Setting up your CRM enablement process to achieve total adoption success for LO teams

Written by
Chris King

Having implemented CRM for over 30 years (focus on CRM for Mortgage organizations), we’ve seen progress in the level of success in adoption of the platform in organizations, but it can still be an elusive challenge for many teams in the space.

As the CRM industry has matured, there have been many books, articles and papers written on the topic. Exploring and reflecting on the ins and outs and do’s and don’ts of CRM Adoption has certainly made a positive impact, but many implementations still fail at achieving what we call a "tier 1 transition," and the benefits of the CRM are underutilized costing time, money and missed sales opportunities. 

💡In most generically administered surveys, CRM adoption hovers around a dismal 25%! 

Restating the Obvious

Thankfully, most executives and management teams now understand the basics involved in a successful adoption:

  • Company Culture – Addressing and accepting (or changing) the current culture of the organization as it relates to deploying and using new Technology. (Platform usage required vs "optional")
  • Executive Support & proper Staffing – The need for the Executive Team to convey 100% support for the CRM implementation by allocating the proper staffing to implement and support the initiative
  • Selecting the right Partner & Technology – Conducting the proper vetting process for the partner and CRM solution that best fits and aligns with the needs of the organization now and in the future
  • Defining the Benefit – As with any technology purchase, the need to accurately define the perceived or desired benefit and results
  • Change Management – Understanding, preparing for and managing all of the change that will need to take place including a well-thought-out internal commercialization plan

The not-so-obvious

💡Even if you score a 100 on executing the above obvious items, you actually are still missing a huge piece of the recipe for success.  

The following are the “not-so-obvious” challenges that need to be addressed if you are going to get closer to a 100% TOTAL adoption:

  • Defining acceptable “Adoption” – Benchmarks, specific OKRs, timelines and full-circle support and project management (most successful adoptions are a long-term process)
  • Levels of Adoption – Setting various levels of usage based on team roles, and specific performance expectations: (top LO "power users" vs. introductory beginners)
  • Users as Individuals – Establishing user profiles tailored to the individual needs, targets, personal workflows and efficiency templates: (one-size does not fit all)
  • User Education & Support – Training managed as an ongoing, never-ending stream of educational and awareness communications to users: (ongoing enablement, support and additional tailoring)
  • Users as Clients – Viewing your users as clients or "customers" utilizing the CRM platform for the organization results in a true adoption win for all: (periodic educational/training webinars & road shows with ongoing communications and user testimonials shared with your user base converts resistance to acceptance.)
  • Users as Team members - There can be a vast difference in needs and user responsibilities when working as part of an LO or Branch "Team".  The dynamics for communications and coordinating responsibilities within the CRM platform is critical for success and must be considered as part of the plan for the User experience.
  • User Listening – Review features being underutilized, hang-up points and general feedback to generate enablement use-cases and then internal testimonials to spread the word on success (feedback surveys, lunch and learns and team huddles specifically set up for CRM enablement)
  • Gamification – Creating a reward-cycle and sometimes competitive learning platform can also be used to enhance/encourage CRM adoption:  (Be sure to reward and recognize the behavior that you are driving to promote with your users.)

Final Thoughts

When it comes to user adoption and roll-outs for CRM platforms, it's essential to keep in mind the obvious and not-so-obvious factors that will make or break your implementation.

Adoption is not going to happen on its own; instead, it requires comprehensive strategy, execution, and nurturing. Moreover, you need to identify the various targeted roles for adoption within a certain job position or workflow. Awareness, training, and feedback from your "customer” is key, and you’re going to have to do some internal commercialization to get the word out.

The "secret" recipe for success must include a combination of the right CRM platform and technology, strategy and implementation team managed by those with a multitude of past experience negotiating the above-mentioned areas of importance for your next CRM project!


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