In a 2018 study of the sales operations at more than 300 companies, the CSO Insights research division of Miller Heiman found that “when companies adopted at least 75 percent of their CRM system’s capabilities and combined the system with a formal sales process, there was notable improvement in win rates and quota attainment.”
It makes sense. Companies implement software solutions to solve problems, and the software can only address the problems if it’s used. If it isn’t, then companies aren’t getting their money’s worth out of their software investment.
I work for a cloud-based provider that offers a robust range of customer experience management (CXM) software solutions for consumer lenders.
Enterprise solutions can be a major investment, so it is important to translate that software investment into value for the company and satisfaction for customers.
At Katabat, we believe in ensuring companies get real value out of their software investments. That’s why created an Advisory Services program as an important add-on for new and existing clients.
Ensuring Successful Initial Deployment
The initial deployment period is critical to organization-wide, successful adoption of a software solution. As much as vendors would like their enterprise platforms to be plug-and-play, the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” rings true.
Here are a few thoughts on how you can increase the adoption of new software investments throughout your organization, based on our experience deploying our platform through many organizations:
- Find the low-hanging fruit. A few quick wins will build word-of-mouth and momentum for the new platform.
- Find a big win. You probably needed to make a strong business case to different areas before they approved your software investment. Now they’ll be looking for a return on that investment. Ask where you can get some significant value in terms of saving time, money, or resources. And when you find that big win, make sure you circle back and communicate the success.
- Find a dedicated owner. “Evangelist” or “Champion” might be a better way to describe this person. He or she needs to be responsible for the system and make sure it’s being used. This person requires his or her staff to demonstrate that they’re using the platform regularly and, most important, looking for ways to optimize its functionality. If not, users will forget the education; including the tricks and tips that aren’t in the manual. In addition, encourage infrequent users to work side-by-side with power users and try new things on a regular basis
- Find time for the education. Katabat offers three days of hands-on user education during deployment of our software. Ask your vendor during contract negotiations what they’ll do in this area and when. We have found that sitting down with users about six weeks before going live helps us help them build their processes and test them. Make sure the software provider is committed to teaching you “how to fish” and require your users (and leadership team) to participate in the education.
Our three days of complimentary, side-by-side user education includes configuring the platform; suggesting strategic workflow improvements based on the platform capabilities; and demonstrating features to users on-site.
Making It Work After Adoption
Katabat doesn’t limit Advisory Services to new enterprise clients; current clients can choose to re-engage us well after initial deployment. The lenders we serve must constantly adapt to new regulations and create new ways to engage with customers, increase revenue, and reduce operating expense.
That’s where skilled professional advice can help maintain and optimize the value of a software investment. In our case, the team that built Katabat’s solutions came from major banks and consumer lending organizations. They aren’t fresh-faced college grad “consultants,” and they understand clients’ challenges.
When Advisory Services works with a current client, we ask the same questions your software provider should be asking you or that you should be asking yourself:
- Are competing priorities impeding on effective implementation?
- Do new users need to attain higher proficiency?
- Do you want to reconfigure your solutions in support of a new business initiative as quickly as possible?
- Have you created a new lending strategy but you’re now finding out that IT resources are stretched thin and will delay implementation?
Look for advisers who have been in your shoes. They can help you get maximum value from your technology—at every stage.
Your turn: What have YOU done to increase the ROI of YOUR software investment?