Dynamics CRM is being used by some of the biggest organizations on Earth, but you don’t need to be in the Fortune 500 to benefit from CRM. That’s why I wanted to take some time and share our top three pieces of advice for any SMB considering CRM.
Map Your Processes
SMBs can afford to play it fast and loose with processes but that informal approach doesn’t translate well to a workflow in CRM. That’s why the first step for many organizations involves mapping business processes. It can be painful and it will require some time but it’s almost impossible to evaluate outcomes in a meaningful way without a plan.
Identify what you need your CRM to do, get your processes on paper and refine once the system is in place. If you don’t, you risk falling into the ‘CRM for the sake of CRM’ trap.
Planning is time consuming (as mentioned above) and delivering ROI is critical. These are two reasons that starting small with CRM is a smart move, unless you’ve got a project team that can dedicate the time and resources to manage a larger implementation.
If you’ve taken the time to map your process you can identify which are the easiest to adapt to CRM. This approach will allow you to deliver ROI quickly and ease your organization into the best practices of CRM usage.
User Adoption Training
Lack of adoption can kill a CRM project before it gets off the ground. User adoption training is the best tool in your toolbox for preventing a failed implementation. Sit each user down and run them through the processes you’re moving into CRM. Listen to criticism, make changes and then do it again.
The end result will be a buy-in from your team and a more cost effective implementation. (Change orders are expensive.)
A lot of these lessons can apply to any organization but they’re especially important for SMBs due to limited bandwidth and the need to deliver rapid ROI. SMBs are also less likely to salvage a failed implementation or take another kick at the can if things go sideways.
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