How Are Things…Really? The Importance Of Analyzing Your CRM Use


Have you ever needed to see the activity on a record in your CRM after an employee has left only to find that nothing exists? Or have you ever had someone send you an Excel spreadsheet with information about your accounts that should have been done through a CRM report? Unfortunately, this isn’t uncommon. Many companies using CRMs have holes and inefficiencies that negatively impact user adoption. Let’s look at some reasons for user adoption issues.  

  1. Users are not aware of the functionality that is available to them
  2. Users are aware of the available functionality but are not aware of what is expected of them 
  3. Users know what can be done but don’t know how to do it 
  4. The current setup of the system, or a specific object, is not efficient and has too many steps
  5. Users may not have all the rights and access they need to do their job 
  6. The system admin may not be aware of where users are struggling 
  7. The data in the system is not accurate or current, so users don’t trust the CRM 
  8. The management team is not fully behind the CRM and expectations for users 

A thorough performance analysis can give you a good sense of how well your users are adopting your CRM and how effective it is. Companies can do their own performance analysis, but using an outside resource can offer some additional benefits such as more experience, an outlet for employees to feel more comfortable expressing their struggles, and an unbiased opinion about what is and isn’t working.  

If you do insist on doing the performance analysis yourself, here are some tips to be successful: 

  1. Get full management buy-in before starting. You don’t want to schedule time to work with users on this only to be shut down by a manager who doesn’t want their team involved. 
  2. Create a structured plan for the analysis and communicate it with all individuals involved. Everyone in your organization is busy. By planning ahead and communicating what will be expected of others to perform your analysis, giving them plenty of notice will make things easier for everyone.  
  3. Find out what management expects of their CRM users. For example, are sales reps expected to log every call they make into the CRM? Are they expected to make a certain number of calls each day? There should be expectations set for every department and role, and those users should know those expectations. 
  4. Shadow atleast one to two people in each user role. Yes, in a way it would be great to get input from everyone who uses your CRM, but realistically, that could hurt the project timeline and progress. You know, too many cooks in the kitchen. Find one or two people who are strong performers in their role. Watch how they are using the CRM, why they are and aren’t doing certain things, etc. You’d be surprised what you find.  
  5. Ask your users for their wishlist items. When talking to users about what they wish they could do in the CRM, you’ll likely hear about things that are actually already available, but your users just don’t know. They may also have some great ideas to implement that simply weren’t thought of before.  
  6. Review any training materials that have been given to your users. Is it accurate and thorough? Maybe your users were trained but then updates were made to the system and now the material is outdated? Or maybe it wasn’t accurate or easy to understand in the first place. It’s important to compare training material to functionality to make sure materials are accurate.  
  7. Look at the setup of your CRM. Are things too complicated? Can automation be put in place to cut down on manual steps? Does your system admin have the experience to make things more efficient? Your system admin may have been thrown into that role and forced to learn on their own…this happens often. Maybe they could benefit from some extra admin training.  
  8. Once you’ve done all of the above, put together an analysis of where the issues are along with recommendations on how to fix. When doing this, listing quick wins (or ways to see instant or quick improvements) along with long-term solutions will give your management team insight into how long it will take to improve user adoption. The analysis should also include a plan and timeline for carrying out those recommendations. 
  9. Present your analysis and plan to management. When management sees what you’ve identified as issues, along with a proposed timeline for resolution, they will be better equipped to give you the approval to move forward.  
  10. Move forward and ROCK YOUR PLAN

It’s not always fun finding out where your company is not succeeding, but it really is best to know so you can make the necessary improvements and maximize your CRM investment. Best of luck! 

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