April 15, 2011
Gain and Secure Employee Buy-in to Your New CRM System
Most workers value tools provided by their organization that help them do their jobs better. Some covet a platform that will reduce their time spent on cumbersome, manual-intensive activities, keep them more organized, and make it easier to find data. Others desire a tool that allows them to spend more time with clients and prospects. For instance, if employees are convinced that a new CRM system can help them be more effective in their respective roles and enhance their efficiency, they will be more motivated and inclined to learn and incorporate it into their daily routine. However, if employees feel that the new CRM system will not increase their overall productivity, they will demonstrate a resistance to change and be reluctant to learn the new platform. New technology tools that come with steep learning curves and actually add extra time-consuming steps to already existing arduous tasks will certainly not be embraced by employees. Similarly, users will not be fond of a new CRM system that takes an extraordinarily long time to implement and that does not even provide the core functionality improvements requested and absolutely needed by the user base. As new users become frustrated and confused by the new system, they will spend more time complaining at the water cooler rather than working on mission critical tasks. The users’ growing disdain and lack of commitment to adopting the new CRM system can unfortunately become an enormous roadblock for a successful CRM implementation. Without employee buy-in, the gains achieved through the CRM implementation will be quite minimal and few and far between. The buy-in must come from all levels of the company, from upper management to power users to less frequent users of CRM.
After selecting a CRM solution, executive management must ignite a sense of excitement as the implementation project commences. In order to execute a smooth transition to the new CRM system, upper management must also demonstrate a steadfast commitment to completing the implementation on time, exude a passion for learning and mastering the system, and actually use it every day themselves. Management must not only be positive, supportive, and passionate about the CRM system, but also communicate early and often with the user base and explain why exactly the firm is embarking upon this CRM initiative. By clearly articulating the benefits of the CRM system and how it will help the firm and specific departments meet strategic business objectives, employees will recognize that their time invested in training and familiarizing themselves with the system will not be wasted. Upon hearing and experiencing how the CRM system is going to help their on the job performance and yield personal advantages, users will be more likely to embrace and support the implementation project. Frequent communication and extended training support are keys to boosting a firm’s adoption rates. It should be noted, though, that tactfully securing employee buy-in needs to occur well before UAT. Moreover, end-users should not be left alone to figure out the system on their own after UAT. They more than likely will need continued assistance and motivation as they become acclimated to the new system. To further accelerate adoption rates, executives and project champions must continue to engage users, offer encouragement, and share CRM success stories. Doing so will renew a sense of focus, urgency, and pride in leveraging the CRM system of choice across the user base.
If you are currently evaluating CRM systems and are clamoring for ways to help employees automate their marketing, sales, and service activities, then you should consider investing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. The familiar, intuitive Microsoft Office interface and tight integration with Outlook in CRM 2011 provides a better, personalized user experience, which will drive user adoption throughout your organization. The comprehensive solution suite of CRM 2011 offers flexible point-and-click customizations and deep configuration capabilities that can actually meet the needs of end-users. As employees come to trust and appreciate the robust, yet easy-to-learn functionality of CRM 2011, they will want to learn the system faster, utilize it more frequently, and share their knowledge with co-workers more often. By gaining user buy-in to CRM 2011, you will definitely increase not only user adoption, but also the firm’s overall ROI on its technology purchase.