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What can management do to ensure user adoption?

Most sales and marketing executives clearly understand the benefits that a CRM/SFA solution can provide an organization, yet they often have one very common concern – “can we get our sales team to use it?”  This is a valid concern because without sufficient user adoption there will be minimal return on your CRM/SFA investment.

From a strategic perspective, what can be done to ensure that the sales force will embrace the solution?

Many times the best course of action to overcome this concern is to initially introduce only the features that will have the most direct benefit to the sales person.  As the sales team begins to see how the CRM/SFA solution will positively benefit them and they begin to embrace it, management can gradually add in the more administrative requirements.  Most often, key enhancements to business intelligence and other core enabling features can create quick ROI without immediately utilizing the full palette of CRM/SFA features.

As an example, a sales organization may offer the sales team business intelligence and advanced reporting capabilities so that sales can better understand customer opportunities, and then ask the team to start entering sales forecasts later in the process.  The key is to show the sales team “What’s in it for me?” early in the process so that there are less roadblocks coming from individuals as the implementation progresses.

The current state of where a sales team is in regards to reporting requirements and disciplines should also dictate the methods in which a CRM/SFA solution is deployed.  If a sales force is accustomed to the requirements of logging sales calls on an Excel spreadsheet and the CRM solution eases this entry process with a quick and easy activity form, it’s both a time saver and a big win for the sale team.

The fear of poor user adoption is a very valid concern; in fact it is the greatest culprit in most CRM/SFA deployment failures.  Before beginning any deployment, make sure you have a thorough implementation plan with a strategy to foster user adoption from the onset.

Ashley Parinello

Ashley Parinello is the Senior Digital Marketing Specialist at Tour de Force and has been with the organization since 2010. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University.

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By: Ashley Parinello

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