You have heard the claims that CRM software can change the way you do business, revolutionize your entire business process, and ultimately make your company more profitable. It sounds idealistic, and you might have been skeptical at first. But if you are reading this article, it means that you have at least bought into some of the stories of CRM success, even if the rest of your company has not. The challenge now is trying to convince everyone else to buy in as well.
It is perfectly conceivable that a CIO could sign off on a CRM system because it makes financial sense, but that does not mean all of the employees in every department will be so accommodating. In some cases, they might even be diametrically opposed to new CRM software simply because it is something new.
1. Plan and Prepare - Adoption of CRM software should not be a goal in itself. It should be a means to an end. Have your business goals clearly defined before you go shopping for a CRM solution, and make sure everyone who will be involved in the selection process is on board from the beginning. It is also a good idea to have a selection committee comprised of regular employees from every department that will use your CRM software. Get their input in the early days, and they will be your allies when it comes time to deploy.
2. Win over the decision makers - The executives who make decisions for your company need to be 100 percent supportive of your new CRM project. It is not enough for the CIO to simply sign off on it. He or she needs to know all of the details and be prepared to convince all of the employees that it is a good thing.
3. Training and Support - This sounds like it would be common sense. Of course you will have someone come in and train your staff. You might even get some kind of discount for having your vendor provide the training. None of that will matter, however, once the trainers leave. For that reason, you need to have a few experts in each department. Find those who can learn the software more in-depth than others, and assign them as coaches to help their colleagues adjust.
4. Rewards and Accountability - Employees who do well with the new CRM software should be rewarded. Those who do not should be held accountable. That does not necessarily mean bonuses for some and pink slips for others. It does not have to be that extreme. Rewards can be as simple as winning basic privileges or encouragement, and accountability can simply involve more training and coaching for those who need it.
5. Assessment - Internal office evaluations are imperative for everything you do, and CRM software should be no exception. Look back at your goals and systematically assess whether or not you have achieved them or made progress toward them. Treat internal evaluation with the same seriousness and thoroughness with which you would treat external research. If necessary, hire professionals to help you gather data and properly analyze it.
With a little ingenuity and a lot of patience, you can win over the hearts and minds of everyone involved in your CRM implementation. That includes people at the top all the way down to lowest pay grade. When an entire organization is on the same page, productivity will increase, and profit is sure to follow.
By PDG Consultants,