Monday, February 16, 2015

Making CRM stick by using Dr. John Kotter 8 Step method - part 6 - Communicating the vision/Empowering Change

The previous five posts on this subject, regarding how to use John P Kotters Change management method called the 8 steps of change have discussed the first 4 steps of the process. It is important to understand that each step in the method builds on the step before. So, to go throught the previous steps to where we are;

First we need to make the decision makers in our organization really aware of the urgency, this should be by being very concrete, what is the benift of using CRM, what is the cost of lost customers, how can CRM change this etc.

When we have gotten the attention of the organizations decision makers, we need to make sure that a guiding coalition is put together that has the right mandate for the job. This typically, from a CRM perspective needs to be people from both the business end, IT and Other related areas like architecture or information management.

It is then vital to create a vision for the CRM implementation that will resonate with the people that are going to be affected by the new CRM system.

Communicating the CRM Vision
Ok, so we have a great vision, should we post it on the Company Intranet and then Everything will be fine? If you have any experience of marketing you probably know that this is not true. When trying to market your Products or services, repeated ongoing and very deliberate action is required to make sure that the vision is properly communicated to all the people that are or will be affected by the new CRM system.

I would also recommend testing to see if the message has been properly received by a couple of the the people that were meant to receive it, as Communication is not so much about what is sent, more about what is recieved.

Empowering Change
Ok, so this is done, you show the sales people the new CRM and then a couple of weeks later you happen to be standing by the coffemachine at the Customer, some salesguys are standing there but nobody knows you as your a Consultant and one of the older and most senior salesguys starts bragging to the younger:
Well I talked to the CEO during our latest golf round and we agreed that I don’t have to waste my time on the new CRM system”

Or you might hear this from a sales guy:
”The new CRM system is great, but I get bonuses for orders, not for posts and likes, so I know where my priorities are”

With opposition like this, in one case a senior sales executive and the other a bonus system that works against the implementation of CRM, the organization is going to have a tough time getting people to Work in CRM. It is vital for CRM implementations that anything stopping people from acting on the change needs to be removed, in the case of the senior sales executive, I would say it was a very bad decision from the CEO to let him slip, but I can understand it as well based on the amount of Revenue some of the senior sales people generate. However, he cannot be allowed to brag about it.

In the case of the bonus system, perhaps implementing some gamification to make CRM more fun or revise the bonus system to build on CRM might be better.

It is also important to elevate those people who choose to embrace the new CRM. Perhaps have an early adoptor competion.

Gustaf Westerlund
MVP, CEO and owner at CRM-konsulterna AB