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How to prevent CRM systems to become an investment ruin

Driven by digitalization and the increasing availability of customer data more and more companies invest in CRM systems in Sales. They are aiming to benefit from transparency, a holistic customer view, more effective sales management and more efficient working. In a nut shell: they thrive to improve sales efficiency and/or effectiveness.

Only few CRM implementations are successful

However, these hopes of many companies are very often not becoming reality. Among 1.337 companies surveyed, only 25 percent have noticed an improvement of their sales performance after the introduction of a CRM system. [i]

The primary reason for this lies in the low user adoption of the CRM system by Sales. This might be due to a variety of reasons: some sales agents do not know all functionalities of the CRM system, others do not want to adapt their deep-rooted working habits or user adoption is not promoted by the management.

Ensuring success of a CRM implementation by the right set of measures

There are many measures that increase user adoption significantly and ensure a high usage if they are combined effectively. There are two categories of measures: those that focus on the sales team (including trainings, fostering by management or the implementation of gamification) and measures that pay more attention to the CRM system itself. Here the key to high user adoption is an improved usability and the availability of a mobile CRM solution.

With the help of our “Customer Adoption Program” we support companies comprehensively to identify reasons for low user adoption as well as derive and implement right measures to increase the efficiency of the CRM system significantly.

This process is composed of 3 stages:

  1. Status quo analysis: Clarification of the objective of the CRM system, identification of user groups and their needs, description of the sales processes, detailed evaluation of the usage of the CRM system
  2. Measures: Quantitative and qualitative target planning for adoption/usage of CRM system, conception and development of a set of measures based on a target/actual comparison between target planning and status quo, prioritization and implementation of measures
  3. Controlling: Determining target achievement and taking counter-measures if target is not reached

Acceptance and use of a CRM system are impacted by different factors. Accordingly, it is important to involve all stakeholders and users (f. e. through interviews or surveys) in the course of a CRM adoption program. This is the only way to gain a holistic view of all reasons that adversely impact user adoption and develop a focused CRM adoption program, and implement it.

What is of particular importance for the success of such a program is to not see the implementation and usage of a CRM system as an IT problem, but as an interdepartmental mission. This will allow you to prevent the investment into the future performance of your Sales team to become an investment ruin.

Feel free to contact us!

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Sources:

[i] Raman, P., Wittmann, C. M. & Rauseo, N. A. (2006). Leveraging CRM for sales: The role of organizational capabilities in successful CRM implementation, in: Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, Vol. 26, Nr. 1.

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