This article is adapted from our eBook, Best Practices for a Successful CRM Implementation. We recommend taking a look at the whole eBook for a broader perspective on implementing a CRM.
When you roll out a CRM, you face the challenge of getting your firm to use the new system. This process starts with successfully training your staff. Users who aren’t properly trained won’t use the CRM, preventing your firm from reaping the benefits of a well-implemented system. If possible, take the extra time to train different user groups individually.
“I found that generic, company-wide training is easy to ignore as most people think they are a ‘special’ case, needing the system tailored to them or their specific service line. If I focus my training on them or just their team, they can’t ignore our firm-wide initiative.”
- Courtney Kearney, CRM Database Administrator at Smith Seckman Reid, Inc.
Even after training, people are likely to have questions. Make advice available. If you work for a firm with multiple locations, find a volunteer at every office and train them to be a CRM expert. Pay attention to the most common questions and make answers available in documents on the firm’s intranet or give users access to your CRM’s support center. Send out weekly tips and tricks about your CRM and understand that training is not a single event.
Using the CRM must be a part of your company culture. This is a crucial component of making implementation a success. Do not let your CRM become “that thing marketing tried a while ago.” Host monthly lunch-and-learns to revisit relevant functionality and present new features. Circulate any success stories you may hear about where the system helped land a deal or otherwise worked effectively. Depending on your firm, you may also need to coordinate with management to add incentives or mandates to get users to start putting data into the system. Some firms we work with find it effective to tie expense reimbursements to Cosential data entry. Ultimately, it will fall to you to be sensitive to your company’s culture and do whatever seems prudent.