Sonoma Partners Microsoft CRM and Salesforce Blog

Are you ready for change?

Today's blog post was written by Scott Hinton, Principal Consultant at Sonoma Partners.

When thinking about the Change Management required to successfully implement a CRM application, the first thing that you need to understand is whether or not your user community is even ready for the change. Most likely, they’re not. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t move forward with your CRM initiative! You just need to figure out how much time and effort will be required and the best approach for managing the change which can be done with a readiness assessment.

What is a Readiness Assessment?

Sonoma Partners methodology for managing the people side of change is called our primary focus during the Discover phase. Readiness assessments can take many forms but we typically use 3 tools:

Change Risk Assessment Survey

Start with a Risk Assessment Survey which is usually sent to the key members of your project team covering topics around your organization (leadership, history of change, and expected resistance) and the specific project (size of impact, type of impact, resources and training needs). From this survey, you can identify change barriers and create a plan to overcome those barriers.

Change 1

User Survey

Next, survey the users who will be impacted by the CRM initiative. Some example questions that you will want to understand include:

  • I believe that CRM will benefit our company.
  • There is sufficient executive level support for the CRM implementation.
  • I know where to find information about our CRM implementation.

From this survey, you can better understand how to address project communication, training, and sponsorship needs. A similar survey should be distributed before and after launch as well to ensure that users are onboard with the change and that your company is adapting appropriately to the feedback received.

Stakeholder Impact Assessment

Interview your key stakeholders including the leaders who are (or should be) driving your CRM initiative and map their degree of influence, engagement and change impact. Next, develop tactics to keep them engaged throughout the life of your CRM program.

Change 2

Why Assess Change Readiness

There are many benefits to assessing and managing readiness as users move from current to future state from a system, process, and people perspective.

  1. Drive user adoption through informed data driven decisions.
  2. Gain unique stakeholder and stakeholder group perspectives, needs, and priorities.
  3. Establish a baseline measurement for readiness. Future data can be measured, evaluated, and communicated against this baseline to understand sponsorship, communications, and training effectiveness.
  4. Provide a feedback loop and opportunity for users to participate in the change and voice their opinion which increases buy-in.
  5. Identify change risk and scope the change management effort.
  6. Align leaders around your findings.
  7. Demonstrate leadership commitment.

A change strategy that includes a readiness assessment increases user adoption through targeted change management tactics versus a one-size fits all approach. Unsure how to get started assessing readiness of your organization for your CRM program or unsure what to do with what you find? Give us a call, we’re happy to help!

Topics: CRM Best Practices