This article was included in the August 2nd, 2016 issue of the LACRM Newsletter.
It’s easy to use a piece of software when you are the only user on the account. After all, the system can and will be be as useful as you want it to be when you are in charge of your own data entry. However, when you are working in a team, being able to collaborate through a CRM is incredibly valuable -- detailed notes can be shared, events and tasks can be assigned to one another and so on. Unfortunately, this is often undermined when you don’t have buy-in from your team. One person can be actively using the CRM, but the system still isn’t helpful if the two other users only enter a note every few weeks. Tom Crouser, founder and president of Crouser & Associates Inc., knew that he wanted his team with him when he was searching for a CRM, and sought to cultivate buy-in from the get-go:
“We took it slow when we first started using the CRM, and added users gradually. One of my team members actually set up the account and we learned more about it through him. We loaded up our data and used it for a while, then closed it and opened a brand new account once we all knew what the CRM was about. In other words, we had a practice run first before committing to the CRM.
We are now adding users one at a time to this account so that it is easy for everybody to learn from the others who have more experience with the system. This also means that we can ask each other if questions crop up and can help one another with the CRM”
-Tom Crouser, Founder and President of Crouser & Associates Inc
Tip to try: If you are still evaluating CRMs and aren’t sure about how a CRM would fit into your organization, you can try having a practice account that you and your team can play around with at the start. Your data doesn’t have to be perfect, but just detailed enough so that everyone can see the real benefits of the system. Once everyone has a grasp on how the CRM works, which features work best with your business, and how the team wants to use the CRM, you can move on to your new account. This helps encourage buy-in because it makes the process a team effort as everyone is using the CRM together.
As for our established users, a demo account can still help you out! Having a dummy account will let you test changes before committing to them in your main account, and allows your new team members to try out the CRM before they start becoming a power user along with the rest of you. This way, your team ends up making all the mistakes in your practice account -- leaving only the best ideas and solutions moving forward!
We hope this gives you some ideas on other ways to get your team using the CRM, and if you have any questions on how you can set up a practice account don’t hesitate to contact us!