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Posted by William Band on December 3, 2013
To succeed in the age of the customer, business and IT professionals who support front-office business processes cannot afford failed technology initiatives. But how do you acquire and deploy the appropriate supporting technologies and lead and sustain the necessary organizational changes to be successful?
Knowledge workers have a great deal of control over the tools they use to get their jobs done, and you must convince them of the value of using a new technology tool. The cost of poor adoption is twofold: underutilized investment and unmet business objectives. Driving adoption needs to be a top priority of any customer relationship management (CRM) initiative, and getting there requires skills and resources to drive effective change management.
To understand the prevalence of the risks and pitfalls that AD&D pros need to navigate to achieve a successful CRM technology project, Forrester partnered with CustomerThink to survey 650 individuals who had been involved in a CRM technology project as a business professional in sales, marketing, customer service, or IT within the past 36 months.
According to our respondents, the top "people" challenges when implementing a CRM solution include cultural resistance to adopting new ways of working (45%), difficulties in achieving user adoption (44%), insufficient planning and attention given to change management (42%), and inadequate leadership (38%).
CRM success truly hinges on effective change management. Three main phases make up business change management from the people perspective: 1) getting ready; 2) making change happen; 3) reinforcing change. Planning for change includes developing a strong vision, identifying expected results, and getting the executive stakeholder to commit to active involvement. Implementing effective change includes activities that range from high-level planning around why the change is needed all the way down to addressing employees' concerns about how the change is going to affect them. Communication and reinforcement activities need to continue to ensure that the change becomes a part of the organization's culture.
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