How to implement a CRM system with Dynamics 365 – 5 biggest steps
Integrated and well implemented CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system enables visible sales, marketing, and service processes optimizations. It also helps company employees build and maintain customer relationships, increase profitability, and drive growth. And all of it in one system!
Reaching these goals is not an easy task. In fact, there was a time when 68% CRM projects failed. Fortunately, those times are a thing of the past!
Below are 5 most important steps to implement a CRM system, based on our 11-year experience in over 140 CRM projects.
1. Business planning and discovering the need for CRM
In each CRM project we first talk to our customers why they need a CRM system. Should it help in lead generation? In customer service? In shortening the sales cycle? We encourage every organization to define what are the main requirements for the new CRM system. Only then, we can talk about business processes or functionalities.
2. Custom-built or out-of-the-box CRM?
Once you define the high-level needs and know why you need a CRM system in your organization, we will work together to verify the feasibility of Dynamics 365 platform and whether we need to build a custom, line-of-business application, or we can customize an existing cloud platform.
In every project we actively work with our customers to show the potential of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and only implement custom solutions, when absolutely needed. It happens that 80% of your requirements might be already covered by the platform, but we also have projects when Dynamics is only used as a platform to build fully-tailored business application.
3. Being agile and allowing for changes during the project
Most CRM projects fail because vendors are not agile enough during the implementation project. And we don’t mean “Agile” as in “Agile methods” (although we were the first company in Europe to implement Dynamics CRM with Agile methods in 2008!). We mean agile as in being able to quickly adapt to changing requirements.
Your CRM system must support the most current business requirements, not requirements defined some time ago. That’s why it’s so important to use a methodology and work with a trusted partner that would allow for changes in scope, functionalities and priorities.
4. Working with end users to make the adoption easier
We always emphasize how important it is to work with end users of the future CRM system during implementation. It’s not enough to have your top managers define what they expect from the new CRM… (yes, they will almost always focus on analytics and reporting). Working with end users who will work with the CRM on a daily basis is as important as working with executives. That’s why we always try to convince our customers to designate individuals from different levels in the organization to work with us during the whole implementation process. Yes, that’s Agile in practice… 🙂
5. System go-live and ongoing support
The most important things happen once the system is finally presented to the target audience – its end users!!! It’s the time when training and user adoption play crucial roles in CRM implementation success. We will work with your organization employees to prepare a proper training plan, as well as to support your end users during system stabilization.
Once the system is used by the new users for some time, we will be happy to support your organization on an ongoing basis. The aim of such support is to allow you to:
- customize your CRM to your new needs
- train your people
- develop new features
- help your IT users in maintaining the system
- help your organization navigate through all the licensing and technical stuff
- work with you closely to present new features, talk to you about upcoming releases and actively provide you with ideas on how to improve existing processes and extend your CRM into new areas
Interested how other companies used these steps to implement CRM successfully?
Check out our Customer Success Stories.