Staff is often touted as a company’s most important asset. And this is none more so true for ensuring the implementation and success of a CRM solution. So who are these key staff members we need on the payroll? And why do we need them? Two great questions. And while generalizations are just that, there’s usually a thread of truth behind them.
What you will learn in this article
- CRM implementation pitfalls
- Who your CRM dream team comprises
- The roles involved in CRM success
- One personality you should never let anywhere near your CRM adoption
- The importance of training
The CRM booby trap you can avoid
There is a weight of expectation whenever a CRM system is implemented. Businesses quite rightly expect a CRM system to boost their productivity and sales, streamline processes, and save time and money. However, it is suggested that the majority of CRM implementations fail. CSO Insights, for instance, states that fewer than 40% of CRM implementations end in full-scale adoption.
The main culprit behind these poor figures is not the software, but people, the company culture, and a lack of business strategy and goals. By far, the biggest obstacle to success is the staff being asked to use the system. But this is typical because the end-user has been an afterthought. Too much has been invested in believing that technology is the panacea and not enough for CRM users. Ultimately, it is people who will improve customer relations, not system.
This pitfall can be avoided by having staff on board with the system from the outset. Unfortunately, thanks to human nature, not everyone will appreciate the benefits of CRM immediately or want to embrace it. But by forming a CRM dream-time, you will see much greater buy-in from staff.
Who you need on your CRM dream team
Your CRM dream team should comprise the following personalities for a safe CRM success. You will likely recognize these characters in your company.
This gig is the most important pick. These people will already be CRM zealots and know the benefits inside out. Typically, The Cheerleader will be a Project Manager who’s completely sold on the idea of CRM. They are results-driven and may already have had previous exposure to CRM elsewhere or wish to experiment with something new. They are willing to share their know-how and help others adopt CRM.
No dream team should be without The Skeptic trying to pick holes in the CRM system. Though this sounds like a bad idea, a healthy dose of skepticism can go a long way in ensuring a smooth adoption. The Skeptic is similarly results-driven but impatient if anything new takes time to show results. They need instant gratification, and if CRM does not demonstrate benefits from the get-go, they will continue to be distrustful of the innovation.
Skepticism is a natural part of CRM adoption, so you need this person on your team to motivate you. The Skeptic will also push you to have a plan and stick with it. They will delight in flagging up stuff overlooked and complain about a CRM system if it’s too complicated or overkill. The Skeptic is an excellent barometer of how you should fine-tune the CRM system to your business goals and needs.
The Charismatic Leader
Every CRM adoption needs senior management buy-in, or it’s doomed to failure. A Charismatic Leader leads from the front, setting an example for the rest of the staff using CRM daily. If the guys at the top aren’t using CRM, then the rest of the organization will quickly follow suit. The Charismatic Leader (usually the MD or CEO) needs to show their commitment and communicate daily with employees via CRM.
The IT Dude
You need the office geek in the team. They have a natural flair for understanding software and solving installation problems. The IT Dude is significant if you opt for an on-site CRM solution because these require someone to maintain the server and carry out data migration. Unfortunately, few small businesses can afford a dedicated IT person. Therefore, a cloud-based CRM option is way safer than putting the safety of your business in the hands of an enthusiastic amateur.
The Empirical Tester
Much like The Skeptical, The Empirical Tester gets a kick out of trying to break things. Most likely, you will find the Empirical Tester in your sales or admin teams. You can count on The Empirical Tester to play with the CRM system, test it out, and investigate settings, fields, and categories. They delight in finding helpful company-specific tips and tricks. The Empirical Tester never tires of clicking links and buttons and posing millions of questions.
The person you shouldn’t let within 100 feet of your CRM solution
Within every CRM implementation process is The Hater. Unlike The Skeptic, The Hater has made up their mind, and nothing you say can shake their opinion. The Hater is on a self-appointed mission to prove CRM is a stupid idea. They are counting the days until they can say, “I told you so.”
The Hater is almost certainly going to be your top salesperson who knows everything. They are stuck in their ways because these have made them successful and closed a lot of deals. The Hater won’t budge and is waiting to leap on something going wrong. So you are better off sidelining The Hater for now.
The importance of training
With even the best will available, CRM is not always simple. Regular training is the key to CRM success. Having systematic training will ease CRM into your organization and ensure that users have all the skills required to get the most out of your solution. Solid training on the core functionality at the beginning is vital to ensure widespread adoption. Then, you can figure out the flashy parts later.
Implementing CRM is not like introducing a new software package. It’s about company culture. A successful implementation will also have users at its heart. Contact us today for sound small business CRM advice.