Have a User Adoption Plan for Software

Before you sit down to implement any new software, have a “User Adoption Plan”.      Any software, no matter how great, can be easily derailed by users who refuse to use the new software.   Who hasn’t seen this?     Whenever we see sit down with a client and they complain about users not using the expensive new software they’ve purchased, we (mostly) gently tell them it’s  “management problem”, not a “user problem”.     How will you get your users to use the new software?   With CRM software especially, it’s not a slam dunk.  CRM Software like SugarCRM, which we believe to be really great software for all the right reasons, will not be used by the users unless you have a plan.

How do you get users to use CRM Software?

There’s no magic bullet for this, but there are best practices.    First best practice is that use of the new software is MANDATORY.    And there need to be consequences for not using it.   Second best practice is to require use of the software to support other activities.   For example, if you have a weekly meeting to review sales activities or the new business pipeline, and if you use reports at that meeting, require the reports to be generated from the CRM Software.   No more Excel reports for the sales meetings.   If you have a weekly meeting to review customer service activity for the prior week, make sure all the reports you use at the meeting are generated from the CRM Software.   We know some companies that provide extra compensation for users that use the software and decrease commissions for users that don’t.   This isn’t the best approach for all companies, but we’ve seen it used successfully.

There are many other techniques to use to gain user adoption.    However, the first step is to be aware that user adoption will be your biggest challenge, bigger than training, bigger than data conversion, and certainly bigger than actually even selecting the right software.  There’s no magic bullet, but there is some magic to it.   The magic is in having a plan for it.