The 2 Types of Learning in a New CRM: How to Reach Full Adoption

May 26, 2021 | Charlotte Kresse
The 2 Types of Learning in a New CRM: How to Reach Full Adoption

Your nonprofit wants to make a deeper impact with your new CRM investment, and to get there you’ll need to reach full adoption—that’s when all nonprofit staff are using all the technology’s abilities in all the right ways. Here’s how our friends at Raise HECK recommend preparing staff for two types of new-platform education.

In order to get your new CRM investment running to help you increase your impact, you’ll need to prepare your staff for two types of changes:

  1. Revamping how you execute existing processes, and
  2. Learning to carry out new processes that you were previously unable to do.

Change Type 1: Revamping Existing Processes

Have you ever attempted to use a friend’s phone, only to find it built on a different operating system than yours? Maybe you’ve worked on PCs your entire career, but suddenly switch to a Mac. You end up searching for settings by what you think they’re labeled, but find they’re named differently; and you spend more of your time searching for features because they’re stored in different places on different operating systems. This process of adapting to a new system will also take place as you learn your new CRM.

Your plan to ensure that all relevant staff are able to learn the software and its capabilities should include a variety of learning opportunities, including group trainings and individual training time, so everyone is prepared to carry out existing processes in the new system.

Change Type 2: Learning New Functions

It’s one thing to learn how to do things you were doing before in a new way, but getting the most value out of your new platform will also mean learning some totally new capabilities. You’ve probably opted to move into a system that allows you to execute tasks you’d wished you could do, but just couldn’t in your old platform. Many organizations invest in new platforms—especially ones specifically designed for the needs of nonprofits—with the goal of scaling and growing their work, and you’ll need the skill and buy-in of your staff to accomplish that goal.

Learning to do new, helpful things, like workflow automation or cross-departmental coordination of multi-channel campaigns, can help your organization achieve more of your goals with the same levels of staff and time resources. Make a point to identify which features are new and haven’t been used before, what value they bring, and how they will affect everyone’s workflows (for the better!) Work with your staff and onboarding support to outline new workflows ahead of time, so that everyone is on the same page about any process changes that will affect them.

Ultimately, choosing a system designed for nonprofits’ needs can help your organization amplify your efforts—but only if staff succeed in the new platform. Spend time mapping out new workflows that your CRM will enable, and make sure staff have plenty of time to learn the platform in order to get the most out of it.

Want to learn more about how to choose and implement the right platform for your organization? Download the complete Nonprofit CRM Buyer’s Guide. Authors Maureen Wallbeoff and Raise HECK have helped hundreds of nonprofits select and adopt the right platform to meet their needs—see how they can help you too.