employee that can look at streams of information and glean insight and actionable information will find CRM very empowering and will quickly adopt it into their daily management or work routine.
There are many traits that an employee might have that will help with CRM system adoption. Those listed above are some of the more common ones, and generally speaking, if a company’s workforce has some or all of those traits, then they’re already ahead of the game.
The other side of the equation is ensuring that the right solution is chosen to meet a company’s needs, making sure it’s implemented and customized correctly, and that employees have had a chance to review and provide input about the system prior to implementation.
With the right system, tailored to a businesses needs, CRM user adoption will be maximized.