We’ve all heard about the top-down approach for software adoption: a CRM is chosen by the higher ups at a company, and then employees are told to get with the new program. But sometimes, the opposite happens: an individual employee finds a CRM they love, or they were using a great program at their old job, and they want to persuade their boss to make the switch.
There are a lot of reasons you might want your whole team on one CRM program: it improves collaboration (so that leads and communications don’t slip through the cracks), it creates a system of record (which discourages lead snatching or lagging follow ups), it will make your company more organized (you don’t need to hunt down old files or scraps of paper if everything is stored in a cloud-based system), and it makes reporting easier (no need to create a new report in Excel every week when your boss can check your activity in the CRM). It also adds an air of professionalism; many top salespeople know that having a good CRM is one of the keys to success, and if your company doesn’t have a dedicated database, they are leaving money on the table. Plus, clients love it too — wouldn’t you rather be with a company that has great internal communication and organization than one that doesn’t?
A very important part of the bottom-up adoption process, however, is showing all of these benefits to your boss and other managers. In order for a program to be successfully adopted by your entire team, you need buy-in from your employer so that other team members understand the importance of using the new software. In this post, we’ll cover our top tips for getting your boss excited about the CRM — and after helping thousands of small businesses get set up with LACRM, we have tons of experience to share!
1. Explain your CRM story to your boss.
Before you ask your boss to view a demo or read up on Less Annoying CRM, explain your CRM journey. This is probably not the first time your boss has heard a software pitch, so it’s important to explain why the CRM is important to you and how it can help your boss. Plus, you’ll probably answer a lot of questions and clear away some of their objections before they have the chance to bring them up — this will show your boss that you’ve done a lot of the CRM search legwork, and they might take your request more seriously because of it. If this initial conversation goes well, it will be much easier to convince your boss to sit in on a demo and eventually make the switch.
In your first conversation or email about the CRM, be sure to answer the following questions:
- How did you hear about LACRM? Referrals, positive reviews, and CRM selection research all lend weight to your claim that your team should switch to LACRM.
- How long did it take you to get setup? Every software has a learning curve, and some employers are more technophobic than others. Explaining your onboarding story may show your boss that LACRM is easier to use than they expected, and at the very least, they now have a rough timeline for getting started.
- How was your experience with customer support? By explaining your interactions with customer support, your boss will know that they have a team of CRM experts they can rely on throughout the onboarding process.
- How has LACRM improved your job performance? If the CRM makes you better at your job, it also makes your boss look good (and it probably makes them more money, too).
- Why LACRM over any other CRM? If there is a particular reason you went with LACRM, let your boss know. It saves them the trouble of having to redo all of the CRM research you’ve already done.
2. Show your boss how the CRM improves collaboration.
You’re using the CRM — but why does your whole company have to get set up in the same software Explain to your boss that the benefit of the CRM increases when you remove silos of information and create a hub for your business.
Sharing improves data quality. Imagine: instead of individual contact lists in everyone’s email program, you have a single system of record with the most up to date information. No more floating post-its with updates or out-of-date files — with a CRM, you can eliminate duplicate data entry, keep your entire team on the same page, and cut down on frustrating internal communication over who called who (and when, and what did they say).
Delegation and accountability lead to fewer balls dropped. With a CRM, managers can easily see all of the leads and clients on their sales team’s plate. They can delegate new leads and tasks, check to see if follow ups have been completed, and pull accurate reports without having to go through the salespeople themselves. If all client and lead interactions are logged in the CRM (including calls, notes, follow up tasks, sales updates, and even emails), managers no longer have to be CC’d on every email, and they don’t have to worry about bugging individual salespeople to update them on delas. All of that information would be visible in the CRM.
This setup helps everyone: salespeople feel like they have more autonomy (they just have to record, instead of report, their efforts in the CRM), and managers have more accurate info about the state of their pipeline and numbers at any given time.
Mobile and cloud-based systems make communication easier. With a cloud-based CRM, your boss would be arming employees with the ultimate sales and customer service tool: all of their data at their fingertips! Since LACRM has a mobile site, it also makes it easy for folks in the field to enter data as they gather it so that their notes are as accurate as possible.
3. Highlight Less Annoying CRM’s reports and other managerial features.
Now that your boss knows how the CRM will help the company as a whole, show them how the CRM will ease their pain points as a manager and leader. This would be a great time to show them your account (or schedule a demo with your CRM Coach if you need help!). Some features to highlight:
- Permissions and privileges: your boss can decide who sees different kinds of data in the CRM, and who can make account-wide customizations. Maybe only managers can see and edit everyone’s contacts and calendars. Maybe individual salespeople can schedule meetings with colleagues, but they can’t edit their contacts. Maybe only your boss can add customizations and users. Check out these posts for ideas on how to set up contact and calendar sharing in your account.
- The calendar: you can view your entire team’s calendar in one place! Scheduling all-hands meetings and 1:1s just got a whole lot easier.
- A contact’s activity feed: every contact record has an activity feed so that you can see all of the notes, emails, completed follow ups and meetings, and deals that you’ve done with that person or company. It’s easy to determine whether a lead should be assigned away from a rep, or if an account is going strong, when you’re armed with all the info you need.
- Reports: this tutorial covers all of the reporting options in the CRM, including our Activity Report (see which salespeople have been making calls and completing follow ups — or not), Task Report (make sure your employees are completing their tasks on time), and Pipeline Reports (pull sales and other process tracking data).
If there is a specific kind of report your boss wants to view, and you’re not sure how to pull up that info, don’t hesitate to contact our support team— we’re here to help!
4. Let your boss know that we offer unlimited support.
We’ll be here to help your boss every step of the way as they learn the CRM, import contacts, set up customizations, onboard and train their team, and continue to ask questions as your company’s CRM usage deepens. Your boss can call or email us, or they can even schedule a screen sharing call for more hands on help! We even offer free importing services, so you can just send your spreadsheets our way. Plus, we have tons of resources (such as help tutorials and a bi-monthly newsletter) to help users continue to learn more about the CRM and make the most of their account.
5. Emphasize Less Annoying CRM’s commitment to small businesses.
Our goal is to help small businesses succeed. We do that in a few key ways:
- Our product: we made a simple, easy to use CRM because that’s what most small businesses want. They don’t want an extra chore that will take weeks or months to setup, so we also offer unlimited customer support to help you get started. And we included unlimited customizations because every small business is different, and we want to help you make LACRM fit your business, not the other way around.
- Our price point: at $15/user/month, we are offering our product at a price that allows us to be a successful company, but puts as little stress as possible on our customers’ wallets. Plus, our pricing is as simple as possible, with no hidden costs or credit cards up front, so that there are no surprises or confusing pricing tiers to figure out.
- Our company philosophy: our mission to help small businesses succeed touches every aspect of our business. It’s why we’ve never accepted outside funding. It’s why our security documentation is in simple language that even non-techies can understand. And it’s why we promise that our customers are actually our #1 priority.
Many small business owners have been burned by bad business practices on the part of software companies (including increasing their prices, suddenly shutting down the site, or selling customer data), so it’s important to show your boss that they are in good hands with Less Annoying CRM.
6. Let us help you!
Finally, don’t be afraid to call in the CRM Coaching team for help. We have helped hundreds of small businesses set up their CRM accounts, and we have helped present the CRM to many managers and employers before. If you want hands-on help showing the CRM to your boss, contact us.
Usually, we recommend that you and your CRM Coach have a quick chat about your company’s CRM needs. During this initial call, your CRM Coach can note your boss’ pain points and figure out what features to highlight on a demo with them. Your CRM Coach can also help you add customizations to your account or set up a demo account. It’s always better to show your boss how a program will fit your business (instead of asking them to use their imagination).
Next, set up a call with you and your boss. During the call, we can show your boss the features, functionality, and customizations discussed during your previous call. Your CRM Coach can be as hands on as you want during this process, or you can lead the presentation, and we can be there for questions — just let us know your preferences during the initial 1:1 call. After the demo, we can send our contact info to your boss so that they can reach out with any questions!
If your boss doesn’t have time for a demo, we suggest that you send them our Beginner’s Guide video series — these videos cover the basic features of the CRM.
Remember: your goal here is to show your boss that the CRM will not only help you and the company as a whole, but that it will also make their life easier. Be sure to listen to your boss' pain points and concerns, and let them know why you think LACRM is a good choice. The very fact that you are already using and benefiting from the CRM is great proof to your boss that the CRM works! After all, one of the main obstacles to successfully implementing a CRM is poor user adoption. If end-users like you already love the CRM, it'll be easier for your boss to get on board.