CRM Culture- How to bring CRM culture successfully?
By Sarah Meyers
Ever heard that ‘change is the only constant in this world’? In fact, for what it holds most true is today’s ever evolving business landscape which makes it necessary to bring CRM culture and remain on top of things. Businesses like yours are undergoing digital transformation daily and with it adopting CRM to stay relevant to their customers who hold awe-inspiring power. Actually, according to Gartner:
“CRM will be at the heart of digital initiatives in coming years. This is one technology area that will get funding because digital business is critical for companies to remain competitive.”
CRM is penetrating the market like never before, according to some stats more than 91pc of organizations having 11 or more employees are using CRM in some form. At the same time businesses like yours are finding it increasingly difficult to bring CRM culture to exploit the complete potential of CRM platforms. Yes you are not alone, there are many out there who are making mistakes with their CRM strategy and sinking their CRM investment.
The Hurdles in bringing CRM Culture
Change is all around us as Heraclitus revealed! Yet implementing it ourselves becomes the most daunting of tasks. As mistakenly believed by many, it never happens with a stroke of a pen- may it be your CEO’s. Let me reveal to you the four hurdles that the Wall Street Journal reminds us about cultural change which applies to culture of CRM as well.
- People do not understand why change is happening
- People do not want to bring change (experienced this one a lot right?)
- Limited resources or shifting of resources
- Resistance to change- atmosphere of ‘getting shot down before standing up!’
We know all of these to some extent and well if you’re any company like the hundreds that I know of, you may have very well experienced these in your own organization. But don’t you worry! I will go through FIVE ways or the S-H-O-C-K approach with which you can conveniently overcome hurdles and bring a successful CRM culture. These are:
Shocking your organization; Helping them understand, Optimizing Implementation, Capitalizing on your Strengths and Keeping on reinforcing the new attitudes. Let’s discuss these below in detail!
The S-H-O-C-K Approach to bring CRM Culture
1.Shock your Organization to bring Culture of CRM
“Enough is enough folks! We better become CRM centric now or become irrelevant”. Yes, this attitude is required in the very first step as you start to face negative attitude from your people. There is always little motivation on the part of employees. Legendary Behavioral Psychologist, B.F. Skinner proposed this approach in the 20th century and it’s still used by leading organizations to tackle lethargic employees who despise change.
Unless you disrupt the existing ways, people would be most resistive to bringing CRM culture change. Disrupt the processes first and then let them settle in with a new CRM centric approach.
Many experts on the topic go to the limit of proposing major lay-offs and disrupting even the daily workflows to bring change. I sincerely hope that this does not become the case at your company and for that reason we move to the second way to bring change in CRM culture.
2.Help them understand CRM Culture and its benefits
All of us are afraid of the dark! Ever wonder why? Psychological trends consistently reveal that people will always resist things they cannot grasp. Similarly your employees will always resist the new culture as long as they do not understand it.
Clinical records consistently show that ‘role models’ is a decisive factor in the triumph of a new culture. Firstly, your company’s CEO needs to be CRM centric before you can ask people to follow his lead.
So then what do you need to do? Make them Understand CRM culture! Explain it to them, relate to their troubles, understand them, and also reveal to them how this change will develop them personally and professionally. Everyone would jump on board once they can visualize the silver lining in the dark cloud.
3.Optimize CRM Culture Implementation
Majority of the organizational experts agree that the reporting structures, measurement procedures, operational processes, performance measurement and rewards system- all of these must be consistent with the behavior that CRM culture asks you to embrace.
When you ask the employees to adopt the culture of CRM while your organizational culture remains outdated, things don’t work out. You need to optimize all processes before you start expecting results. Every organization works differently and therefore there is no easy way to describe the steps you can take to implement this optimization. But a time tested rule remains the same. What is it?
You are aiming to change the mindset of your employees and to do this you’ll need to have an integrated management approach which ensures that every process, behavior or activity is a one step closer to achieving overall organizational change. In short, you need to give them an impression that they’re doing meaningful work which is contributing to overall positive change on organizational level.
4.Capitalize on your strengths to bring CRM culture
Every organization has its strengths if not weaknesses. Consider that an organization wants to bring CRM culture and can’t find any prior strength in the domain of customer relationship to help with cultural reorientation. What does it need? Brainstorming!
For example, it is a strength if your company comprises of people of different ages. You must be wondering how that can help me bring CRM culture. Let’s see: You have both young and old people at your organization. Both of these are having their own reservations about this new found culture change that you’re working on. What you do is that you create a ‘Mixed-team’- comprising both old people and youngsters and ask them to spend half an hour daily to suggest how to bring CRM Culture. The youngsters will bring their Optimism and Energy and the experienced oldies will polish that energy with their insights. This would be a sure way to overcome all obstacles and get everyone on board to implement CRM culture
How did you bring a triumphant situation? By exploring and then leveraging on your strengths
Your CRM culture will be a mix of CRM centric values, investment of time and energy in CRM related solutions and also the traditions which support your CRM culture. These are the things you need in order to reinforce your new culture. Your higher management will continue to lead by example and show appreciation for the employees working towards the higher goal. New traditions will help making the process easier. For instance, you can stimulate healthy competition, award the winners, encourage the runner-ups and celebrate major accomplishments.
These initiatives will help you map your journey towards CRM culture adoption: where you once stood, where you stand today and where you’re aspiring to reach. Having clarity of goals and reinforcing the commitment is a sure way to succeed in bringing CRM culture in your very own organization.
What are your thoughts on the SHOCK approach to bring CRM culture? Do you agree? Would you implement a culture of CRM at your company? Do share your comments as I would love to hear your thoughts!