Overcoming the struggle with CRM user adoption

Author- Jessica Wert: SimpleSoft

We often hear about the struggle to keep all CRM users engaged and effectively using the company’s CRM tool. Many reasons can contribute to CRM usage dropping. Let’s take a look at what we ask our customers when they tell us they are struggling with user adoption.

Do you have the tools? You have CRM but is it up to date on the latest version? Are you using all the current features that are available?
These are important things to ask yourself annually to make sure that you are getting the most out of your CRM. When products are used in older versions you could be missing out on issue fixes, integrations, new functionality and features.

Is your knowledge up to date?
Make sure to assign a user at your company to be the Subject Matter Expert on your CRM. This helps keep everyone in the company “in the know”. A lot of times we see user frustration build over something they simply don’t know how to do in the CRM; leading them to simply give up. When you have an internal person or persons focusing on keeping the company up to date it can help solve these issues. It’s also a good practice to include CRM training as part of your yearly department meetings.

Is your database useful? When’s the last time you evaluated the data in CRM?
Data can quickly and easily get out of control in an un-watched environment. If the database is bogged down in duplicate records, old information or missing key Accounts; this will turn your users off. Have a Data Steward for your CRM to keep watch over the data and create and keep the standards in place.

Do you have a process?
Without a clearly defined process of what is expected from a user it is hard to expect them to use it. Once you lay out how a process will flow through the CRM you must make sure it is utilized. Leadership should be holding those users accountable to the process as part of their role at the company. Without Leadership accountability to a process it is difficult to keep users engaged. So be sure to lead by example when it comes to CRM usage.

Is your process efficient?
Don’t over complicate a process in CRM. Start by asking yourself, What end result do I want? From there you can brainstorm the type of data you need to capture to accomplish it. Then do a dry run. When you actually walk through the steps it allows you to see how the end user will feel completing it. Are there areas you can set to auto populate or default a certain value to save a click? Is there a notification you can set up to alert the user of an action needed? These types of things can make the process more efficient and user friendly. Let CRM do some of the work for the user!

Do your Users understand the “Why”?
You’ve created this great process, but have you effectively communicated why it’s important to follow and use it? When the user feels they are just being forced to track their every move in CRM it doesn’t entice them to use it. Help them understand the importance of good data in CRM. Showing them how CRM can work for them is important. Whether it’s with an auto follow up email, reminders that a contract is set to expire or maybe alert them to an upcoming bid; it can help them sell more!

Is it lead from the top down?
As mentioned above; we have found that when leadership is actively using CRM in day to day functions it helps foster a culture that embraces CRM. This goes back to the “do you have a process” question. When leadership makes CRM part of day to day business; CRM becomes a necessity. Are you using CRM in multiple business processes?

Is CRM connected to your ERP? Why not?!
One of the easiest solutions to bringing more user adoption is to bring in other departments to see and use the data. When everyone uses the data it becomes more valuable, more worthy of a users time.

How about an integrated marketing platform?
This is another way to bring users together around your company’s data. When all departments are intertwined with CRM it creates a NEED for it by all users.

Arm your users with CRM tools to succeed in your business. When users see how the tool and process helps them be better they will want to use it. Most find they can’t do without it once they see the success they gain with proper CRM use.

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About TimeLinx
TimeLinx delivers innovative project & service management software as a complete solution that perfects the sell-track-manage-support-bill cycle that services organizations must have to delight their customers; TimeLinx brings the cycle together in a single application that offers less frustration, better project management, complete reporting, and improved profitability – all specially designed for Infor and Sage.