Top 3 Things to Think About When Implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM

What is great about Dynamics CRM is the potential to customize just about anything within the system to meet an organization’s specific needs. What you need to keep in mind is that this may also cause the people who are assisting in the design of the system to lose sight of the initial reason for implementing the system.

In my opinion, here are the top 3 things that you need to constantly remind yourself of when customizing your CRM, regardless of whether you are implementing for the first time or are looking to reengineer a module or process that you have been using for a while.

1. What are your core business goals?

It is easy to get hung up on the details. Mentioning that you need a particular field or drop-down menu is important, but what is even more critical is WHY this field is so important. You need to ask yourself what is the true goal of having this field:

  • Do I need this field for reporting purposes?
  • Will this field be primarily used as a checklist for a process or for a user?
  • Will my users find it a help or hindrance by being required to enter this information into the system?

Once you have answered these questions, your follow-up question should be: does this help me reach my CRM goal? Sometimes there are other functionalities within the CRM that could be better suited for your particular need. For example, rather than a field, you could consider implementing a business process or a checklist, or even use a lookup field from another entity that may have the same effect rather than entering additional information.

2. Is it user-centric?

Adding a field or process can almost always be done within Dynamics CRM. It helps ensure that you are getting all the information that you need to report or analyze.

It can become very tempting to add in many fields or have a detailed approval process since it is easy to create all of these rules in Dynamics CRM, but it is important to think about the end-user. For example, ask yourself:

  • If I make all of these fields mandatory, will the salesperson take the time to enter a new lead?
  • If I require a complicated approval process, will the managers become a bottleneck or will the requestor no longer be able to follow where their request is in the process?
  • How often do I need to review this information? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Periodically?

Adding this level of complexity or time requirement could hinder your user adoption rate because end-users may come to see this as heavy or complicated and revert back to their old ways, therefore, reducing the enthusiasm for using the system.

3. A CRM system is just a system

What I’m trying to say by this is that, yes, the system will help you store data, streamline processes and hopefully reduce the number of Excel sheets that one person uses, but it doesn’t manage people. Any CRM is a tool to help manage, but if there are issues with your process, there is still an effort required by the management team to ensure that things are being entered into the system or that the process is respected by the users.

In the end, it all comes back to usability. Dream big, but start small. Introduce new processes or modules one at a time so that your end-users have the time to learn this new tool. The system will seem less daunting to use, and this will help your users see the value and the benefits of using it and how it will truly make them more efficient. By slowing introducing new aspects or showing them how the system can evolve, this will then ensure your entire organization will continue to help push the vision of where you can take your solution.

By JOVACO Solutions, a specialist in Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementations and configurations

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