The saying, you can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink is so true. How often have you purchased technology for your employees only to find that it’s not being used or not being used as you envisioned it to be used for. You buy everyone BlackBerrys only to find they still use a second cell phone to speak on. You buy new software and find that they prefer to use their old software. If you do this too many times you’ll find you are wasting quite a bit of money and time and ending up with frustrated staff.
One type of software (hosted or otherwise) that businesses are implementing are is customer relationship management software. CRM is powerful and can take your sales and contact management beyond a transactional process to one based on a relationship and automated intelligence.
James Wong, CEO of Avidian Technologies, makers of Prophet, CRM software for Outlook gives us 6 pointers in how to help your end users adopt to newly implemented CRM solutions.
Keep it Simple: CRM products were developed to make businesses and their employees operate more efficiently, not waste their time. If a CRM product requires too much effort to understand and use, sales employees will resist the extra work it brings into their already busy lives. A CRM solution that easily integrates into existing daily routines is essential.
Take it Nice and Easy: Introduce the software in bite size chunks to avoid intimidating the sales force. Begin with entering sales contacts. Once comfortable with this component of the software, start tracking sales. Continue the process by having them use the software to generate reports. Do this until they have gradually used every function of the new solution.
Show Them What’s in it for Them: It’s crucial for end users to believe a new system will benefit them. Sometimes end users may view CRM solutions as management-only tools to spy on them; when in fact, the intent is simply to increase sales, and thus their commissions. Positioning the product in this positive light will help employees understand the benefits.
Do as They Do, but Improve Upon It: Most sales people already use Outlook throughout the day, find out what sales processes they already depend on within that program and then see what can be leveraged into the CRM package. If the CRM product doesn’t integrate into Outlook, make sure it at least syncs smoothly with it.
Motivate Through Incentives: Once the CRM application is +in full force and the sales team is trained, create a policy that commissions are only paid for sales if the contact is in the CRM program. Be sure that this rule is simple and clear to understand. After time, employees will view CRM as a means to commissions.
Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate: Once the sales force is completely comfortable and regularly using the software, start monitoring the activities within the program, making sure desired results are achieved. Review weekly or monthly reports and share feedback with employees. Both employees and management will have a chance to see the benefits provided by the software and will develop a greater appreciation for the process as a whole. Evaluation will ensure that the company will continue to use and benefit from CRM software.