The adoption of a new CRM is a great opportunity for your team, but it can also become a great failure. In fact, looking at the major research on the CRM adoption projects in recent years, as many as 30-60% of CMR projects fail or do not get the desired results. (fonte: C5Insights)
As the team leader, don’t be scared by these statistics. But if you do not want to spend your days gently inviting your employees to fill in the CRM (since they stopped doing it ages ago!), you must ensure to make the right moves from day one. After witnessing both successful and disastrous projects of CRM adoption, here are 7 things you should do to ensure you are not in the wrong 30-60%.
1. Clarify your goals.
Why do you want to adopt a CRM (or change the previous one)? Do you want to simplify your team’s work, or to gather more accurate statistics on the company’s profitability? Another goal could be to understand what are the bottlenecks of your sales process and how to unlock them to sell more. If you have don’t have a clear idea of the main objective, how could you evaluate the success of the project? Don’t just think about these goals: write them down clearly, defining them numerically and on a time basis. Then, choose the CRM that better fits in reaching that goal, giving more importance to the factors that help in that direction. For example, if you want more information about your business results, choose the software that has the better statistics section. On the contrary, is the goal is wasting less time while dealing with customers, choose the CRM with a better notes and documents management system.
2. Involve your team from the start.
The thin line that separates success from total failure of the project is the collaboration of the whole team. The project will work only if each team member would feel like a vital element of it, seeing the change as a benefit for his/her work and not as an imposition from above! Therefore, from the very beginning you should let everyone know that you are considering a new CRM and even ask for their help, with short interviews to understand the needs of each one. After the choice has been taken, summon all of them for a meeting and explain them the reasons for the decision and the benefits of the project. You can do even more: when working to structure the data of the new CRM, you can work together with them to formalize the actual sales process they are experiencing every day and choose the structure they deem most appropriate!
3. Look periodically at your data.
When you first introduced the new CRM, you have drawn up a ad-hoc data structure that fits your business: you set labels, tags and form fields, underlining the high priority data that should always be filled in. However, if after the launch of the CRM you have not given a look for months at the collected data, you may have a big problem. Through the statistics results of your CRM, indeed, you should be able answer questions like “What are the conversion rates of the different stages of the sales process?”, “Which source of customer acquisition converts better?”, “What kind of deals is more profitable?”. If you are not even near to the answers, then you have to revise your CRM structure before losing important information (and before your team has acquired the wrong routine). Only constantly looking at your data you can tell if there are missing pieces or if someone on your team is more “lazy” in the compilation.
4. Talk with your team.
Even if the CRM choice has been prudent – you considered all key factors and tested multiple solutions – only time will tell if you’ve made the right decision. Time and your team members, who use the software on a daily basis. They are the ones who will face the pros and cons of the software you have chosen and who will drop it in their daily lives, using it as their business reference point. Who better than them to receive the signals of any problems or inadequacies of the software? Seizing these symptoms early could be trigger to improve the project, talking directly to the CRM manufacturer to change your plan or to ask for a customization (of course depending on the size of your team). Instead, leaving these problems accumulate over time and discover them after months can cause a disaster with no return!
5. Stick to the roadmap (aka don’t make the project fade away).
The first six months have passed, and nobody talks about it anymore. What have you achieved from the adoption (or change) of the CRM? No one knows. Well, nothing worse! Before the launch, you should set the milestone for the first few years, with clear goals on the results to be obtained in different periods and moments to review the project together. From day one, create a visible plan with the milestones and schedule periodic meetings to discuss the project, making sure all the team will attend them. Otherwise after the initial momentum, slowly they will stop feeling so motivated!
6. Be the first to use the CRM.
You praised so much the new CRM capabilities to reduce post-its, eliminate internal emails and get rid of spreadsheets … but your desk continues to be flooded with yellow sheets and you still send dozens of emails to your employees? Well, how can you expect your team to change their habits if you’re not the first to do so? People will feel entitled to continue as they always have. Therefore from day one, the best user of the new software should be YOU… a great opportunity to clean your desk and your inbox!
7. Create motivation
Last but don’t least, introduce a bit of gamification. Why does your team need a CRM? Obviously to lose less time, to enhance their data, to avoid mistakes with clients… all very good reasons from the company’s point of view. But what comes to each salesman? The answer must be: prestige in the team and potential rewards. Prestige because letting everyone see what you are doing and what results are you achieving is a way to prove yourself and your value. And potential rewards, because at end of the year you as the team leader can evaluate who has worked harder and better, rewarding objectively the best team sellers. You’ll see that the climate of positive competition will benefit also your sales results!
In a project as complex as the adoption of a CRM, many problems can arise. But if you do all these things correctly (all of them, not just some!), you’ll dramatically increase your chance of success. How will you understand if the project will be successful? Well, you’ll be sure to have reached the result if the CRM will be the first and the last application you and your team use every day!