At Navantis, we have completed many CRM implementation projects and I believe the ‘missing link’ in most plans is the amount of time allocated to Change Management. Training alone does not ensure the successful adoption of your new CRM environment. There are many other considerations that are equally as important.
Socializing the Goals and Objectives of the New System
It is extremely important for Senior Management to explain to the user community why the new solution was implemented. With most companies, the end user has become tied to the outgoing application and they have grown accustomed to working with it. Management needs to take the time to explain what they felt they were missing with the old system, and what benefits the organization hopes to gain from the new system.
The messaging should be streamlined for the individual departments that will be expected to utilize the solution. In order for this to be effective, each department manager should understand the benefits their group will realize from the new solution. They have to buy into that vision so they can properly verbalize it to their teams. If a manager is uncertain or, in the worst case, against the new solution, his/her team will be slow to adopt.
While formal training is one option for knowledge transfer, a common problem with classroom training is that the attendees often lose half of what they were taught as soon as they leave the room. Having reference materials available as users are working with the solution can answer a lot of follow-up questions and save considerable amounts of time for both the users and IT. User guides with screen-shots that walk the user through the solution are effective; however, you can go the extra mile and record video of someone walking through the solution with commentary. Recorded tutorials can be available on your Intranet or other shared network locations.
It’s important to remember, you won’t necessarily ‘get it right the first time’. Although a lot of time will be spent defining the requirements and design of the new system, you should have one or two checkpoints post-deployment where you can survey a selection of your end- users to gather their feedback. It is common for management to focus on the output of the system without considering the impact on the inputs. A new solution should provide management with access to more information and better reporting. However, it is critical to consider where that additional information will come from. Will the front line users be required to input twice the amount of information in order to drive the reporting? Is it necessary? In some cases the answer is simply – Yes, it is necessary, but in others there may be an opportunity to streamline the inputs to make the user experience more appealing.
These are a few suggestions that could make for a smoother transition to your new CRM solution.
If you are interested in learning more about how Navantis can assist your business with successfully implementing a CRM solution, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.