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The Panacea and Pitfalls of Hosted CRM Software

Failed CRM User Adoption Equals a Futile CRM Implementation

Institutionalizing CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a cultural change. Such change often moves people from their comfort zone and therefore requires a well balanced combination of sponsorship, incentives, self serving benefits and multiple training tools. Evaluate software solutions for several key elements which can positively influence user adoption.

  • Look for well organized and indexed online instruction and documentation. Applications which provide page level context-sensitive help put assistance directly at the source of the question and applications which go a step further to provide help for all fields on the page further reduce user questions.

  • Look for applications which provide online training vehicles such as computer-based (wizard driven or Flash) online tutorials which allow users to consume training at any time and at their own pace.

  • Evaluate whether your can supplement online resources with live vendor recurring or on-demand classroom instruction, offered over the Internet or on-site.

  • Validate that users can easily customize views, pages or navigation. Requiring different roles and even different individuals in the same role to view the same pages in the same workflow or work sequence fashion is a recipe for failed user adoption. People work differently and their system information must support what individuals do best to be successful.

  • Review system usability with volumes of data in mind. Reviewing system usability while only looking at accounts with a few records or minimal history is of little help. Recognize that over the course of a customer relationship the account information will grow substantially. To review the account presentation in a real world environment, enter several contacts for an account, several dozen activities or correspondence items and several sale opportunities and then determine usability.

  • System navigation which requires users to drill-down through multiple screens to get to the desired data or detail and then drill back up through those pages before being able to move to the next desired account or other location are cumbersome, counter productive and prone to relentless user complaints. Ease-of-use is scored when a user can get to wherever they want from wherever they are. Test this requirement thoroughly.

  • Don’t underestimate the training required. While vendor claims of reduced training are somewhat founded, user instruction will always be required and organizations typically under-budget this line item.

Opening up customer information to the enterprise can first appear concerning to the primary account manager who manages an individual account relationship. Not knowing who is potentially making changes to the account or deleting account information can leave sales professionals and account managers uneasy. To empower all staff with customer information while at the same time countering the concerns of customer record integrity, a CRM system should provide account level security and a detailed audit trail for any and all customer record modifications. The audit trial should display all changes made to a customer record and indicate the user, date and time changes were made.

One Size Fits All CRM Strategies Generally Fit Few ...  More CRM Journey

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