Drop and give me 20! Boot Camp Lessons for CRM Success


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When talking with a friend who’s a life-long fitness fanatic, she told me she recently started a 10-week fitness boot camp. This is in addition to her other, ongoing, regular scheduled fitness activities. Even though she is a marathon runner and a competitive swimmer, she was raving about the boot camp.

When she was telling me all the things she loves about it, I learned that some of the tactics and principles of the fitness boot camp could easily be applied to CRM user adoption. Here’s how.

Exercise boot camps give your fitness level a quick lift and measurable results. Can you do the same for your CRM?

My friend is already in great shape, but since she started the boot camp she has seen a marked improvement in results. She said she needed to shake things up and this was a great way to get a quick lift in results.

The same thing can be done with your CRM adoption effort. (Of course, this assumes you already have an ongoing CRM adoption program. You do, don’t you?)

Sometimes a short-term effort to boost adoption can help you shake things up for your users and get them to a new level. Sure, you still need an ongoing CRM user adoption program, but the occasional, creative, unique short-term effort can help you get even more value of your CRM investment.

Challenge yourself to be better

The exercise boot camp is great for people who are already in good shape and want to get even better.

The same goal can apply to a short-term CRM adoption initiative. If you have people who are already using the system, challenge them to find new and creative ways to use even more of its functionality. Encourage them to use the system as part of their daily routine. Challenge them to become your ideal user.

Push me to achieve more

Fitness boot camps challenge people to increase both their endurance and their overall strength. Run longer. Lift more weight. Do more than you thought you could do. Get better results than you could even imagine.

The same can apply to your CRM adoption effort. Challenge users to learn new shortcuts in the system. Help them reduce the time it takes to complete transactions in the system. Help them find new ways that they can automate tasks they are currently performing manually. In short, challenge them to find how they can get more value out of using your CRM system.

Tell me what to do

My friend said what she liked about the boot camp is that it was easy. The instructors told her what to do, how fast, and how many times. She enjoyed the challenge. And the support.

I am shocked at how many CRM initiatives fail simply because people did not ask users to use the system. If you want to increase adoption, ask users for exactly what you want. Tell them how many records they need to create. Tell them when they need to start and stop. Tell them what system modules to use. Tell them on which screen they should enter the information.

Telling users exactly what you want them to do makes it easy for them to do it. They then can focus their energies on making sure they did the job right, and not waste time trying to figure out exactly what it is you want them to do.

Make me part of a team

A large benefit of the boot camp is the sense of camaraderie among the participants. People feel like part of a team. They encourage and support each other.

And there is a sense that you don’t want to let your teammates down.

Shockingly, you can do the same with your CRM adoption effort. You can develop teams and get people to work together. Help people understand that they succeed or fail together.

Let them know that there are other people counting on them.

Get them to help each other.

Make it fun

Just because something is challenging, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. The boot camp gets you smelly, dirty, and generally nasty. And people love it!

Why not make your CRM adoption program fun? How can you get people to enjoy learning the new system? What intrinsic rewards do you want people to receive from adopting the system? Challenge yourself to make people smile and laugh as they learn the system. It makes a difference.

Let it be over!

All good things must come to an end. Races have finish lines. Boot camps have that last class. People need that light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel. It both motivates and gives people a sense of accomplishment. In many cases, people quite literally “have the t-shirt” at the end of it all.

You can do the same with your CRM program. Yes, I have said many times you need an ongoing user adoption program to sustain effective use of the life of the CRM system. However, you can still include short-term, boot camp-inspired activities to boost CRM adoption. Just like with the boot camp, having defined start and end points can guide and inspire your audience.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jason Whitehead
Jason Whitehead is CEO of Tri Tuns, LLC, an organizational effectiveness consultancy specializing in driving and sustaining effective user adoption of IT systems. He works at the intersection of technology, process, culture and people to help clients actually achieved measurable business benefits from their technology investments.


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