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Getting staff to use CRM

I am interested to read about the CRM approach to SME's, and your recommendation of Goldmine. We are an IT software provider and use Goldmine for our own internal use, but even in a small environment(15 employees) we can't seem to get everybody to utilise it in the same way. Changing people's mind sets seems to be the biggest challenge. Would you agree? And if so, is there anything you would recommend?
You note that you're having difficulty getting people in your organization to use your CRM application. This is a very common problem. CRM requires a cultural shift in attitude, process, and procedure. A key technique to ensure usage of the system is to develop closed loop processes.

With closed-loop processes, business initiatives (such as conference & event planning, lead distribution, reporting and analysis, and literature fulfillment) can only be accomplished via the CRM tool -- all other workarounds and shortcuts are eliminated. Closed-loop processes become so intertwined with the technology that, if someone failed to input the results of a sales call for example, the resulting discrepancy would become apparent further up the process chain -- perhaps as reports are run and analyzed by sales management. Or, T&E checks might not process if respective visit aren't logged. Or, status reports (again run via the CRM system) would be missing important details.

Closed-loop processes are self validating and self-cleansing because information inputs, processing, and outputs are well defined and integrated across departments and throughout the CRM application. However, it requires careful planning, analysis, and process design -- something that many small firms resist (and many times can live without -- until technology initiatives are undertaken.)

My advice -- start small and keep it simple. Automate one high impact closed loop task and learn from the experience.

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