How To Increase CRM User Adoption

You’ve developed a new CRM system but are struggling to encourage users to adopt it. It’s a common problem and a critical reason why CRM projects fail. In fact, in a recent survey, research group Merkle Group Inc estimated 63% of projects in large organisations fail. That’s a high number, and even if your solution ticks all the boxes, it might not deliver real world business value if your users do not adopt it.

According to Forrester Research, “people issues” are the biggest challenge for implementing a CRM.

These issues fall into three categories, inadequate training, aligning organisation with new ways of working and slow user adoption. Simply put, people don’t like change.

We’ve outlined a few ways to help you overcome this problem and put you on the right track.

Not all CRMs are the same!

We’ve observed a trend where employees are hesitant about using the new CRM due to the problems that plagued the previous one. The slow, buggy and unintuitive system you had before will be retired, and you can instead become empowered by a tool that drives productivity and enables departments to perform to their best. Convincing your users that the new system won’t be like the last one will put your users at ease and encouraging initial adoption. Highlight new key features, or demonstrate the new user interface to generate some buzz.


People fear things they don’t understand. It’s natural then that people will avoid IT systems they are intimidated by and may feel they could risk making a big mistake or find that their tried and trusted methods will be sufficient. Providing your users with adequate training and knowledge of how your CRM functions and a detailed explanation of their role within it will help increase user adoption.

Involve users from the start

When your organisation embarks on implementing a new CRM, open a dialogue with select users from all departments. Receiving feedback from staff who are going to be using these tools on a regular basis is important. It will make them feel involved in the process and will help you develop the new system with their considerations in mind. This will prevent oversight from upper management and a CRM system that works for everyone.

Listen and address concerns

Acknowledging your users concerns about your CRM is key. Providing this feedback to your support partner who may be able to find a quick solution. Users might be comfortable with most of the tools but find a few facilities unable to do the right job. Small tweaks to optimise a system can be the difference between a user choosing to use your CRM rather than finding alternative solutions.

Introduce accountability

CRMs have many operations and large organisations will have roles that overlap. Clearly defining who is accountable for each task and data prevents potential conflicts. In addition, assigning a CRM leader who can be the go-to employee for resolving issues, communicating with developers and support will keep things ticking over and operating smoothly.

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