5 Tips to Increase CRM User Adoption (or other systems really…)

We have been in the same situation at least once: management heard a new cutting edge technology, loves it, jumps on the bandwagon and now we have a whole new system in our workplace.

But the key question is… what about the users who have to learn a whole new platform all over again?

In most cases, the user adoption rate is seemingly poor despite having a great platform in their workplace. User adoption is critical to the success of your CRM project; Bill Band (Forrester Research) reported that 22% of all CRM project problems are identified with people issues where threats such as slow user adoption and inadequate attention paid to change management are prevalent.

We recommend these 5 tips to increase your user adoption for your CRM system or any other platforms.

1. Engagement

No matter how powerful a system really is, without the users, it will ultimately end up to be an empty shell. When you are exploring various options for a new CRM system, other than factors such as budget, the next important factor would be the users on the ground.

What you think the system needs versus what the users face on their daily job could result in a gap and when this gap is not addressed, users tend to neglect the system.

Take for instance, the new CRM system displays the data with a pleasant user interface (UI) once it is logged into the system, the current CRM system has a dated look and feel to it. However, to key the data into the new system, users would have to go through 8 steps instead of 5 steps for the previous system. Would they then see the beauty of using the new system with more effort required?

Before embarking on your new CRM solution, take the time to sit down with the end users, understand how they are currently working and get their buy-in with the new system and the understanding that it will help them become more efficient.

16ko12e  A CRM system empowers users to manage their work effectively

2. Training

We can’t stress enough how training plays a key role to the success of your CRM system. No matter how big or small your company is, without training, your employees may not be using the system effectively and probably may not even understand the business processes.

Reach out to  your partner who has set up the system for you, they would be the best person to conduct the training as an independent party. As consultants, we work closely with the teams to empower and familiarise them with the CRM system.

We always advocate that a CRM system has many features and learning them all in one go can be difficult. An on-going process with more frequent and shorter sessions is better than one long training session. We offer repeated trainings as time passes and/or employees leave the company; when the basics are in place and we can move on to more advanced features and processes.

3. Leadership

Lead by example, people go along with what leaders do.  If leaders themselves don’t go through the training and adopt the new solution, why should the rest of the people do it?

But it is easier said than done.

In many cases, the management team is weighed down with other company issues and can’t follow through the adoption of the system.

We have seen many instances where management have successfully transited to their new CRM system, it was a struggle but it is for the better. Just to cite an example, one of our clients engaged us for rolling out Salesforce to replace their traditional CRM system. Their success story thereafter lies in the management who week on week refer to the reports and dashboards function which provides them a clear overview of where their users on the ground are logging into the system. When doing work reviews, they rely on the data generated through reports which allows them to focus on areas for improvements.

Rule of thumb: management must set the expectations for using the CRM system and the sooner the stage is set, the sooner behaviours and habits will change to see results.

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Rule of thumb: management must set the expectations for adoption of CRM system

4. Champion

Create an environment where the user can seek guidance when the new system is deployed. Having a nurturing space seek to improve user adoption rate.

Appoint users who are enthusiastic about the new system as champions, positive individuals who are early adopters will help to influence adoption within the organisation. Their responsibilities are to create routines and guidelines, ensure data hygiene and follow up with users internally if they have questions or are doing something wrong with the system.

Ultimately, the role of champion facilitates a strong relationship between end users and management to keep the needs and concerns close at heart with the goal to tailor and use the system in the best way possible.

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Change Management: better is possible

5. Change Management

Implementing a new technology brings change to the company. And this change would have to be impactful. If it doesn’t, it probably will not work.

New technology aims to create value within the organisation; streamline processes, create engagements between businesses and customers, seamless integrations within departments.

Before reaping the lasting benefits of change, business processes must be re-evaluated and have a structured approach to the change. The focus is on the wider impacts of change, particularly on people and how they, as individuals and teams, move from the current situation to the new one. The change in question could range from a simple process change to major changes in processes/strategies needed if the organisation aims to achieve its full potential.

Always encourage change, only if it is for the better. More often than not, clients have sought advice on migrating majority of their business onto the new solution. Whilst making sure that everyone is on one unified system, it is also important to note that there could be limitations in the system. What we recommend is: understand the power of the new CRM solution and with its full suite, what are the priorities in the implementation project and break it down into phases for the overall organisation.


Written by:
Shu Yi-1
Loh Shu Yi
Customer Success Consultant

We hope you have enjoyed our article, stay tuned for our next piece. If you are keen to further discuss how ACG can help in your organisation today, please feel free to reach out to us and we will help you in the best way we can.
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