So let's see, You've selected the right CRM software, you've prepared your data, the last missing piece is You. You and your organization. Like any tool, its useless if no one uses it. It's also not enough to use it, you have to use it well.
It takes a great many things to use it well.
Get input and buy-in from your whole Organization
When an edict comes down from on-high sometimes your employees except it, sometimes they push back. With something as important as integrating a CRM into your business you don't want to take a chance that it might not take. Talk to your organization, get them to understand why having a CRM will be beneficial, not just for you or for management, but for the whole organization, and how it will make their day-to-day work easier, more efficient, and in the case of your sales department, more lucrative.
The CRM is designed to work with or improve your business processes
The point of technology is to support your business, and have it work for you, not work for it. Design your CRM to work with your current methods. That being said, now is the time to take a step back and assess what is and what isn't working. Just because you've been doing something a certain way for the last 5, 10 years doesn't mean it's the best way, and doesn't mean it should be maintained and replicated in your CRM.
Gather some fresh prospective. Adding a CRM to your organization offers you the ability to drastically change the way you work. Implementation is the perfect time to make some changes. Stir things up a bit. Make your company improve its operations. As small business owners we often spend so much time working in the business we often forget to work on the business. Now is your chance. A word of caution. Don't try to change too much all at once. It can be harder to implement. Too much change can be frustrating to your users if they have to relearn everything. Also, if you're making big changes you'll likely make some mistakes or misplaced assumptions. Not everything you devise will be perfect. Best to fine tune each new aspect and move onto the next. Big Bang projects seldom succeed.
Don't create functionality for the sake of functionality
It's hard to resist, I know. Especially with Salesforce. It can be so easy and tempting to add a field for this, a check box for that, a picklist for that other thing. But do you really need it? Are you really using that information. I mean really using it. Are your reporting on it, tracking it. Is it crucial to your business in some way shape or form? If not, leave it out. You can always add it later. The point is, the more complex data entry is, the harder you make it for your people to use, and the less likely they are to use it. And if you make those fields mandatory, and your not using the data, then you're just wasting time doing pointless data entry. Just think it through.
Roll it out the right way
Giving everyone access all at once might work. It might not. If you have imported your data over to your new CRM it will be easier to get people working sooner. However, if there is no data in the system, it's hard to get people using it, especially your Outside Sales Reps. Who, I'm guessing, are your target audience. Try this instead. Give access to your Inside Sales reps first. Get them plugging data in day-in, day-out as they are making their cold calls. Track their use. Incentivize it. After a month or two there there will be so much data in the system it'll be hard for your outside Reps to go anywhere else for the data. From there Account managers can start using the system. Then your service reps if you're using your CRM to manage support. It's a chain Reaction. It just has to start somewhere.
I've said it numerous times, but it bears repeating again and again. People don't respect what you don't inspect. This goes for User Adoption too. Salesforce for example provides a User Adoption Dashboard for you to track user activity. You can track number of accounts, contacts, leads and any other type of record added. Make sure data is getting entered. Track activities each month. Make sure people are doing and tracking their efforts. Logins, Just making sure people are logging into the system when first rolled out is important. Track anything that is important to your business. Make it competitive, create a sales Leader board and share it with the company. A little competitive spirit can make it fun and spur adoption.
Incentivize the right behavior
Sometimes you have to offer incentives to get people motivated. But you can offer both intrinsic or extrinsic or both. Creating a login wall of shame dashboard that shows who hasn't logged into the system could be a great way to make people login without getting grief from their co-workers. Creating a monthly Sales Leader board can be a great way to get your reps amped up about putting in the data, and logging in regularly. Inform your reps that their commission will only be based on sales opportunities entered in your CRM. Sit back and watch how fast they adopt the system.
Becareful what you incentivize though. You run the risk of creating bad behavior. If your reps are entering overly optimistic closings dates to meet their pipeline forecast and are routinely way off. Ding them on that. Make them get better at forecasting. Knowing what to reward that will lead to positive results and what to penalize is a much larger discussion. You know your people, you know your business. Give it some thought. Just becareful not to reward the wrong behavior that will undermine your efforts.
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