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Sunday, December 16, 2012

7 Tips to Boost Microsoft CRM User Adoption

Posted by Armanino Dynamics Team

Whether you’re planning to, or have deployed a CRM system, it’s never too late to start thinking about user adoption. Implementing a new software system might be a great move for your company, but the software only succeeds if people actually use it.

The truth is, most people don’t like learning new software unless there is something in it for them. This “something” could be providing tools which are valuable to users, or speeding up processes that have been time-intensive in the past. Below are some tips to help get your team on the CRM bandwagon.

Pre- Deployment User Adoption Tips

(Already past this? Keep reading for post-deployment tips)

If you’re considering user adoption prior to deploying a new software system, you’re ahead of the curve. Here are some recommendations for the build process to increase buy-in and attract users:

1. Know your processes and do your due diligence. This is normally one of the most time-intensive steps for clients, but it is absolutely critical to ensuring your system performs correctly. A few things to consider when documenting your business processes:

    • Be sure to involve stakeholders in each department who will be using CRM.
    • Find out what people do in their day-to-day routine. If it’s sales, what does that entail? How does your team keep track of following up with leads? What is the quoting process? By understanding and relaying these processes, your CRM partner can begin to understand how your company needs CRM to work.
    • If the project is large, consider rolling it out in phases. 

2. Consider time-saving enhancements to entice users. These enhancements might increase the upfront expense, but will be a “win” for each department, and encourage long-term buy-in from users. Some ideas include:

3. Clean your data. Before deploying a CRM system, take steps to clean your company’s data. Having mass duplicates in the system (or your mom’s contact information) can be frustrating for users to encounter. That being said, there will end up being duplicates at one time or another, so consider a user training session that addresses your company’s protocol when dealing with data discrepancies such as this.

Post-Deployment Tips for Increasing User Adoption:

4. Make using the software a requirement for everybody…the end: In every company, there are one or two people who don’t care what software you implement or how great it is. They want to do things the way they’ve done them indefinitely. The key is to make using the software a requirement – no ifs, ands or buts about it.

This stance can make many companies uncomfortable, but doesn’t normally escalate to anything more than a closed door conversation or two. You may ask yourself, “Why is it so important to get everyone on board?” There are quite a few reasons, but here are key points to consider:

    • Reports and metrics in CRM are only as accurate as the data. This means that reports which are impacted by said employee(s) will always be “off” if they do not contribute their data.
    • If an employee leaves the company, it’s important to know where they left off and who they were working with. Without this data, customers could be left high and dry and opportunities can fall by the wayside.
    • “If Jim’s not using it, why should I?” If employees see that others aren’t using the system, then they might doubt its accuracy and abandon it as well.

5. Numbers are your friend. Set up a dashboard: One way to gauge if users are working with the new CRM system is to set up a dashboard that can track what “Activities” are taking place. This gives the insight needed to see who is entering in data and who hasn’t touched the system. With this information, managers can identify people who might need additional assistance.

6. Gamification: Make CRM fun to use. This can be as simple as offering a bonus to the person who enters the most Leads, Cases, or Activities into the system within a period of time. Alternatively, there are also third party software options that can allow you to implement a reward-based point system where users can earn prizes for working with the software. For more information on these options, please give us a call.

7. Training: This is often the most overlooked option, but the one which delivers the highest user adoption rate. Instead of providing one or two long marathon training sessions, opt for shorter, more frequent sessions. This gives users the ability to learn key skills and then provides opportunities to build upon those skills gradually over time.

If you’d like to learn more about implementing a CRM system, user adoption, or have questions, please contact us or visit us online.

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