|My new colleague Veronica Kamph and
Last week I held two presentations at Techdays in Sweden, one on how to use Dr. John P. Kotter’s 8
step method for Change management when implementing CRM to reduce the risk of bad user adoption and making sure that you make the organization accept the system. This presentation was a re-visit as I have held it before several times and presentations are just like training, they do get better and better the more times you do them. I have also written about it on this blog.
I also held a presentation on how to set up CRM 2015 from scratch and see how much could be done in an hour. However, I was very unlucky as the CRM provisioning service was unavailable during the time of the demo, after a few minutes of trying, I switched to an instance I had set up the day before. The effect of this, however, was that the full effect of the demo, to set it up from scratch, was not fully achieved, but if you have not seen Dynamics CRM in action before, do check it out as I show some of the extensibility features and how easy they are to work with. And for those of you who wonder, the CRM provisioning service is very seldom down, this was the first time I had ever experienced it.
MVP, Founder and CTO at CRM-konsulterna AB
”The new CRM was nice but there were some bugs and Excel is still so much easier, so I just went back to it.”
This is the 8:th part in the series on using Dr. John Kotters 8 step method for implementing new CRM systems in an organization. We have now gotten as far as the system being accepted by users and that they have started using it.
During and just after the initial implementation of the new CRM system users are often good sports and give it a shot, and there might also be strong ambassadors in the people that were driving the implementation. This can often result in the fact that users use the system to a decent level in the beginning.
Managers are also often quite diligent in the beginning of a system implementation to make sure that their employees use the system.
However, the strong driving people might change role or move to Other companies. It is not uncommon that these people are more entreprenuerial and creators than the people who are good at maintaining a system. So, they move on to other projects and tasks. Managers will also get other priorities on their tables, often making the CRM system, not as important.
|Keep up the pressure
Other common things that I have seen are that the system might also have some bugs and quirks that might not have showed up in the implementation phase or might have surfaced during later upgrades and these might or might not be surfaced to the people responsible for the CRM system. If not quickly rectified, the risk is substantial that users will revert to their previous manner of working, or some other easy way of managing their own productivity. This is most commonly using Excel to, for instance, keep track of which leads have been contacted.
Dr. Kotter emphezises in this chapter that it is important to constantly reinvigorate the change, in this case the new CRM system with new updates. For instance, making sure that you listen to the suggestions and problems that users are experiencing and acting on these. The passionate ambassadors for change can also be used in this phase to energize the rest of the workforce. Also measuring the use in the system, to make sure that users actually are using it, is important, so that you do not think that they are when it fact they are finding other ways to store information. If left without action for too long, you risk large problems with trying to get user back on track. This is especially true and complicated in large and distributed organizations when you cannot physically monitor what users actually are doing by looking over their shoulders. If team managers are also part of the problems, or perhaps managers in even higher levels, the problems are naturally of even higher magnitude.
MVP, CTO and Founder at CRM-konsulterna AB
The previous five posts on this subject, regarding how to use John P Kotters Change management method called the 8 steps of change have discussed the first 4 steps of the process. It is important to understand that each step in the method builds on the step before. So, to go throught the previous steps to where we are;
First we need to make the decision makers in our organization really aware of the urgency, this should be by being very concrete, what is the benift of using CRM, what is the cost of lost customers, how can CRM change this etc.
When we have gotten the attention of the organizations decision makers, we need to make sure that a guiding coalition is put together that has the right mandate for the job. This typically, from a CRM perspective needs to be people from both the business end, IT and Other related areas like architecture or information management.
It is then vital to create a vision for the CRM implementation that will resonate with the people that are going to be affected by the new CRM system.
Communicating the CRM Vision
Ok, so we have a great vision, should we post it on the Company Intranet and then Everything will be fine? If you have any experience of marketing you probably know that this is not true. When trying to market your Products or services, repeated ongoing and very deliberate action is required to make sure that the vision is properly communicated to all the people that are or will be affected by the new CRM system.
I would also recommend testing to see if the message has been properly received by a couple of the the people that were meant to receive it, as Communication is not so much about what is sent, more about what is recieved.
Ok, so this is done, you show the sales people the new CRM and then a couple of weeks later you happen to be standing by the coffemachine at the Customer, some salesguys are standing there but nobody knows you as your a Consultant and one of the older and most senior salesguys starts bragging to the younger:
”Well I talked to the CEO during our latest golf round and we agreed that I don’t have to waste my time on the new CRM system”
Or you might hear this from a sales guy:
”The new CRM system is great, but I get bonuses for orders, not for posts and likes, so I know where my priorities are”
With opposition like this, in one case a senior sales executive and the other a bonus system that works against the implementation of CRM, the organization is going to have a tough time getting people to Work in CRM. It is vital for CRM implementations that anything stopping people from acting on the change needs to be removed, in the case of the senior sales executive, I would say it was a very bad decision from the CEO to let him slip, but I can understand it as well based on the amount of Revenue some of the senior sales people generate. However, he cannot be allowed to brag about it.
In the case of the bonus system, perhaps implementing some gamification to make CRM more fun or revise the bonus system to build on CRM might be better.
It is also important to elevate those people who choose to embrace the new CRM. Perhaps have an early adoptor competion.
MVP, CEO and owner at CRM-konsulterna AB
Why are is the organization implementing CRM? What is the vision or message that we want to communicate to the organization? Is this a vision that will resonate with the organization?
“The reason we are changing to Dynamics CRM 2015 is that the old CRM system was based on VB6”.
“We are moving to Dynamics CRM since the cost per seat is a lot better than Salesforce”.
How do you Think the two visions above will resonate with salespeople that need to take time out of their busy days to put a lot of time and effort into Learning a new CRM system, often with new processes. The thing is that the reasons above are both very logical, common and true, but when creating a vision for change it is essential for the vision to resonate with the people it is to be communicated to.
For instance, a vision for the CRM system can be that by centralizing Customer information and making it easily available at all times of Customer interaction, traversing previously impassable organizational division. By sharing Customer information across Corporate divisions the all Customer interactions, it is our strong belief that the Customer experience of our Company will be greatly increased, which in the long term will increase Customer loyalty and decrease Customer churn.
Other areas that are typical for CRM is increased business productivity, more time with customers, information at your fingertips with the mobile/tablet applications. It is also important to not use too much Corporate buzzwords, especially if the recipients of your vision are less formal as these people tend to not buy in to the lingo of sales and management. Why not try it out on a few representatives from each of the roles that your are targeting, and see what they Think. Try to ask the questions in an open manner, for instance “How should we improve this to make the most conservative of your colleagues buy into this?”
The example above is a short and general the vision is a bit longer, but not too long, maybe being divided into different parts. For more detail, please see John P Kotter’s Leading Change.
MVP, CEO and owner at CRM-konsulterna AB
”Yeah, I am your go-to guy for the CRM project. But Joe, the CSO, makes all the decisions and has the money, but is not really involved, he won’t really be using the system either, neither will Jill, our CEO.”
How do you Think this CRM Project will turn out?
The stories are many of CRM Projects run by individuals or Groups in organizations with more or less just influential power. All real decision power in these situations reside in individuals that are not directly involved in the CRM Project.
The reason for this can usually be found in the the first stage of this process, if you have been unable to create a sense of urgency in the top echelons of your organization regarding the CRM implementation, the risk is large that none of the decision makers from these echelons will be involved as sponsors to the Project.
In CRM Projects, it is important to get people from both thte IT and the business side of the Company to buy in to the Project and be an Active part of the Project. The CIO and CSO (Chief Sales Officer) or what you might call them, might be involved as sponsors and they might assign people from their organizations to be part in the actual week-to-week Project Group with more limited mandate.
But, the better you do your work with step one the more attention you will probably get from the decision makers, so in smaller organizations, some of the decision makers might even find the Project so important that they will get involved in the nitty gritty. For better or worse.
Dr. John Kotter in his book, Leading Change, in this chapter on creating a guiding coalition also outlines some of the people that you should try to avoid having in your guiding coalitions. If you are interested, do read it!
I ran this presentation, on how to user the Kotter 8 step method in CRM implementations, again this monday on the CRM User Group Global Chapter Meeting in Sweden. It was a great meeting and I really enjoy seeing users meet Other users. For more information on the User Group, check out www.crmug.com. If you are a user of Dynamics CRM, I am sure you will like it and the more people we get to the meetings the more value it will bring to all participants!
MVP, CEO and owner at CRM-konsulterna AB