What is your CRM ethos?

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When it comes to rolling out a new CRM system, one of the first questions that you should be asking is, “Why are we using a CRM?”

Your employees’ attitudes towards the organisation’s CRM system can greatly affect its success and user adoption which, as highlighted in previous blogs, can have a major effect on your company’s growth and your customers’ experiences and, therefore, having a clear view as to why the CRM is being implemented can help to reduce push back from staff.

So just why are you implementing a CRM?

There are many reasons why an organisation implements a CRM.

For some it is simply that they have heard CRM name dropped so often that they simply feel it’s a business “must have”, without actually understanding why, and thus decide they have to have one.

Others feel that they need a single point of reference for all company data. By having one place to store all information relating to customers they remove the need for disparate data systems to be maintained, they increase the value of the data contained within it and speed up the retrieval process of customer data and business processes.

As part of your implementation you should be making clear decisions as to what the system will be used for. Which departments/teams will use it? What for? How will they access the system (e.g. via PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone)? What reasons/benefits are they going to be given/shown as to why they should use the system?

What could be holding you back?

Perception is a very strong force as anyone who has been involved in rolling out a CRM implementation across an organisation will understand. It can, potentially, be the difference between the CRM’s success or failure and, therefore, the preconceptions held by users when asked to use a CRM is an area which you should be heavily trying to influence to ensure that user adoption is as high as possible.

There are many reasons why users put up resistance when told that the organisation is implementing a new CRM system, and these can often be overcome and turned around if we simply identify and understand the reason for the initial pushback and tie this in with our CRM ethos.

Fear

Simply put, users are frightened of either a change in how they are to do their day to day job, or they simply do not understand how to use the system.

Lack of understanding

It may be that it hasn’t been clearly explained why the system is being implemented within the organisation, or how it will improve workloads. This is often the main reason for lack of user adoption as users simply don’t see the value or benefits of why they need to use the CRM.

Big Brother syndrome

Users are frequently heard saying that they feel that the only reason that the CRM is being put in place is so that managers can keep an eye on them. They feel like they’re being spied on. Therefore they simply don’t enter any information to prevent being pulled up on anything.

Previous negative experience

As a Sales Director I have almost lost count of the times that someone has told me “I’ve used a CRM before in a previous job, and that one didn’t work, so neither will this!” This is one of the most destructive preconceptions an organisation can have, as other users, who may have already had their concerns about the CRM, will quickly take up this response and also start to believe that “it’s just not going to work”.

Technophobia

Quite simply, technophobia is a fear or dislike of technology. There are still a lot of people who prefer to work with pen and paper. Either because it’s what the person already knows “I like my diary, I don’t have to worry about finding a power supply or computer to use it”, or because they simply feel comfortable with a known methodology “I know how to use my diary”, which may indicate fear, as detailed above.

Laziness

The lack of willingness to use a CRM system, may simply be down to plain laziness. The User doesn’t see it as a good use of their time, using phrases such as “I’ll bring in the sales, and somebody else can put the information in the system”.

Lack of Ownership of Information

Salespeople are often amongst the most difficult group to convince of the advantages of a CRM system, even though, historically, CRM has been seen as a sales tool before anything else. This is primarily due to their fears that other sales people, solely because it has been explained that the CRM will allow company-wide visibility of all information, will steal their sales from under them.

Lack of Belief

If users don’t believe what you are promoting, then they’re not going to use the system. Having the message pushed to them continually that the success of the system relies on everyone using the system, and inputting their data, means that if they don’t see their peers and superiors using the system, then neither will they.

How to Overcome the Obstacles

In order to alleviate the fears and preconceptions of its users a company should ensure that they:

  • Educate users as to why the system is being put in place.
  • Ensure correct training is given to users, relevant to their usage of the system.
  • Highlight the real benefits gained by using the system correctly.
  • Plan the implementation with key personnel from all involved departments to ensure that it works for each of them, whilst maintaining the overall visibility.
  • Create a core group of “Champion” users who will promote positive feelings and experiences about the CRM to other users.
  • Lead by example, use the system yourself, under the mantra “do as I say AND as I do” to give users the belief that it’s worth investing their time in.

You get out what you put in

The more an organisation invests in ensuring its users are comfortable with the tools and systems given to them to fulfil their roles, and that it helps them to see the value in using them, the more those users will use them. By encouraging staff to utilise all the tools at their disposal an organisation not only increases the efficiency of its staff, but also enriches its own data store.

However, this all comes down to how your system is intended on being used across the company and the methods you have used to encourage your users to use it.

Should you need any assistance with your current CRM or your initial implementation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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