Implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) solution can be intimidating. It seems like there are so many options, customization decisions and integrations that could simply go wrong. On top of that, you keep hearing that adoption is the hardest part – getting sales reps to actually use it. Great. It can be tempting to push CRM into the “losing battle” category and embrace the inefficiencies instead.
I would like to address some of the most common challenges in implementing CRM with features (some new, some little-known) in Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, whether these occur as you’re selecting a CRM, making the transition, or managing post-implementation performance.
The fact is, there are many processes that Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM does very well right out of the box with very little customization or effort. The recommendations below will help you overcome the challenges of CRM implementation by capitalizing on the high impact, low effort priorities – maximizing CRM as a collaborative business process framework that can be used heavily to drive productivity and sales for your business.
Watch this overview and demo regarding the top challenges in CRM implementation, and see the below solutions in action:
CRM Implementation Challenge #1: Process Complication
Extra work, extra steps
Implementing CRM can seem like adding an extra layer to sales or service processes – employees have to constantly jump between applications to track their progress or look up information. However, instead of building out flashy new workspaces, Microsoft has invested heavily into integrating Dynamics 365 CRM into the tools that their users already use: OneNote, Excel, Outlook, Word and more. Watch the demo to see how you can work in Excel and CRM at the same time – trust me, if you love your spreadsheets, you’ll love CRM.
With Excel integration, reps don’t need to go into every CRM record and update their deal information before the weekly sales meeting. With a few tweaks to your spreadsheet you’re good to go, and the VP of Sales will be able to drill down on an accurate sales funnel and dashboard.
Dynamics 365 CRM Online integrates across the Office 365 Suite so that you can use Word, OneNote, SharePoint or Outlook and be working seamlessly inside Dynamics 365 CRM.
CRM Implementation Challenge #2: ROI Realization
We’re a year in and haven’t seen any tangible results
A lack of tangible results or accurate ROI tracking can often seem like a CRM issue, while in many cases it is a documentation issue. Again, this comes back to capitalizing on those high impact, low effort priorities. With the immersive Office experience, all data and engagements are tracked through CRM. When executives look at their dashboard, which is updated in real-time, they can see a complete snapshot of how processes, communication and the overall bottom line has improved.
Another challenge regarding ROI realization, is that most companies don’t set specific objectives in terms of quantifiable metrics. If these goals aren’t set initially, it is rather difficult to determine if implementing a CRM resulted in a positive ROI. Consult with your customer relationship management managed services provider and align your ROI expectations up front. This ensures everybody is on the same page when it comes to project objectives and expected results.
CRM Implementation Challenge #3: User Adoption
People aren’t using it
Beyond integration, it is also critical to have those tools available where your salespeople work and when they need it most. This concept intentionally meets the demands of today’s increasingly mobile, connected workforce. Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM supports your mobile reps, this trend and Microsoft’s core concept of “cloud-first, mobile-first” by supporting virtually any device.
Taking this a step further, it’s important to note that CRM isn’t just for sales – and that doesn’t mean that you purchase licenses for the entire company. Even users without a Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM account can collaborate and interact with CRM-based data through any Office 365 application.
User adoption numbers could suffer without the proper training and support put in place. Ensure the day-to-day users are taught how to maximize the features and functionality the CRM system provides. Sharing common CRM issues both pre and post implementation can increase a user’s willingness to work through problems as they arise.
Check out the demo to see how easy it is to access your CRM from different platforms and create shareable documents that you or anyone else in your company can access.
CRM Implementation Challenge #4: Business Insight or Data Dumpster?
We’ve been collecting all this data, but don’t know what to do with it
We hear this all the time – what does it take to turn that data into valuable insights in order to make data-driven business decisions quickly and accurately? Microsoft has also invested heavily into Power BI, its integrated analytics solution for driving real results by putting the right insights in front of the right people. We’ve seen these insights become a central, critical aspect of organizations’ business growth and strategy with Power BI’s proven ability to translate data into business decisions. The most important part of a successful CRM implementation is not only knowing which information is needed, but empowering users to make insightful, efficient business decisions based upon the data the CRM provides.
Also, watch the demo to see how reps can view and interact with a 360-degree view of each customer.
CRM Implementation Challenge #5: Micromanagement
Sales reps thinking execs just want to keep a closer eye on them
Drilling down on performance flaws or pointing out holes in the data is not Microsoft’s mission when it comes to Dynamics 365 CRM. The number one goal is to put tools and functionality at the fingertips of your team members to empower sales productivity and unify every single customer-facing activity (Read: If Your CRM is an Excel Sheet You Are Missing Out).
If sales reps feel executives are too involved in their everyday operations, this is when a technical project manager comes in handy. When a (non-executive) team member owns the CRM’s implementation, strategy, and ongoing success, it often sets up your company to achieve better long term results without feeling like “big brother” is watching.
This is the third of many posts covering the best of Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM – best practices, features and integrations in 2016.
As a leading Microsoft National Solutions Provider, what we’ve seen is that the primary key to resolving these issues is a calculated, people-centric approach to Dynamics 365 CRM implementation which involves value envisioning and user adoption strategies. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click below to check out some of our Dynamics 365 CRM implementation recommendations and services.