According to a research by Forrester, 48% of CRM implementations fail and successful implementations have a 40% user adoption rate. Traditionally CRM implementation have failed in the past as a result of poor user adoption. Ideally the decision to acquire and implement a CRM solution is to provide the Sales workforce with tools to enhance their productivity and efficiency. In reality, most of this workforce find it difficult to successfully adopt the newly introduced CRM tool. Ultimately, this defeats the purpose of investing in a new CRM tool. A closer examination to the following factors will provide both a solution to this issue and an increase in user adoption rates.
A critical success factor for most enterprise application deployment is the change management process instituted by the organization when implementing a new application. Organizations poorly plan or execute this due to a lack of comprehensive short and long term plans for the deployment of a new CRM system. A detailed change management plan must be outlined and provide both the value in the CRM system and map the user adoption activities. For example, to maintain a consistent sales process across our organization, all sales reps must log all sales activities in the system and tie their KPIs to this particular activity. Some would go as far as to only provide A well planned change management strategy will go a long way in increasing adoption of the CRM system.
End User Training and Support
To optimize any CRM implementation it is obvious that the users of the system would require training on the use of the system, but in most cases that is not enough. Communicating the value of the system to the end user can be a great way to get them onboard. It is effective to frequently communicate tips & tricks in order to refresh their knowledge of the system. Additional training or retraining can be an effective method to reiterate the value gained from the new CRM system. You can create champions out of most users if they truly understand the value of the system. A value oriented approach would go a step further to ensure that not only would organizations achieve high user adoption but would also realize the promised value from the system being deployed.
Top Level Management Support
The success of any project is largely dependent on the level of sponsorship from top level management. The Sales Management and executives have a responsibility to lead with adoption of the system as their approval validates the benefits of a new CRM system. Ultimately a successful adoption of the CRM system would provide value to the management team, evidently through richer reports and dashboards for insight and decision making. The ability to demand adoption and reward early adopters heavily rests on managers.
The implementation methodology adopted during the deployment of a new CRM system can have a substantial effect on user adoption. There is a notion that deployment activities are solely IT related which results in the isolation of business users from the process. This can adversely affect user adoption post-deployment. An all-inclusive implementation approach with shared responsibilities is essential to creating CRM champions from the onset. Getting end-users involved early on means that they start getting acquainted with the system, take some ownership of the process and ultimately commit to the success of the implementation. Another value of getting users involved during the early stages of deployment is to provide valuable inputs for the implementation consultant during the configuration of the system. This approach is a major tenant of the Oracle Unified Methodology for Cloud Applications and has recorded a high level of success from a CRM user adoption perspective.
The decision to acquire and deploy a CRM solution for automation of sales processes is definitely an important one and can yield great value but only if done correctly. The success of a CRM deployment is heavily dependent on user adoption and it is very important to get it right.
Why Eclipsys Solutions?
At Eclipsys we have standardized all our implementation services on the Oracle Unified Method to leverage the best practices available on the framework. We have taken the necessary steps to ensure that high end user adoption is achieved. Experience has taught us that this is the optimal path to delivering on the value promised by the systems we deploy.