The CRM Software Adoption checklist is a simple yet important set of principles, practices, and perspectives an enterprise should consider during a CRM transformation project. There are many reasons CRM transformation programs fail and one of the key reasons is the lack of adoption among the key users.

The CRM software adoption checklist should be an integral part of the overall CRM Transformation Change Management Plan.

Principles, Practices, and Perspective of CRM Software Adoption:

  1. Have a coherent message on why the CRM transformation and the new generation systems and processes are needed. Emphasize the impact of the CRM transformation on revenues, customers and company’s top line.
  2. Identify key stakeholders and influencers among these stakeholder segments.
  3. Focus on individual success. Succinctly answering “What is in it for me” is crucial to CRM software adoption.
  4. Involve key end user groups early and often and help them influence and shape the solution design and process re-engineering.
  5. Roll out functionality in bite-sized chunks that are complementary.
  6. Constantly communicate project status.
  7. Focus on user experience much more than a pure set of features and functions.
  8. Creative an incentive structures – including monetary and non-monetary – to accelerate adoption.
  9. Training should be available anytime and anywhere and personalized to the needs to different user groups.
  10. Phase out the geographic rollout and ensure local cultural norms, work habits, and organizational subculture are accounted for in terms of the reshaping the adoption program.
  11. Leverage the vendor resources as much as possible, particularly in configuration, training, and communication.
  12. Enlist key users as an ongoing UAT (User acceptance testing) to iron out the wrinkles on an ongoing basis.
  13. Plan for sufficient transitional time between going live with a new system and cutover from the old system.
  14. Ensure data migration challenges are identified, addressed and resolved as bad data can lead to significant resistance in user adoption.
  15. Encourage constructive criticism and incorporate the best ideas to improve the processes and the system.
  16. Enroll a network of influencers, who can champion the value of the new processes and systems.
  17. If possible, engage the external stakeholders in the change process, particularly if some of the CRM functions are exposed to the external network.
  18. Celebrate wins – big or small and have the employees communicate the value to the others.
  19. Challenges will arise. Address them forthwith lest the overall adoption is impeded.
  20. Be prepared for something unanticipated and unintended. Surprises should not be a surprise.

Did your enterprise define a CRM software adoption checklist as an integral part of the CRM Transformation Program and CRM Change Management Plan? What has been your experience in terms of best practices for CRM software adoption and pitfalls to avoid? Please share your experience of CRM adoption with your peers.

Please also review CIOPages.com CRM Transformation Resources including the CRM Transformation Framework, the CRM Transformation Toolkit. and the CRM Transformation Training Plan.