Common Misconceptions of Organizational Change Management During Your CRM Implementation


Organizational change management within the Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) implementation context is about getting users to adopt new business processes and procedures and the technology that enables them. And it should be an integral part of your CRM implementation.


But there are a few common misconceptions about organizational change management. Here’s what to consider.


Common misconception #1: Employees adapt to new technology quickly.

During a CRM implementation, there is plenty of new technology being integrated. This investment often incurs the expectation of gaining efficiencies. And these expectations can often create a resistance reaction to change.


Leadership may assume that employees will quickly adapt to transitional periods, and they do not account for the time or resources it will take to handle objections and overcome any conflicts that may arise.


As a leader undergoing organizational change management, remember that these implementations usually impact business practices, operational procedures, and daily tasks. How staffing is organized in terms of roles and responsibilities is also affected, and people in a business unit or department sometimes shift as a part of the project.


Common misconception #2: Training should resolve any discrepancies.

When it comes to organizational change management, people try to help transition from the current to the future state by going straight to training. They may think, “If we train them well on the project, that should resolve it.” But training is only one component, and it’s a downstream approach to organizational change management.


Leaders tend to assume that change can only come from the top down. However, it is impossible to successfully mandate the adoption of new business operations, technologies, or policies without employee buy-in. Training can’t resolve issues if employees aren’t willing to change.


Part of organizational change management is knowledge and skill building but it should be integrated within your culture for it to be facilitated successfully. This includes communicating with your employees about the change, why it’s happening, and what they’ll be expected to do throughout the process. They should also understand how it will affect them in the future, including their job role within their teams. Then, after you quantify the change’s impact, you can integrate an effective training program.


Common misconception #3: Organizational change management experts can resolve interdepartmental stressors.

Conflict is a symptom of people going through change, not what you address at the outset. As your team dynamics, roles, and responsibilities change throughout the CRM implementation, conflicts will likely arise. But that’s more of a symptom of improper awareness of the changes. If you’re facing conflicts during organizational change management, ask yourself:


  • Are people struggling or stressed about how to make those changes?
  • Is there resistance or desire to make those changes?


Conflict often comes about because of missteps of organizational change management. It’s not the root cause of what a change management program is trying to address. If conflict is not resolved, it can hinder progress, creativity, innovation, and productivity. Leaders should approach conflict management as a combined process of limiting the negative aspects while increasing the positive aspects of the conflict.