How to Increase User Adoption During CRM Implementations: Consultant Considerations

By Jon Immel | July 12, 2019

Preparing for a CRM or ERP implementation is not only a lot of work for clients, but also for consultants and other resources attached to a project. Throughout this blog, (the second blog in a series on User Adoption), we will be exploring what consultants do to aid user adoption during a CRM implementation (or any business software implementation). Review the first blog in this series to read more about what you can do throughout implementation to improve user adoption.

Core steps to improve user adoption:

  1. Gather Requirements

One of two main roles of a consultant working on software implementations is to gather business requirements. The other is to design or configure the software being implemented. Through a variety of tools and conversations, consultants extract as many business requirements as possible. Doing so effectively requires the time of numerous employees representing different departments within a client’s organization. It is possible that one member of the marketing team may provide a majority of the details for a business process but neglects to include a couple of key components. Bringing in another member of the marketing team, or a member of the sales team that is involved with the process can fill in the blanks more easily.

  1. Involve Multiple End Users in the Process

In some projects, it is often difficult to have a group of end users representative of the entire company involved in the developing and testing of software. In some cases, end users are not involved throughout the process, and instead, the system is designed by a company technologist. This may result in a system that is not as friendly to the end users. By involving end users in the construction of the system and at the end during testing, there are multiple touchpoints where feedback can be provided. This will both increase end-user buy-in by continuously showing end users the improvements to the system, creating ownership among the members who provided feedback. Hopefully, this will influence end users to share the updates with fellow coworkers and create mutual anticipation for the implementation to improve company processes.

  1. User Experience

A client-centric approach is necessary for a successful end result. Your implementing partner should be speaking to a variety of end users to ensure the system created for you is not only beneficial but also engaging. Improved user experience can be created in the system through the following:

  • Job shadowing end users to ensure that every component of the old process is brought into the new one, and optimized.
  • Implementing data validation and auditing tools to ensure end users feel secure making changes to data
  • Keeping it simple

A good software partner provides the best possible service and ensures comfort transitioning from an old system or process to the new, improved system that has been created for you. By focusing on the User Experience and keeping it as simple as possible for the user, the result should be a system that will be intuitive and save staff members’ time.

  1. Technology Roll-out

When a company is implementing a new system, it is important that the benefits of the software are frequently shared before it releases. Once it finally releases, people will hang on to all of the benefits of the system and will adopt more willingly.

  • Continually involving staff in the system through steps 1 and 2 above, collecting feedback, will help do this work for you.
  • Hosting a ‘lunch and learn’ session or more informal training will allow a wider audience to understand more about the system and provide another opportunity for end users to learn more about the system.

A Note About Adoption

Ultimately, your implementing partner cannot directly impact whether your organization's User Adoption is set up to be successful without your help. Every company and user is nuanced, and it is difficult to change from an old system and process to a new one. All of these tips will help inspire change from inside of your company and can result in ​ successful implementation and ownership by your team. Your partner can configure and use best practices for implementation, suggest how training should be handled after the project’s go-live date, and provide support to ensure the best chance for success. But by getting buy-in from top to bottom from your team, and taking these tips into consideration, there is a higher chance for increasing User Adoption in your new system.

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