Align Your CRM Software with Your Sales Process in 5 Easy Steps

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The failure of a CRM system to help drive revenue can have many causes.  The two most common reasons are:

  • The CRM system was not set up properly
  • The Sales team does not use the CRM system properly (if at all)

In addition, many team members believe that CRM systems as a whole are too difficult to learn or too complex to understand.  Another complaint we hear from sales professionals is that they are not able to derive nearly enough value from the CRM system versus the time and effort it takes to use it.

Thankfully, there are ways to more effectively align your sales processes and your CRM.  This will lead to better adoption and an increase in system use that will ultimately turn into increased sales.  Here are some steps you can follow:

1. Define your process up front

Before you begin implementing a new CRM system such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you should define and articulate your sales processes.  This seems like common sense buy many organizations fail to define their processes and that lack of structure will cause problems moving forward.

2.       Make sure to differentiate process from technology

Your processes should be defined on their own, without considering a specific CRM product.  It is also a good idea to avoid outdated tasks and processes, as these likely are no longer applicable to the way you run your business.

3. Start with reports and work backwards

To assist in figuring out what processes and information are important, think about what reports you will need to help do your job.  Understand where the data for those reports comes from and this will assist in defining your processes, and assure that the proper information is being captured.

4. Make sure to involve the key stakeholders in the implementation process

A single department, usually the IT group, is usually responsible for implementing new software at a company.  However, if key stakeholders from sales are not included in the process, there are sure to be problems with aligning the CRM system with the sales processes you have already established.

  • The entire sales process is relevant

Although the sales group is the most involved in the sales process, there are others within the company (marketing, support, IT) who have some impact on the process.  Get these people involved so there is accurate representation from the other areas of the company who are also affected by the sales process.

  • Get Your Management Team Involved

Most would agree that projects that have executive buy-in have a better chance of success than those with no executive involvement.  Make an executive (or executives) part of the process to define requirements and provide strategic guidance.

5. Set and manage expectations

Implementing a new CRM system can be a significant burden for your internal team.  Make sure to create a simple, realistic sales process.  Once this is defined, articulate what specific benefits or success factors you want from the CRM system and make these your focal point of the project.  Establish workable timelines and clearly share expectations with your team.

Don’t get overwhelmed

A project such as this can seem quite daunting.  To help alleviate some of that concern, see if you can break the CRM project up into phases.  Take care of the basic issues first, as those are your starting point.  This phased approach may also help with user adoption and, ultimately, greater project success.

To find out how Dynamics CRM can benefit your organization, contact BroadPoint, Virginia’s most experienced Dynamics CRM Microsoft Partner.

By Broadpoint, Virginia Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner. Learn more at

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