Apply These 10 Secret Techniques to Improve CRM User Adoption

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CRM projects can fail.  And this can happen at implementation, or perhaps at the end of the project the CRM system merely lost momentum.  With our experience in CRM since 1999, we have seen many reasons why users simply don’t get behind CRM.  Here are our top 10 secret techniques to improve CRM user adoption.


  • Get your users involved early on to assure CRM user adoption.
    • It is essential that they are part of the project every step of the way.  Mapping processes, checking how the system will work and putting in their requirements.  Set up a project team with a member from each line of business to collaborate.


  • Communication is vital for CRM user adoption.
    • Ensure that your users are positive about what CRM means for them and how it will make their roles more effective.  Let them want more by giving them what ifs and give them the ideas.  Tell them what reports and data will be available and give them that light bulb moment so they want to use CRM and want to get involved.


  • Ensure you have executive backing.
    • Make sure that your leadership team are behind CRM.  This isn’t just about signing off the budget this is about communication and buy-in.  If they understand it they can drive the users and ensure it is a positive change.


  • Ensure that teams collaborate their data and processes.
    • Make sure they understand where each process is handed over or paths cross, so they can be joined up.  Collaborating data is a way to ensure data cleanse and bring it all together.


  • Make sure the users feel listened to.
    • Let them come up with ideas and requirements and then check out which product can do the job and which other add ons you may need.  If marketing are already using a system for email marketing that they may love and not want to change, look to integrate it, or offer them something so compelling they will want to move.


  • Focus on the business pains.
    • Check out with the users what are their current problems.  What is holding them back and how can they get ahead?  Give them confidence that CRM can address these business pains and make their working life easier, which will seek to improve CRM user adoption so that they can reap the benefits.


  • Reduce the change.
    • Look at quick wins to make improvements.  Don’t think that CRM has to be a big bang approach.  Sometimes taking roles at a time can be a good idea or progressing one thing first.  For example we have recently helped a customer that had Microsoft Dynamics CRM and wanted to upgrade it.  It was no longer working for the users and they had started to neglect the system and started turning to spreadsheets again.  Following our site audit we put forward a proposition to upgrade the system first and then to make changes.  We released the upgraded system to the users giving them insight of the new functionality.  By doing this they wanted to get back on board and wanted to make changes.
    • Giving them the appetite enabled them to envisage what CRM can do for them again and the benefits it would bring.  So look at reducing the impact of a huge cultural change.


  • Thank your users.
    • Bringing in CRM means that there will be a spike in resources required.  Using a CRM consultant and liaising with a project manager within your organization is a good start, however, the employees that are part of that project team and looking at their requirements will be critical to its success.  Thank them for their time as they will be doing a day job as well.


  • Don’t let things slip….
    • Once CRM is implemented doesn’t mean that the project is over – in fact your CRM journey has just begun. Start to measure.  Keep your team together.  Are there any tweaks or problems?  Have the processes changed slightly that things can be improved?  Continuous improvement and communication is a must.


  • Finally enjoy it!
    • Entice your users to enjoy it and see what’s in it for them.  What benefits will they see?  How will it help them every day?

 CRM User Adoption benefits

Apply these 10 secret techniques to improve CRM user adoption and ensure CRM success!

For more suggestions on how to ensure CRM success or to get help for CRM project rescue, check out our process to keep you on track.

Catherine Carlyle

by Caltech CRM

2 thoughts on “Apply These 10 Secret Techniques to Improve CRM User Adoption”

  1. The main question is what users want, yes users want a software where they can enjoy for what they have been looking for. A software which can be easy and accessible that users don't require to get trained on it.
    Checking out problems of users and focusing on their solutions can give them satisfaction that a crm can make their working life easier.

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