Learn to Share the Work Load When Implementing a New CRM

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After countless demos, videos, and sales calls, you’ve finally decided on the fancy new CRM (Custom Relationship Managment) that is going to take your company to new heights.  Organization, communication, document storage, scheduling and tracking are all headed your way, right!?

Well, technically, yes, but first you’re going to need some training to make sure you know HOW to get to those benefits.  Your new CRM may call it implementation, success training, onboarding, or any of countless other terms, but it’s all the same general idea:  Someone has to show you how to get your settings in place, enter a lead, and start building out a workflow for each department in your company.

So who is going to go through the training?  Sales reps and managers are in the field, and maybe the owner too.  If you’re like most small businesses, everyone is busy with something important.

At this point, allow me to read your mind.  You’re thinking: “What about our Office Manager?  They’re pretty smart.  They’re good with computers, and they aren’t selling anything, so they’re the PERFECT person to go through training, and then THEY can teach the rest of us later!  Wow!  I’m a genius!  I wonder why nobody thought of this before?”

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After training thousands of users over the last few years, we’ve seen countless people use this strategy.  Trust me, it doesn’t usually end they way you’re hoping.  Here are our top 3 reasons why:

  1. It’s overwhelming – CRMs require input from every department from sales to accounting in order to get the most out of the program.  Asking one person to learn what each department has to do and then develop the workflows for those team members can be overwhelming for one person to tackle, in addition to their regular job duties because…

  2. They aren’t the expert of every department – Expecting your office manager to learn about the details of how to do another person’s job is setting them, and your company, up for failure.  Sure, they may get the gist of the training, but they probably won’t ask the right questions to ensure that each part of the program is implemented properly into each department.  As a company owner, you may have a knack for sales, but imagine you had to learn the ins and outs of a new bookkeeping software.  How comfortable would you feel in your ability to learn and retain that, and then teach your accountant how to use it?  Even if your office manager DOES retain it all, you still have one final challenge…

  3. Telephone – Remember that game you played as a kid where one person is told a message, and then whispers it to the next person, and on down the line?  When the last person in line says what they heard, the message has been garbled in transmission, has lost some detail, or is totally wrong.  When you ask one person to learn and convey lots of details to other members of your team, you increase the likelihood that the person they are training doesn’t get the complete picture.  This can lead to confusion, or even total misunderstanding about how they are supposed to do their job with the new system.  When a user doesn’t understand HOW or, more importantly, WHY to do their job with a program, you increase the likelihood that they WON’T use it, or won’t get as much benefit from it.

 

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Any CRM or collaboration tool has the huge potential to save your company huge amounts of money and time IF it is properly implemented and used.  Here are 3 ways you can help your company set itself up for success:

  1. Make a plan – Before you start training, meet with your department heads to discuss the changes that are coming, and make sure each of them carve out time for training out on their calendar in advance.  Treat it like a doctor’s appointment, a hot date, or something else you wouldn’t think of missing.  Just make sure they attend.  If that means pushing implementation back by a week, so be it.  Better to train next week and maximize the benefits your CRM offers, than to rush it now, and feel lost for years to come.  This is your company’s future you’re talking about.  Treat it accordingly.

    Video tutorials and webinars are also a great resource for people with busy schedules.
  2. Start with what you can handle – As silly as it may sound, learning the mechanics of a new piece of software is really only half the battle.  The key is to actually be using it, even if you’re not using 100% of its capabilities out of the gate.  By doing even the minimum, your team will start to get familiar with simple things like how to navigate throughout your new system.  Familiarity with the different screens and forms, and how to get to them goes a LONG way to helping each of your team members feel like they can intuitively do their jobs.

  3. Check In – ANY new tool or piece of software will feel slow and foreign the first few times you use it, regardless of how well it is designed.  Some will catch on to the new program quickly, and others will need a little more time.  According to a recent Forbes article, it can take up to 20 hours for the human brain to really learn something new.  Depending on usage, it might take a week or more before some members feel really comfortable in your CRM.  Stay on your team members, and don’t let them fall into the trap of thinking they can’t use the program because they weren’t masters on their first or second try.  NOT using a tool is a great way to ensure that you will NEVER get any value out of it.

You chose this piece of software to help your business run smoother and more efficiently for years to come.  Make sure you set your company up for success from the beginning by ensuring everyone in your company carves time out of their schedule to participate in live training, or go through training materials for their specific area of expertise.  It’s tempting to feel like you are always too busy, but if that’s the case, how will you EVER learn ANYthing new?  Take the time to go through implementation with a subject matter expert from your new software provider.  You’ll learn more, and be up and running faster than relying on someone from your team to do the same thing.

We’re the specialty trade industry’s #1 software. AccuLynx is designed to help contractors see their business more clearly and communicate better — there’s nothing to download or install — you just log in and get to work.

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