How to Win Colleagues and Influence People with CRM

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How to Win Colleagues and Influence People with CRM

Being considered a vital part of CRM implementation, end-user adoption becomes a critical issue to solve. This post explores the key requirements for successful accomplishment. It was written by Gareth Cartman, Director of Digital Marketing at Clever Little Design.

There’s a saying that if people are jealous of you, you must be doing something right. But what does that mean in business? Are you doing everything in your power to make your competitors jealous? Or are you secretly envious of them? And why?

The CEO of the company you strive to outdo might have a comb-over and a string of complex divorces, but if he has his CRM strategy on point, is that something to covet?

Perhaps you’re now on the other side of the fence looking out - having moved from a role where you did genuinely believe in the company’s chosen CRM system and now you’re failing to get buy-in from new team members to switch to something a bit more sophisticated.

The path to positive CRM adoption might be long and winding but with a clear vision, a plan of action and a lot of patience, you can get there with your team right there at your side.

The end goal is a position of trust - from there, you’ll be able to advise and implement without employees doubting your agenda or failing to see the bigger picture. But that’s a long way off yet… first, you need to investigate exactly why they’re so attached to their current CRM and the reasons behind their refusal to change.

Creatures and CRMs of Habit

People are creatures of habit - and those creatures love nothing more than to use the tried and trusted way to do things that they’ve become accustomed to and familiar with. Imagine the CRM like a long-term relationship - when it started out, it was all fun and excitement, unpredictable but thrilling.

A few years down the line, that spark has worn away and now a dull, but nonetheless loyal companion remains - it’s comfortable and secure but the future isn’t exactly promising. It’s the same with CRM - technology evolves at a rapid rate and only those eager to keep the pace are destined for greatness.

Perhaps employees are afraid of change - they might see you wanting to switch to a new CRM system as a red flag - are these the initial stages of an entire company turnaround - one where they’ll no longer be needed?

Tackle it head on. Reassure staff at all levels of the main advantages the new CRM will bring and invest time and effort educating those who need it really hammering home. Relate to their fears and underline the stability and flexibility of a new solution. Perhaps it will free up their day and enable them to explore areas of their role they’ve never seen since their initial interview?

Deal or no Deal

People aren’t dogs. They don’t need a treat every time they perform their job well. But in business, gamification and reward schemes have been shown to increase motivation and enhance performance.

Everyone likes to hear that they are excelling and there is no better way to do that than if a new challenge is introduced where all employees start on the same level and can build up using their own initiative.

Encouraging user adoption by creating a fun game with the new CRM instantly breaks down any barriers of initial negativity and adds a bit of liveliness to an often grey, predictable office scenario. Points, badges, leaderboards and progress bars are all ideal visual motivation boosters which lead to greater participation, interest, attention and timeliness.

According to Gartner, 70% of Global 2000 companies had at least one ‘gamified’ application in 2014 and by 2016, they predict the gamification market to reach $2.8 billion. There are countless CRM gamification apps out there nowadays but if you’d rather do your own thing, here’s a quick example of a basic points-style game you could use to promote the use of a new CRM:

Points Mean Profits Game:

  • Create a new contact: 1 point
  • Create a new contact in an account you’re meant to be targeting: 2 points
  • Any new contact with the title “CEO”: +5 points
  • Or on the service front:
  • Successfully resolve call in one minute: 10 points
  • Successfully resolve call in two minutes: 5 points

Shift Stubborn Attitudes

Forrester recently revealed that 22% of all reported issues with CRM systems were people-related and linked to user adoption. Surprise, surprise! While some might point to technological complications in implementation, we all know that the real obstacle lies with winning over non-believers.

So if you’ve tried all of the above, trust in these four vital ways to encourage your team to believe in, adopt and promote a new CRM and never look back to their old, familiar ways:

1. Outline the benefits

Information is power - when people are confident in something, they usually have valid reasons to back it. Drop statistics and if possible, aspirational companies that already use that particular CRM with great success and show how it can be adapted to your own organisation, bettering what is already in place

2. Get ‘em all on board

Don’t do things by halves - don’t reason with yourself that if you’ve got a few people on board, they will put in the leg work for the rest. For measurable results from your new CRM, you need everyone on board from sales reps to senior management. Don’t allow people to back out because their workload is too hectic - make sure people schedule time to absorb all the info and learn the processes since it will only take more time going over things again if everyone is not on the same page from day one

3. Sync your tools

A complete leap is always daunting - so make it easier for people to migrate by taking baby steps. By syncing your current tools with the new CRM system, employees that are less than eager to make the switch will still feel confident since there will be familiar processes involved.

4. Resolve and realise the potential

If your new CRM system isn’t really resolving the issues that the existing CRM system also failed to dent, you shouldn’t be believing it yourself - let alone encouraging others to. Ensure that the unique benefits of the new CRM are contrasted against the previous one and help people understand its future potential by teaching them how to use it properly. It all comes down to one simple concept ‘what can it do for me?’ once people realise the answer to that, they’re more likely to embrace the switch.

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