Once you have initially deployed CRM, your CRM journey has only just begun. Your CRM solution will grow and evolve as your business grows and evolves – as all successful businesses do.
A good CRM administrator may be the difference between CRM success and CRM failure. Helping this to happen is a key part of the role of your CRM Administrator.
Your CRM Administrator is more than a typical technical administrator of the software. Your CRM Administrator is your champion for the entire CRM solution as shown in the opening image. They do not need to be an internal person, but they do need to be dedicated to your business and to your CRM success. They must not be with only you today, while searching for their next opportunity.
Organisations who do not have that champion, that person who is looking for how your CRM can further help your business grow, tend to suffer in three main ways:
Customer Relationship Management technologies are designed to give you a full view of how your clients interact with you, usually across your entire organization, from first contact. This should include the marketing activity that often is responsible for first finding the prospect and also for much of the ongoing nurturing both before the initial sale and during the entire lifecycle of the customer.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM includes some great marketing functionality in the core product, including:
For a guided walkthrough of how to use campaigns and marketing lists in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, please go to our GuideMeGuru – module four covers marketing.
However many organizations find this functionality inadequate for their needs. This article is a brief review of some of the options which work well with Microsoft Dynamics CRM which you may choose to extend the native functionality of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The solution that best suits you will depend on your requirements.
Chinese Whispers is a game popular in primary schools, where people pass a message from one to another along a line by whispering into their neighbour's ear, and see how it has changed at the end. Regardless of how enthusiastic they are, a hearing impaired person is unlikely to be invited to the Chinese Whispers team. This may not be fair, but it is reality.
|A well known, although probably apocryphal, example of this comes from the First World War, when soldiers at the front line sent a message to the control area. The original message was "send reinforcements, we are going to advance". The message received was "send three and four pence, we are going to a dance".|
Put like this, it is obvious. So why then do we run some of our mission critical business projects with the equivalent of a deaf mute in the key position in the Chinese Whispers team?
Playing snakes and ladders can be fun, especially when you find and race up all the ladders; but when you seem to find all the lurking snakes, the fun will not seem fun for long. At least in the world of the children's games, you can put it down to the luck of the dice. In the real world, it can be even more frustrating, and usually there is no dice to blame.
Implementing CRM into a business is not easy. However, there are things that you can do that will make the project easier, bringing you closer to a successful conclusion (ladders), and equally, things that you can do that will make it harder making it less likely that you will meet your business needs on time and on budget (snakes).
CRM projects are only partially about technology. They key to a successful project is to be aware of all of the components:
CRM projects also require a different paradigm – one not focussed on development, but on delivering a solution. The vast majority of projects start from one of the established CRM technologies, so the project is not about developing a CRM solution from scratch, but about configuring the selected software so it meets the business needs well. This means focussing on the gap between the features that the selected technology offers and the business requirements, rather than developing from scratch. To achieve this, your team need to know what is available out of the box, and design the solution accordingly.
Below I will show some of the key ways to ensure success, i.e. to climb the ladders, and I will help you identify the lurking snakes, i.e. the quick routes to failure.
I am currently working on helping one of the Australian Government departments implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016. One of the requirements is that the project should be fully WCAG 2.0 compliant. This was new to me and I struggled to find any particularly useful information, so I set about writing this article. This article is a composite of material about WCAG, general accessibility and Microsoft Dynamics CRM as well as some results from our project.
One of the requirements for this implementation of Microsoft CRM is that we use no code, (other than for integration with the external data) and only use configuration in meeting the CRM requirements. The department in question has also elected to use Microsoft CRM Online for the project, which introduces some additional complexities. I blogged about some of challenges specific to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online here. and more recently with a stronger focus on licencing here.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is still one of the few true CRM technologies that is available both on premise and in public cloud – CRM Online. It can also be provided in a private cloud by hosting partners or if you already use a data centre.
The functionality of the two versions: - Online and On-Premise is very similar. The differences are in the licencing options and a few technical differences caused by how it is hosted.
Contrary to how it sounds, the on-premise version can also be hosted in a data centre, i.e. it can be private cloud. Microsoft Dynamics CRM can also run in the Microsoft Azure Cloud. Hosting partners, including Opsis offer Microsoft CRM as a public cloud offering and / or as Private Cloud.
That you do not have to purchase Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, because you need, or prefer, your Microsoft Dynamics CRM in the cloud, still causes confusion to some of our prospects.
Opsis is an expert Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM consulting company. We are not an IT company, nor a management consultancy, although we often work with both of these. Our focus is wholly CRM success, with Microsoft Dynamics 365. We are based in Sydney, NSW, with clients in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and across Australia. Our range of Microsoft Dynamics 365 services include CRM strategy, CRM scoping, Dynamics 365 implementation, technical support and Dynamics 365 training.