“My brokers are used to Excel and Outlook. They have their way of doing things and they don’t have time to learn a new tool. What can I do about it?”
We hear it all the time. Brokers may be particularly resistant to change sometimes, but change management in general is something all businesses (and managers) face. New technology often promises to make your lives better or easier, but you have to get everyone on board for it to work.
Here are some ways to make CRM (or any other technology adoption) successful.
1. Put the right communication and training in place from the beginning.
When announcing the change and communicating along the way, don’t overwhelm your brokers with information. Talk about and train brokers on changes to their day-to-day process. By focusing on real-world examples, you can overcome the “fear of the new” as users realize the benefits of the new technology.
Also be clear about what’s changing and what’s in it for them. Will it give them the opportunity to make more money? Will it increase productivity in a way that reduces weekend work?
2. Remember that it’s a political campaign. Get the influential users on-board and neutralize negative parties.
You probably already know the people who are going to be excited about this, as well as those who will resist the change. Make sure to sit down with both factions beforehand. Get the champions involved so they can coach others on how to use the technology to their benefit. Don’t just pick the most tech-savvy individuals; choose people who work horizontally across the organization and are well respected within the team. It can be more meaningful and valuable to get some brokers who aren’t typically among the earliest tech adopters to help champion a new platform or tool.
Continue to manage emotions through the process. Focus on the positive, and stay positive yourself. Your brokers look to leadership, so make sure to lead by example.
3. Make it fun.
Throughout the year, coworkers come together to create winning March Madness brackets, fantasy football teams and pots of chili—competing passionately for bragging rights or another prize. Create a similar competition to build excitement and encourage brokers to use your new CRM or other new tool. To reduce the technology gap between individuals, set up teams so the more tech-savvy brokers can coach the less tech-inclined. For example, give a company-paid dinner to the first team to have each broker log 50 calls inside of the CRM. Or give a gift card to the first broker to successfully convert five new proposals to a listing.
4. Share success stories.
Once employees begin to use the technology more and more, draw attention to the positive impact it’s having on individual and organizational results. Publicizing quick wins helps build a case for change and encourages further adoption. It’s as easy as sending an email or giving a shout-out at your weekly team meeting.
5. Have a post-implementation plan.
Training and adoption do not end when the new system goes live. In fact, post-implementation support is an important area for ensuring ongoing user adoption. Make sure to take advantage of any webinars or training your technology vendor offers, and follow-up with your brokers frequently.
6. Set your expectations for technology adoption.