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Key ingredients to help drive adoption of your CRM (Part 1)


You decided implementing a CRM is the solution to your organizational challenges. If only my employees will start using the right system to track their opportunities, solve customer cases or reach out to prospective buyers using marketing campaigns, then the sky is the limit right? It is easy to believe the technology will be the silver bullet to all Marketing, Sales and Customer Service issues in your organization. Don't get us wrong, technology can be a fantastic enabler to better customer experience, process efficiency, customer insight etc. However, a recent Forrester study showed many CRM implementations do not achieve the required levels of adoption (and results) to be considered a success. Here is why...

In this survey, respondents named 4 key areas that were to blame for low adoption:

  • People: limited usage rates, too little attention to change management and training, difficulties in adjusting the company culture to the new way of working.
  • Process: undefined or inadequately defined business processes, exotic requirements driving complexity into the process as well as the system.
  • Strategy: Lack of clearly defined objectives, limited communication, organizational readiness and inappropriate governance during and after the project.
  • Technology and Data: Data quality issues, lack of insights and analytics, poor usability and lack of skills to implement adequately.  

Lucky for all of us, we can avoid these pitfalls if we simply invest time and effort from the start to ensure adoption is tackled head on. We at mplify believe adoption is simply the choice someone makes to take up or follow (an idea, method, or course of action). Surely, the stick method used by leadership is important and has to be available if all else fails. But really, people should be able to make a deliberate choice to pick up the new way of working and start using the tool simply because it makes their lives easier and achieves better results. It will benefit them as well as the company. 

For adoption to be high, people have to actively engage with the CRM program from the start. They must understand how changing their way of working will benefit the company objectives as well as themselves. If they follow the new process and use the CRM system correctly, then data will be accurate and clean. And this we like, because it facilitates a fact based discussion on how you can do better, improve the process, tool and support a culture of open communication about facts. It creates a culture of continuous improvement. 

9 key ingredients to high adoption rates

To drive adoption, there are 9 key ingredients that we found, if used effectively, will help drive adoption and make your CRM project a success:

  1. Paint a clear CRM vision and roadmap aligned to overall company objectives (program is vital!)

  2. Create a solid plan to demonstrate early wins and create a sustainable environment for success

  3. Assemble the right team to identify and remedy poor adoption, collaborate effectively and solicit regular feedback

  4. Engage key users early and often to go on the journey together, avoid resistance and become champions in the organization

  5. Couple the new CRM system with important process improvements (and simplifications)

  6. Create a CRM system that is clean, easy to use and focused on what a user in a certain role requires

  7. Active training and change management activities with targeted incentives and personalized education where needed

  8. Measure adoption, you can only manage what you measure!

  9. Ensure leadership uses the CRM and provides the right example and use some form of ‘stick’

In more than fifteen years of CRM implementation experience, we have found that addressing these 9 key ingredients creates a great basis for success. Create a plan that addresses how you will leverage each of these ingredients and personalize attention to each ingredient to your organization or project.

Eager to learn more and understand how to address each of these ingredients? Check back, contact us or subscribe to our newsletter. We will further explore  each ingredient in more detail in upcoming blogs. 


Topics: Salesforce customer success Adoption