4 Critical Success Factors for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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Congratulations! You’ve made a wise decision and gone live with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The CRM has been deployed and everyone has been trained. The system is working and now you can breathe a big sigh of relief. Was that really the finish line or just another step in the process? A well implemented CRM system is a living, breathing part of your business. Just as your business adjusts to change, your Users, your data, and your system must change with it.

At xRM³, we have identified 4 critical factors for success with Microsoft Dynamics CRM that must be managed after the go-live celebration winds down. These items are consistent across all implementations and the process to handle them must be applied system-wide to allow your deployment to still be successful 12 to 24 months in the future.

#1 - User Adoption Demands Vigilance

Are your Users working in the system every day? Are they adding, updating and using the data you took so much effort on getting in the system? How do you know for sure? A system can be as elegant and functional as you can make it, but without Users actually using it, what do you have? In order for CRM to be a success, User adoption is critical and needs to be continually encouraged, if not mandated.

#2 - Data is Only Relevant Until It's Not

We reinforce with our customers the 3-legged stool approach to data in CRM. Simply put, you need a plan to address the following 3 questions about your CRM data: Who enters the data? Who maintains the data to keep it relevant? Who consumes the data and how? If any of those questions can't be answered, your CRM data probably will become obsolete.

#3 - Processes Change and Your CRM Needs to Change With Them

As your business adjusts to changes in the marketplace, you need to identify and replace outmoded or misapplied business processes. Think about what could happen with CRM if you don’t. Users still have to get their jobs done. If the system doesn’t help them they will figure out a way around the system. The longer this goes on, work-arounds act like a virus that diminish the value of your CRM system and eventually make it irrelevant.

#4 – Keep Your Eyes On The Road

With software as your platform, it's always important to know what is coming next. Vendors, at least the right vendors, have a roadmap and generally share it throughout the year. Knowing what new functionality or improvements are coming can be the difference between a relevant CRM and one that will be outgrown.
What To Do?

These issues are important to deal with. But let’s face it -- you’re a busy person. You may not be a full-time CRM guru. You may not have one on staff, spinning out admin pearls of wisdom to your Users every day. How do you maintain your CRM properly, keep Users happy, data relevant, and process up to date?

Introducing CRM AdminAssist

The team at xRM³ is here to help with a new service we developed called CRM AdminAssist. CRM AdminAssist is a service that acts like a wellness plan for your Dynamics CRM system. Our team works with yours to address the critical issues that keep your investment in Dynamics CRM fresh and returning dividends long after go live. We do the proactive monitoring of your user adoption stats, run reports monthly to determine how your data is being adapted, work with you to identify and change outdated processes, plus much more.

Add unlimited support and administrative service provided by xRM³ certified Dynamics CRM experts, and you’ve got an all-in-one CRM success solution. All of this for one reasonable, manageable monthly subscription fee.

Click here to talk to us about how CRM AdminAssist can apply to your Microsoft Dynamics CRM system.

By Ken Farmer, President and Principal Consultant at xRM³, a Microsoft Partner providing service, support and education for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Based in San Diego County Southern California.