13 Ways to Encourage CRM Usage in the Office

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 Purchasing a new CRM system is a great accomplishment. When you find that perfect system and implement it in your business, you may breathe a sigh of relief. You have achieved a great feat, but the struggles are not over. Just because you have a wonderful, shiny new CRM system does not mean people in your organization will actually use it.

CIO.com recently contacted several CRM experts to ask them for tips on nudging employees in the right direction toward actually using their CRM systems. Their findings are summarized in the following 13 tips.

1. Keep the users involved in implementation - It is much more difficult for users to adapt to a system they are seeing for the first time. If you include them in the implementation process, they will feel more of a connection to the new CRM system when it comes time to use it.

2. Start with the benefits - When you teach people, whether children or adults, it always goes more smoothly if you can convince them that the learning will be fun and/or beneficial. Show your future CRM users the benefits rather than just throwing them into the deep end.

3. Lasting, effective training - A 30-minute walk-through will not be enough, even for your most seasoned computer users. Your sales, marketing, and customer service people need to walk away with confidence. That means you need to provide adequate training.

4. Recruit the power users - Prepare some of your power users to be experts who can help some of the less tech savvy ones. They can make the process easier for their colleagues even after the trainers have left the building.

5. Keep it simple - While it would be nice if your actual sales people had time to fill out long, complex forms, they are just too busy for that. If you show them 20 steps that they will have to complete every day, you might lose them before they even get started. Keep it as simple as possible so that it just becomes as routine for them as getting coffee.

6. Just the Basics - Just as you need to keep your customizations simple, you should also only make use of features you really need. There is no point in bombarding your users with features they will not even use, especially if they are specific to another department.

7. In-House Support - Your CRM vendor and/or Microsoft parter will likely provide good support, but those are supposed to be for major technical issues. If a user simply does not know how to access a particular feature, you should be able to help them and provide them with all of the information they need to continue working. This is more efficient and less time consuming.

8. Win over the suits - Your executives should be using the CRM software just like everyone else. They will set the example for the rest of the organization.

9. Fun and Competitive - Nothing beats friendly competition. By rewarding those users who become proficient at using your CRM system, you will encourage them to learn more on their own.

10. Cross-departmental communication - Keep the channels of communication open. Since the entire organization is learning a new system, it may take some time for information to flow smoothly from one department to the next. Good communication will help move the process along.

 11. Mobile system - Many employees these days are on the go, and BYOD (bring your own device) has become more common than ever in businesses. That means you need a flexible system that offers a mobile interface for smartphones and tablets in addition to its desktop version.

12. Integration is key - If you already have Microsoft Office, Sharepoint, and a Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution, it just makes sense to use a system that integrates well with them, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

13. All-access pass for sales team - Your sales people need a centralized database of all customer information and activity. This is the best way to ensure the flow of information is complete and constant, and it will allow your sales people do be as effective as possible. No CRM system, no matter how wonderful it is, will replace good business sense. If you want your people to adopt a new system and be successful with it, you will have to make it a pleasant and rewarding experience for them every step of the way.

Source: http://news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=B86783E6-07CE-4CDB-A294E651ACF0526B

by CRM Software Blog Editors, find a crm partner in your area

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