10 Deadly Sins in CRM User Adoption

Motivational Sales Quotes

Hi Everybody!

Today we have a very interesting blog post published by the MVP behind CRMGamified, Pablo Peralta, in which he explains the importance of User Adoption for CRM. The original piece is in Spanish, but we’d like to share an outline of the key concepts with you.

Pablo’s article is entitled 10 Deadly Sins in CRM User Adoption. Frightening, isn’t it? Well, let’s take a look at the sin list:

1. Believing that a “blessing” from upper management is enough to get users engaged in CRM.

Sure we need managers to be on board with our CRM program. However, this is a necessary condition, not a sufficient one.

We should not believe that if the manager supports and encourages the use of CRM, it simply will be used. If he doesn’t support it, it will be very difficult for the CRM to succeed. But if he does, there is no guarantee that it will be adopted.

2. Having a Do-It-Yourself approach and only reveal the final stages of the project to end users.

This is very risky from the functional point of view (we could be doing something totally different than expected by final users). Besides, by doing this way, users are not involved either committed to the project, so ‘legitimately’ increases resistance.

The real problem here is the lack of feedback. You are building the CRM for they, you do need to take their opinions into account. Use prototypes, pre-releases, demos. Make sure they get familiar with the product and their expectations in place.

3. Entering too slowly into the system.

Of course, implementation needs to be gradual, but keep in mind that it shouldn’t be too slow that users feel the CRM is a mere option. You need to prevent them from getting the idea that CRM is just a side dish in their day to day work.

Once the system is in place, you need to push it whenever you can to promote a change in users’ behavior.

Pablo’s post explains that this recommendation was inspired by fellow CRM MVP Gus Gonzalez. He advises to always answer with “it’s in the CRM”, to any question related to a case, an opportunity, etc – thus forcing users to rely on the system instead of spreadsheets, emails, notes, etc.

4. Blaming the software for lack of adoption.

No doubt about it. Either if you use Microsoft® Dynamics CRM or Salesforce, both are tightly integrated with the office productivity tools. Both are powerful tools and market leaders, that consistently stands out as the CRM solution of choice.

There’s a very high chance that the tool is not the problem. If you feel that adoption is low because the software is not friendly enough… well, you are probably doing something wrong.

5. Choosing the wrong Power Users.

Selecting your power users for their time availability and willingness seems natural but it’s often a big mistake.

It’s a decision that looks good on paper, but think about it for a second: what can you tell about users that are willing to try new stuff and have the time for it? They are usually the newcomers. Young people that may not have enough experience in the industry and, most importantly, don’t have the trust of veteran employees yet. Choosing them as your power users will probably create a much higher resistance to change.

You need to select power users that are deeply involved in the company’s processes, especially in their particular area or department. However, you need to avoid having only one power user per area. You need to have more than one point of view.

6.Dumping duplicated or dirty data.

Data migration from other systems and databases may need to be considered a subproject in itself. Data cleaning and redundancy elimination need to be carefully implemented in order to have usable valuable information in the CRM.

7. Keeping the CRM isolated from other systems in the organization.

There are organizations in which is possible to run CRM as an independent isolated system (for CRM User Adoption while at least). But that’s often not the case for large organizations, especially if you want to increase user adoption.

For example, at UruIT Dynamix we have experiences with Banks, Health companies, TELCOs, where not having the information of core banking or legacy systems where important customer information and history resides would be totally unacceptable.

8. Underestimating training.

Dynamics CRM or Salesforce may seem intuitive enough to any office user, but don’t let that make you assume training is not important. In order to encourage user adoption, it’s very important to make them feel confident in the system.

You need to allocate time for training if only to make your users feel they invested time and resources in learning something new.

9. Failing to communicate the value of on-going maintenance to organizations.

As consultants, our job is not over the minute we implement the system. On the contrary, that’s when the REAL challenge begins and it’s one in which our clients are going to need our help as much as when they first contacted us. If they don’t see the importance of maintenance that’s probably our fault for not making it clear.

We need to have a previous agreement for the maintenance of the project for at least one year. Optimization is key in every CRM. It will not be truly “complete” until it is put to the test of time and use.

10. Failing to measure user adoption and not rewarding achievements.

We need to be able to measure. Always. Everything we do to perfect the system needs to be based on data. How many of them are using it? How are they using it? Which issues are causing them troubles?

The answers to these questions are essential if we want to answer the even more important questions. Such as: What changes do we need to apply? How do we get them to use it? How do we keep them engaged?

Of course, we don’t need to tell you how we solved that problem here at CRMGamified, right?

You probably know already that we came up with a couple of solutions that encourages user adoption by making CRM fun, and engaging!

Our Hurrah! Leaderboards broadcasts live data right from your CRM of choice into a TV placed in the war room, just like an ESPN for Sales, helping to inspire and motivate everyone in the team!

We are not going to bore you with all the details in this article (especially since we told you all about CRM adoption before) but feel free to check us out and try Hurrah! for FREE!


As always, we welcome your feedback. Feel free to check Pablo’s original article here.

5 replies
  1. john mahoney
    john mahoney says:

    SFDC have user adoption dashboards which are sadly missing from Dynamics CRM and internally SFDC include Chatter contribution as a perfomance metric for appraisals. Gamification of CRM is an excellent response.

  2. Mani Ramachandran
    Mani Ramachandran says:

    Great article and a nice summary of the usual CRM project pitfalls. Thanks for leaving a comment with a note about this piece in my post (http://h30507.www3.hp.com/t5/Applications-Services-Blog/Top-7-things-to-consider-to-improve-User-Experience-in-Dynamics/ba-p/139335)

    Additionally, I am a big fan of the CRM gamified product. I had written a post last year on the possibilities with Dynamics crm (http://gotcrm.blogspot.com/2012/09/gamification-and-crm-xrm-platform.html), but you folks have taken it to a whole new level! Keep up the fantastic work! 🙂

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