How to Drive Team Adoption (without becoming the CRM police)

05 February, 2016


It's easy for a CRM to become an expensive cloud-rolodex. CRM systems only deliver on their transformational potential when everyone from CEO to the sales floor are actually using the system in the right way. Below are the keys to getting everyone on the CRM bus from the outset:

Make front line sales and service teams part of the process

People are more likely to embrace change they've helped create. Getting your team to adopt a new system that enforces best practice begins long before the CRM training session. Prior to scoping with your implementation partner, invite team representatives to come together and offer their perspective on:

  • Outcomes the new system should deliver for their team
  • Inefficiencies in their day to day role
  • Blind spots where things "fall through the cracks"
  • Information they need to see on a dashboard or customer record to keep them on track
  • Ways to enhance the customer's experience

Design a system that makes people's lives easier

Adoption skyrockets when the system is designed with the end user in mind. This is an entire topic unto itself, but on a high level your system should be designed to deliver:

  • Automation of manual processes
  • A single source of truth with one view of the customer
  • Adherence to best-practice data entry through validation codes
  • Custom reports, dashboards, lists and alerts that take away the question "what should I work on next?"
  • Seamless integration with your other technology systems

Teach them how to use it

Once the system is deployed, having a have a highly-trained superuser in each team is critical. Your implementation partner should facilitate superuser training to a level that they can mentor and guide their teams as a first port of call, or effectively communicate any escalated issues to the implementation partner.

Ask them how to make it better

Have teams keep regular notes on anything that doesn't work the way it should, or ideas on how the system can be enhanced. Then schedule regular "improve and refine" sessions and pass feedback onto your implementation partner. You should be continually iterating towards perfection. 

Practice what you preach

Managers and the C-suite need to use the CRM too! Refer to dashboards in team meetings and performance reviews. Run your forecasting and reporting through the system and become a true CRM advocate in your organisation.

A final thought - a fair exchange 

Getting 100% CRM adoption is critical for management to get the data-driven insights needed to improve performance and identify opportunities. But it has to be a fair exchange. People need to be guided into a system so good it incentivises them to embrace change. Follow these adoption principles and you'll get the organisational alignment you need without having to nag, bribe, threaten or plead.