Handling Resistance to the New CRM

While management and board members may be all in for a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, you may find some of the actual users are resistant to the idea of replacing the current system or method of handling your sales, marketing, and customer service related activities. Some may want it and some might not care, but it is best to expect that some will want to keep the status quo. It is critical that you address those resistant as they can negatively influence others on the idea and cause later issues when it comes to adoption. Here are a few ways to anticipate and address resistance to a new CRM solution.

1: Have leadership and accountability in place

Belief in and willingness to work with a new CRM starts at the top of the ladder. The company president, general manager, etc. all need to be on board and excited for the new software. From there, they can delegate to area managers so that they can help identify any potential resistance. This should be addressed immediately on an agreed upon measure based on the reasoning behind the problem.

2: Communicate changes early and often

It is important to have all employees included in on the status from day one of the evaluation as well as getting their input. Whether it be including their needs and wants, to having them see demos and trials, to simply letting them know where the company is at in the process. The less of a shock they get, the easier it makes the transition.

3: Expect resistance

Anticipate that there will be resistance. If there isn’t any, then great, but if there is, you will be prepared. Management should be made aware and agree on how to handle any problems so that they do not escalate. It is also better to pinpoint the exact reason for any issues, as you can better address the roots of the problem from there. Often it is something that can be addressed without complication, but every situation is different so do not treat all cases the same.

4: Identify the causes of resistance

There are many reasons why someone may not want a new CRM software, but let’s look at three of the most common reasons.

  • Thinking they will be fired or their importance lessened. A lot of people tend to think a fancy software can do so much that they are no longer needed, or that their current job can be reduced to a far lesser role. It is often not true though, as a CRM is strictly a tool built to better manage marketing, sales, and customer service, not replace employees.
  • Dislike of visible processes, not being in total control. With a new CRM, the visibility of accounts, communications, and transactions will be company-wide. So, if you have a sales rep who does not want others to see how much or how little they do, they may not like that. They may want to keep a private control over their area.
  • A general unwillingness to change. For some employees, change is just terrible. They will resist as much as they can for as long as they can. For these people, you need to focus on the positives and how it will improve their personal work life. Making it more about them as opposed to the company can have some benefits.



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