Without user adoption of a new technology, why invest in the first place?
Marketers and business development managers have an obligation to stress, encourage – maybe even demand – user adoption best practices with the roll out of any new technology. Even if it’s just an upgrade, do your owners and CEO a favor: teach and enforce the principles of user adoption.
Think about Microsoft Outlook. I think every single business professional in the U.S. has used Outlook at one time or another. Now think of its functionality – custom email signatures, forwarding and folder storage rules, auto replies, and send delays are a few that immediately come to mind. Without some explanation and training, the person who just started using Outlook will have no idea how these simple configurations can greatly improve productivity.
Now, we take a similar concept and apply it to any new financial management or customer relationship management (CRM) solution. If managers aren’t aware of the importance of user adoption for CRM, an employee could get lost in the vast capabilities and have no clue how to really use the solution to support his or her daily tasks.
Here are 5 tried and true user adoption tips for Microsoft Dynamics CRM
1. Define your business processes early in the planning phase, and implement Dynamics CRM around them.
All too often, we see clients rush to the deployment stage and ignore the importance of proactive planning. One of the benefits of Dynamics CRM is its flexible platform, which you can use to your advantage by designing your CRM around current business processes. People are more likely to use technology that helps, not hinders, day-to-day responsibilities.
2. Involve your end users from start to finish, and then involve them again.
Your CRM platform is only as successful as the people using it. Involving your end users in the planning, implementation and assessment project stages will not only empower them, but it will gain buy-in. This improves your CRM success rate.
3. Follow-up consistently with end users after the solution is implemented.
Whether it’s every 30, 60 or 90 days, be sure to follow-up with every person or department using Dynamics CRM. A one-on-one conversation about what’s working, what’s not working, and requesting suggestions is a key factor in user adoption. Consider incentives to motivate – we have one client who rewards a department’s CRM practices with cupcakes!
4. Identify the metrics to help you demonstrate success.
As we all know, it’s difficult to prove success without the data to back it. Whether your company is using CRM for creating proposals, tracking sales or for customer service, identify the KPI’s that are important to your goals and report on the progress consistently.
5. Encourage buy-in and user adoption from all levels of management.
From CEOs to supervisors, all levels of management must support the user adoption initiatives. If the people writing paychecks are using the solution, other employees will want to be a part of the tribe and follow the example.
For more detailed user adoption tips and to hear from an end user who has served as her company’s CRM Administrator since 2011, watch our video below, The Art of User Adoption to Achieve CRM Success:
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