Training on Microsoft Dynamics CRM is key to success

Visit Website View Our Posts

Because Microsoft Dynamics CRM is so customizable, flexible and easy to use, many customers implementing Dynamics CRM consider training an afterthought.    But training is a continuous process in Dynamics CRM and best if started early in the project and continued during the project all the way to end-user training and after that with continuing education on the latest features.  As the Client Education Manager at Crestwood Associates and a Microsoft Certified Professional in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Applications, I have done a lot of training with customers since Microsoft CRM 1.0.  My recommendation for a training plan consists of:

1)      Make use of the eLearning courses for customers available through the CustomerSource portal.  There are many free courses for Dynamics CRM customers ranging from basic to technical levels.  I recommend project team members review a few selected courses before the discovery meeting so that they can come prepared by knowing what is there out of the box.

2)      The Project Team will schedule a series of deep dives into the Dynamics CRM modules they are implementing – Sales, Marketing and Service.  All the windows will be explored in the vanilla package and functionality explained.   Best practices can be discussed with your Dynamics CRM partner during these meetings.

3)      Before and during the project, demos of ISV products, CRM accelerators needed, and new functionality such as CRM accelerators will be introduced to the team.

4)      The Project Team will be updated and trained on the customized product during the implementation. Feedback will be solicited constantly during this process.  We find that once customers have been trained on what Dynamics CRM can do, the more they want to do.  Be sure to stick to the defined parameters up front and move other projects to Phase 2 or 3 or the system will never be complete.  Additional projects keep the excitement going and can be broken out by team such as Sales, then Marketing, then Service.   Although all link together, this sometimes gives some broad boundaries.

5)      After the final modifications, a run through of the product and processes will be conducted with the project team and key users.  Also, the CRM security team will be trained on how to set up users and security as well as customizations and reports.

6)      The end users will be presented with customized training manuals including Dynamics CRM screenshots with a detailed description of the processes defined during the implementation.  It’s best to have these in a classroom where users can access the actual system via a desktop or their laptops.  I recommend hiring a trainer from your partner to conduct the training and give best practices and have project team members present to drive the off topic discussions to the parking lot.  It’s good to have these manuals available in the Dynamics CRM Marketing Literature folder or other shared folder on Microsoft SharePoint for easy access.  I also have used a series of recorded training sessions for those that could not attend the end user training sessions in person.  Make sure to keep a suggestion box available to encourage feedback on the system and better ways of doing things.  It’s true that revising the system from time to time is something that is inherent in a CRM system.  These suggestions could be tracked using a specific type of Case within the Service module in Dynamics CRM and routed to a queue that the project team or CRM members of the IT team review on a periodic basis.

With CRM technology changing so much and new features available every day, it’s best to stay flexible and welcome new ideas to make the system work better.  Please let us know if you are interested in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

By Mary Lenehan, Client Education Manager, at your Chicago Area Microsoft Gold Certified Dynamics GP Partner, Crestwood Associates.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons