3 Critical Barriers for a CRM Solution's User Adoption

Customer Relationship Management is largely being adopted by organizations across the globe seeking for better understanding of customers and higher engagement with them. Better access to customer information aids in decision making and leads to an overall increase in profitability through higher customer satisfaction. Thus, more and more businesses are establishing a CRM framework within their company. But, often organizations face serious hindrances in adopting and implementing a CRM solution.

According to research firm Gartner, over 60 percent of companies that implement CRM lacked agreement on goals for their projects prior to the implementation. Matching a CRM plan with specific end-goals and business objectives is largely considered to be the top prerequisite for success. CRM projects need to be placed within the context of the general business strategy. End-goals must be determined which are specific, measurable and time-oriented. Once the goals are understood, one can concentrate on specific attributes of the CRM plan to ensure that it is capable of meeting the set goals.

Key barriers to user adoption:
1. Data Accuracy
Lack of accurate data or relevant records is a major cause for preventing user adoption. This is very critical when you go live eith a new CRM solution. Users often resist using a CRM solution if they feel that the data provided is riddled with errors or incomplete. If sales or service teams do not trust the available data, they will surely not use it to close deals or handle customers. This leads to complete wastage of the implemented CRM solution. Data is the lifeline of sales teams. If they feel that they cannot rely on the provided data, they will resist using the CRM system and stick to their traditional methods instead. Hence, management needs to facilitate data cleansing and also integration with other core systems to ensure that users get accurate and up-to-date data which they can put to action.

2. Training
Lack of training can be a major reason why users often deter from logging-in, especially for customer-facing roles where being efficient is the key. Effective CRM training is crucial to get users on-board and hence, management must spend some time making detailed training plans. These need to be tailor-made for different users or set of users depending on their usage and role in the company. CRM training should encompass the entire process to be put into effect by the user for their daily tasks. Right from entering the data to pulling out reports which can help them in their daily activities.

3. How Will I Benefit?
Often it is the attitude of users which prevents adoption. If employees feel that using the software is not helping them or consider it as a policing tool, they will be reluctant to use it. One method to overcome this is by establishing accountability at the management level. Managers need to ensure that employees understand the need and benefits of using the CRM software and are provided with the correct incentives and encouragement to adopt it. Organizations can also take specific steps to facilitate adoption prior to, during and post the technology implementation. Beyond providing the employees with appropriate briefings and training, they need to be given the proper incentive to facilitate adoption. These can be monetary or in the form of added bonuses.

Implementing CRM solutions can have many advantages for the business, if done effectively. But if the plan fails, it can lead to major losses of time and resources for the company. This is why it is crucial for the top decision makers to analyze business needs and choose the right CRM software. Companies must carefully study and eliminate these barriers in the early stages - this will ensure their CRM implementation is successful in enabling them to achieve their business goals and customer strategy.