Prevent CRM adoption failure

Many new CRM software adoption efforts are prone to failure without proper planning, implementation, and deployment. It is true that CRM applications are used to increase efficiencies while improving sales opportunities and revenue. In addition, it can improve customer satisfaction since sales reps have easy access to updated customer data throughout the sales funnel.

But, implementing new software does not always equate to successful user adoption. Even experienced salespeople may be set in their ways with spreadsheets and notes of paper.  Which is why we put together a short red flag list of reasons why we see some CRM adoption efforts crash and burn, and what you can do to solve some of these issues.

It changes work processes

Many times, people do not like having their work processes changed. This is especially true if a company changes processes and procedures often. Change is stressful. People worry that they won’t understand the new processes and become less effective at their jobs.

Plus, when they’re already comfortable with one method, it’s hard to let that go for another. The disruption, even if it will lead to greater successes, can induce some employee resistance at first. It’s important to be aware of all the potential employee roadblocks so that you can address them fully.

Sales employees need to see the big picture

When implementing a new CRM system, it’s crucial to convey why this deployment is taking place. Sales reps need to understand exactly how the CRM system fits into the big picture. Give them an idea of what’s most important and structure that into actionable workflows.

Otherwise, sales reps won’t understand or believe how a CRM system can make them more productive. Without an understanding of the big picture, many opportunities may be missed. This includes CRM features that enhance quota achievement, lead tracking, email marketing, social media marketing, advance reporting, lead progression, and more.

Show your sales reps that only a CRM system can enable them to immediately respond to customer concerns.

Muddy goals

Don’t communicate wishy-washy explanations of why you need a CRM system. Before deployment, determine exactly what your company needs to accomplish. Figure out your goals, and make sure they are measurable. List a set of business problems your new CRM system can solve and how.

For example, do you want to make it easier for your customers to receive relevant service? Do you want to create more personalized marketing campaigns? So, understand your strategy and how your CRM system can help you get there.

Make sure you understand each feature that can support your business objectives and goals. Then, show your employees how and why to do this as well. Then, you must present a clear measure of success. How you define success and a way in which to measure it.

Employees don’t feel they have enough incentives to change their behavior

If it isn’t broken, why fix it? In general, people will look for the benefits included when changing their behaviors. These types of incentives aren’t just about money, but they should be about something tangible such as an overall improvement over previous work processes.

It should also be easier to use, more secure, reliable, and easy to use. Employees will only change if they see tangible benefits. If they’re already hitting their numbers, then what’s the point? So, look for challenges that employees often face, which can be addressed by your CRM system. Then, show them how those issues can be easily resolved.

Also, convey how the CRM system will positively impact their bottom line and their customer relationships. Salespeople understand that sales is about relationships. If you can offer a system that improves customer relationships, then it will be easier to improve adoption rates.

Users don’t feel involved

If you want to prevent a CRM fail, you must include your end users throughout the process from selection to implementation. Pick a few early adopters to help you make your final CRM selection, then let them test out and experiment with the system.

Once they understand how to use the features to meet your business objectives, then let them help train other employees on a peer-to-peer level. When you involve employees, you get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. Also, you can work out any kinks before full deployment. And, since users are usually resistant to change, getting them engaged from the beginning can help to overcome that resistance.

They can then share their positive experiences with their co-workers. You can even appoint advocates in each department. These advocates should be given enough training and play time to have a deep understanding of how to use the system and any potential concerns new users may have. Plus, employee involvement increases the chances for a successful adoption as other employees notice their co-workers jumping on the CRM bandwagon and they follow suit.

Final thought

Often, CRM fails when users are shown the big picture and are not involved in the selection and implementation process. Even if the CRM was designed to improve the sales process, new users will be resistant to change. But, with the above tips, you can prevent a CRM fail and create a CRM success.