All You Need to Know Before a First or New CRM Implementation
Shopping for your first CRM solution? Planning a new CRM implementation for your organization? Hearing all about the benefits of a CRM solution and want to know what the hype is all about? This article provides answers to some basic questions you should be asking yourself when looking for a new or first CRM. You’ll also find here plenty of resources to get you started on the right foot and have a better idea of what to expect from a customer management relationship solution.
Who needs a CRM?
The short answer: everyone in your organization. CRM solutions are known for being flexible and offering a variety of modules for different teams. While they’re known mostly as a sales tool, CRM solutions can be used by marketing, professional services, and project-based firms, to name only a few. Our eBook CRM is Not Just for Salespeople shows you how a CRM solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365 has been harnessed by various teams in different types of organizations to facilitate their daily tasks.
The Microsoft Power Platform and PowerApps also let you create personalized processes depending on your specific needs. These custom apps allow you users to access the data and processes they need without full access to the CRM. To learn more, read our article to know how to improve user access to Dynamics 365 with Power Apps.
Why do you need a CRM?
One of the main benefits of a CRM solution is that it centralizes all your data. By having all your client information in one place, you can obtain a clearer snapshot of information related to sales and services. Your sales pipeline, client communication history, and documents like invoices and contracts can be easily accessed, improving efficiency and communication for all your teams.
But a CRM doesn’t just help centralize information. It also helps you put a proper structure into place to better manage business processes and approvals. This reduces the risk of mistakes or oversights by ensuring the right people have access to the right information at every step of the process. Our eBook 17 amazing customer experiences businesses deliver today with Microsoft Dynamics 365 might give you an idea of how a CRM can improve your processes and in turn, the service you provide to clients.
Moreover, having all your data entered into the CRM makes it even easier for you to build reports. You can cross data with other departments and other sources of information for better insights into your organization. Business intelligence tools and solutions like Microsoft Power BI also help you make the most of the data stored in your CRM.
What information should be included in a CRM?
We recommend having a global vision in place before implementing a new CRM. This will help you plan properly from the start by choosing the right solution for your long-term goals. However, starting small will save you a lot of hassle. Don’t underestimate the change management involved in a project like this. Choose one department or type of service to start with, then grow from there. To know how to handle change management and maximize user adoption of your new CRM, read our eBook Getting Your Users to Use Your System.
Focus on information that you currently manage in tools like Excel or Outlook. This is usually a good place to start as employees tend to build informal processes to manage their various tasks, resulting in non-standardized processes and non-integrated information. From a sales standpoint, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales provides a good base for you to start, with modules and predefined fields. From there you can personalize forms, fields and processes based on your needs.
How to start a new CRM implementation?
An implementation partner specialized in your industry will help you choose the solution that best meets your needs and oversee its implementation. They will follow best practices to ensure that your implementation project is a success. Dynamics 365 is very intuitive yet powerful, so it’s important to start off on the right foot by working with a professional for the initial design of your system. Our eBook Ensuring the Success of an Implementation Project for Your New Business Management Solution provides plenty of tips for the implementation of your new CRM solution, including your choice of partner.
You may also want to look for a partner who will train you to become autonomous. This will ensure the continuous evolution of your system without depending on an external party. Either way, find a partner with experience implementing these types of solutions. While it may be tempting to attempt the implementation yourself, it usually ends up costing more in the long run. The company usually ends up having to spend more on reconfiguring the solution, not to mention costs associated to change management and loss of confidence in the solution if it’s not implemented correctly the first time around.
So, what’s next?
A new CRM implementation is also the time to sit down as an organization to discuss your priorities. Start the conversation internally to have a cohesive vision in place before starting the implementation process. Build a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves to keep your vision realistic. This may also be a good opportunity to review and redefine your processes. Then contact Dynamics 365 CRM implementors to get an idea of the project scope and better define what you need and when. Having clear goals from the get-go will ensure the success of your partnership and implementation.
Don’t hesitate to contact JOVACO if you’re thinking about implementing a CRM solution within your organization or if you have any questions. Wondering if it’s worth paying for your new CRM? Our article Free vs Paid CRMs: Is it worth paying? will give you an idea of the pros and cons of paid and free solutions. Still unclear as to what a CRM even is? Read our article CRM “for Dummies”: Demystifying Microsoft Dynamics 365.