Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Making CRM stick by using Dr. John Kotter 8 Step method - part 8 - Never letting up

”The new CRM was nice but there were some bugs and  Excel is still so much easier, so I just went back to it.”

This is the 8:th part in the series on using Dr. John Kotters 8 step method for implementing new CRM systems in an organization. We have now gotten as far as the system being accepted by users and that they have started using it.

During and just after the initial implementation of the new CRM system users are often good sports and give it a shot, and there might also be strong ambassadors in the people that were driving the implementation. This can often result in the fact that users use the system to a decent level in the beginning.

Managers are also often quite diligent in the beginning of a system implementation to make sure that their employees use the system.

However, the strong driving people might change role or move to Other companies. It is not uncommon that these people are more entreprenuerial and creators than the people who are good at maintaining a system. So, they move on to other projects and tasks. Managers will also get other priorities on their tables, often making the CRM system, not as important.
Keep up the pressure

Other common things that I have seen are that the system might also have some bugs and quirks that might not have showed up in the implementation phase or might have surfaced during later upgrades and these might or might not be surfaced to the people responsible for the CRM system. If not quickly rectified, the risk is substantial that users will revert to their previous manner of working, or some other easy way of managing their own productivity. This is most commonly using Excel to, for instance, keep track of which leads have been contacted.

Dr. Kotter emphezises in this chapter that it is important to constantly reinvigorate the change, in this case the new CRM system with new updates. For instance, making sure that you listen to the suggestions and problems that users are experiencing and acting on these. The passionate ambassadors for change can also be used in this phase to energize the rest of the workforce. Also measuring the use in the system, to make sure that users actually are using it, is important, so that you do not think that they are when it fact they are finding other ways to store information. If left without action for too long, you risk large problems with trying to get user back on track. This is especially true and complicated in large and distributed organizations when you cannot physically monitor what users actually are doing by looking over their shoulders. If team managers are also part of the problems, or perhaps managers in even higher levels, the problems are naturally of even higher magnitude.

Gustaf Westerlund
MVP, CTO and Founder at CRM-konsulterna AB

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