CRM User Adoption Services

If you asked anyone that’s had even passing exposure to CRM technology what the greatest challenge is when implementing CRM systems, then I strongly suspect the answer would be getting people to use it.

This is an issue that’s haunted the industry since CRM first became a ‘thing’.

The problem is ‘getting people to use it’, isn’t a trivial consideration. As we noted in a recent post (and I do urge anyone considering an investment in CRM technology to at least quickly skim it), in many cases you will only derive a return on investment when you have universal user adoption.

Let me emphasise those points – ‘You will ONLY derive a return on investment when you have UNIVERSAL user adoption’.

In other words, everyone using the system, the right way, 100% of the time, for the life of the system.

Fall short of this, then all that time you spend selecting software, finding a reliable implementer, designing the system, reviewing, testing, cleaning data, project managing, training, etc., etc., is all a waste of time.

No matter how much you spend on the system, how much effort you put into implementing it, you’re not going to get anywhere unless people use it – and use it well.

So, given a) user adoption is recognised as a big issue, and that b) it’s an issue that can catastrophically undermine any payback, we might assume that the industry is resolutely tackling this head on – but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

CRM software developers have long argued that by making their software easier to use they are addressing the adoption issue.

To my mind it’s arguable, as technologies have become functionally richer, whether vendors have indeed been successful in making them simpler to use. I think the user interface has in many cases become more difficult to use rather than simpler.

Regardless of whether it has or hasn’t, simplifying the interface will not solve the user adoption issue, because user adoption resides in the people, and process parts of the people, process, technology triangle.

So, in this respect we might expect the implementation community to have developed a robust set of strategies to address the adoption issue.

Curiously, while most seem to recognise the issue, I haven’t seen that much in the way of comprehensive user adoption methodologies coming from them – to date anyway

So, this post is part plea and part shameless plug.

Plea, in terms of the need for we in the industry to do more to address user adoption as an issue, and CRM buyers need to more aware that this is a challenge they need to address – if they’re going to be successful anyway.

Shameless plug, in the sense that we’ve recently put our money where our mouth is in this respect, and added CRM user adoption as part of our core service offerings.

We’ve encapsulated the user adoption approaches we’ve developed over the last fifteen years into a single service offering designed to help people prepare for, plan, and execute an effective user adoption strategy, that gets people using systems consistently and systematically, and does so quickly.

A little more information can be found here, or feel free to contact me for a chat.

Anyway, the shameless plug part is over, and we can get back to the key message: User adoption is a real issue, for which there is a shortage of available solutions.

We as an industry need to do more to solve it. Buyers of CRM need to do more to recognise it.

When that happens, everyone wins.

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