Mastering the people component of any CRM implementation is often the most difficult challenge for any organization, given the sensitivity of users to change. To reiterate again, ‘People’ issues are the most important aspect to the success of a CRM initiative. In this third example, the ‘People’ component impacted CRM initiatives in a very positive way.
An international publishing company established a super-user group to help launch its CRM initiative. This group remained active and engaged throughout the implementation, helping to select the CRM software vendor, reviewing software screen customizations, and taking on training roles during the system launch in many cases. In addition, the company launched a comprehensive communications program that included issuing a weekly memo that updated potential internal and external users on the status of the initiative; creating an intranet site; and scheduling question-and-answer sessions at key company meetings (including the annual company meeting, regional sales meetings, and customer service get-togethers). When the time came for CRM applications training, an internal argument ensued between users and the training coordinator as to which users would get trained first: Almost all users wanted to take part in the first training session. This CRM initiative ended up delivering an average productivity gain of 22 person days per user in the first year alone.
Lesson learned: Get users involved early on, and help them to manage their own change.