Sales Empowerment Group Blog

You Bought Your CRM and Added Fields, Now What?

Do you know the number one reason CRM system fail? User adoption. In fact, Forrester Research says “lack of user adoption is responsible for 70% of failed CRM projects” and that’s just something we all don’t have time for! The good ole “if you build it, they will come” unfortunately doesn’t bode well in the CRM world. It’s more than the fields you add, it’s the CRM culture that you nurture and continue to grow that takes a solid plan, a well-defined team, a mapped-out process and lots of training.

Here are some key points to make sure the fields that you add, get traction

Sponsorship from all levels

As important as it is to have executive sponsorship at the highest levels to articulate the importance of the CRM succeeding, having buy in at all levels is important. Ensuring CRM initiatives are closely aligned to business strategies will assist in bridging the gap to utilize the system to provide those metrics. Ensure you communicate the go live date of the CRM and prepare individuals to be ready for the system.

Choosing your team

Of course, it’s important to appoint a fabulous CRM administrator that will ensure they maintain the system and implement changes but just as important are the additional key stakeholders that rally and support the system. Having key representative from each respective business unit is significant. Selecting key super users that are well respected, can articulate their business processes and let’s not forget are exciting and willing to be a super user will be your bread and butter for revving up other users. By including all respective departments and having a holistic understanding of how your process effects other business units will set you up for success.

Defining your processes and the fields

Mapping a process out to ensure you have captured what 99.9% of all situations that occur in that process is very important. Of course, there will be exceptions that may fall outside of those perimeters. It’s unrealistic to create a process that is 100% full proof, especially if you have a complex process. Additionally, defining each field and what is expected to be captured during that process is key. If the user has a different understanding of a term/process that was not successfully defined, there is a chance to slightly skew the data. Don’t forget to look into validation rules and workflow rules to assist with your processes.

Defining KPIs and expectations

Your CRM system can harness a wealth of data that can be analyzed in a variety of ways. Ensuring all stakeholders agree on what KPI’s (key performance indicators) are imperative to your business and ensuring you have added fields and ways to capture those details in the system will capitalize your CRM investments. Scheduling reports and preparing dashboards that relay that information consistently, well should be on the reasons you decided to implement a CRM. Ensuring all users are fully aware of their expectations from the CRM and not devaluing the system by speaking to them outside the system will assist with user adoption. You may have heard it before but “if it’s not in the CRM, it doesn’t exist”.


It’s good to research if the additional systems you are using, aside from your CRM can be integrated. This can minimize the duplication of work and allow your CRM to withhold very valuable KPIs.


Make sure you allow time for your super users to test the system. Walk through the most complex situations while walking through your processes (hopefully you have mapped those out, per the prior point above). Have the users/stakeholders sign off once the process deems to as successful should be completed prior to go live.

Training, training, training

Educating your staff on your CRM should not be a one and done thing. The are various levels of learning and having one training sessions to roll out how to use your CRM will be ineffective. Combination training including onsite, remote as well as user guides should be established Training sessions can be done in smaller in bite size learning sessions, which can be recorded for users that weren’t able to attend and can be viewed later. Weekly or bi-weekly training sessions can held early post go live date while having monthly or quarterly refreshers can be schedule later down the line. Making your users aware of updates to the system or process change sessions can be scheduled ad-hoc.


Allowing users to provide feedback and have their voice heard is important. There might be some items that can be implemented quickly after receiving sign off from all stakeholders, feedback that cannot be implemented in the current phase or feedback that may not be able to be implemented ever. Listening to the user’s feedback and providing commentary on the likeliness of their feedback being implemented lets them know that you heard their voice and have considered their solution.

As you can see, just adding fields to a CRM is only one of the many important items to consider when successfully deploying the system. In addition to the above, there are still other factors to consider when building out your CRM that can change based on your industry, size of your organization, your essential KPIs and expectations what you want to get from the system. Always ensure you are keeping up with the latest CRM trends from the platform you selected, everyone is consistently using the system and keep apprised of what feedback you receive from your users.

Krystal Jay

Written by Krystal Jay