User adoption is critical for the success of your CRM. Most companies are dependent on their sales team for collecting customer data to fill up order forms, offer insight to the marketing department and offering background information to the customer management team. This information can be critical for your business in the long run. You, therefore, ought to make sure that your sales team is comfortable using the software and is inputting correct data in it. But it has often been seen that the sales team isn’t prompt in adopting the changed situation. This can be attributed to the following factors:

  • Lower level of technical skill of the team
  • Busy schedule and the sales team consider it wastage of time to update the CRM
  • Sales representatives have their own ways of doing business and may consider it redundant to update the system
  • They consider sales an individual success and are reluctant to share information with the rest

But, whatever may be the reason a large part of your CRM implementation success depends on the adoption rate of your sales team. Here is how that can be achieved.

Involve the team: Rather than imposing the software on your team you can consider involving them to the task at an early phase of the project. Since they are going to be the main user of the system it is important that they don’t feel left out. You can begin with organizing a brainstorming session and seeking feedback from the senior members of the team. Make sure that you select at least one representative from each of your teams to form the core team of CRM implementation project. This team will work closely with the CRM software provider.

Adopt the simplest solution: A complex system is surely to put off the users from adopting it. Most enterprise legacy solutions require extensive training sessions which can affect your business performance by consuming the productive time of your sales team. Moreover, you also need to keep the technical competence of the team in mind. Sales team often lacks in technical knowhow compared to that of other employees. This situation can be resolved by adopting cloud based CRM system. These hosted CRM services can be accessed over the Internet and often are ready-to-use solutions.

Make it a practice: Exercising little coercion isn’t bad. You can identify some of the key influencers in your team and appoint them to oversee on others to encourage them to use the interface. You may also consider putting a monitoring policy in place during the initial phase to ensure that the data entered is adhering to the standard of data entry, i.e. correct and precise information, no duplicate entries, use of proper abbreviation and salutation.

Show them the benefits: Often system adoption is resisted because users can’t see clear benefits of using it. But since the objective of implementing CRM software is to drive in more business it would be beneficial to introduce your sales team to the benefits of using it. You may emphasize on how they can generate more business through effectively managing their contacts, generating 360⁰ review of a client’s profile, receiving live feed updates on deals and meetings, generating performance and pipeline management reports, and more.

Seek feedback: Once the project is implemented you can measure its success only by seeking feedback from users. So, after few weeks of rolling out the plan ask your team to evaluate its effectiveness. The feedback gathered will help you find out the causes of slow adoption (if any), or if you need to organize training to boost up the adoption rate etc.

Since web based CRM solutions are provision based most vendors offer free trial period that allows the user to test drive the solution to judge its usefulness in their business environment. You can take advantage of this offer before making large investment towards it.