Sometimes, one of the most difficult parts of implementing a new customer relationship management platform is encourage CRM buy-in of employees to not only use the software, but see its potential and truly become excited about the prospect. Because this isn’t a technical issue, experiences will vary. Some companies will find that their staff are either already encouraged or quickly coming around to a new system. Of course, other businesses will find their sales staff and other staff are loathe to learn the ins and outs of a new CRM system. Organizations that don’t land on either extreme will find themselves somewhere in the middle, dealing with some amount of staff who aren’t too enthusiastic learning a new system.
So what can business leaders, decision-makers and the team involved in the CRM implementation do to achieve stronger engagement? Here are a few strategies:
Include plenty of lead time
Organizations using CRM are, by definition, involved in sales as a major component of business. Salespeople often have busy schedules and are often focused more on personal achievements than company-wide ones. When these staff members work on a partial or total commission basis, this attitude can be more prominent.
For those reasons, it’s important that salespeople be informed of the addition of or the changeover to a different CRM system with plenty of lead time. This allows the information to sink in and creates a base from which technical training and general education can be built upon. An early introduction also provides plenty of time for staff to raise questions and concerns, and for those queries to be answered. That also provides a longer window of opportunity for demonstrating both company-wide benefits and advantages that are specific to various departments or even individual workers.
The alternative – a quick, rushed implementation – creates more stress on employers and on a business, creating the potential for errors, missed deadlines and other possible issues. Because CRM systems are intended to be used for a relatively long period, it’s worth making time at the beginning of the process.
Be comprehensive in training efforts
The last thing that anyone wants to do while working is to go through a training exercise and realize afterward that they didn’t grasp the information properly – or that the knowledge wasn’t communicated particularly well. Either situation will lead to a need to invest more time into training, which can harm the effectiveness of the staff. There’s nothing wrong with a company choosing one main method of teaching staff – classroom-style education or individualized learning, to give two examples – but those in charge of such educational efforts have to have alternative plans in place. Developing and maintaining different training materials means that different learning styles can be accommodated.
Another important benefit to having a variety of training content available is that staff members can use such materials to brush up on parts of CRM they only use rarely. The additional benefit is that these refreshers happen without taking up the valuable time of others. Maintaining training materials also has an obvious benefit when it comes time to train new hires.
Find a CRM partner who can help
The help of a knowledgeable CRM partner can mean the difference between a smooth, efficient implementation and a problematic one that takes extra time and money to resolve. A strong partner will be able to answer certain questions and use their wealth of prior experiences to aid in engagement efforts with staff through training and other means. A good partner provides many benefits beyond developing engagement as well.