• February 14, 2022
  • By Tim Ferguson, writer and editor, Marketing Digest

Change Management for CRM Adoption: What You Need to Know

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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is crucial for any business to succeed in the longer run. And when you overhaul your entire business process, CRM cannot be left alone.

You’ll likely undergo change management that helps you adapt to the external business environment. But the success and failure of CRM initiatives largely hinge on how well you can handle change.

Business changes are less difficult and more successful when people are better prepared for and less resistant to change. And because of this, change is generally associated with having a negative impact. Changing the status quo may be a daunting task for many people, so how would you ensure a successful CRM deployment? 

A comprehensive change is only possible when you transform across people, tools, resources, and software. This means you might as well adopt a new CRM. If you plan to implement change management and CRM adoption is a part of it, you've come to the right place. 

Plan the New CRM adoption

Integrating new CRM in your sales strategy requires adequate planning. Once you identify the new CRM platform that aids change management, you will need to plan its implementation across multiple verticals to leverage its full potential.

But getting the best out of your CRM would demand analyzing all your current processes and identifying challenges that may come along the way. It is best to plan the right change management approach that minimizes disruptions among multiple teams. Here are some key questions to ask when you plan change management for CRM adoption.

  • What are we trying to automate using the new CRM? 
  • What are the ways to get hold of the correct data when we need it?
  • What are the best ways to integrate existing data into the new CRM? 

You may talk with your team about ways to effectively use the best of the CRM's new features. Plan and prepare for these changes before implementing a new CRM in a way to least disrupt your business operations.

Identify Change Advocates

A great way to adopt a new CRM includes recruiting one or two advocates from within the team to promote this shift. It is best to bring them in early, give them prior access, and allow them to evangelize the advantages of the new CRM system to their teammates.

Ensure that your change leaders are well versed with the tool, that they’ve recieved enough instructions and talking points to help promote its uses. This will facilitate the transition and help adopters with the actual deployment of CRM tools as the process moves forward.

Begin the trial period at the start of the month or quarter where there is little pressure to fulfill the sales target. This way, you will help change resistors quickly move toward new CRM adoption without any hassles.

Determine Incentive Systems

You want to ensure that employee engagement aligns with the set of goals that complements change management. Every team member should function in line with the new set of goals and strategies. And they should be appropriately rewarded in doing so given the considerable time and cost investments that CRM needs.

Every employee should desire to perform better with the correct incentive scheme. Building a rewards-based system that incorporates a wide variety of rewards is essential for the quick adoption of CRM among employees. 

Also, rewarding systems should not be focused on individual achievements, as that might obstruct the effective adoption of the CRM paradigm in the new setting. Therefore, try incorporating a more cohesive system that focuses on the internal, team-based incentives that encourage collaborative achievement of CRM goals.

Delegate Responsibility 

Implementing change is easy if it is coming from the top. This means those at the top of the decision-making funnel should take ownership of the change by setting objectives, taking action, and measuring the results. Those using the new CRM might need training and continuous communication to ensure that they are following the right path.

Senior managers and stakeholders need to identify team leaders who can train staff, give them hands-on experience with new tools, and adopt changes faster. Your change management project with CRM can only succeed if you tie individual goals with your change management vision.

Assemble line-of-business executives to take ownership of the transformation via objectives, activities, and results. Training, evaluation, and ongoing communication become necessary. You should delegate the responsibility for new CRM adoption to those who share your vision of change management, are regarded well by their peers, and are ready to support reforms.

The Bottom Line

Bringing about a change may significantly impact output and revenue. The success of any change management effort largely depends on how you deal with employees and how quickly they can adopt the new CRM. Therefore, take some time to pull together your teams and unite them behind a shared objective that might have a significant impact on your business’s future.

A well-thought-out and skillfully planned change management program would also consider human aspects of CRM. This means you need to be prepared for some major changes in culture, organizational structure, and team dynamics that are typically required to successfully implement CRM strategies in the longer run.

Tim Ferguson is a writer and editor of Marketing Digest. He enjoys writing about SEO, content marketing, online reputation management, social media, AI, and Big Data. When he is not writing and editing for Marketing Digest, he spends time on learning more about content marketing and getting better at it.

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