Back in 2008, I started a blog called CRM value. The idea was to explore areas of value CRM could generate for a company – as a strategy and an IT business solution. The basic premise was that a company could generate value from a CRM strategy and solution on two levels:
- Management Value
- Operational Value
Management Value is most often related to better insight into a business. Be it knowledge about customer portfolio, which allows you to adjust your offerings to better match the customers’ needs, forecasting of sales to allow corrections in staffing, production, supply chain, or market insights which allows management to plot the course for the company, looking at future possibilities rather than past history is a huge benefit. Looking out the windscreen rather than the rear view mirror
Operational Value is normally related to optimization and automation of processes, eradication of redundant work – in short making employees more efficient, giving them better tools to perform and to perform better. Operational Value is what benefits the users gain from the solution.
In my experience, it is most often the management value, which drives investments in CRM solutions. C-level management requires insight to better drive businesses and CRM is rightly seen as instrumental in this regard.
However, I have often seen companies underestimate how much of the management value relies on analytics of the data from the system. Data, which is generated by the daily operations – created by users. Data, which is reliant of Operational Value. Because most users will be asking: What’s in it for me?
If you cannot deliver Operational Value with a CRM solution – you do not deliver benefits to the users. If users do not get benefits from using the solution, USER ADOPTION will suffer, meaning it is more than likely that the data generated will be inaccurate, inconsistent or non-existent.
As the data in the system is the basis of most of the management value, if the data is inconsistent or incorrect, there is a significant risk that the management value will not materialize. This means the business case behind the IT investment will not be valid. User Adoption is the primary value driver for your IT solution. User Adoption is critical to your Return On Investment!
Focus on Generating Value
Because User Adoption is critical to the value, you generate with your IT solutions and because we – at AlfaPeople – are focused on generating value for our customers, we have decided to focus on user adoption in a series of blogs addressing a range of topics from different causes of poor user adoption to various ways of improving it.. Our hope is to inspire companies to focus on operational value and user adoption and thereby to gain more value from their IT solutions.
Today, 7 years on from my initial blog, I maintain that user adoption is critical in driving value generation from CRM solutions.
How do you ensure your users get value from your CRM solution and thereby drive the management value and subsequent benefits? How do you ensure Return On your CRM Investment?