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and customer service teams on the same page.
and customer service teams on the same page.
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.
As a national sales manager, I have a full-time job already. While recognizing that using a CRM is an evolving tool where users need to be given direction and and behaviors that I want must be monitored, I am just not finding the additional time in my day. I tend to only focus on how Dynamics is working just before each quarterly sales meeting. In that sales meeting, I bark out directives on how we are going to start using the tool more effectively. What should I be doing different?
Your first step is to change your mindset about how you and your team use Dynamics CRM. It is not an add-on task for you or your team. Rather it is your primary sales process and management tool.
We deployed Dynamics CRM about four years ago, and frankly I don’t think we have moved the needle in the last few years to get enough value out of the tool. What should we be doing different?
Deploying and using CRM is a moving through a maturity process. The first step is understanding that you need a phased plan – a roadmap. Your plan must have measurable milestones. With everyone in the organization having the ability to visualize the key KPIs en route, and make adjustments in the roadmap as needed.
Bob, what are some of the key features added to Dynamics 365 Sales in the latest release?
I have picked out 3 features in the latest release that should get your attention.
Duplicate Detection – Enhanced Email Experience – Added PDF Capabilities
The feature overview video below, highlights new capabilities included in the latest update to Dynamics 365 Sales.
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 CRM systems fail because upper management, IT, marketing, sales, customer service, and others who use the software do not establish clear, well-defined, measurable goals. Consequently, it can be difficult or impossible to determine the effectiveness of a CRM system.
This happens because CRM is often thought of as a technology solution for a company's business; however, CRM is a really a business solution.
Even if when your company deployed CRM you did not have defined measurable goals or had ill-defined goals, you can “mend" a failed Dynamics 365 CRM, in four simple steps.
We have been using a CRM for almost five years and I am still seeing sales users avoid it as much as possible. What can I do to help them recognize the value to them and for our growth? -- Amy, frustrated marketer
I am sure you have heard the saying – You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.
Your efforts need to be focused on the “What’s in it for them” approach. Package your training and communications on what the benefits are and productivity savings they get out of using Dynamics 365 CRM.
I am often asked by managers how to improve the user acceptance of their Dynamics 365 CRM system. In the eyes of the questioner, the answer lies in how to encourage, or even make, users use the platform more, in order for the organization to achieve their established expected benefits of investing in Microsoft CRM. That’s the wrong focus. The issue is not how do we get the user to use CRM, but rather, is the Dynamics CRM itself designed to be useful to the user so that they want to use it. Although the difference is subtle it should not be overlooked.
A well-executed Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Implementation will change the way you do business by transforming your relationships with prospects and customers, and by refining and revamping internal processes. But for Dynamics CRM to achieve its full potential, it must be embraced and actively used by all stakeholders.
Resisting change and clinging to what’s familiar are part of human nature, even when such resistance works against us. What can you do to improve user adoption and ensure Dynamics CRM success? Use value selling techniques to convey Dynamics CRM’s worth to employees, just like you do with prospects and customers!