TOPIC // User Adoption

Invested Users Are The Key To Maximizing User Adoption: Part Two Of Our Series On Best Practices

A high adoption rate is critical to the success of any CRM initiative.

In our last post, I discussed NexJ’s first three best practices of user adoption, and why developing, analysing, and aligning are crucial steps in the process of engaging your users with your CRM. Today, I’d like to discuss the next three of the 9 best practices for user adoption, which are Planning, Partnering, and Encouraging.

Plan Adoption Continuously

Plan your adoption continuously through the stages of pre-launching, launching, stabilizing, and evolving. Many companies make the mistake of planning through pre-launching and launching, but neglecting the stabilizing and evolving stages of a technology launch. Pre-launching and launching are often straight forward to plan, though some companies may neglect to plan for risks and challenges. However, it’s in the stabilizing and evolving phases that many companies lose their launch momentum and experience a decline in adoption.

It is important to the success of your launch that you plan to continue supporting and encouraging adoption through the stabilizing phase, because this is often where the long-term adoption is determined. During the launch phases, people are excited and curious because they’re engaging with something new. But once the launch is complete, companies will always have new projects that pull that excitement and curiosity away. Continuing to drive adoption in this phase, therefore, ensures that the technology goes from being something new and exciting to being something that’s been incorporated into the daily work of your users.

There are many ways you can plan to continue growing adoption, including pushing out reporting and results to your managers, creating an operating rhythm that incorporates the processes aligned in your system, and showing users how the information they put into CRM provides benefits to them over time. The goal is to have a plan that continually demonstrates the value of the system to your users.

Partner With Experienced Vendors

Partner with a vendor with proven experience achieving high user adoption. Most companies, if not all, have little time to research every available system and to test out different methods and theories for user adoption. It is important, therefore, that your company partner with a vendor with experience driving user adoption. This allows your company to benefit from the knowledge the vendor has acquired from many different customers, and also to plan around challenges and risks that the vendor has seen before.

NexJ has extensive and real-world experience in providing systems with a high user adoption rate, and proven expertise in helping our customers get the results they want. It’s our position that integration of information and processes is at the core of successful investments in CRM and the optimal user experience.

Encourage Champions Of Technology

Encourage enthusiastic leadership that includes users from the beginning. One of the best strategies for encouraging user adoption is having “champions” of the technology that originally focus on training users, and then eventually move their focus to business problems and how the system can be engaged to solve those problems moving forward.

When users are more familiar with the technology and are working with it regularly, they can come up with good questions and good ways to use it going forward. Additionally, having enthusiastic leadership organizes the change from the top-down, demonstrating support from both management and executives.

For example, your company can have the manager of a team or department brainstorm with their users about the new software as a business tool, and how their team can use it, interact with it, and benefit from it. By having leadership actively and enthusiastically engage with users, you can generate excitement and continue to encourage it throughout your adoption plan. This helps to overcome resistance in users who might not be inclined to adopt the technology on their own, but will in order to conform to company culture and initiatives.

By following these best practices to user adoption, your company can work with your users through your technology change, and be prepared to manage the growth and evolution of your CRM.

In my next blog, I will discuss the last three recommended best practices for user adoption which are Engaging, Offering, and Measuring. Also, for more information on user adoption, see our whitepaper “Invested Users: How to Maximize User Adoption.”

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