Thanks for your support and interest. I just moved my blog over the weekend to www.tracykinsey.com in order to have greater site control. Check it out and let me know what you think!
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It’s that time of year when adults find an excuse to play dress up, and a Halloween party this past weekend brought me inspiration for today’s blog post. The Lone Ranger and his trusty sidekick “Silver” made a great team, but one without the other was not much of a force to be reckoned with. I see similarities of this when thinking of CRM deployments and mobility!
Ok so a bit of a stretch but I do believe the mobility topic ends up as a nice to have versus a must have feature in the CRM solution selection process. We expect so much out of our field sellers, but invest little time on device platform selection and guaranteed connectivity to our CRM solutions. Just think if you go the extra effort to understand a day in the life of your field sellers and mobile requirements how much more productivity you might gain from them?
*Gartner says mobility will be a trillion-dollar business by 2014! Reference that report and consider the below checklist when addressing the CRM mobility topic:
- Device support is a must since the growing trend is to let the mobile workforce chose the platform they would like to leverage. With this flexibility come the need to have CRM compatibility with BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, iPhone and Android operating systems. I would add two additional midsize mobile devices that are gaining IT support and customer demand which are iPad and HP Slate 500.
- The CRM system selected must be browser independent now that Internet Explorer makes up just fewer than 60% of the market opening up 40% of the market running on Safari, Chrome and a slew of other browser substitutes. This topic also ties back to preloaded browsers that come on devices such as the iPad.
- Online and offline support will be driven by field seller location and connectivity provided by the selected mobile phone carriers. I find that having both options will be needed to insure there are no productivity setbacks as your sellers move between meetings.
- Top interactions offered to the mobile CRM user should be easy contact lookup, phone call placement, access to schedule, ability to schedule and complete activities, view & interaction with opportunities and viewing of some historical data elements. More specialized mobile workforces will require task specific interaction so this topic and requirements will be defined on a company by company basis.
Make mobility a priority at every turn in your CRM deployment and your organization will generate strong user adoption within your mobile workforce.
* Gartner reference is pulled from “Analysts Explore the Changing Face of Mobility at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, October 17-21, in Orlando” STAMFORD, Conn., October 21, 2010 http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1455314
Well I guess not if your goals are as big as “tiny” feature in this week’s blog post. I have spent most of my life staying active by incorporating weight training and conditioning to stay in shape. As part of this process I have learned that the results received directly correlate to goals set and ongoing investments put into my conditioning and nutrition plans. Maybe there are some similarities between trying to achieve a healthy lifestyle and delivering successful CRM deployments.
As we examine further, the #1 issue I continue to see surface in failed CRM deployments is the lack of investments and thought put into system training. I believe a strong training plan is the secret sauce to insure any CRM system meets user adoption expectations and drive true return on investment.
Suggested best practices that need to be incorporated in a training plan:
- User return. Users should know what they will be getting in return for the use of the CRM system which ties back to last week’s blog CRM system end-user givebacks?
- Hands-on training. Provide hands-on training with real-life scenarios and data relevant to your users.
- Job aids. Training should include a cheat sheets with CRM system terminology and step-by-step summaries of the required processes.
- Mandatory system use. System use must be mandatory for not only the users but all executives. I find that companies that tie compensation to the CRM system tend to get the greatest user adoption.
- Measurement & output. Clear metrics & dates should be established that define what data elements must be entered, when users must have all data updated and when reports will be pulled.
- Ongoing investments. Training should be ongoing not just a one-time thing. I suggest referring to a write-up by CSO Insights on “3 steps to improved Retention/Results. “Perfect practice makes perfect: receiving feedback/coaching on a consistent basis and continuously improving is how things get perfected.” Barry Trailer, CSO Insights.
- Training champions. Electing departmental training champions can also be good resources for the user community. This will provide a feedback loop for CRM system process and use case improvement.
- System usage. Most CRM systems or integrators of those systems provide a system wide audit by user so that you can understand how frequently users are in the systems. One good example of this is Control Tower for CRM User Adoption provided by Sonoma Partners.
- Knowledge management. Most CRM systems support KB articles and key topic search. Incorporate your training materials within the CRM will further exploit the power of the system and provide one location of all best practice sharing.
- Executive sponsorship. Executive level support and the importance of everyone using the CRM system must be communicated.
Make training a priority at every turn in your CR M deployment and your organization will generate strong user adoption. Watch for my next blog on the CRM mobility dilemma.