Focus on Adoption, Not Functionality in Your CRM Implementation

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Perhaps your company has decided to implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution for the first time.  More than likely, this decision was driven by a desire to resolve internal information issues, to position your business for new growth and opportunities, or in reaction to changing business/competitive conditions.

 Whatever the reason, our CRM consulting experience tells us that there are a few key truisms that will help you more fully realize the potential of your investment - not only in terms of CRM, but, more importantly, through the successful adoption of CRM within your organization.

 First, as the design and implementation processes unfold, keep checking your design against why you originally decided on CRM in the first place.  As project teams begin to discover all that Dynamics CRM has to offer (and it is a lot) there is often a temptation to keep expanding the scope – to “have it all”.  After all, you paid for it – so why not?   Well, to paraphrase Jack Nicholson, odds are you can’t handle it all.  Stay true to why you originally decided to implement CRM and trust that you can adopt more of its great features at a later time.

 Second, avoid the trap of capturing every bit of information that you might need someday.  Data that initially sounds so nice to have may become an onerous data entry task that no one wants to endure.  Only capture data that has real value to the business and allows you to help make strategic decisions or gain a competitive edge.   As consultants, we routinely are asked to perform re-work projects where people want to simplify CRM – to make it more usable and to gain user adoption.  In almost every case the customer tells us they tried to do too much and made CRM too complicated to use.

 Finally, be cognizant of who will be the users of CRM.  Sounds simple, but the skill levels, interest, and perceived value from CRM will vary widely across the organization.  Ensure these varied interests are represented in your design and implementation processes.  Don’t base CRM design decisions on what the highest level users can handle – recognize the needs of those who only use CRM occasionally.  And take care to acknowledge the needs of outside sales reps, whose primary focus is on gaining sales, getting appointments, and building relationships – not entering tons of data that someone in the back office decided is important.

 There are other important considerations when designing and implementing Dynamics CRM.  But if you can keep these few points in mind, you will go a long way towards ensuring a successful launch and an active group of CRM users.

 As a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Certified Gold Partner we have helped over 100 customers successfully implement and utilize CRM for their organizations.   You can read about their CRM customer success stories on our website.

By Ledgeview Partners – Wisconsin based Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner serving the Midwest and Heartland regions

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