When CRM implementations fail, one of the most likely factors is resistance from end users (like the sales team).
Now most employees have more sense than to simply cross their arms and refuse to play with the new software.
Instead, resistance is likely to be much more passive, usually manifested by staff members using workarounds and avoiding use of the software as far as they can do so.
Why Do Users Fail to Adopt CRM?
Failure of users to fully adopt a new CRM application can be driven by a number of factors. In order to prevent a combination of obstacles from standing in the way of your CRM implementation, it will help to be aware of the most common reasons for adoption issues.
Here then, are four of the barriers most likely to stand in the way of CRM user-adoption.
#1: Lack of Perceived Usefulness: It’s quite possible that your sales people will be the ones most expected to work with your CRM application. If you want them to do so though, you really need to define and clearly explain how it will benefit them. Remember, sales people are wired to sell—data entry does not come as a natural priority for them.
#2: Leaving End-user Involvement Until the Eleventh Hour: If you leave the end users out of the loop until delivering last-minute training and switching the system on, they are going to feel that they’ve been railroaded and that that their opinions as users are not valued. There is a good chance that this will cause them to reject the new software and find every reason to circumvent it.
#3: Training Too Early: This is not a contradiction to point #2. Leaving training until the last minute is not a good idea, but neither is training too early. If you train the users of your CRM platform too soon, they may well have forgotten a lot of what they learned by the time your solution goes live.
The result might be a general disinclination to use the software. The ideal is to start rolling out training several weeks before implementation, then follow-up with some quick refresher-training sessions a few days before the big switch-on.
#4: Failure to Align Software with Physical Process: Misalignment between the steps users must take in the CRM solution and their physical tasks will simply encourage them to bypass the software. You should either ensure the software design and configuration supports existing business processes or, change physical processes before implementation, to ensure the software can align with them.
Adoption is Half the Battle in CRM Success
CRM project failures are not always the result of user-adoption issues. Other factors, such as the choice of solution, executive buy-in and availability of project resources can all make a difference between implementation success and failure.
However, if you involve your end-users from the project outset and communicate with them throughout, while taking steps to prevent the five adoption obstacles described here, derailed adoption should be one problem that won’t stand in the way of CRM success.
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