Increasing User Acceptance of CRM

A traditional complaint about CRM systems is that the users don’t use them.  If you’ve already invested money in MS Dynamics CRM then this is primarily a management issue, but there is plenty you can do to increase CRM usage within your business by addressing some of the most common gripes:

What’s in it for me? – Often users see CRM as a monster to be fed without ever getting any benefit themselves.  For each group of users, try and identify some real benefits for them, such as:

  • Time saved writing up a weekly activity report.
  • Accessing customer communication they would previously have been oblivious to.
  • Analysing and forecasting based on real information rather than guesswork.

Then, get them to understand the benefits being brought to the business as a whole and how it aligns with your strategy and objectives.

It takes too long to input information – You need to look critically at the information being captured in each part of the system and if you can’t answer the questions, “who is responsible for inputting this information, who is responsible for keeping up to date and who actually makes use of it?”, then you are probably capturing something that has little or no worth.  Remove unwanted fields and focus on the important data.

It’s too complex – This is often because of poor design or lack of training.  Try cleaning up the user interface with some of these techniques:

  • Clean Up the Navigation – remove entities or relationships that aren’t in use by updating security roles or by editing the site map directly.
  • Make unused fields “not searchable” – This removes them from the Advanced Find lists, making them shorter and more familiar.
  • Use your own terminology – If the out of the box field is called “Territory” but your business refers to “Regions” change the name and labels.
  • Reveal fields/sections/tabs when required – If certain information is only required for a particular customer type, use Business Rules or JavaScript to hide the fields unless that type is selected.

Training is important, but another good idea is to try and build up “local experts” in each department or office.  They can then help spread the word on good practice and answer day to day queries on getting the best out of CRM.

I can’t access it when I need it – Have you tried the mobile/tablet apps?  Have your users experienced CRM in a browser and within Outlook?  These are all great ways to interact with your CRM system and make it easier than ever to get to the information you need.

One last tip – experiment with using Goals.  Setting goals for sales activity and results and making them visible through dashboards is a great way of introducing a competitive element into CRM usage.  Nobody wants to see themselves or their team lagging behind and so will make sure they record their activity and keep their pipeline up to date.

Following some of these ideas should not only increase user adoption, but could even take you a step closer to the Holy Grail – making the use of CRM enjoyable, or even fun!