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How to successfully onboard your team into Less Annoying CRM

As a CRM coach, business owners and managers often ask me the best way to get everyone started using their new CRM, and how they can create as little friction as possible among their employees as everyone gets used to the new system. This guide explains how to get your team excited for Less Annoying CRM, set up training, and even ease the learning curve for everyone. Successful CRM adoption means that everyone will use the new system, and your employees and your company will receive maximum benefits from the CRM!

Stage one: the prep work

These are the steps you’ll want to take before your team even starts using the CRM. In this stage, it’s important to lower the friction for your team and make transitioning into the CRM as easy as possible. (total est time for this stage: 1 week)

1. Set up your own CRM account. In order to get your team excited about the CRM, you’ll need to show them the finished product. Click here to sign up for a free trial with Less Annoying CRM — no contract or credit card required! Setting up your own CRM account first will give you a chance to learn how the CRM works, add all the customizations you’ll need, and figure out what you’ll need to train your users how to do. It will also give you a chance to get the CRM up and running; you’ll have real examples of tracked sales to show your team, and real evidence that the CRM is valuable. Check out how LACRM user Judi set herself up for success by taking the lead with her company’s CRM.

If you want a similar checklist for setting up your own CRM account, check out our step by step guide to getting started. (est time: less than one week)

2. Get everyone on board with Less Annoying CRM. When starting any new initiative, it’s important to make sure that you have buy-in from your team. Here are a few tips for making sure that everyone is on board before you even begin training:

  • Start with the higher ups. If executives and management are on board and encouraging others to use the CRM, it makes the adoption of the software seem much more official, and not like a temporary or optional change.
  • Pick a user (or two) to evangelize the CRM. If you have multiple offices or teams joining the CRM, it’s important to make sure that everyone has a go-to person for all things CRM. If you have a small team, or everyone reports directly to you, consider yourself the CRM’s “champion.” The CRM evangelist should be an enthusiastic early adopter, develop a relationship with your CRM coach (you can check out the whole team here), and take ownership over customization decisions. Less Annoying asks that a single user own the data within the CRM—your champion would be a great pick as the account owner.
  • Explain how the CRM will benefit everyone. This is the most important part of onboarding your team to use the new system. It’s important that everyone wants to use the CRM for themselves—and not because they’re being forced. Even if your team was very involved in the selection process, it may be necessary to justify why Less Annoying CRM in particular is good for your salespeople. Explain how the CRM will make their lives easier and improve job performance -- if you need ideas, check out this list of talking points!

If you need more tips, check out how LACRM user Tom set up a practice CRM account to cultivate buy-in from his team! (est time: 2-3 hours)

3. Set up accounts for everyone on your team. Add them as users to your account so that each team member has their own login. You can set their permissions, decide whether or not they should be an administrator, and give them exporting privileges. Click here to get started with adding your users. Once you’ve added your team to the CRM, you can assign contacts to them, assign tasks and events to them, as well as make groups on your account public or private.

If you don’t want folks on your team logging into their accounts before you’ve trained them, shoot your team a quick email about restricting their access pre-demo, and lock your users out of their accounts. Once they’ve been trained, you can unlock their access. (est time: less than 1 hour)

Stage two: training

In this stage, you’ll show your team how to use Less Annoying CRM. It’s important to build on the momentum from the previous stage and continue to show your team how the CRM will benefit them in the long run! (total est time for this stage: a few hours)

4. Schedule a demo for your team. If you have a small team and time to meet together, you can schedule a single call with a CRM coach to demo the software for your team. You can also set up multiple training calls for different branches of your company (one call for the sales team, a different training session for the back office, etc), or you can also have your CRM coach record your demo so that you can send it to members of your team who can’t make it. To schedule a demo with LACRM, click here!

On this call, your CRM coach will show your team how the CRM works, how they will be using the CRM every day, and answer any questions your team has. This is another opportunity to explain the CRM’s value to your team and show them how the CRM will really help. (est time: 1 hour)

5. Explain CRM best practices. You probably want your employees to leave notes after every interaction, schedule follow ups after every touch, and follow other specific “CRM rules” as they start to learn the system. Spell these out for your employees! You can borrow from our best practices, or create your own. Share the best practices document with your team, and be sure to hold everyone accountable in the later stages of CRM onboarding. (est time: less than 1 hour)

Stage three: evaluating and tweaking

Now that everyone is using the CRM, it’s time to evaluate their progress and continue improving your CRM setup. It’s important to hold inactive users accountable and continue showing your team that the CRM is really working. (total est time for this stage: one week)

6. Schedule 1:1 meetings. This is your opportunity to check in and make sure that your employees are developing good data keeping habits. Add the meeting to your Calendar and leave yourself a task to pull up any relevant reports before you sit down together. Check out this tutorial for instructions on how to pull reports on activity and sales. During the 1:1, be sure to go over their recent activity and check in about how they feel with the CRM. Would adding another custom field make their life a lot easier? Do they need new strategies to make sure they log in every day to leave notes? Now is the time to brainstorm. If the CRM is a part of their job description, remind them. (est time: 30 minutes per team member)

7. Remind your team that the CRM works. If your employees are starting to use the CRM more regularly, proof that the CRM works will motivate them even more. If there are stragglers, make sure to let them know that if they are not using the CRM, they are leaving money on the table! Show your employees sales figures from before and after CRM adoption that indicate growth or a drop in lost leads with the CRM. Encourage sharing CRM success stories during weekly meetings. CRM doesn’t just refer to the software—show that a whole shift in company attitude can really change customer satisfaction. (est time: less than an hour per week)

Total time spent onboarding your team: 1-2 weeks

This process can take less than a week to implement if you have a small, flexible team. If your team is big, or you’re bringing on multiple teams in the same company, it can take a few weeks to get started with the CRM, but I wouldn’t recommend dragging it out any longer than that. The sooner everyone gets into the CRM and in the habit of using it, the more helpful and useful the CRM will be. You can make the onboarding process faster by bringing more managers into the process and tasking them with explaining benefits of the CRM and scheduling 1:1s.

Next up:
Onboarding users, team, account
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