Sage CRM: Steps to CRM Success

When deploying a CRM system, most organizations start out with a set list of things that they want their new software to address. That’s the basic design for all software implementations. So why does this bring up potential problems for a CRM system deployment?

CRM systems have the capability to address other items that are not on the pain point list, and tempt management to expanding the scope of a CRM deployment due to the overall increase in efficiency. What might start out as a list of a few pain points could quickly turn into a laundry list of things to accomplish by day one.

I can already hear the question, “So… how does implementing steps that increase efficiency cause a problem?”

It’s not that increasing efficiency causes a problem per se.  Rather the steps most organizations take to deploy software contain several other changes in processes that are often overlooked or are too much at one time to achieve proper adoption by employees.

Adjusting the culture of an organization to change how it operates by default is a challenge in itself. Knowing where to go, what to click on, and how to operate with a whole new standard of procedures for certain processes can be overwhelming for even the savviest of employees. What might seem like a small change from a managerial standpoint can have a tremendous impact to how employees function throughout the day on a daily basis.

For example, if an employee has known what to do every time he or she gets a phone call for the past three years and suddenly that whole process is shifted to include different steps and to do’s – that’s a big deal to that person. Not because the process is complicated, but because the employee’s workflow has been impacted from doing what is familiar to doing what is unfamiliar.

Sure that employee will adapt in time, but initially, that’s one change that impacts that employee several times a day every day. Although this is what ultimately yields cost savings, too many changes in how an employee operates can be frustrating and prolong how quickly an organization will see an ROI.

Though answering the phone and knowing where to go and what to do might seem insignificant, it is a change to what is familiar, and each little change adds up in both time and frustration. By keeping the changes an employee faces to a bare minimum, organizations can ensure that the employees will have a better chance at successfully adapting to and adopting the new way of doing things.

This in turn will allow the organization to keep the focus on addressing the pain points that mattered in the beginning. In addition, it also makes the adoption of new processes and procedures manageable for the organization’s employee base.

By creating this win-win scenario, other processes and procedures can be analyzed and broken down into smaller, digestible changes that can be easily adopted by users to further increase the overall ROI an organization can see from implementing a CRM system.

In the next installment of the series, we will take a closer look at why user adoption of a CRM system is important and why looking at the system from the users’ perspective is also crucial to the success when deploying software.