notepad for change

Employees are calling in sick, management is nervous, babies are crying, dogs barking in the background and the sky outside is bright red… Does this sound like your business when you implement changes? Don’t be afraid, we can walk you through how to prepare the team for upcoming changes to allow the team to embrace, not reject a new CRM system.
As humans, we are naturally not crazy about change. It’s human nature to want stability and consistency. So, how do we naturalise change in a business environment?

Tell your team in advance

When’s the first time you should tell your team about the possibility of a CRM being implemented? The answer is as soon as possible! While you may not like to involve staff in the preliminary investigations (or maybe you would!), as soon as you know that you’ll be going forward with a CRM, you should tell staff.

This gives your team enough time to start getting used to the idea, before systems start changing.

A good idea is to put together a simple introductory package that lets them know what a CRM is and how it helps everyone. Something cool that gets them excited. It might be an Infographic, PowerPoint, PDF or if you are feeling super creative, a video!

Allow input from the entire team

Perhaps the most important part of building a new CRM is the customisation of the system to suit your business. Once you choose your CRM vendor, your implementation partner will be working with you to gather as much information on the business as possible, including:

  • Lead Management Process
  • Sales Process
  • After Sales Process
  • Data points to capture at each stage of the processes
  • Reporting and Dashboard requirements

During this data gathering stage, it is critical that you involve the entire team, especially team members at the ‘coal face’ who deal directly with customers or answer phones. These team members will have critical insight to the current pain points, the ways to make the business processes easier and key suggestions for the implementation partners to build on.

One of the best ways to get this input is to put a notepad (or word document) in front of every single team member for a minimum of one week.

In this document, they should have a couple of boxes with the headings:

  • What is causing me pain with our current processes?
  • What could make things easier for me?
  • Is there information would you like to see in one click?
  • Are there repetitive tasks I do daily?

We have created a super simple document that you can download here.

After your defined time period expires, gather all of the documents and start to identify recurring issues and ideas. Build a consolidated document and distribute it to all the participating staff members and tell them that these are the key issues that the business is going to fix with the new CRM system. Work with your implementation partner to ensure that most, if not all items are addresses in immediate or future phases.

When the solution is launched, the staff are more likely to adopt it because it is what they have asked for, not what has been thrown on to them to deal with!

Let’s get to training

Once they’ve gotten used to the idea of a CRM, they may be nervous about how to use it. Whilst it is true that CRMs are complex solutions, they’ve been built to make data entry and discovery as frictionless and intuitive as possible.

The next step in your prep is starting to train your team. Depending on the CRM vendor you choose, there are a wealth of very simple, intuitive training modules that can pre-prepare the team before the big launch day. One example of this is Salesforces’ trailhead, a training website dedicated to the Salesforce CRM Training platform.

Whilst it would be great if all your staff had the time or patience to self-train, in most cases this is simply just not the case.

If you are using an implementation partner to assist in the customisation of your chosen CRM system – they should also be offering training packages to your team. These will usually vary from 2 hour – basic ‘quick start’ user training, all the way to full day sales, marketing and administrator training.

You also have the option of doing stepped training, introducing new parts of the system at different times which brings us to our next point…

Implement your solution in phases

Your entire package for your CRM might be fairly extensive – there are a lot of different components that you can pick and choose for business. If you try to get your team to start working with the whole thing at once, they’re likely to pull back.

We’ve got to walk before we can run, which is why it’s recommended to implement your CRM solution in phases. You might like to start with your sales module for example, and then add in a customer service module when your team is comfortable with the sales process.

Communication at every stage

Whilst this stage could be merged with the stage around team input, being a good manager means really listening to your team. What are their pain points (see above), their fears, what do they like? By having open communication channels throughout your entire implementation, you can avoid alienating your staff.

This may mean extra meetings about the CRM before and during the decision to go ahead with it, even many months after the entire package is up and running. It may mean one on ones, surveys, and more. You want to ensure that your staff feel like they are being heard, and for the quiet ones, elicit honest responses from them.

Related Tag:  Salesforce Basic Training

Don’t forget to view the other parts to our CRM Series:

When Does Your Business Need a CRM?


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