Four things to include in your CRM change management plan

Your team has struggled with your current CRM system for a while, and you’ve done your homework and know which one you want to switch to. Great. But there’s still a long and tough road ahead of you as you try to implement this change. There’s also the mammoth task of ensuring all your precious data is transferred without any glitches, and the transition is smooth so that it doesn’t impact revenue. Before any of that, your first task is to ensure your team uses the solution. 

Nobody likes change. Most of us spend our lives either avoiding it or delaying it. It is the same reason why we put up with a CRM that is inflexible to the needs of your growing business or doesn’t support integrations with the latest products in the market. While you might have a logistical plan ready to make this CRM switch, here are some key points to keep in mind to get you started: 

Encourage transparency and communication 

The only way you can get your team and collaborators to support you in this tedious endeavor is to ensure they see a reason for this change and believe the new CRM can solve their current problems. Don’t be afraid to answer questions and give your reasons for doing so. Back your answers with data, use different methods to communicate - an official email, call for a conference or invite one-on-one chats with dissenters in the team. If your team can see your reasons, they will support you. Moreover, they will feel like a part of the decision, and hence take ownership over the eventual result. This simple act of transparent communication can define your company’s work culture and change is a great opportunity to build on that. 

Look for champions from within the team 

A great way to get buy-in from the sales team is to find one or two advocates from within the team who can champion your cause. Bring them in early, provide early access and let them communicate the benefits of the new CRM system to their colleagues. Facilitate this by providing them with adequate training and talking material so that they know the tool inside-out. Not only will this make the transition simpler, it means these advocates can help with the actual on-ground implementation of the tool as and when the process progresses. Start the trial at the beginning of the month or quarter when the pressure to meet the quota is lighter than the end of the selling period. 

Get buy-in from senior leaders across teams 

A change like this one can be effective long-term only if it is top-down. As a CRM system will influence process across teams - sales, marketing, support, and finance, it is important that the leadership is in sync with this decision and visibly showing support through the transition. To ensure this, you might have to alter your sales pitch to show them the benefits of the new CRM in terms of their specific departments. They may not need in-depth information on how it works, but you will need to show the impact and expected ROI in clear terms. 

Gun for instant victories 

You know how you feel when you see the weighing machine needle move just after one week of exercise? That feeling is the one thing that keeps you going for another month. This instant gratification and small wins will keep your team motivated to stay on course and support this switch. Start highlighting little victories from day one. Don’t tell them, show them. For instance, are your email contacts automatically captured in the new CRM? Can it record the prospect’s behavior on your website and app, giving you a chronological timeline so that you are better prepared for that phone call? 

Change can be powerful. It can be defining moment for your company where you pivot - in terms of revenues and scale. Use this transition period to not only boost your sales teams’ productivity, but also to bring together teams and align them to a common goal that could define the future of your business and organization.

author image
Radhika Bhangolai

About the author…

Radhika leads the Segment Marketing team for Freshsales at Freshworks Inc. She has over 10 years of experience in Product and Content Marketing.

author image
Radhika Bhangolai

Featured white papers

Related articles