by Ari Salonen
Find me on LinkedIn
Buying M&A software without an adoption plan is like trying to fly a plane without wings - it won’t get off the ground. Imagine that you find a tool, fall in love with it, and convince your company to buy it … and then, no one uses it. You’ve damaged your reputation, and you’ve wasted money. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Instead, if you create and execute a thoughtful change management plan, your company will realize tremendous value over time, making you the hero. With the help of our customers, who have successfully rolled out Midaxo within their organizations, we’ve come up with a guide you can use to implement any software solution. After all, technology is only as good as the adoption plan you put in place.
1. Make it a Top-Down Initiative
This seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? We live in a consensus-building world, and companies often spend extensive time and energy getting buy-in from nearly every single person who will touch a software. This slows down the momentum in making a decision, and almost always leads to companies reverting back to the status quo (i.e., living in the stone age).
Now, we aren’t suggesting you make a software purchase in a silo. Our customers do recommend, however, that the decision to purchase and implement deal management software should be a “top-down” initiative, with a handful of evangelists supporting the new process. It is crucial that a leader stand up and say: “I believe this is a better, more efficient way of doing things, and this is the new way.”
2. Define and Communicate Best Practices
Ideally, you're purchasing a tool that allows you to include guidance, criteria, and instructions directly within it. Regardless, you need to define the way your company will use the software, and communicate this process to the team.
Our customers have found the most success communicating M&A best practices through training sessions, follow-up emails, and making a comprehensive best practice/guidance document readily available. By doing this, you won’t skip a beat when getting your team to adopt software.
3. Schedule Regular Review Meetings
Many of our customers hold weekly 1:1s with a handful of team members. They sit down and look at the individual’s progress, issues, and activities in Midaxo. The individual team member is empowered to identify and show what he or she has accomplished in the last week, and what he or she has yet to do.
Whatever your cadence for team or individual reviews, if you consistently refer to “one source of truth” (the software) in meetings, then your team members will hold themselves accountable to log information in the correct spot. Our customers have the motto: “If it’s not in Midaxo, it didn’t happen.” Team members respond by adopting the solution faster, because their success—and reputation—depends on it.
4. Offer Ongoing Education and Improvement Opportunities
Imagine that you’ve purchased a software, created a bullet-proof training plan, and rolled it out to the team. People are using it and thanking you for making their lives easier. Your job is done. Right? Not quite.
One of the advantages of any SaaS solution over an on-premise solution is that there are (or should be) frequent updates and enhancements. When features are updated, it’s smart to offer refreshers for team members who are less software-savvy or just want to stay up-to-date so they can better leverage the tool. Even after the initial implementation, many of our customers use Midaxo’s Customer Success team to host online trainings about once per quarter. This ensures that everyone has the resources to best leverage the solution.
5. Give Your Executives Access
We recommend not only giving your CEO and CFO access to Midaxo, but also making sure your team knows they have access. This may seem a little “big brother,” but one of our customers said that doing this promotes transparency and sends a message to the M&A team that what they are doing is important. No one—and I mean no one—wants the CEO to log in and see that they have a list of incomplete tasks.
Additionally, instead of the CEO or CFO reaching out to the M&A Leaders and asking for updates on a one-off basis, proactively giving them access saves the M&A team time. No more dropping what you’re doing and pulling together reports at the last minute!
In summary, we hope that you'll use these 5 key strategies to your advantage in becoming an agent of positive change at your company.