Three Common CRM User Adoption Pitfalls and how to Avoid Them

By Linus Rinke • May 4th, 2017
Audiences: End Users, Administrators

You can have the best CRM platform on the market, but that means very little if your users refuse to adopt the system. Fortunately, all it takes is a little bit of planning and foresight to ensure successful user adoption of your CRM. Let’s take a look at some of the common pitfalls of implementing a new CRM and how to avoid them.

Pitfall #1: Automating Inefficient Workflows in CRM

When a company implements a CRM solution the end goal is typical to increase the overall efficiency of the organization while simultaneously simplifying the roles of employees. But when a company tries to adopt antiquated and inefficient workflows into a digital solution, a CRM can do the exact opposite.

Implementing a CRM is a great time to review your current processes and identify any areas where they can be improved or streamlined. This holds true for sales, support or any other department using your CRM. Users who are forced to work with a CRM that has unclear or inefficient workflows will quickly find that their new tools do more harm than good and will not be as keen to jump on board.

Pitfall #2: Not Providing Clear Avenues of Support

Any change your organization adopts (even if it's changing for the better) can have a detrimental impact on your employees. One of the best ways to manage change, especially a new CRM platform, is to give users clear access to an internal support channel. This could be implemented by choosing individual product champions who are knowledgeable in all facets of the changes being made. Large organizations may have multiple product champions per department while some smaller ones may just need a single product champion.

Not only will this give users reassurance that they have someone to lean on but it will also encourage them to ask questions if there are uncertainties around how the system should be used. Customers who don’t set up clear channels of support often have users who get frustrated when they have questions and opt to use the system very little (or not at all) because they don’t know how to resolve their issues.

Pitfall #3: Implementing too Many Customizations

Some CRM platforms, such as SugarCRM, are extremely flexible and can be adapted to fit the needs of almost any organization. Sometimes this requires just a handful of changes to be made in the admin panel while other times this can involve hundreds of hours of custom development. When envisioning what you what your CRM to look like, the old adage of K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid!) holds true. While customization is recommended, building a CRM that’s unnecessarily complex will not only be expensive but may also dissuade users from fully adopting the solution. On numerous occasions, I’ve heard people mention clunky views, unnecessary fields, or complex automated workflows as reasons for not being happy with their CRM.

User adoption is becoming an increasingly more difficult challenge to overcome as software becomes more complex and permeates more and more of our everyday life. Hopefully, these three examples of common pitfalls can help you form your user adoption strategy when implementing a new CRM. To keep reading about user adoption, check out this blog post on how your company culture can affect the success of your CRM.