This article is part of a larger series on CRM.
CRM adoption involves gaining buy-in and support from your team members on using a customer relationship management (CRM) platform to manage sales activities across the organization. Involving your team in different stages of the process, including finding out features they want the CRM to use and providing ongoing CRM training, can all help to increase usage and adoption.
Below, we explore six ways to increase CRM user adoption to optimize your business’ customer relationship management experience.
1. Establish Goals for CRM Use & Promote Key Benefits
Whether your business is investing in a CRM product for the first time or migrating to a new solution, determining what your business wants to get out of it should be part of the evaluation. It’s important to note that different CRMs may be industry-specific, or designed to serve certain business sizes and functionalities, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
Some benefits and goals you can communicate to your team include:
- Better customer management: CRMs provide a platform for businesses to manage contacts, save customer profiles and preferences, as well as gain visibility into purchase history. This allows sales teams to provide personalized customer service.
- Increased productivity of your sales team: Having access to customer profiles and tracking leads and deals easily through the platform makes agents’ work faster and easier.
- Automated sales processes: CRM solutions typically offer workflow automation that reduces manual tasks—expediting the sales process and making sure nothing falls through the cracks.
- Accurate and effective data processing: CRM software can track current revenue and project incoming sales based on historical trends and data, allowing businesses to make smart, data-driven decisions.
- Improved agent performance tracking: CRMs show the tasks accomplished by agents, including the volume of deals closed and the amount of revenue brought in. This helps businesses identify their top-performing reps and those who need more coaching.
Did you know?
Data shows that sales teams using CRMs had 17% higher job satisfaction and that CRM adoption improves the quality of communication among sales teams by 57%.
2. Request Employee Feedback Early & Often
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a business owner or manager is not seeking the counsel of your employees on issues that directly impact them. In this case, it’s regarding the software they will be using daily.
Generate employee involvement during the planning process to lessen potential CRM adoption challenges. One way to build interest is by asking them what they would like to get out of a CRM—especially if it’s addressing a pain point. For example, ask for recurring challenges encountered by the sales team, such as timely manual data entries or lack of sales automation to move deals along the sales pipeline.
Another crucial consideration is getting feedback on the CRM features they think would help make their jobs easier. Some of the typical requested CRM features include contact management (94%), integrations (88%), and scheduling (85%). Choosing a CRM with a mobile device app is also essential as it increases the productivity of 50% of sales teams.
3. Make CRM Adoption a Top-down Commitment
Around 34% of businesses without a CRM platform believe that resistance to change is an obstacle to adopting a CRM, most of which is from top-level management. While it’s crucial to get insight from employees, the business owners and managers make the decision and oversee its implementation.
Pro tip: Employees often mirror excitement and commitment from management when undertaking new initiatives. In the scope of CRM adoption, if an employee perceives a manager is still using old procedures and systems for CRM usage despite implementing new CRM software, that employee may be naturally resistant to CRM adoption.
Top-down commitment needs to be both strongly apparent and long-lasting. Even after CRM implementation, managers must continue to show commitment by holding employees accountable for using the CRM and offering resources to enhance the employees’ experience.
4. Ensure Your Data Is Imported & Entered Correctly
No one will use the CRM if the information it processes isn’t accurate. So, import your data manually or use data transfer services many CRM systems have. Many companies offer CRM experts to help you do this, so ask if it’s a feature they offer when choosing a CRM. Conduct ample training with your sales team to ensure everyone knows how to input new data correctly.
Did you know?
92% of sales reps state quality customer reference data as a crucial factor for CRM adoption.
The process of either migrating to a new CRM or setting up one for the first time should be treated as a full-fledged project. One issue commonly encountered in CRM adoption is data transfer. Manual data entry is listed as the number one challenge to CRM adoption, so when setting up the project tasks, see which areas can be automated using mass import and export tools.
5. Conduct Regular Training & Refresher Updates
During the CRM adoption process, 38% of businesses cite the lack of technical skills as a barrier. Formalized training must address technical items like setting up each user, using the basic CRM functions, integrating with third-party applications, and using some of the tools employees requested during the planning phase.
Training should be segmented and tailored to your employees to ensure they get the most out of it. If you need CRM training guidance, check out our article on training your team on your CRM.
In addition to training throughout the CRM adoption process, more training should be provided even after fully implementing the CRM. This allows employees to reinforce their knowledge of the CRM’s capabilities and gain an understanding of any new features released by the CRM software provider.
Did you know?
70% of businesses said that personalized CRM training and self-help materials improved their overall CRM use and adoption rates.
A formal CRM training program should have a schedule where each of the various modules or tutorials is completed by the employees. For example, you may require each employee to complete two modules per week for the next 15 weeks. Many of these modules can be completed through the CRM product using tutorials offered by the provider.
6. Follow Up on CRM Adoption Progress
Re-examination of the CRM user adoption process should be never-ending. Business owners, sales managers, and CRM project leaders need to continuously follow up with employees on their satisfaction with the CRM and confirm it is properly utilized.
Failure to conduct periodic follow-ups can create an environment where employees feel they can go back to old habits. Post-adoption evaluations should also include solutions to mitigate any problems that were discovered.
In addition to scheduling check-ins with your CRM users, it is also possible to quantify your CRM’s adoption rate. This is a helpful way to calculate if you are improving your team’s usage and making the most out of your investment. Measure the CRM adoption rate by calculating the percentage of users who are actually using the CRM compared to the total number of user accounts.
CRM Adoption Rate % = (# Active Users / # Purchased User Accounts) X 100
Revisit the rate at least every quarter to gauge how much you are getting out of your CRM and to plan training on using it correctly and efficiently.
Why It Is Essential to Increase CRM User Adoption
A CRM’s main purpose is to help businesses manage and improve relationships with their customers, as well as automate sales activities to drive revenue and increase sales. However, data shows that only 47% of businesses have an adoption rate of more than 90% in their company.
Companies must realize that effective use of a CRM and increasing its usage among employees have positive and tangible business benefits. In fact, data shows that improved CRM adoption rates saved an average of $8.7 million. Therefore, using a CRM does not only help increase productivity and better customer data organization—it significantly impacts your profits as well.
Below are some interesting CRM user adoption statistics that highlight the importance of getting your team to use your chosen CRM system:
Found these CRM user adoption statistics interesting? Find out more in our article about CRM statistics every business should know about.
High CRM user adoption rates translate to better data organization, team collaboration, and a more streamlined sales operation, ultimately leading to higher revenue growth. CRM adoption is a recurring priority for both large and small businesses. Its success requires an organizational culture that values managerial commitment, employee feedback, and consistent accountability.