A CRM is worthless if no one uses it. Businesses that are successful focus on CRM user adoption during CRM selection and post-acquisition. Here are some tips on how to do that.

Setting the Stage for User Adoption During CRM Selection

You can start priming your team to adopt the CRM even before it’s purchased. Getting employees excited and engaged can go a long way towards motivating them. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • Involve your employees in the selection process. Before you select the CRM, let your employees know why you're implementing it and get their input on the features they want. This is especially true when switching CRMs. Employees who are used to a specific CRM are often resistant to changing. Getting them involved in the selection process helps them accept the change.
  • Choose a CRM that’s easy to use. The CRM should be intuitive and have a user-friendly interface. Demos during the CRM selection process will help you get a feel for each system and decide which one is most navigable for your team.
  • Show your employees how the CRM will benefit them. Explain how the CRM will help them do their jobs better and make their lives easier. As a guideline, consider the 2X rule: the value generated by the system should be at least twice the effort required to use it. So, they can anticipate that for everything they do within the system, they will receive 2X back in productivity. 

Advancing User Adoption After CRM Selection

With the stage set during CRM selection, user adoption can transition to more hands-on activities in the implementation phase. Training is the most known user adoption strategy, but it’s not the sole strategy. Successful user adoption relies on several factors:

  • Provide training. Ensure ample training is available so your employees know how to use the CRM.  Everyone has a different learning style. Some are visual learners and others may prefer reading manuals. Effective adoption requires all categories of learning to be available. Make sure your CRM vendor offers training in-person, online, and through a combination of both. 
  • Make the CRM accessible. Make sure the CRM is available on all the devices your employees use, such as laptops, desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. Most CRMs provide mobile apps for this purpose.  
  • Track your progress. Measure how often your employees are using the CRM and which features they're using. This will help you identify any areas where you need to improve user adoption.  
  • Survey Employees.  After several weeks of using the new CRM, send out a simple survey asking how well they understand the CRM functions. Provide training on the areas they need help with.   
  • Provide ongoing support. Make sure your users have access to support if they need help using the CRM. This can be provided through online documentation, phone support, or email support. 
  • Celebrate successes. When your users achieve success using the CRM, celebrate it! This will help motivate them to continue using the system. 
  • Make it fun. Try to make using the CRM fun and engaging. For example, you may consider giving away a gift card for the sales person with the most accurate pipeline or the most complete customer data. 
  • Continuous improvement. The CRM should be continually improved based on user feedback. This can help increase user satisfaction and loyalty. 

CRM user adoption is a critical success factor in any implementation. By following these tips, you can increase the chances that your employees will use the CRM and get the most out of it. 

Check out these other blogs about the true cost of CRM, the pros and cons of custom CRM, and why it's a bad idea to use the CRM embedded in your ERP.

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