Selling Your Team on CRM Implementation

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“If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” - Woodrow Wilson

Interested in a Dynamics CRM implementation? A recent study on Microsoft CRM Online by Forrester demonstrated that the average return on investment (ROI) from a Microsoft CRM Online implementation is 75% over three years. In addition, companies are recovering the initial investment expense in less than two months.

These are extremely attractive figures that lead organizations to implement versions of the Microsoft CRM offerings (Dynamics CRM, Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement). Prepare your team to actively embrace and engage the system. Employees who are actively utilizing the system leads to the highest ROI possible.

Here are 6 key areas to address in your change management plan.


1. Lead with the Why?

No company is going to undergo an important strategic decision of implementing a new CRM system researching the benefits that the increased return on investment offered. However, one of the biggest mistakes that organizations make is forgetting to share this information with their users.

It may seem obvious that increased customer engagement will lead to increased commissions for sales people. However, many employees are unfamiliar with the purpose of CRM. Make an effort at each contact point with users to clearly state the reason for the change, and the direct benefits to them.


2. Appoint CRM Champions early.

A common refrain during the implementation of any new process is “…but nobody asked me about this!” Make your employees part of the process, instead of the implementation happening “to” them.

CRM Champions help a company’s user base to overcome the initial barriers to learning a new system. Ideal CRM Champions have a positive reaction to the idea of bringing in a new system and willingness to accept new ideas. In addition, a strong social network within the organization is critical for their effectiveness. CRM Champions are selected from all of the teams that will be impacted by the implementation. Recuit your most excited and passionate advocates. Communicate with them early and often. In addition, encourage Champions to share their insights, opinions, and feedback openly with the community.

CRM Champions are selected from all levels within the organization. In fact, companies have the tendency to keep information at the top level. Therefore, select employees that may have not been asked to participate in similar activities in the past. In fact, employees appreciate the opportunity to get involved and be heard.


3. Create an open feedback channel and commit to it.

Provide the members of your organization with different ways to provide feedback during the project phases. Be creative in how they are invited to participate and utilize the features of your system to engage. Welcome new users into the system and demonstrate to internal customers what the benefits of the investment are.


4. Provide effective and engaging training.

Death by PowerPoint? Everyone embraces PowerPoint as an effective and powerful tool to communicate with users. However, the reality is that even colorful training slides can be dry and rote. Long training sessions at a screen or in a cold conference room can deliver the necessary information but information in this setting can be difficult for employees to absorb.

Plan training that can be delivered in easy to digest modules, targeted to specific user groups. Create training materials for a variety of learning styles.

Maximize the impact of training sessions by working with a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT). MCTs teach from materials developed directly by Microsoft and updated with the latest information. Most importantly, the MCT program requires individuals to be certified in the products they teach and verify teaching skills. In conclusion, you know that you're working with experienced professionals.


Partner with Barash Consulting’s Microsoft Certified Trainer team to develop custom training solutions for your organization.


5. Design with the end goal in mind.

What does the business want to accomplish with their Dynamics 365 CRM implementation? Always start planning and design sessions with the end goal in mind.  Start with the end goal and work backwards for a great strategy to limit scope and stay on target. Save great ideas for future implementation phases.

Bottom line, the goal of any CRM implementation is to provide a seamless experience for employees, eliminate manual tasks, and redirect effort to value added opportunities.


6. Keep it simple.

CRM product suites contain a variety of powerful tools and solutions. Due to this, implementations can be difficult to limit in scope. Organizations and development teams are excited about the potential to use all the features. However, this can lead to bulky final products with features that don’t fit the original intent.

In conclusion, appoint specific stakeholders on the implementation team. Schedule demos with end users to ensure that they understand the user interface. By doing this, you can make sure that the product is user-friendly. A shorter implementation can save a lot of money.


Ready to increase your Return on Investment?

At Barash Consulting, we specialize in providing Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM implementation, training, and managed services for small to medium sized businesses.

By: Amanda Barash, Managing Director, Barash Consulting, Indiana Microsoft Partner

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