How to Promote CRM to your Users Even if they Resist at First...

By Enabliser Helene

One of the key obstacles with many CRM implementations is to get the users to enter their information in CRM and use it. Without them entering quality data in the system, it is not of much use.  Here are seven crucial things to include in any implementation of CRM to make sure you get your users on board.

1. Know the Overall Vision
For the users to buy into the CRM solution it is important they understand how they fit into the bigger picture. That they understand the CRM vision and the business reasons for implementing the CRM system. The why needs to be really clear.

2. The CRM System Needs to Improve How they Work
To really get your users on board, the CRM solution must save users time and hassles, it needs to be a more effective solution. The CRM system must add value to the users. We need to be clear what is in it for them. Make sure entering of information is simple, only enter the information once, and automate as much as possible so some of their everyday tasks will be conducted faster.

3. Find CRM Champions
With any change there needs to be someone in the organisation driving the initiative. Finding CRM champions can be just as important as choosing the right solution.
There needs to be someone who is respected within the organisation, with a positive attitude, and sees the benefits from the CRM solution.  Their enthusiasm and example will motivate the others.

4. Take It Step by Step
The most successful CRM implementations are rolled out gradually so the users can get a gradual learning curve. If you try to do too much at once, it is common to overwhelm the users and CRM falls into the too hard basket. Keep it in realistic chunks for end users, support users, and management so they can grow with the system.

5. Be Clear On What Is Expected
The people involved in the change need to know what is expected of them. Provide regular updates with a clear and simple message regarding what is happening so they won’t feel threatened.  Some people are motivated by carrots and some by sticks, so make sure you have both and keep management closely involved in the process. If management are visibly supporting the system this can be both carrot and stick.

6. Involve Super users Throughout the Implementation 
Involve the super users throughout the implementation and conduct status updates, training classes and hands-on workshops during the whole project. Have them involved from the start in building the prototype, confirming the design, testing and of course, training and support.  The early involvement of your super users will help them become comfortable with the system before you go live.

7. Train Quick Adapters and Slower Learners in Separate Tracks
Reality is that most companies will have some quick adapters who actually think it is fun to learn a new system and some slower learners, who may have lower level computer skills in general, and think they managed really well without using a CRM system.  If this is the case then there need to be two tracks in the training - one for quick adapters and one for others to give them the pace they need to be motivated and comfortable with the CRM system.

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