Let’s say your organization just rolled out the next “big thing”...maybe it’s a particular sales strategy or a new CRM (hopefully HubSpot). Time to put it into place.
Well, it turns out implementation is only half the battle. The real challenge lies in ensuring that it’s actually adopted and embraced by the employees. Sit tight for a few minutes while we go over some effective strategies and tactics to drive adoption after a new roll-out. By following these steps, you can increase the likelihood of successful implementation and maximize the benefits of the new process.
Plan and Prepare
The old adage, “if you fail to plan, then you’ve planned to fail” certainly applies here. Here are some must-dos before you get started:
- Clearly define the objectives and benefits of the new process to create a compelling case for adoption.
- Establish a detailed implementation plan with specific timelines, milestones, and responsibilities.
- Identify potential resistance points and address them proactively to mitigate any pushback.
- Ensure that everyone understands how the new process aligns with the organization's goals and how it can improve their work.
- Utilize multiple communication channels, such as emails, newsletters, intranet portals, and town hall meetings, to ensure widespread awareness.
- Be transparent about the reasons behind the process change and the expected outcomes.
Training and Education
If employees are properly taught a new system or process, they’re much more likely to fully adopt it. Often, a lack of adoption is a direct result of a lack of training. Some things to consider:
- Customize the training to suit different roles and levels of expertise within the organization.
- Provide ongoing support through training materials, job aids, and access to subject-matter experts.
- Offer both classroom-style training and hands-on practice opportunities, simulations, or workshops to reinforce learning.
Encourage Feedback and Continuous Improvement
When upper level management admits that a new system may not be perfect from the start, and encourages feedback, it can go a long way in fostering transparency and improvement. Some helpful hints:
- Establish feedback mechanisms, such as surveys, suggestion boxes, or regular meetings, to gather insights from employees.
- Actively listen to their concerns, suggestions, and challenges related to the new process.
- Use the feedback to make necessary adjustments, address issues, and improve the process over time.
- Recognize and appreciate employees who contribute valuable feedback or suggestions.
Lead by Example
If higher level managers and directors aren’t adopting the new process, why should anyone else?
- Encourage managers and team leaders to become early adopters and role models for their teams.
- Showcase success stories and positive outcomes resulting from the new process to inspire others.
- Recognize and reward employees who embrace the new process and achieve notable results.
Provide Ongoing Support
One training session, one time ain't gonna cut it. Even if the process is being fully adopted, it’s critical to continue to provide resources and updated training.
- Offer dedicated support channels, such as a helpline, online forums, or a dedicated email address, for employees to seek assistance and clarification.
- Assign process experts or superusers who can provide hands-on guidance and troubleshoot issues.
- Regularly communicate updates, best practices, and tips to reinforce the importance and value of the new process.
- Continuously evaluate the support mechanisms and make improvements based on feedback.
Monitor and Measure Adoption
Are things going as planned? There’s only one way to know.
- Define key adoption metrics, such as the percentage of employees using the new process, completion rates, or time saved.
- Regularly track and analyze the adoption metrics to identify areas of improvement or potential roadblocks.
- Share adoption progress and insights with relevant stakeholders to maintain transparency and accountability.
- Celebrate milestones and achievements to motivate employees and reinforce the importance of the new process.
If you’re only vocal when things are going poorly, it sends a bad message. Managers should always celebrate successes, especially when it comes to widespread adoption of an important roll out.
- Recognize and celebrate milestones, achievements, and successful implementations of the new process.
- Publicly acknowledge the efforts of employees who have embraced the change and made a positive impact.
Strategies Specific to CRM Adoption
CRMs should be looked at as a product, not a one-time project. Here are some considerations, specific to CRMs, to apply in order to achieve maximum adoption.
Select the Right CRM
Make it HubSpot.
But if you don’t, at least do the following:
- Research and evaluate different CRM solutions to find the one that aligns with your organization's needs and goals.
- Consider factors such as scalability, ease of use, customization options, integration capabilities, and cost.
- Involve key stakeholders and end-users in the selection process to ensure their buy-in and satisfaction.
Develop a Comprehensive Implementation Plan
Don’t try to fake it ‘til you make it. Have a plan and execute it.
- Create a detailed roadmap that outlines the steps, timeline, and resources required for CRM implementation.
- Define clear objectives and milestones to track progress.
- Assign a dedicated project team responsible for overseeing the implementation process.
Provide Adequate Training
If you want people to use the thing, teach them how first. And then keep doing it.
- Offer comprehensive training sessions to educate employees on how to use the CRM effectively.
- Include both initial training during the implementation phase and ongoing training opportunities to support continuous learning.
- Customize the training materials for different roles
- Offer regular check-ins and follow-up sessions to address concerns, provide additional training, and ensure users are leveraging the CRM effectively.
- Continuously gather feedback from users to identify areas for improvement and address any usability issues.
Customize the CRM to Fit Your Workflow
Make the CRM work for you.
- Tailor the CRM system to align with your organization's specific processes and workflows.
- Customize fields, data entry forms, reports, and dashboards to reflect your business requirements.
- Ensure the CRM is intuitive and user-friendly, minimizing the learning curve for employees.
Communicate the Benefits
Don’t start from a position of neutrality, and a “we’ll see if it works” attitude. Speak positively about the CRM and its benefits from the beginning.
- Clearly communicate the benefits of using the CRM to employees at all levels of the organization.
- Highlight how the CRM will improve their efficiency, productivity, customer relationships, and overall job performance.
- Share success stories and examples of how the CRM has positively impacted other teams or departments.
Integrate with Existing Tools and Systems
Don’t make your CRM stand out like a sore thumb.
- Integrate the CRM with other existing tools and systems used within your organization.
- Ensure seamless data flow between systems to avoid duplicate data entry and streamline processes.
- Provide training and support for employees to understand and leverage the integrated functionality.
Continuously Improve and Evolve
Again, product, not one-time project. A CRM is like a yard, it needs constant care and attention to be at its best.
- Regularly assess the effectiveness of the CRM system and its alignment with your evolving business needs.
- Seek user feedback and suggestions for improvements and new features.
- Stay updated on CRM industry trends and advancements to leverage new capabilities and ensure long-term CRM adoption.
Summing it Up
Achieving successful adoption of a new process requires a well-planned and executed strategy. By following the steps outlined above, you can increase the chances of successful adoption and ultimately reap the benefits of improved operational efficiency and productivity within your organization.