CRM User adoption isn’t about driving system usage. It isn’t about training. It isn’t about the tool or the business processes, ROI, costs, or revenue. It is about behavior modification. 

Think of the characteristics of your BEST employee. What are the 3 behaviors that describe why they are the best?

As a leader what you are really trying to do is box those qualities up and give them to all your other employees. 

So no matter where you are in your process you can do this activity to reframe the purpose of the system implementation:

1. Write down your business objectives. 

2. Write out “How do the qualities of my best employee show up in meeting that business objective?” These are the behaviors you will want to focus on. 

3. Now your job is to be a Behavior Modification Therapist and identify, ‘Why aren’t all your employees doing the same things your star employee is doing?’ Perhaps it’s because they don’t know how (this is why so many people associate training with user adoption) but more often than not the true reason is because they have some underlying beliefs that need to be addressed. 

Start first with security- it is the most basic need. While fight or flight is how we are genetically hardwired we aren’t running from bears anymore so we have connected security to things like money and our jobs. If someone is afraid they are going to lose their job they will be less likely to admit this fear. You have to make your organization a safe place to learn and grow. 

The next most common underlying belief is status, the need to feel important and have purpose. This often shows up in just needing to be stack ranked as better than everyone else. While it appears these folks desire competition and measuring results, you can shift these people’s behaviors by encouraging collaboration. Teaching them you value their ability and willingness to raise other people up to their level rather than praising them for being the best. You can fulfill the ego need by telling them, “Because you are the best, you can make the most impact by teaching others your awesomeness.” This gives them the sense of purpose that fills their need for status. 

As a leader you are as much a coach and therapist as you are a doer or a manager. For some this is a new concept. The best way to hone these skills is to start by reading great leadership books. I recommend “Getting Naked” by Patrick Lencioni. 

Learn how to be vulnerable yourself so you can model it for your employees. Then get to work on modifying people’s behaviors, not on driving user adoption. 

Leave a Comment