When Change Management Can Go Wrong

Your organization experiences many changes, from large-scale projects like a new CRM implementation to smaller-scale Salesforce enhancements. The success or failure of these initiatives depends on communication, but really – change management. You can end up in many situations where the rollout of a new initiative or technology implementation plan goes wrong, so it’s important to know how to get things back on track to avert disaster.

Poor Communication

The easiest thing to tackle, but also what gets skimmed over and where corners are cut. Bad communication makes everything more difficult during times of major change in your organization. Your frontline employees won’t know why the CRM is changing, have visibility into the long-term benefits and ultimately, be unable to provide feedback. In some cases, they may not even be aware of the change. Employees could keep using the original features or system because they have no idea that something new is in place. Talk about a waste of time and money.

Avoid this problem by building in strong communication channels in your change management plan. Ideally, you can give stakeholders a single point of contact so they can easily reach out for more information. Develop internal rollout plans, emails that go out over the course of the implementation or cycle of change. Put meetings and check-ins on the calendar to get a status update. There are simple solutions that can catch communication breakdowns quickly.

Lack of Buy-in

If your team understands the “why” this part should be easier. Start there. Then figure out – who is onboard with the project? Are end users eager to see new changes in the CRM or a brand new solution? Do you have advocates in upper management willing and able to help you get the resources you need?

Getting buy-in throughout the organization is an essential part of change management. And, not just in the beginning. Throughout the project, continue to get buy-in and build champions or success-stories. You need enthusiastic individuals to help drive adoption and promote the benefits of CRM changes. Get people involved early on in the process, so they feel like their feedback makes a difference.

Inadequate Tools

Sometimes you just don’t have the right technology in place to support the major change or you lack other tools. For example, you may have a problem getting end users interested in a CRM change if you don’t have sufficient trainers to show them how to use the new system.

Look at the resources you need before you start on major or minor projects. Ask your sales rep to speak with a customer that recently went through this – what were the major pitfalls? Lessons learned? You don’t want to end up halfway through the deployment before finding out that you don’t have everything necessary for a successful change. Work closely with upper management so you have insight into what you’ll have available at each phase of the project.

Bad Strategy

Organizations don’t always have a good change management strategy. It may fail to align with the company culture or only have Executives bought into the plan and not individual users. If your adoption numbers don’t look great, examine your current strategy to see whether it really fits in with the department or business as a whole. For example, if you try to conduct end user training as large group sessions and cause everyone to fall behind on their project deadlines, they may get resentful and find reasons to skip out on these sessions. Switching to a self-directed training program can eliminate this type of issue.

Ignoring End-User Requirements

A CRM solution or feature may sound great on paper, but is it actually solving a problem for your end users? Conduct interviews and feedback sessions during the planning phases, so you gain a better understanding of their pain points. Not only do you end up selecting the changes that benefit them the most, you also help drive adoption numbers up since they were heard at this critical stage.

Ultimately, these are just a few (but the main ways) change management plans can get derailed within a company. When you identify problem areas in advance, you gain the ability to proactively avoid these issues and increase your chances of having a successful CRM change.

For more resources come to our event, Wednesday, June 20th on Change Managment.

Tickets available here! Use my code “jcoakley” for 60% off!

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