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The Keys to Drive User Acceptance and Adoption of CRM

In a hyper-competitive market where even small companies can leverage e-commerce, social media, and the Internet to cater to a global audience, there has been a steady and sustained increase in the deployment of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for greater efficiency and increased profitability. Who would have thought that a local bakery in New Jersy like Carlo’s Bakery—from a hit show ‘Cake Boss’ on TLC—is now running their entire business with the help of Salesforce CRM. A sophisticated custom ordering app called “Cakeforce” enables Carlo’s employees to take an order from their iPad anytime anywhere. The bakery is able to handle 1000% sales growth expanding into new locations and a mail order market. This kind of story speaks volumes about the power of CRM.

Despite ample proof that CRM works, not all the businesses have successful stories to share like Carlo’s Bakery. The studies and surveys have indicated that CRM project failure rate ranges between 30%-70% during the past 15 years.

Evaluating and choosing the right CRM—the backbone of the business operations—is much harder than choosing any other types of software applications; it requires comprehensive understanding of the organization’s functioning, the flaws of current operations, and the potential benefits new platform will bring to the business. Deploying CRM does not automatically guarantee more sales and profits. A lot depends on effective utilization of the system and high rates of user adoption.

Deploying CRM does not automatically guarantee more sales and profits. A lot depends on effective utilization of the system and high rates of user adoption.

User Acceptance and Adoption Depend On… Users

So, how can the business ensure and accelerate user acceptance and adoption? Faster CRM acceptance and adoption can be achieved by focusing on the end users of every impacted department—from beginning to end.

Instead of a top-down approach, here are some useful strategies that encourage employees across verticals— Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Logistics, Delivery, and so on—to accept and adopt CRM.

Quantify Benefits of CRM

  • The new platform will result in a 15% increase in sales.

  • It will bring down lead generation time by 50%.

  • The marketing team will see a 25% increase in conversion

Using measurable outcomes such as numbers, data, and ambitious targets are far more effective than using jargon and flowery language when it comes to selling the change to your employees.

Allow Phased Deployment & Rollout

Using CRM involves something more than simply punching in data and generating reports instantly. For CRM to be truly successful, a paradigm shift in an organizational culture—to become a true customer centric company—is required.

An excessively-ambitious deployment can cause drastic change, which may discourage employees from adopting the new platform.

Sell the platform to your employees by making them the part of the CRM deployment and taking their opinions and suggestions into account will go a long way. Integrating a complex CRM system into the organization requires time. Engaging and involving key users right from CRM assessment and all through different phases of the deployment will help the users gain first-hand experience of the system. This way the company can prevent a perfunctory adoption of CRM where end users are using the system merely to keep their bosses happy which is likely to result in a CRM project failure.

Create CRM Champions