How to Persuade Your Team to Adopt New Technologies Like CRM
Modern technologies help businesses streamline everyday operations, but not all employees are receptive to change. If even one employee is unable to use the new platform or software, your business operations won’t be as streamlined and efficient.
So, how do you convince your team to adopt new technology? Conducting training sessions, highlighting bottlenecks, and providing incentives are all great ways to convince employees to switch over to something new.
In this article, we start by understanding what causes non-compliance, and what strategies are best when rolling out new software, program, or service.
Top Roadblocks to Adaptation
Team members are often resistant to new technology because they don’t know how it’s going to support their workload.
Sales and marketing departments, in general, develop their own internal systems that allow the unit to function. Introducing a new tool or platform, no matter how useful it may be, may disrupt how your team officially handles work and coordinates with each other. For instance, a new tech may require them to add another step as part of their workflow, as opposed to freely exchanging information whenever convenient.
Also, compatibility isn’t just a matter of making sure the technology fits with their workflow. Transitioning from one platform to another requires an onboarding process – one that your employees might not be too keen on participating in. If you’re shifting from one system to another, they are burdened with the responsibility of developing new technical skills, which could prove especially difficult for technology-challenged employees.
On top of adjusting to new technology, there’s the issue of short-sightedness. As their team leader, you’re already convinced that this implementation can help rack up your KPIs (key performance indicators).
Your employees, on the other hand, don’t see how this new technology can boost the company’s overall performance. This is especially true for small businesses whose teams run on “gut feeling”. Even if you add CRMs, analytics platforms, and other number-crunching software into the mix, it will be hard to convince them that these tools can actually help them make better decisions, because the existing system was never reliant on data, to begin with.
Without results, case studies, and proof of success, they’ll find it difficult to see past the hassle of adjusting to a new way of working.
Employees look to team leaders and leading performers for guidance. If they see that their top performers aren’t adopting the new technology or that training, onboarding, and follow-through are disorganized at the administrative level, they won’t be compelled to commit to the transition.
Adopting a new platform or technology is always disruptive on some level. At the very least, employees want to be guaranteed that this minor disruption is actually necessary for long-term growth and that it’s not just a hiccup in company operations.
Knowing these roadblocks can help you identify the main reasons that prevent or slow employee adoption. Understanding what these are will make it easier to create training sessions and messaging that will ultimately help the team adopt new technology more comfortably.
6 Adoption Strategies to Help Your Employees
Getting your employees to adopt new technology isn’t a quick process. To minimize disruption and encourage compliance, a guided transition from one kind of technology to another can help your company navigate new changes, specifically if you’re getting them to adopt new technology that is alien to what they’re used with.
Plan ahead and make implementation as streamlined and successful as possible with the following strategies:
1. Highlight Bottlenecks
If citing the benefits of the new software or platform isn’t improving your adoption rate, talk about your team’s bottlenecks instead. Every team has a process they’re struggling with. Maybe your sales team is tired of having to manually consolidate customer data at the end of the week. Maybe your customer relationship managers find it nearly impossible to share customer profiles seamlessly.
By highlighting these bottlenecks, you’re selling the new technology as a solution, not a burden. You’re essentially doing two things: firstly, you’re letting them know that you’ve conducted your research and understand the challenges of their roles; secondly, you are presenting this new technology to improve productivity and address their base issues.
2. Provide a Trial Period
Before enforcing the new technology, set a trial period when employees can get a feel of the software or platform’s interface, functions, and features. Think back to how major media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube provide a beta testing period before they roll out a new interface. Doing so helps users acclimatize to new features, which lessens the likelihood of resistance among your employees.
By doing so, you’re giving them time to check out this new technology on their own time. They can understand how it works and position it as a part of their workflow, even before you start rolling out official training sessions. Ultimately, your goal is to let your employees explore the platform and get acquainted with its user-friendliness.
3. Use Customer Data
If this is your first time introducing any sort of technology to your team’s processes, consider using customer reports, sales predictions, and other integral numbers and analytics to convert your employees.
Businesses that are only starting to implement new technology in their operations will be met with more resistance and hesitation. But by showing performance reports, satisfaction ratings, and customer service experience, you can provide clear-cut reasons why you need to adopt new technology in the first place.
With customer data, you can prove to your team that the new technology is worth the investment and affects not just how they work but also improves the way they deliver services and products.
4. Provide Incentives
Before imposing sanctions for non-compliant employees, consider providing incentives for those that do. Gamification in the workplace is a great way to encourage compliance while preserving management-employee relationships.
Incentives can be anything from cash bonuses to additional benefits. For instance, if you’re introducing a customer relationship management (CRM) platform for the first time, tell your employees that the sales rep who logs the most leads through this system wins employee of the month.
If you’re introducing new software for collaboration and communication, let employees know that only clients introduced to the new platform will be counted towards their quota. With a clear motivation in mind, it will be easier to increase the employee adoption rate of new technologies.
5. Bring In Star Performers
Record-breaking employees and popular team members can help influence the rest of the group. Before rolling out the idea to the rest of your organization, consider meeting up with a select group of employees and conducting a private training session.
As key performers in your business, they understand the process more intimately more than anyone and can help you figure out how to make the training fun for the rest of the team.
Star performers can also set an example and show other members of your team that adapting to the new technology doesn’t have to be disruptive. To take it a step further, you can ask them to conduct their own training programs with other employees so they can influence hesitant team members to make adjustments and adopt new ways of conducting business.
6. Institutionalize The Technology
In an ideal world, you would be able to conduct training sessions and roll out complete changes on the same day. However, any team would need some time adjusting from one system to another. Institutionalizing the technology should never be your first step; try doing the other strategies first before making the switch to the new technology mandatory.
Give your company a grace period of one to two weeks to make sure they have had time to transition from one kind of system to another. Use this time to figure out any problems employees have with the new system. By the time the trial period is done, make sure to address these issues and provide resources, suggestions, or support to help them adjust to the new system.
CRM Software Adoption: Quick Tips
CRMs are one of the most common software adopted by SMBs. To get your employees in line, consider the following tips:
- Mentioning social media integration can convince your employees that CRMs are more familiar than they thought. With social media integration, it’s easier to keep track of customer interactions and provide the best level of service.
- Talk about how using a CRM can improve the company’s bottom line and efficiency. By using one software to do everything you need, they don’t have to jump from one technology to another to fulfill simple tasks.
- Sell remote access. With CRMs, sales reps and marketing teams can comfortably access data wherever they are.
Need help persuading your employees to use CRM? Get in touch with us to learn more about Commence CRM, and how our team can convince yours to adopt new technology for better results.