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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