There are several methods to get your company to capitalize on your CRM investment, the key is to understand that in most cases the issue with adoption is not the technology itslf, but rather the people who use it.
Although technology is constantly evolving, it is a known statistically proven fact that people do not adapt well at all to technological changes. Luckily, there are technology companies recognizing this fact that are coming to the rescue by developing software that works the way you do and not the other way around.
Before discussing the methods to better user adoption, you need to understand the structure of your business development team in order to get them to use your company’s CRM the way you want it. In every company there are three classes of employees: the top 20 percent, the middle 60 percent and the bottom 20 percent.
- The top 20 percent are the star performers. They are self motivated, doing 80% of the business development for your company. This group often finds it difficult to find a use for CRM because their techniques are already working.
- The middle 60 percent have the potential to be top performers. Managers need to focus their attention on helping this group to increase their business development impact. CRM is most beneficial for this class of employees.
- The bottom 20 percent comprises the poor performing business development professionals. CRM can help managers to identify those that do not belong in the company or those that have potential to move up.
1- THE KISS METHOD
Investing in a CRM tool can help managers monitor the performance of a team, in addition to increasing each team member’s productivity. The first method to user adoption is the KISS method –keep it simple silly. Demonstrate that the software is easy to use and unobtrusive. Although CRM is new software for employees, the trick is finding a CRM tool that allows your team to work with the software they are already comfortable using.
An example would be a company that uses a CRM tool that integrates with an existing network using Microsoft Outlook, therefore allowing centralized customer information, easy scheduling of appointments and meetings and unified customer e-mail and responses.
2- WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM
Can you ensure your CRM solution can immediately impact the person using it? Can you demonstrate the immediate benefits of saving them time and making more money? This is where the second method to user adoption comes into play; your team needs to see what’s in it for them.
Dynamic analysis and reporting tools that help users make more informed business decisions will increase the probability of the CRM tool being used on a daily basis. Management can measure and monitor customer satisfaction while predicting sales and forecasting revenue. Providing access to data and analytics in a form most employees can consume also keeps the entire team plugged in. The ability to easily analyze personal or team performance using a familiar tool like Microsoft Excel is critical to enabling this dynamically charged organization.
A good CRM tool will also enable employees to take their customers with them everywhere, accessing sales and customer service information on their laptops or mobile handheld device.
Through enhanced data synchronization and mobility features, your CRM investment needs to allow users to take advantage of tools and information they need no matter where they are, contributing to a more efficient company and fewer errors. This includes client response time. Clients no longer have to wait for your people, questions can be answered with the touch of a few keys, resulting in stronger productivity and increased revenues as they do more work in a shorter period of time.
As many organizations rely on team selling, inside sales people may be combined with outside sales and perhaps a representative from the service delivery arm of an organization. Providing a mechanism for these teams to collaborate while minimizing overhead will enhance adoption. By making the right way to do things the easy way to do things, your staff will improve productivity and give better service.
3- WORK THE WAY YOUR BUSINESS DOES
The third method involves showing your team that CRM does not change the way your company does its best business. A CRM solution is designed to meet your company’s specific business requirements, adapting to your business’ culture. Through analysis and reporting tools, team members can obtain new business insights. Scheduling, preparing and distributing business reports to groups of users, the CRM solution should streamline business processes, transforming repetitive work tasks into dominant business workflow.
Customization is another example of how CRM works the way your business does. Through customization, activity objectives can be tailored to your unique customer requirements and workflow rules for E-mail auto responses, task escalations and campaign response handling can be automated.
If your business deals in buildings and developments, the CRM tool should be able to track them. If your business links candidates to job openings, CRM should be customized to track those entities. You should not be forced to manage your business using terms or objects that are not native or natural to your team.
Your CRM tool should have a customization import and export functionality that enables businesses to build customizations one time and apply them across CRM servers and environments, quickly importing CRM templates across page views, database definitions and workflow servers.
Like any technology investment, CRM will only be profitable if it is utilized by your company. Once you have implemented the methods of getting your company to realize the benefits of CRM, you will improve the way your company targets new customers, drives sales and delivers high-quality customer services.