CRM User Adoption affects the success of your CRM project

Have you ever worked on a project long enough for you to forget what it looks like outside, and then when its finished for users to forget it even existed?  I know I have.  It doesn’t matter how much effort has gone into a project or how good a piece of customisation is, CRM user adoption often determines the success of a project.

crm user adoption

It can be difficult to predict how users will respond to new software or a redesigned application but there are ways you can improve the chances of user adoption of your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) project.

Understand your objective and key success factors

Project objectives and key success factors should have the user in mind.  You may be tempted to use “Increase productivity” but this doesn’t mean anything to the user.  A good example of an objective could be “Increase productivity by reducing the time a user takes to complete a process”.  This keeps the project focused on user interaction.

There are several metrics you could use to measure success, including:

  • Number of users logging in per day/week/month (as a number or percentage)
  • Update frequency of Accounts, Cases, Campaigns, etc.
  • Number or percentage of leads followed up per user/group over time

Identifying metrics that work for your team and its objectives will keep your project on track for success.

Build the right project team

As well as the usual project sponsors and executives, a good CRM project team should consist of department managers and key users.

It is vital that department managers are involved in the project as they will be responsible for promoting the new solution to the rest of the team while key users are on the front line using the system day in day out and will have an insight on how the average user works.

Users know which parts of the system work well and which parts don’t.  Every day they think of ways it could be better.  These key users represent the needs of the user base as a whole. Listen to them.

Communication and Milestones

Communication is critical.  Without it, the implementation will struggle to gain any traction.  Agree on a set of milestones to keep the objectives in focus and set communication policies to update all parties during these milestones.  Key users should be testing each milestone before signing off.

User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

There is no better way to discover problems than real implementation.  A UAT implementation is the ideal way to flush out any gremlins unique to the environment.  It also gives users the ability to test new processes before being released to the rest of the business.  UAT should be made available to key users and managers.

Training

We’ve written before on the importance of training users on new systems.  Without training, users will struggle with the new system and will naturally fall back to using the old systems.  Training should begin when the project starts.  Key users should have coverage of how CRM will look, the processes to be used, and should be ready for when CRM go live.  Be sure to consider your training strategy when planning your project.

Inspire your users

It’s important to promote confidence with your users.  Department managers should be promoting new changes.  Key users should be demonstrating new improvements.  Users want to know if this will make their lives easier.  Also, users don’t like change and will want to know if this system is here to stay or if something else new will come along next month.

Continued support and future improvements

The project does not stop once the system is live.  Users will use software for as long as it is supported.  If the support stops then users move on to something else.  This is true for CRM as well.  Users will continue to use CRM all the time it’s being supported.

CRM User adoption often determines the success of a project

There is no straightforward answer on how to increase CRM user adoption.  Every project is different and users have different demands.  However, thinking about the points in this article will certainly go a long way to making your CRM implementation a success.

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