Changing Your CRM – Why Your Team Resists Change and What You Can Do About It

Carl Taylor | October 20, 2021

Implementing a new CRM could improve your business and ensure better results across the board. Yet, your employees are showing resistance to the idea. Here’s how you can resolve that issue and help your team accept the change.

CRMs are at the core of many businesses that function online. But as the online environment changes and your business grows, the CRM that worked well until now might not be sufficient to satisfy new requirements.

Upgrading to a different CRM to improve your business or resolve previous issues is hardly uncommon. In fact, if you’ve done enough research, chances are you’ve found just the CRM for your business and want to migrate to it.

This is the point where a particular issue might arise: Your team can be unwilling to accept the change. And if you’re facing resistance whenever you bring up the idea of implementing a new CRM, your options will be somewhat limited.

You could forget about the new CRM, which is unacceptable for most business owners. Or, you could force the change upon your team, which would likely produce more problems.

The best approach would be to convince your team to make the change. After all, introducing a new CRM can create a significant shift in how your business operates, so it’d be great if you could get everyone on board.

If this approach seems preferable to you, the first thing you’ll need to do is understand why your employees might resist change. This article will help you do just that and offer some of the most effective methods to alleviate the issue.


Why Is Your Team Resisting the Change?

You might’ve met people who welcome change and become excited to participate in something new. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with all employees. Yours might even have considerable resistance to change, which can become stronger as they consider the impact of the change.

This happens for a variety of reasons, the first of which may be fear of failure.

People settle into routines and are more comfortable when things are predictable. And the fact is that new tools and systems can take people out of their comfort zone.

Some might feel more secure with the current setup because they’ve learned to predict outcomes and can leverage that experience to produce constant results. When change occurs, those employees could resist it because they fear that their performance will suffer.

Fear of failure ties into another fear that things will get out of the employee’s control.

A familiar work environment makes people feel in control, giving them confidence on a daily level. But when things change drastically, this feeling can go away quickly, leaving the employee on shaky ground.

Another fear feeds into this complex – the universal human fear of the unknown.

This fear relates to the two previously mentioned. People often feel resistance towards unfamiliar things, and this fear can grow out of hand if employees don’t receive enough information about the changes taking place.

Other reasons why employees might not be willing to accept change are less irrational.

For example, they might see the new thing as unnecessary. If their part of the job is going well and the organisation as a whole isn’t experiencing severe problems, people can be more inclined to stick to the status quo.

Also, they might find the new system to be disruptive rather than helpful and even argue in favour of the old way. This attitude often results from employees not having enough information or understanding about what the business needs to maintain or improve its status in the market.

On the other hand, some employees might see the big picture but resist the change because it could potentially make their job more complex. This is a particular issue with those who tend to have a closed mind or aren’t willing to learn new things.

Needless to say, a large part of why people resist change comes down to fear, lack of understanding, or a combination of both.

So, if you want to implement a new CRM – or, for that matter, introduce any significant change into your business – you’ll need to help your employees overcome their fears.


How to Help Your Team Accept the CRM Change

Tip #1. Listen to (And Acknowledge) All Feedback

Your team needs to have the opportunity to voice their opinions, especially on matters that impact their jobs. While certain changes need no introduction or additional explanation, changing your CRM will most likely require an active dialogue with your team.

By asking your employees for feedback, you’ll be engaging them in the process. You’ll simultaneously create an opportunity to provide detailed explanations on why your business needs a new CRM and how it will help the entire organisation reach its goals.

All of this will make your team buy into the change faster and realign everyone in the right direction.

Acknowledging feedback is also crucial, especially when it’s constructive. That’s why it’s best to let your team know that you’ve heard what they have to say about the upcoming change.

However, you shouldn’t leave it at the verbal level then. Take action based on the feedback and show that everyone in your organisation can contribute to what takes place within.

Tip #2. Explain Why the Change is Needed

Transparency is often the key to success, both when business is as usual and when changes are being made. That means your team should understand why the company needs a new CRM and what the change will mean for everyone involved.

It would be useful to meet with employees and discuss the matter individually. If your people feel they’re in the loop and know why the change is necessary, they’ll be more comfortable with accepting the new CRM.

Being open and transparent with employees about why the change is essential and what outcomes it’ll bring about can only benefit your business.

This approach also helps build trust and motivate your employees, so it should become your core principle, especially when resolving internal issues.

Tip #3. Help Your Team Understand How the New CRM Will Benefit Them

The primary reason you’re introducing a new CRM is likely because it will make certain parts of your process more straightforward. This positive change will affect your employees and you’ll need to guide them through the benefits that await them with the new system.

First, you’ll have to define roles for everyone involved. Explain in detail what their responsibilities will be and how the new CRM will help them become more efficient. Then, you could introduce milestones and regular check-ins, through which you can update employees on their progress.

And if you want to emphasise the positive sides of the new CRM, you can boost enthusiasm by allowing your team to score some early wins. At the same time, your team will understand the advantages they get with the new system better.

It’s also worth mentioning that the transition period could be seamless if people feel like their work performance has remained on the same level despite using a new CRM.

Tip #4. Create an Implementation Plan (And Share It)

The best way to implement change is to lead it from the top.

Your implementation plan should include the senior staff, who should be the first ones to adopt the new system. Having your management ready to answer any questions about how things will function from now onward should be the foundation of your plan.

You’ll also need to outline which team member is responsible for which part of the process and establish accountability early on. In relation to the previously mentioned feedback and check-ins, make sure those are maintained throughout the implementation period.

You need to get everyone clear on their tasks so that they’ll start getting a better grasp of the new CRM. And with the exchange of feedback between employees and management, all team members will get on the same page more easily.

The point of a sound implementation plan is twofold.

First, your goal is to ensure that your business starts using the new CRM in the most efficient way as soon as possible. Second, you’ll quickly establish a new work routine, which will help the more resistant team members get comfortable in the changed circumstances.

Tip #5. Offer Training in the New CRM

Most changes introduced to your business will require a certain level of training. And the company’s CRM is certainly no exception.

Your team should receive training in the new system early, preferably before you actually make the switch. This way, people will already be familiar with the CRM when you implement it into your process.

Keep in mind that training is a relatively common pitfall for many companies. Getting employees proficient in a new tool requires time and budgetary spending, which some business owners aren’t ready to sacrifice.

A successful roll-out of the new CRM is the best way to remove initial issues. Like with most unfamiliar things, fear disperses as soon as people learn more about the subject. The same will apply to your CRM.

Tip #6. Reward Acceptance

Know that you’ll have employees in your team who will accept the change more readily than others. Those team members will also play a significant role in ensuring wider acceptance and you should recognise their contribution as such.

Provide public rewards to those who make an effort and show a positive attitude. This will send a clear message that the new CRM represents a welcome change in the organisation and will inspire others to follow their colleague’s example.

Help Your Team Overcome Fear and Accept Change

People tend to take change personally, even if it’s related to their workplace. That’s why introducing a new tool like a CRM is bound to have an impact on your team members.

However, you can make the change much smoother if you choose the right approach. So, one additional piece of advice is to make working with the new CRM effortless for your employees.

And Automation Agency can help you to do just that.

We can suggest a CRM based on the supported platforms that will fit your business best. Then, we’ll assist you in implementing that system to save you time and trouble. If you’d like our help in rolling out a new CRM, get in touch by clicking on this link and we can get started.

About the author 

Carl Taylor

Carl Taylor is the Founder & CEO of Automation Agency. For the past 10 years Carl has been building businesses and marketing them online through the use of Sales Funnels, Email Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, and Wordpress Websites. Carl is also a #1 author and highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted thousands of businesses across various industries worldwide.

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