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June 29, 2018 Business Technologies

4 Ways to Drive CRM User Adoption

Ali Lipman wearing a black blouse with small white polka dots and white collar.
By Ali Lipman

You’ve gone through the laborious process of evaluating multiple vendor options and finally selected the perfect customer relationship management software (CRM) for your organization. Hooray! However, the success of implementing an effective CRM system is contingent upon user adoption of the platform by your team. So, how do you incent change and get your users on board and willing to embrace this shiny new tool? Here are four steps to integrate CRM into internal, everyday processes and optimize the way you do business. ­

Simplify

If you’re at the beginning of your CRM journey, take the time to work with a system architect to design a platform that’s right for you. Every business is unique, and tailoring to your CRM to your specific processes before going live, will help you maximize your investment. If you’re deeply entrenched in your CRM, but find yourself or your sales people saying, “we would save so much time if …,” the sky is the limit! Take advantage of functionality inside your CRM to automate your day-to-day workflow.

Integrate

Reduce data-entry time by integrating with your other systems:

  • Email:
    • Sales people use email all day long, so increasing their CRM usage by allowing them to do data entry right from their inbox, is a key driver to user adoption. Your CRM may come with an out-of-the-box email integration solution, however integrations such as Implicit FrontEnd for Outlook, or Collabspot for Gmail, will help you get to the next level by giving you bidirectional sync between your calendar and CRM, support for customizations, document archiving, and more!
  • Phone
    • Sales people spend tons of time of the phone, and logging every phone call in your CRM can be cumbersome. If your business uses VOIP, it might be time to look into a communication platform integration. Tenfold is an example of a tool that comes with features like automated dialing, easy logging of call notes, and mobile capture. It delivers incredible ROI – allowing sales people to focus their energy on closing deals.
  • ERP
  • Relationship Intelligence
    • Your CRM can be your go-to center for insight into your leads and current customers. For example, SugarCRM’s Hint gives you the latest and greatest business news from your customers and prospects – making it much easier for your sales team to research prospects prior to meeting with them.
  • Business Intelligence
    • Your CRM is likely equipped with powerful reporting features. Take advantage of dashboards at the individual and team levels to get insight into current opportunities and trends. There are a number of BI tools that will let you take your reporting and dashboarding to the next level. For example, ClicData allows you to merge and join data from a seemingly endless list of sources with the data from your CRM, then create beautiful dashboard visualizations. No SQL required!
  • Marketing
    • Sales and marketing should be two peas in a pod. Your CRM can integrate easily into your marketing software – whether it be marketing automation or email marketing – enabling a push and pull of leads to your CRM to be converted into opportunities and lists from your CRM for marketing into your current and future client base.

Train

Training is the most obvious and quickest way to boost user adoption. Training should be specific to the employee’s job role, and the processes they take part in. Consider assigning someone to be your CRM champion, and help continue the knowledge transfer and training beyond implementation. Scheduled training and consulting sessions, and refresher sessions are highly recommended for continued education.

In addition, subscribe to your software partner’s newsletter, take advantage of your annual customer success reviews, and stay in touch with your Customer Success Manager who can identify areas of need and optimize your return on investment.

Incorporate

Now that your CRM is up in running, how do you incorporate it into your day-to-day? The easiest way to do this is by holding weekly sales meetings that incorporate data from your CRM. Creating reports to measure KPIs in your CRM gives you consistent data across your team and allows you to have productive meetings that enable sales people to do what they do best. This is the heart of CRM, and sales meetings that incorporate CRM data are the secret-sauce that help drive user adoption by holding everyone accountable to utilizing the platform.

Bottom Line: Plan for Success

No matter where you are at in your CRM journey, know that having a plan in place for good user adoption is paramount. Look at user adoption like a journey that advances as your team and business needs evolve. Setting yourself up for success by working closely with your CRM Customer Success Manager is an easy first step.

Ready to invest in CRM, but need guidance on implementation or integration? Contact us. Seriously! We help companies of all sizes, every day, with these seemingly complicated initiatives.

Just starting to explore CRM software options? Download our 2018 vendor guide to learn what to consider and the questions to ask.

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Author Bio

Ali Lipman

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Ali Lipman wearing a black blouse with small white polka dots and white collar.

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