Small Business

5 Tips For Rolling Out New Software To Your Small Business

Written by William

What’s the biggest challenge for any leader trying to roll out new business software? It’s forming new habits, because, as you know, old habits die hard. Nothing is more true than the habits of sales people blocking the proper adoption of a customer relationship management software or CRM.

When we started Pipedrive we knew that building a cutting edge sales software wasn’t going to be enough — we needed to focus on making the app as easy to implement as possible. Still, a lot of what has to do with the ease of starting to use a new software has nothing to do with the software itself. Today we visit offer you tricks from our own experience to help you roll out a software to your small business.

Surprisingly enough, it’s pretty common to find yourself the only person using a tool even weeks after initial introduction. Take it from me — I’ve had it happen twice during my career.

Thankfully, there are five steps any leader can take in order to counter that issue – that we’ve seen work from experience — and get everyone in your team to start using that shiny, new and results-boosting business software.

1. Announce and explain your plans before you implement the software

Imagine implementing a new sales CRM software. “Man, he’s only trying to have more control over us!” It’s quite likely your sales team might be thinking just this. That’s even when your real intention may have been something completely different, like making sure that two people on the same team don’t try to sell your product to the same person twice, one after another, or making sure that you provide the most continuous, best customer service, even over summer holidays.

The solution? Tell your team just that – “We’re going to use this lead tracking software in order to avoid calling the same person twice and to make sure you can safely disconnect while on that cruise.” Misinterpretation of each other’s intention is common, so be sure to be as clear about your plans and reasons as possible.

2. Let your people know how often they should be using the tool

Most tools are only any good if the data in it is up-to-date. Let your team know about your expectations as to whether your tool needs to updated immediately after an activity, once a day, once a week or for a specific meeting that only takes place every now and then. This will help you and your team to form a habit of using the business software consistently.

3. It’s not a choice – tell your team that using the tool is mandatory

Do-or-die really does describe this situation. It’s never been more necessary to let people know that using the new software is not optional – it’s mandatory. Have one person not use it for a day or two, and you can be sure that others will follow suit. In the end, you’ll be paying for a tool that some people use… sometimes… with fragmented data – which is bad news.

Being explicit with your team about what you expect from them during the software implementation phase is incredibly important. Give feedback then, and you’ll avoid a mountain of problems later.

Oh.. and tell them there’s no going back – when I was still active in sales management and tried to implement the very first CRM in our team, I didn’t explicitly tell everyone that there was no going back to Excel. In my mind, it seemed obvious. What happened made it clear to me that “obvious” doesn’t work – some never even made the switch, and those who did went back very quickly – all of this because I let them.

4. Inform your team about the tool and its advantages

Remember back when you were a kid and as an answer to your questions, your parent would sometimes give the “because I said so”? Now if you don’t explain the benefits of your new sales pipeline software or time management application to your team, and don’t show them the perceived advantages before deployment, then you’re that parent. We all like to know why we do things, so give your team the reasons and proof.

And remember, humans are naturally adverse to change. If you explain ahead of time how this software disruption will in the end save them time and make their lives easier, they will more easily welcome it into their routines.

5. Settle on a deployment date and tell your people about it

This one really is common sense, right? Apparently not. Quite often, it turns out from anecdotal evidence, team leaders either forget or don’t bother telling their teams. They start using the software, get one or two other people involved, and then expect everyone to be on board with the new tool. Hearsay is not an effective method in deploying a new tool – so make sure everyone knows when they need to start using that new software.

Then have a plan of action laid out as to when each team member will be given access to the app, when trainings will happen, and when they will be expected to have migrated all their contact information and sales notes from Excel spreadsheets to the more useful mobile tool. And make sure they know who the main contact is to ask for any training or questions about the app.

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