When first launching a business, it’s common for an entrepreneur to have a hand in all aspects of operations. You are likely the main point of contact for sales, dabble in the marketing yourself and keep the admin side up to date, while also finding time to actually carry out the product or service.
Unsurprisingly, this is rarely sustainable and, as your business grows and you acquire more employees, you find yourself out of the loop. It’s amazing how quickly this can happen. One month, you’re the one on the phone to the leads, the next you have clients you don’t even recognize.
Of course, you want your team to have autonomy in their work. After all, that’s the reason you hired them in the first place. But that doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to be siloed in your own company. What’s more, the rough-and-ready data and admin systems that were fine when it was just a few of you are now proving to not be up for the job.
You make the decision. It’s time to invest in a CRM platform. You do your research and find the perfect one for your company and growth stage.
Now the work begins as you face introducing a new CRM to your team.
The stats behind CRMs
It isn’t just anecdotal that CRMs are able to transform your business potential. Recent surveys show how important they are for ongoing success.
An incredible 91% of companies with over 10 people use a CRM and 74% of the survey’s respondents claim they provide better access to customer data and allow for a more personalized service. Even better, the average ROI for each dollar spent could be as high as $30.48.
But it isn’t all good news. Internal CRM adoption is crucial for customer experience and up to 91% of systems’ data is thought to be incomplete, stale, or duplicated every year. The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter how great your technology is, if people don’t use it, its incredible power is limited.
Onboarding your team
Make no mistake, purchasing your first CRM is both an incredible opportunity and a defining moment for your business. It’s important to set off with the right foot forward.
There is a common misconception that CRMs are only for sales teams. They certainly do help sales teams a lot, but they are also vital platforms for marketing success. That means that from the start, you should bring different departments together to get everyone on the same page.
The culture you set up now is what will exist going forward and promoting an environment of communication and information-sharing now will help you tenfold down the road.
Before we talk about your employees, it’s important to note that the success of a CRM largely depends on you as the boss. If you are not convinced by the platform and its potential, you are unlikely to convince your employees.
Before and after you purchase your chosen CRM, you need to make sure you understand it. Find time to sit down and go through all the features yourself, ideally with the support of a professional, before you even think about bringing it to your employees.
Understanding your employees
Whenever introducing a new CRM to your team, regardless of the department they’re from, you need to first understand how they’re thinking and the possible pain points they may have with adopting the new system.
A common issue that you may come up against has to do with what people are used to. Even if a particular way of doing something is not the most efficient way to do it, many employees will prefer it just because it’s more familiar.
While the CRM may be better overall, until they actually feel comfortable using it, they may not fully trust it. It’s not unusual to see new CRM users duplicate their processes by inputting data into the system while also keeping their own notes, whether on an excel, a simple project management platform, or whatever else.
There is always a learning curve involved in adopting a new system and if an employee knows that achieving a task will take longer in the short term than doing it the old way, they may be impatient to invest time in learning. Then again, they may not see the point at all and simply not believe that the CRM will make their lives easier.
Whatever the reason, the answer lies in training. Now, this doesn’t mean sending them a video and expecting them to figure it out on their own. Instead, you should set formalized training sessions over a determined period of time where everyone on the team comes together to see how it works.
During these sessions, problems and pain points will arise, which can be dealt with in upcoming training sessions. As long as they’re not too long and have clearly defined learning outcomes, the team should soon be on board.
Making it fun
If, for any reason, you find your team isn’t responding to the training and are displaying negative feelings towards the software, it might be time to rethink your approach. The issue in this case is probably to do with mindsets.
And mindsets can be changed.
Gamification is a powerful tool in any learning (and sales!) environment, and leveraging its power once more is bound to help. Not only is it more fun, but it should help tap into your team’s more competitive side.
Using gamification as a tool for adoption is pretty simple. All you need to do is identify the areas where winning is only possible by using the platform correctly.
For example, the calling features that are part of a CRM can drastically improve the number of prospects you can contact. By rewarding the salesperson who places the highest number of calls within a certain time period, you will quickly see results. You can also deduct points for not using the CRM.
The important thing is to get creative with it—and make it fun.
Purchasing a CRM is one of the most important steps in ongoing growth for small businesses. It can be a daunting task, but taking the time to choose the right platform and onboard your team with patience and diligence will undoubtedly boost team satisfaction and bear results in the short and long term.
If you’d like more help onboarding your team, we’d be more than happy to lend a hand. Just contact us and we’ll get back to you soon!