Making CRM Implementation and Process Updates As Smooth As Possible

While CRM implementation is often transformative to an organization's success, it can be challenging for employees to learn how to successfully operate the new software and then adopt new procedures and business processes.

Here are five tips for making the initial implementation and new feature introductions as smooth as possible:

1. Explain the benefits of CRM to your team and your leadership

Many of your employees and even your leadership may be skeptical about the new CRM. In order to facilitate an effective implementation, explain the benefits and make sure that everyone is committed to the same goal. When employees see leadership engaging with the new CRM solution and supporting it, you will notice more trust and confidence and increased likelihood of successful uptake. Communicate your plans and the benefits to the business process and the skepticism with be extensively mitigated.

2. Provide the right follow-up training and ongoing training and support

It is imperative that you don’t just provide training for CRM software implementation. Equally important is providing support and follow up after the training. Your budget should include funds for ongoing training and support or your initial training investments may be lost. We know this because as soon as training ends, most of the information that employees have learned will be forgotten. This is especially true of employees who are not provided with support and the ability to try and perfect their new skills. Online guidance software can provide your team with the skills required to immediately implement new skills. Support also requires follow up. Be sure to connect with your employees about their possible feedback at various stages in the process. This will go far in preventing obstacles to implementation, or a need for retraining, which is costly and which negatively effects productivity.

3. Ensure successful information migration

When companies are facing new implementation of CRM software, it is imperative that the right data is moved from the older system to the new one. Transferring information can make everyone nervous, so prepare well for this. Ensure that a backup plan is created and that you have confidence in the new system so no data is lost in the process. Decide together what needs to go and what needs to stay, and be sure to do this thoroughly. Hesitant employees often want to cling to every old document, but by using this opportunity to clear out and correct, you will save time and energy in the long run. Finally, be sure to do a test migration so you can prepare for any possible issues during the transfer.

4. Don't rush the process and don't rush your team

When introducing a new system, it is imperative that you take the time you need to make sure that no process is overlooked. Build confidence in your employees and your leadership by taking prepared and conscious steps. Your team will be less likely to stress or hesitate about implementation if the process is not hurried. Hurrying causes stress and frustration for employees which will soon turn into frustration for customers. Take your time and make sure no details are overlooked and that communication is well done. A good way to smooth out the implementation process is by offering onscreen guidance, such as WalkMe, to make sure that CRM training sticks.

5. Monitor progress and resistance

Collect statistical data to uncover use of CRM. Identify those who have yet to successfully implement the software and connect with them about their resistance. Use the data you collect to uncover any specific issues which may need to be adjusted or changed in order to build efficiency and productivity in your team. Collecting the right analytic and metric data will help you better understand the obstacles and successes.

In the digital world we live in, a symbiosis between the CRM and the employees working with it is critical to the success of any business. I hope the points above will set you and your CRM on the path to the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Amanda McDonald is Sales Administrator at WalkMe and the lead editor and author of Rainforce blog - dedicated to all things Salesforce. Follow her @RainforceBlog

Amanda McDonald
Amanda McDonald

Amanda McDonald is Sales Administrator at WalkMe and the lead editor and author of Rainforce blog ( - dedicated to all things Salesforce. Follow her @RainforceBlog

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