My Story: What Happened When the Marketing Manager Got Admin Access to the CRM Software System

My Story: What Happened When the Marketing Manager Got Admin Access to the CRM Software System

Several years ago I worked at a small Microsoft Dynamics GP partner in Milford, Connecticut. After incessant nagging about the lack of any kind of organized sales and marketing tracking, the owners agreed to buy a Goldmine CRM system (at this time, MS CRM was not available). I don’t recall ever getting any training but I did have a “Goldmine for Dummies” book and hey, it looked simple enough!

I wanted to customize a few things based on our sales terminology so I was given administrator access. (Because nobody else had the time to do it and did I mention I am good at nagging?) I am a smart gal, what harm could I do? Plenty! These are the lessons I learned from my experience:

Lesson #1: Don’t hand out admin access to the person who nags the most.

It was a mistake to give so much power to a user with no training and little supervision. I easily figured out how to change the names of the existing fields and add some new fields while I was at it. Cool! Then I moved fields to change the screens the way I wanted. Everything looked beautiful to me. Little did I know that there was chaos lurking underneath.

The fields I had changed, moved or deleted were linked to other fields and processes. So when I tried to run reports I was pulling data from fields I deleted or had renamed – so the data was completely incorrect. It was a huge mess. Honestly, we never did know how to fix it, so we just never ran any reports from the CRM system ever again and just used it as kind of a fancy rolodex. Fortunately, that company was acquired by CAL Business Solutions, and the Goldmine system was not part of the deal.

Lesson #2: Invest in consulting services to set up your CRM Software.

When I joined CAL Business Solutions in 2005 we had data everywhere – Outlook, Dynamics GP, Excel lists. The first month just finding a mailing list of all our clients to send holiday cards to was a nightmare. So once again the nagging started. We needed a CRM system! So I spearheaded the project to implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This time, gun-shy from my previous disaster, I insisted on getting training from a local Dynamics CRM expert. Not just group classroom training focused on “theory”, but an expert to sit with me and show me how to set up up and work on our own system. I have admin access again, but this time, I have managed to customize the system successfully according to our sales process, and everything is working great. (And I have learned to be very, very careful.)

Lesson #3: Invest in more training after you feel comfortable with your new CRM Software

I have been using Microsoft Dynamics CRM for several years now and it is working great for us. But I also know that there is more advanced functionality that I am not taking advantage of. Such as tracking all my marketing campaign responses and costs. I still have my handy “Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Dummies” book but that is just not enough anymore. To get more out of my system and take advantage of all the new features in the latest release of Dynamics CRM 2011, I really need our local Dynamics CRM expert to look at my system, evaluate how we are using it, and recommend even more ways it can help me be more efficient. My company always recommends this type of “annual system analysis” for the product we sell, Microsoft Dynamics GP accounting software. Now we just need to do it for ourselves with our Microsoft Dynamics CRM system. And did I mention that I also want to evaluate moving from an on premise installation to Dynamics CRM 2011 online before June 2011 so we can take advantage of the current Dynamics CRM Online 2011 promotional pricing? I guess I will need to start nagging again….

Interested in the cost of Microsoft Dynamics CRM? Check out the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Quick Quote Tool.

By Anya Ciecierski, CAL Business Solutions, Connecticut Microsoft Dynamics Partner

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