Microsoft Dynamics CRM - How Do We Get Our Users To Use It?

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This seems to be a question many customers ask about their newly implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution.  There is no single magic answer to that question that fits all situations, but I hope to give a few ideas here to increase user adoption.

  1. Focus on features that give back to each user rather than just tracking activity of each user.  A critical report, timely notification email or automated mail merge goes a long way towards demonstrating value to a user so that they see the value in keeping their data current.
  2. Make sure users can use the solution when/where they need to.  Provide internet access via a VPN or Internet Facing Deployment connection and/or provide mobile device access so users can lookup and/or edit data via their smart phones or netbooks instead of having to wait until they're home at the end of the day to update the system
  3. Take advantage of workflow. Create notification emails of important events to keep everyone informed.  Automate sales processes so that progress just happens instead of being manually entered.  Push and/or pull data to/from other systems instead of requiring re-entry.
  4. Don't forget about other functionality beyond Sales, Service and Marketing.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM is truly Dynamics xRM and a platform that can be extended to solve so many more issues within a company beyond these traditional CRM functions.  If you have spreadsheets or word processing or contact lists in other programs that are out of date and locked away on individual user's pcs, consider moving them into Microsoft Dynamics CRM so that they become an integral part of your systems instead of separate problems.
  5. Don't skimp on training.  The presumption is - it looks like Outlook or Microsoft Office or Internet Explorer so they already know how to use it.  This is true, Microsoft Dynamics CRM does look and work like these other Microsoft products so navigating them is familiar to users which allows for a quick comfort with moving around the system.  With this said, best practices on how to perform each task and especially following the processes you have automated, is not going to be as easily mastered. Beyond the basics training and recurring opportunities to allow users to ask questions and better understand the best way to accomplish their duties in the system will help with the comfort of using the system and therefore increase usage.

 By Sikich, a leading Illinois Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner serving IL, IN and MO

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