A few days ago, I was reading an interesting article on Software Advice. It caught my attention because it offered some very focused and concrete guidelines for choosing and successfully adopting a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. But even more interesting was how much of the advice actually centered around users and user experience.
While the article was excellent in it’s focus on 8 key points to look at to boost chances for a successful CRM adoption, I found it interesting that the underlying idea comes down to users and user experience with a chosen CRM tool. The 8 points stated are essential to reach the goal of adoption and the resulting financial benefits, but I think that there’s much more to it which was not explicitly stated. As with any IT solution, understanding the needs of those who will have to use to a tool, and providing a user experience that empowers people to be productive is the real key to success. Every user, in fact, is a human being, with perceptions, feelings, the ability to learn and the ability to… forget!
As the article points out, choice of a CRM should involve some of the people who will ultimately have to use it, and once the choice is made, training for all users is vitally important. But, as the article also points out, users of CRM systems tend to be very people-focused, not tool-focused. The tool can have a good user interface and still run into adoption hurdles: if I’m in hurry and I have to complete a task, I need tools ready to use and effective, and even if I have to use them only two or three time per year they must help me to complete my activities without loss of time in remembering how they work.
Therein lies a key concept: how to make a tool easily and quickly usable for people who don’t necessarily use it every day — to make sure that when they do need it, they don’t lose time trying to remember how their (admittedly excellent!) CRM works.
What if you could take your state-of-the-art online CRM and provide your sales reps with a “guided journey” through every task they need to do? Some companies might approach this problem through customization of the CRM configuration or coding custom extensions using an API. The problems with that approach include high cost of implementation and maintenance over time.
At Newired, we approach the problem from a different angle: a simple, low-cost, easily modified “overlay” solution that enables non-technical people such as sales managers to create exactly the guided user experiences your users need for any task or tool operation. New users need minimal training, thereby lowering training costs. Experienced users don’t waste time trying to remember operations they don’t need to do every day, plus they always have a handy reference even for more familiar tasks, thus reducing the chances for mistakes. All users get the feeling that their tool is really there to make them productive, not just to make “busy-work”.