Dealing with user adoption issues before they occur is key to a successful CRM deployment
If there is one thing successful companies in today’s market have in common, it is that they know and understand their customers better than their competition does. A key element to reaching this heavily sought customer relationship “utopia” is an effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that not only takes advantage of the latest technology, it is embraced by the employees using the system as part of their daily routine. As many top executives and sales managers will attest, getting their employees to adopt and embrace a CRM system is much more challenging than identifying and purchasing the latest and greatest CRM technology.
A 2009 study conducted by CSO Insights and posted on their website at www.csoinsights.com revealed that approximately 41% of the companies surveyed reported CRM adoption rates amongst salespeople at 75% or below (adoption being defined as actively using the systems regularly as part of their daily work flow) and roughly 22% had adoption rates at 50% or lower. In essence, nearly a quarter of the companies in the study have less than half of their salespeople using CRM as part of their daily routine.
So, your company is ready to take on a new CRM initiative. How do you avoid the CRM user adoption issue that has plagued companies since CRM was first introduced to the market?
Jim Davidson, President of Nueterra Equity Partners, summed it up well when he said “Soon after rolling out CRM, we realized how many more people in the organization were actually impacted by CRM and adoption became an immediate issue. If we could do it over again, we would have involved the broader community that CRM affects in our up-front preparation.”
How does a company proactively plan for user adoption issues?
As with any purchase and/or implementation of a new software product meant to have a strategic impact on your company, the approach should be structured, sponsored at the executive level and the following considerations should be incorporated into your CRM selection and deployment planning process.