How to Increase CRM User Adoption

According to a report by Markets and Markets Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software Market will be worth $ 24.22 Billion By 2018. In fact, CRM and ERP software are the two biggest category spends for an enterprise. Software projects of all nature and sizes fail for a variety of reasons ranging from requirement gathering to changing requirement, CRM deployment takes a different nuance and directly impacts CRM user adoption.

A major reason behind the staggering rate of CRM project failure is a lack of user adoption – arguably the toughest part of CRM implementation. Factors like slow systems and inadequate training often come in the way of optimal CRM implementation. While a CRM implementation is a systematic change that requires time to take effect, the payoff in terms of granular visibility of a corporation’s clients with its stakeholders is worth the effort in the long run. A perfectly-executed CRM project holds the promise to help your business realize its full potential and add value to your organization.

Admittedly, user adoption is a tough challenge to address. To increase your CRM user adoption, there are certain strategies that can be adopted.

Select an Ideal CRM

With hundreds of CRM’s out there ranging from Salesforce to Zoho some businesses make the mistake of choosing a CRM platform first and then designing business processes around it. Ideally, one should select a CRM that is the best fit for one’s business requirements. It is the CRM that should conform to your processes and not vice versa. While making this decision, choose a system that is user-friendly since ultimately everything boils down to user adoption. For instance, you could select a CRM model that users may already be familiar with, say, Salesforce.

Design Processes and Strategies

Involve your key players in the strategy formulation and process mapping process so that they are prepared in advance for the shift. This will also make them eager to welcome the change since they have contributed to the decision. Discuss how it will help achieve your business goals and expected challenges in implementing the CRM.

Spread Awareness

Educate various stakeholders as to how CRM execution will help it better engage with existing clients and gain new ones. Some of the employees may be reluctant to adjust to the change, handhold them in understanding the process and once the employees understand how it benefits them on day-to-day life, they would be more accepting of it. One of the ways to execute this is through setting up demonstrations to help them understand the workflow, value proposition of decreased time and effort in carrying out daily tasks.

Training and Management

Some corporations in a hurry to roll out and start using the CRM speedily, hurry through the training process, this is a faulty strategy, do not skip the training; allocate sufficient time and budget towards it. Since the entire staff cannot be trained in one go, invest in CRM torchbearers who will receive more thorough and detailed training, once they are adept, they can evangelize the CRM advantages and best practices and help train the rest of the staff. These individuals would also be able to offer support to those struggling with adaption.


Expecting to implement CRM overnight is wishful thinking. Adoption takes time, in measured stages. After every stage, schedule user review and follow-up sessions, allowing users to discuss the challenges they have experienced so far and how they can be minimized. Any doubts or questions related to CRM, especially since CRM Solutions also evolve, can also be addressed during such sessions. This will keep the team updated and when new hires come on board, they catch up too.


Customize and personalize your CRM based on the feedback that you have received. This will ensure that resources enjoy using it. Start with some basic user fields and tailor the CRM as time passes by. Experiment with designs and color schemes. Most importantly, integrate this CRM with your pre-existing systems and new ones to eliminate the double handling of data and information. Tools like Yesware and Outreach and quite a few other Appexchange apps can be integrated to automate processes

Ready, Set, Goal!

Continue reviewing your employees and create reports on team performances. Set measurable goals for teams and hold them accountable for their achievement. Reward them when they realize this goal; the reward system acting as continual motivation.