Our Detroit Tigers had a great game for their opening day, beating out the Red Sox 3-2. It was a beautiful day to be at the ballpark and witness our top players in action. An amazing catch by Miguel Cabrera got the crowd roaring. And that roar increased to a high when Austin Jackson sealed the win with a one-out single down the third base line in the bottom of the ninth.
The athletic achievements on opening day got me thinking about proper preparation and how the Detroit Tigers approached the season with high goals in mind. Many of our clients have high goals in mind when implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM or xRM at their organizations. But sometimes, we need to slow things down (like they do in spring training) before speeding things up (like they do in a regular season)….
Some people don’t realize that rapid software deployments are really about keeping it simple. The benefits of rapid deployments can really add up. For example, companies can run business as usual without taking time out for a lengthy implementation process. And, the less they customize their CRM solution from the get go, the less budget is needed up front. We here at The TM Group find this to be extremely beneficial for our clients as some companies need to figure out their actual sales process before moving ahead with custom changes to their CRM or xRM solution.
So how do you achieve high goals without getting ahead of yourself?
- Start with Clear Goals and Objectives: No, they’re not the same thing. You may have a goal to attain opportunity management, but what about the specifics? What is the ideal close rate? Do you need to track and manage activities or phone calls? A project manager of the implementation should gather goals across various departments to define what you’re trying to achieve in a clear, comprehensive plan. Then your trusted software provider should be able to make Microsoft Dynamics CRM or xRM do those things for you.
- Define a Clear-Cut Training Plan: Training goes a long way for organizations and greatly increases user adoption so you can see your return on investment fast. While figuring out your training plan, keep your goals and objectives in mind. If you reference them along the way, you and your staff will stay on track and your CRM or xRM solution will work the way you need it to work.
- Define a Sales Process: One of the first questions we ask is “Do you have a pre-defined sales process already in place?” If they answer yes, then we can look at the automation features of CRM; but if there isn’t a process, then we can’t automate what isn’t there. Many of our clients want the automation, but this is a prime example of slowing down before you speed up. This is also where a simple, yet rapid implementation of CRM can be so beneficial. With the solution in place, companies can gain more visibility and create a process that really aligns with the right information. Your team can also get used to the system before diving into automated features you know nothing about. Even better? If you want to add automation later on, you easily can. Microsoft Dynamics CRM doesn’t hold you back in any way.
In closing, I’d like to make sure that you understand the differences between a CRM and xRM implementation. It is important that you understand this difference and know which type of a CRM project you are undertaking.
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM is focused primarily on marketing and sales automation of accounts, contacts, opportunities, sales activities and customer service.
- Microsoft Dynamics xRM is taking the CRM functionality and extending it slightly beyond the sales focus. Whether it is project management, vendor/partner relationships, or contract management, Microsoft Dynamics xRM extends the functionality so that any type of business can achieve what they’re looking for.
If you want to experience a successful and rapid Microsoft Dynamics CRM or xRM software implementation, contact us at [email protected] or 888.482.2864.
By Kevin Alexander, Solution Architect, The TM Group, Michigan Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM Partner for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics SL and SharePoint.