Having more time on your hands is something you should embrace with open arms. Finally, the opportunity to get to the CRM duties you never seem to have time to address. Now’s the perfect time to fine-tune your CRM with deliberate thought. As we all know, insufficient data is unreliable and thus worthless in predicting sales or planning strategies on. No process is inert, and as they change, so should your CRM.
Most CRM development work is done on the corporate level, focusing on the data that executives want or on what the consultants sold to them on an idea-level. Which is not wrong per se. There is a reason why most CRMs have the objects and fields they do. What is most often ignored is the end-user, the person who actually has to input the data. How about changing that and increasing data quality with the adoption?
In order to fix it, you need to uncover the problem. Start with interviewing your key users, and the not-so-active ones to find out why they don’t use your CRM regularly. It might not be a huge change that’s asked for. Little things can have a huge impact on user experience.
Here are 3 simple things you can do right now to affect adoption positively.
Make sure you have only necessary fields on your objects
Go through the fields displayed on your records. We tend to get blind to things we see every day and ignore the fact that something designed years ago isn’t relevant today. Be honest! Is each field really needed? If yes, are they a nice-to-have or must they be mandatory? Can you automate any fields with formulas? Are there fields where data is necessary for backend reporting, but not for the end-user? Assign your users specific page layouts with only the fields that they need.
Fixing your page layouts on records
Ideally, you could see everything about your customer and it’s related records, like opportunities, in one glance and no clicking would be required. The feeling of easy access to information is a key factor in raising adoption. So make sure the usage of your records requires minimal navigating and opening of pages. Make sure the initial landing page of a record contains the info the users actually need. Can you have the related records on the same page? Could you see the most important fields of the related records by hovering over them?
Train your users
I can’t stress enough how important this is. It’s great to ask your users for input, but also a huge boost for morale among your users to know that actions were taken based on it. Plan your training sessions carefully, and try to have them in small batches. Online forums work fine when the amount of participants is limited. Reserve enough time to make sure that everyone is logged in and up-to-speed, and also for questions from the users. Make the training mandatory!
This is just a start, but a good one. In all the development you do on your CRM, make sure to keep the end-user in mind. Having a sophisticated system is of no use if it’s not used. Engaging your users in the development is a great way to get them committed to the whole process. And as a guiding principle, have the system serve the users, not the other way around.