See your organization thrive! Improve the customer experience by keeping your sales, marketing
and customer service teams on the same page.
and customer service teams on the same page.
Most software ROI calculations are built off of two tenets: sell more or cut costs. The problem that most organizations run into is that they have no solid numbers to address either; “sell how much more”, or “save how much time” can be elusive concepts.
I suggest that there are three fundamental business objectives that sales, marketing, and service must focus on and can be used to justify a Dynamics CRM system: 1) find more customers like our best ones, 2) keep the ones we want, and 3) increase profitable transactions.
No Longer Just a Sales System
CRM software (Customer Relationship Management) has evolved to support organizational business goals across the enterprise; sales, marketing, customer service, relationship building, field service and project management. For non-profits the utilization reaches beyond these areas to include membership management, fundraising, variance in quality, case worker scheduling and volunteer management.
A well-implemented Dynamics CRM will focus users on achieving the business goals, both with processes and behaviors monitoring. While a poorly implemented deployment will waste time and money and cause needless frustration for your employees, partners and customers.
Why the focus on implementation and not the software?
While the CRM software you select IS important, most failures come from lack of follow through on the software implementation. Organizations try to save money by doing the implementation without guidance, going live with an out-of-the-box deployment or are expecting to learn and correct the application design and set-up later. Later never comes and an organization starts cutting corners on user training and on-going support.
InfoGrow does a lot of Dynamics CRM rescue projects. and we see three common issues in these failures.
Red Flag 1: Treating Dynamic CRM as technology project.
Unlike installing Office 365 or an accounting system, CRM is not a system that performs well by installing it and forgetting. First, a CRM project only is 20% about getting the technology right. Because of this fundamental truth about CRM, we often see that a self-implemented CRM system by an IT Department is not being used nine months down the road.
A CRM implementation is a line-of-business project. The 80% part of the deployment is about defining what business process need to be reinforced and what user behaviors should be monitored in order to know that the best-practices are being followed. The technology is aligned to support the processes. However, often we find that the business processes are not well defined. User agreement on those is the first step. To expect a software application designed to accommodate hundreds of industries, to impose processes is like expecting to wear the same shirt and pants every day regardless of the seasons or activities planned for the day. There is a good chance that you will be uncomfortable on a number of days with this approach.
Even if you have an amazing IT Team, you can’t compete with an experienced Dynamics CRM implementation partner who:
The money you save with an IT-only implementation often becomes a slow revenue leak that shows up as reduced efficiency or takes a much longer time to fully realize the associated benefits. When projects take too long for full deployment, users forget what the expected benefits are and keep running their old way to doing their work.
Red Flag #2: Missing or Unclear Expected Business Value
There is no reason that a CRM system should not be held to the same expected value standard as any other purchase.
If you buy a piece of manufacturing equipment, you know how much it costs to purchase and operate, and you have set production expectations for every shift. Treat your CRM system the same way.
Let’s say you decide you want to grow revenue by 10%. You then defined what actions will help you achieve that revenue growth.
Each of these objectives should have definable actions that can be measured.
Too often we take on a new client, that doesn’t know what the business levers should be. For example, the sales process may be a mysterious or convoluted series of steps that varies from sales rep to sales rep or territory to territory. As such, there is no way to build a pipeline to forecast sales because there is not a common language that classifies the sales stages.
When a Dynamics CRM project doesn’t have written expected outcomes and when those outcomes are expected, how can success be measured? As time passes and people change, these outcomes are forgotten to the point where users are not sure why they have tool at all.
Set expectations in the beginning, measure success, make changes, and reset new expectations. Building an 18-month Dynamics Strategic Roadmap that is reviewed each quarter and updated is essential to your success.
Red Flag #3: No On-going Training
Not only do users change but so do processes. A 30-minute introduction of CRM to a new user is inadequate. Even existing users need a refresh and to learn new skills. Remember it is not the technical side of the software that is important. Knowing which button to push is only part of the answer -- knowing why is the full answer. And users questioning if there is a better way leads to more productivity and value from the system.
Put a structured training program in place for new users. Also put in place a monthly ongoing training program for users. We have had good success with monthly “lunch & Learn” sessions. A session that spends 15-20 minutes to introduce or re-introduce a new feature with 10-mintues for open Q&A is good way to grow users and strengthen user acceptance for the system.
It is important to remember that CRM is not a system that performs well by installing it and forgetting. Think of Dynamics CRM as helping you mature your processes and improve them. As your process evolves, so to must the application that is driving the desired behaviors, monitoring and measuring how well the process are working.
Please call on us if there anything we can do to help your success - 330-929-1353.
There are three types of Microsoft Dynamics CRM failures that I have encountered:
Notice what I didn’t mention – Picking the wrong CRM system.
Very seldom does a Dynamics 365 CRM project fail because the wrong CRM software was selected. Especially when that software is Microsoft Dynamics 365, one of the most modern and versatile CRM solutions on the market today. The problem I see most often is that Dynamics CRM has been implemented as a technology project and not as a change management effort.
I need to flush out the details of our customer's sales process with their team, how do I get started?
Jack, National Sales Manager
It is great that you are thinking about getting everyone rowing in the same direction. Establishing sales stages and writing out clear definitions of what is expected to happen in each stage provides everyone with a common language for discussing opportunities in the pipeline. It will cut down deals getting lost and account managers “blowing smoke” about closing statuses.
You’ve heard that old saying “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”. I often hear managers complain that their CRM doesn’t work because they don’t have enough user acceptance. Well “leading a horse to water” is the same type of dilemma.
Two basic principles must be in place to achieve user acceptance of a CRM system.
“What is in it for them” is all about giving the end-user what they need to be more productive. Dynamics 365 CRM can’t be laid on as more work. It must cut down work and make it easier for the end-user to do their job. You reduce their daily tasks and deliver in one place the information that they have been scrambling to collect from other sources. You achieve this first principle and you will have a CRM system that can’t be pried away from users in six months.
Most customers who have, or are looking to purchase a Dynamics CRM system are looking to achieve basic results which boil down to two frequently stated objectives: retain current customers and acquire new customers to power growth. Both of these objectives rely on extensive understanding of customer relationships grounded in business data such as account details, sales history, end use information, industry assessment, response to campaigns, etc. If the business does not win through the transformation of time-sensitive management of this data to systems that provide not more data, but useful information and insights, they will lose to competition who are leading in this strategic approach. If your customers are not moving to this new business reality, then they are falling behind.
Marketing Automation's False Start
At first sight, marketing automation is a very tempting and enticing tool. A platform that gives you the ability to reach your best prospects with the right message, at the right time, without manually having to kill yourself to do it! Seems like a no-brainer, so you sign up especially when linked to Dynamics 365 CRM. However, once the system gets installed and after a few email blasts are sent, a landing page is built, and the results come back mixed (and they often do), one of two things usually happens:
Accurate sales forecasting is essential to growing revenue and managing your business effectively. When you know the timing and amount of incoming revenue, you can plan and focus on the right business initiatives; budget and allocate resources appropriately; set organizational goals; and provide teams with priorities and guidelines for how they spend their time.