In recent years, companies have seen the value of implementing a CRM system, one of the fastest-growing technologies of our generation. CRM, which stands for Customer Relationship Management, helps manage customer data to streamline company processes to increase sales.
The projected value of the CRM market by 2025 is about $80 billion, and this number isn’t surprising, knowing that many companies have greatly benefitted from having a CRM system in place. However, there is one pitfall that lies with the company trying to implement a CRM system, rather than the CRM software itself, and that is CRM adoption.
A survey by Merkle Group Inc. stated that more than half of the companies using CRM fail at their projects. The most common culprit for failure is the lack of CRM adoption strategies, that would properly incentivize the end-users to use the software more efficiently, and speed up user adoption rates.
Most employees already have set ways on how to handle sales and manage their leads. Asking them to suddenly shift into using a CRM software may not be as easy as it sounds. Other reasons include usability problems, inadequate planning and training, and the lack of communication with users.
Despite the large number of companies struggling with CRM adoption, research shows that companies who have successfully adapted to their new CRM have seen an incredible increase in sales and productivity.
To replicate their success in CRM adoption, here are a few practical tips and tricks that can help you boost your company’s adoption rate:
Choose the right CRM for your company.
There are hundreds of CRM software available on the market today, and if you haven’t chosen one for your company yet, then this particular tip is for you.
Before anything else, one must look at what your company aims to achieve by using a CRM. You need one that will eliminate the inefficient procedures in your business and streamline data processing, that is specific to your company.
Consider these questions, which will help you choose the right CRM product to use, and make sure to involve your users in doing so:
What specific features and functionalities does the Company need?
Different companies need different solutions. It is best if you can pinpoint the problems your company has and what CRM features would be needed to mitigate those issues. Does your company badly need automated email marketing, calendar management, chat integration? Or perhaps a social media integration feature?
Knowing what your priorities are will help you select the right CRM that fits your company’s needs.
Here’s a Pro tip: Select a product with a Mobile APP capability.
Mobile APP-enabled CRMs allow you to utilize your CRM anywhere you go. Some even have support for CRM Data Entry Software which will make it more easier for you to maximize your CRM. The availability and convenience of phones make it easier for users to input data, manage sales, and communicate remotely. It reduces the hassle of having to go to the office or use a PC when the system can be accessed through the phone in your pocket. It increases usability and access, and it can be applied to any type of company.
Adoption rates have also been observed to increase for companies using mobile CRM. According to Forester, mobile CRM increased team productivity by 50%. All in all, it allows for a smoother CRM adoption.
Is the software user-friendly and a good fit for the users?
No matter the user’s familiarity with CRM, the more user-friendly it is, the better. In a survey done by Capterra, “Ease of Use” came in as the second most important factor in purchasing a CRM, with “Functionality” as the first.
Users are less likely to engage with software that is complex and hard to use.
Choose a CRM software that your company can easily start with. The returns from using a CRM may come in later, it would be important to consider how your CRM adoption strategy pans out to your sales people. Large upfront costs may not be the best way to go but something that can easily scale as your business grows into it would be something to consider.. The type and level of the CRM software usually dictate the price, so choose the one which has the essentials you need.
Also, consider the number of users. The more users, the higher the cost, and note that not everyone in the company needs to be a user. Only choose the most suitable employees to become CRM users, to budget the costs. You can always add more or upgrade later on.
Get your Sales Team to Pitch in
As the ones who will be using the software, their input is just as important in deciding the best CRM to use. As stated earlier, try to involve your users from the very beginning. Discuss the previous questions with them. Let them demo the potential CRM products and listen to their concerns.
In order to achieve a 100% adoption rate, they need to be comfortable with the CRM that they will be using. Their early involvement will result in more proactive users.
Establish the importance of adopting a CRM system
During the entire process, make sure that your sales force fully understands why the company is making the shift. Explain the benefits of having a CRM, for both the company and the users themselves. By understanding the reasoning behind the decision, the appropriate mindset and actions will follow, and resistance to change will be reduced.
To do this, an expert in CRM must be present to explain and guide the users. This leads to the next tip:
Have a CRM Specialist spearhead the adoption.
This person needs to be an expert in the CRM product and its use, to be able to manage training, answer questions, and oversee the CRM production processes all in all.
You may hire someone from outside the company, or select someone in your company who is already proficient. Someone in a managerial role would be most suitable in order to establish authority and to make sure that the procedures are in good hands.
Train and Guide your users well
This may come as a very obvious tip, however, some companies still don’t apply this. Conducting regular training sessions in the first few weeks of adoption is very important. It can be very detrimental to expect that your users already know from the start, how to utilize your company’s CRM.
Exploring and learning all the CRM features may take months. Instead of handing your users a two-inch-thick handbook to read within the next three days, have regular training sessions, starting with the basics. A handbook should still be utilized, but use it as supporting material for the training.
Training sessions provide an avenue for the users to quickly familiarize themselves with the software and actually use it, which can speed up adoption rates.
Give incentives to excellent end-users
Reward the users who actively use the CRM system well. Have weekly or monthly assessments and see which users input data accurately, set up the right email marketing, satisfied a customer, or converted a lead. This will motivate the other users to follow suit and increase the quality of their performance.
Shifting to a CRM system is more than just the software itself. A lot of it is about the correct implementation and user participation. Even the best CRM software would be rendered useless if the employees refuse to adapt and use this new technology.
In planning out your CRM adoption strategy, utilize these solutions to increase your chances of success and maximize your CRM’s capabilities, leading to more productivity and growth for your company.