The other day, we had a client in the office who told us about his ongoing challenges with user adoption. His story was one we have heard before.
He works at a large manufacturing company implementing a CRM system for the first time.
Their sales force consists of seasoned professionals who have 30+ years of experience in the industry; experts who manage their expansive client list in Excel, Outlook, in their heads, or some combination of the above.
In his attempts to onboard his team onto CRM, he is oftentimes met with resistance, frustration, and concern from several of the senior sales reps.
Getting a seasoned workforce to care, and effectively use, a CRM system can be a challenge. If you’re facing a similar challenge, we thought we’d provide you with three steps you can take to set yourself up for success in getting your senior sales reps on board with CRM.
1. Point to the positives.
If you are implementing CRM for your organization, chances are you have a pretty good reason for doing so. You’ve been witness to your organization’s inefficiencies or struggled with cross-departmental communication. Maybe it’s a merger or acquisition that prompted you to reevaluate CRM and reduce process redundancies. It could be a lack of flexibility in your current platform and lack of mobile functionality you’ve heard complaints over. Your employees want the ability to incorporate data and CRM into their work processes seamlessly in their daily routine. You selected a platform that might not fix all of their problems, but the mobility offered by the new system is a serious advantage for your team. At the end of the day, you pick and choose which features are most important to you and your team. State these facts clearly to help demonstrate the importance of this resource you’re providing.
CRM is not going to be the answer to all of your prayers – just see my next point – but you can certainly paint the picture for your change-averse employees. Make it clear that this is a priority because of the impact it’s making on your organization, your processes, your efficiency. This will help them understand and hopefully, motivate them to use the tool.
2. Set expectations from the start.
In conversations with your team, set expectations when you outline the business goals of your impending CRM implementation. Maybe one of your senior sales reps has seen CRM fail before. They’ve been promised that this magical new tool will come in and instantly make their lives easier. This expectation cannot always be achieved with CRM. It takes time to onboard an organization to a new system. It means changing mindsets, individual work behaviors, and thoughtfully evolving organizational processes. Good work like this is not done overnight but through time and effort, finessing and tweaking. Ultimately, the reward is a well-built solution that proves a true asset to your organization.
3. Offer support and guidance along the way.
It is entirely possible that your seasoned work force is extremely technically savvy. We have, however, witnessed situations where our clients struggle to break down barriers with a work force carrying many years of experience. They find it difficult to try something new and unfamiliar, especially if using a platform they find intimidating and challenging. It might be worth offering that an extra level of support to those who express or seem resistance to adopting this new tool. Maybe all they need is a little bit of reassurance to get started.
Ultimately, approaching your seasoned sales force with CRM strategically can make all the difference for your CRM implementation. CRM takes time and work, but the benefit is enormous when done correctly and adopted fully.
Need help with your CRM implementation? We can help.