Each CRM implementation seems to have a life of its own. Team makeup and company culture can be large influences in how fast and how far a CRM implementation can go. In general, however, each project tends to flow through 3 identifiable stages: implementation, adoption, and exploitation.
The Meaning of ‘Exploitation’ With Regards to CRM
I realize that exploitation is a strong word. I use this word deliberately because when you successfully move past the adoption stage, some very powerful things start to happen. On the surface, you might think that once a system of any kind has been successfully implemented and users have accepted the change, things would quiet down into “business as usual.” The reality is usually the opposite.
There are two definitions of exploitation. The negative meaning relates to taking advantage of another person. That is not what we are talking about. We are talking about the positive definition, which is something like “the action of making use of and benefiting from resources.”
A kind of magical thing happens when a company emerges from the adoption phase successfully. Suddenly, information requests go through the roof. New ideas start to uncover themselves almost every day. Innovative ideas and a hunger for new information suddenly appear.
Managers and users find a new level of enthusiasm, and the CRM system that used to be a source of pain and change has now become a powerful tool in their arsenal. And even more importantly, they now have a vision of how it can drive their success even more.
Maybe you think I am overblowing this a bit. I don’t think so. I have seen it happen and it has happened to me personally in my own businesses over the years. I will say that many companies never get to the exploitation phase because they never emerge from adoption.
I have written other blog posts on this topic, but let me just say in general, adoption rates are kind of pathetic for. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I think this is caused by poor implementation and a lack of management determination in many cases.
The purpose of this post is to encourage you! You need to know that there is something really powerful lying just on the other side of this painful adoption fight you are in.
Here are some signs that you are entering the exploitation stage:
- Requests for new views, charts, reports, and training by the team start to ramp up.
- A few important system changes are requested by the team to get them “what they actually need.”
- Sales activity starts to build. Users are now driving the process instead of being dragged along by it.
- The internal CRM champion becomes a hero and an important go-to person for the team.
So be encouraged, there are good things just around the corner if you stay at it. It is truly a great day when a sales team shifts from CRM adoption to CRM exploitation.
About the Author
Brian Busscher is the CEO and Founder of Thesis Technologies, a CRM Implementation Partner for the Dynamics 365 CRM. If you would like to discuss how the Dynamics 365 CRM system might be a fit for your organization, please contact the ThesisTech team at (888) 705-7253.
Find other CRM blog posts here.
This blog post has been updated.