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User Adoption Starts at Design

The common thinking is that one of the underlying requisites to have user adoption for your CRM system is to get strong, vocal, visible buy-in by the executive team. Now I wouldn’t diminish that component of the success elements. Nor would I forget about the need to deliver real value throughout the entire food chain of CRM users. However, I am adding a new item to the mix which I will be emphasizing going forward.

At Convergence 2013 I was the moderator for a Sales Force Automation discussion group of 14 end users that kicked around various challenges, ideas, and suggestions regarding SFA. I walked away from that session feeling that I had picked up a new gem of wisdom/perspective to build a successful CRM application and drive user acceptance and adoption.One of the group members was Scott Jeffer, Manager – CRM & Database Strategist – New York Yankees.

My takeaway from Scott’s points were as follows:

1. Get users involved with the design at the earliest stages.

2. Find out how they do things, what they need, and how they want them to be done going forward.

3. Where ever possible/practical build those features into the new system.

4. As much as possible let users take the credit for the idea.

5. Let everyone think to themselves it was ‘their’ idea.

6. If you get ideas that don’t get implemented, don’t sweat the organizational behavior issues.

Ultimately, it is pretty simple. If people believe and see that their ideas are being respected they will own the result.

Note: These are my takeaways and interpretations. They may or may not be the points that Scott was making.

If you would like to consider this discussion you can either post a reply back here or open up a discussion on the CRMUG Collaborate site.

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