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CRM and user adoption – what’s in it for me?

So, you’ve decided to buy a new CRM system for your staff. You’ve blinded them with technology, spending money on a glossy bit of kit which you believe is the silver bullet to all problems your employees are experiencing. It’s full of bells and whistles, and you’ve bought every additional bolt-on under the sun. You even popped open the champagne at the end of ‘Go Live’ day, and patted yourself on the back for a job well done.

But no one is using it.


The old adage goes, “if you build it, they will come”. Not so, when it comes to CRM implementations. CRM is a unique beast to tame, requiring teamwork and collaboration to be successful. All too often, someone in a company decides the business needs a system, but they fail to engage staff about what they want to achieve. By making assumptions, the new system will be seen as a burden which no one will use. Like building a house, the key lies in getting the foundation right.

We’re often asked for advice on a user adoption plan, and we always start by asking ‘who is going to be involved in the kick-off meeting?’. It’s imperative that we get staff immersed as early as possible, to understand how they believe a CRM will help, not hinder them. Including teams in the planning and implementation phases will help get staff on board, and give them ownership of the project’s success.

Some may feel that updating a CRM system is just going to be another thing on their already long to-do list. In these scenarios, ask your CRM consultant to hold a series of workshops with staff to demonstrate how a system will make their lives easier. Show them how data will be more accurate and easier to find, and the days of manual reporting will be a thing of the past. By making these benefits tangible early on, you’re showing your staff the revolutionary new world of CRM.

You’ll probably hear ‘but I’ve always done it this way’ more than once during the initial phases of a project, but we challenge clients to see this as an opportunity to learn new skills. Just because you’ve been manually updating an Excel spreadsheet for 10 years does not mean there isn’t a more efficient way of doing things. Just think of how much time will be freed up, to allow you to get on with the elements of your job that really make a difference! No one wants to fill in spreadsheet upon spreadsheet, only to find they updated the wrong version of the document…

Having key staff involved in the planning phase will also help to shape a clear timeline. It might be that Sales need to complete their areas of the implementation first, prior to handing over to Customer Services. This interdepartmental approach will not only assist with deploying the system in a logical order, but also get your teams talking to eachother about the practices they employ and how they impact other divisions within the business. Holding regular meetings post-Go Live will ensure continuous adoption, as queries can be dealt with head-on.

Ownership, collaboration, communication, and education are key when considering the best approach to take in implementing any new system. Incorporating these skills with a simple to use, intuitive, and customised CRM system like Sugar will ensure your project is a success.

To find out how Sugar can help you create extraordinary customer relationships, get in touch today.

Author: Philippa Grover, 16 October 2017

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