CRM Implementation – The Effect on Users (Part 1)
The Effect of a CRM Implementation on users
The following question, posted in a LinkedIn discussion, inspired me to write this two-part post:
Can anyone share their experiences of implementing a new CRM system? Particularly interested to hear about unforeseen challenges / positives / negatives impacts on field sales and marketing teams.
Having implemented Microsoft CRM in several businesses, a number of issues keep coming up. Good and bad.
This is Part One of my warts-and-all take on the issues you may encounter when you implement a CRM system, as well as some tips on how to ensure that your implementation is successful.
Let’s face it: Without the users, you don’t have a CRM system. They are the point at which your business interacts with the customer. And if that interaction is not captured in the CRM system, you have nothing.
So if you are about to foist a new system upon the unsuspecting users, bear in mind that behaviourally, around two thirds of users will resent the changes. And 5% will fight tooth and nail against the change.
Success tip: Identify the one third of users who relish change and get them on-side first. Make them the 'CRM champions', and solicit their opinions. The champions will take a benevolent view on things that don’t work and help you to fix it.
Users go through a classic change curve and your communications plan will determine which performance line on this graph applies to your staff.
Needless to say, the dotted line is the better one: Manage expectations in the beginning, and lower the euphoria and hype associated with the new system. This leads to a shallower 'despair' point and quicker subsequent recovery in performance levels.
Management need to understand the pressure of the person at the coal face. Managers are paid to have a big-picture view, which means users’ gripes may seem trivial.
But if your employee struggles to send an email several times a day, you will soon face revolt. The new system needs to reflect the way they work and, if there is a substantial change, you need to explain the whys and wherefores.
Success tip: Email is a biggie. If the CRM system introduces a new way of handling email, make sure there is plenty of training to bridge the gaps.
Now, that's the easier bit dealt with. Part Two will will explain how you can combat those who are reluctant to embrace change.
At Contact Edge CRM, we specialise in Microsoft CRM, which helps businesses find creative ways to engage with customers. And by accurately tracking how the first engagement was initiated, it's easy to determine which elements of your marketing strategy are working.
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