Posted by : Joel Abbott Friday, 23 May 2014



If you read the second article in our 3-part series on how to get buy-in for your CRM project. Part 1 of the series focused on getting management teams on board. If you missed it, go and have a look here. In this article we will discuss what is probably your toughest audience for getting buy-in…

  • End Users - Getting buy-in from the day-to-day users of CRM can be a huge challenge. Some users are very resistant to change. Others, are desperate to cling onto the existing system. Ironically, these users often are hugely critical of the way things are done, but when change is on the horizon suddenly the current way is the best way! Still, yet others are either "too busy" or just plain uninterested. 

Been there? Done it? Got the t-shirt? Like with management, In my experience there is no standard formula for success with getting buy-in from end users, and a tailored approach is a must. As they are probably your biggest group,  you may need to adapt your approach for different teams of users so you will need to be very flexible . So what measures are available to you?

Measure - Issue Initial Feedback Questionnaires

  • Who For - End Users

  • What To Do - Simply inviting users to a session to discuss CRM without any 'warm-up' will ensure noting other than a very dry boring meeting. To combat this, issue an initial feedback questionnaire to the team asking them questions such as, what do they currently do in their day to day job? What systems do they use? What would they like to change? Etc. The purpose of these is not for them to write down all their requirements but to get them thinking before they come into the feedback sessions, making those sessions much more productive

Measure - Empower Users To Take Responsibility

  • Who For - End Users

  • What To Do - We discussed this in our last article as a strategy that benefits the management team but in truth it is a huge way to get buy-in from end users too. User will feel much more engaged in the entire process and get on board with process changes quicker if they feel that they have the power to make suggestions and decisions that are taken on board. This can be done by asking Power-Users to sign-off functionality before it gets developed. This often also has the knock on effect of making these individuals an advocate of the system when it is deployed

Measure - Do What You Said You Would When You Said You Would

  • Who For - End Users

  • What To Do - We discussed this in our last article as a strategy that benefits the management team but in truth it is a huge way to get buy-in from end users too. Often a project of this size is the next in a list of IT implementations, systems, processes etc. and you may find that previous promises made that were never delivered can impact users view of your project. The simplest and quickest way to get round this is to do what you said you would when you said you would. Cancel/Rearrange meetings as rarely as possible.

Measure - Carry Out Dual-Phase UAT

  • Who For - End Users

  • What To Do - UAT is essential and yet it can often be where a project really slows, sadly so close to the finish line! To combat this, carry out 2 phases of UAT. The first phase should be carried out with the project lead with the purpose of verifying that what has been delivered meets what was requested in the documented solution. The second phase is where the system is verified with the end-users, checking that nothing major has been missed or not delivered.

Measure - Process Oriented Training Materials

  • Who For - End Users

  • What To Do -Avoid simply handing users manuals that cover only the basics of CRM or worse the detailed minutia of how to administer CRM. This will bore your users and turn them off your system. Instead, create manuals and training programs that focus on how the user groups will follow the company process. Accompanied with screen-shot manuals, this approach will make users feel empowered to do their job confidently in CRM from day 1.

Measure - Make Good Use Of Videos

  • Who For - End Users


  • What To Do - It’s a nightmare getting all the individuals you need together for training. Using screen capture software to create short videos that demonstrate how to use certain aspects of the system can be a great way of not only mopping up those who couldn’t attend but also providing a first stop for users wanting a refresh on something from the training. Top Tip: Keep them short! Users are much more likely to watch a video if it is 3-5 mins. long

Measure - Run Project Feedback Sessions

  • Who For - End Users
 
  • What To Do - Throughout the project, run project feedback sessions to not only gather feedback from end users on how things are going from their perspective but also to give them feedback on how the project is progressing. There can be quite a gap between stages for the end users, particularly during the development phase. Keeping them up-to-date on progress will reinforce that their hard work and input hasn’t been forgotten.

None of these alone will guarantee success. Much depends on the size of your organisation and a realistic view of what is achievable. However, using a combination of these will really help your users feel engaged with and when end users feel like they have a say in the project this is only a positive thing.

But what about getting buy-in from an often forgotten area, the IT department? This will be discussed in the final article in our series out on Tuesday

If you are struggling with user adoption and would like some help and support, we would welcome the chance to discuss this further with you. We have worked with thousands of users over the years and we are confident that we can help support you. To arrange a discussion, please complete the Contact Us page

Hope this helps, please feel free to add any comments below.


Joel Abbott - xRM Consultant.

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