What Good is Your CRM if Nobody is Using it? - How to Increase your Employee Adoption Rate

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Your company has just invested in a Microsoft Dynamics CRM system that fits your core business processes to a "T". You’ve selected the right person from your staff to lead the steering committee and implementation team.

The outside software consultants you’ve hired have listened and understood your company’s specific challenges. And let’s not forget the weekly development meetings you’ve held to discuss the build-out process and key course corrections along the way.

With all of this on your side, your company has enjoyed more initial momentum than many other organizations’ CRM implementations.

That’s great, right?  Well, it was great, for a while. You see, only some of your organization is using the system you put so much effort into – including money, time, initiative and other resources.

Successful user adoption of software systems is CRITICAL. Billions of dollars are wasted every year in un-adopted software.

With this in mind, here are some points to keep in mind to ensure your people are using the system you invested so much in:

  • Friendly User Interface (UI): Dynamics CRM already has a huge advantage in its UI, especially over Salesforce.com who has seemingly left their UI to languish since the early 90’s. However, here are a few things you could do to make your CRM interface even more user friendly:
    • Keep the most-needed fields at the top of the form and group fields logically
    • Collapse the least-used groups of fields (known as TABs) to cut down on the clutter factor (this helps the form loading speed too)
    • If you don’t use a field, remove it from the form
  • Training: Make sure your folks are trained for their specific tasks with CRM and are comfortable with the system. People are comfortable using what they understand and what is familiar to them.
  • Availability: Make the system available on all workstations, tablets, and phones – both in the office as well as outside, especially for your staff who works outside the office. In the case of Dynamics CRM Online, it’s already accessible outside the office and on mobile phones and only requires that the user downloads and installs the Mobile Client on their device. The Mobile Client is available for iPhone, Android, and Windows phones. If you are hosting CRM from within your office, you’ll need to configure CRM for an Internet-facing deployment before enabling mobile and tablet use.
  • Accountability: Aside from mandating that everyone must use your CRM system, your managers must have visibility into their team’s activities within CRM. As an example, provide your sales manager with a dashboard that reports the number of active leads, active calls, and pending activities for each member of his/her team. Setting specific goals that are measured in your CRM is another way to leverage user adoption to increase performance.
  • Simplicity: Take small bites when implementing a CRM system. Instead of mandating the use of multiple components of the system right out of the gate, implement one or two components over a period of time so as not to overwhelm your team. This will also give you time to work out any kinks in those components before implementing more.
  • Speed: You don’t want your employees in the break room telling each other that “the new CRM system is a little…slow.” It’s crucial that your system be speedy from the beginning whether you’re using Dynamics Online or from your own servers in your office. If you are using Dynamics Online be sure that your Internet access circuit provides ample bandwidth and low latency (<20ms ping times are good). If you are hosting your own CRM implementation, be sure the database server portion of your system is on the same network as the web server portion, and that the server hardware is more than up to the processing and memory consumption demands Microsoft SQL Server will make of it.

If you need help implementing your Microsoft Dynamics CRM system, contact the experts at NexusTek.

Dale Laushman is a NexusTek Microsoft Dynamics CRM engineer and expert IT solutions consultant.

by NexusTek

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