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Seven Steps to a Successful Trial of Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE

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If you are planning on exploring whether Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE is the right CRM solution for you, you are in the right place.

Without a doubt, a trial of any software is an essential step towards gaining confidence that it is a possible solution for you.  But there are good ways and less good ways to carry out that trial.  We see so many trials that deliver very little.  Yet, with a little planning, you can get a very good idea of just how well Microsoft Dynamics 365 will solve problems for you - how it will speed up your repetitive processes, how it will give you that all-around 360-degree view of customers, and how it will deliver you the metrics from across your business.

However, many people find that once they have set up a trial, it is more complicated than they anticipated.  They have managed to navigate through the trial creation process, but still, there is more to Microsoft Dynamics 365 than they had realised.

If this sounds familiar, follow these seven simple steps to ensure your trial is successful.



 Download seven steps to a successful Trial of Dynamics 365 by Gill Walker

Set your objectives

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The "easiest" way for your trial to be a waste of time is creating the 30-day free trial on day 1 and then waiting till day 29 and then doing a quick click here and there randomly in the interface.  This experience is unlikely to answer any questions for you about what CRM – Dynamics 365 or otherwise - can do for your business.  However, it may very easily leave you confused.

Decide what you want to achieve from your trial, what business problems you hope that Dynamics 365 will solve for you.

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Form your team

Gather together people who know about:
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Service and Customer Support

Remember to include both end-users, senior people, CRM influencers including your technology team, and your decision-makers.  Without all of those people, you will likely end up with a biased outcome from your trial.

 lightbul moment sm Remember to include decision-makers and your CRM influencers.
There was a time when Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, was the exclusive domain of the sales team. Salespeople were the liaison between the customer and the business.  Those days have come to an end—to meet customers' expectations today requires input from across the company.   
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Identify the areas of your organisation that you would like to improve

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Remember to include teams outside of your own department or group. 
data entry repetitive work single point of failure
Areas with high levels of data entry Parts of the business that are repetitive Areas that are dependent on a single staff member
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Create users with different roles within your organisation

If you only see Microsoft Dynamics 365 from the perspective of a System Administrator, who can see all the data and access all the functionality, you will get a very jaundiced view. 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 has a robust and comprehensive security model that gives each different group of users the access that it needs. It comes with several roles already set up, and you should assign these to your team members.

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Call Centre Field engineer project management
Call Centre Field Engineer Project Manager
sales person field sales HR
Sales Manager Sales Person Human Resources (HR)
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Customer Care Technology or IT support  
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Map out some of your key processes, so you know what steps you take when looking after your customers

Ensure that your processes look at both the data entry and the data outputs – reports, documents and dashboards.  dashboard
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Map the processes as a flow chart – not just as a set of instructions.  business process

Include the rarely required processes, as well as your everyday processes.

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Add some of your data

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Having data that your users a familiar with will make them more able to relate to the new environment. Bring in your data from your existing spreadsheets and other applications such as accounts and your marketing tools. Think about the data that your users currently must collect on paper. Show them how CRM can help manage this data.
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Take your Dynamics 365 demo for a Spin

Get to this point before your trial is halfway over.  This means that you have plenty of time to reveal the new system to various users. 
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Show your system to the users, focussing on the processes that you collected and using the familiar data.  demonstration

Reveal the simplicity of data entry.

Explain how the system can prompt you for missing data, indicate that duplicates can be prevented and data can be pulled from elsewhere in the system - all ways to make your users' life easier.

 data entry2

Demonstrate the ease of real-time dashboards and reports.

Focus on the ease of teamwork, sharing of data between people and the abilities to work with people in the same and other teams to solve customer issues.  teamwork

If you would like to understand a little more about the standard (out of the box) functionality in Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE so you have a head start in demonstrating its use to your team members, take a look at our Guide Me Guru

Guide Me Guru is the ultimate beginner's walk-through to Microsoft Dynamics 365.  Guide Me Guru walks you through how sales, marketing, service and reporting work before you – or your consultant or developer or partner – make any changes at all.  This shows you how much benefit you can get from Microsoft Dynamics 365 before you spend anything on customisation or configuration.



Published by Gill Walker

Opsis is an expert Microsoft Dynamics 365 consulting company. Our focus is your Microsoft Dynamics 365 success - not licence sales or billable hours. As Principal Consultant, Gill oversees all business operations and strategic planning and execution, yet she still believes in offering personal attention to each and every client, so as to understand their needs and offer tailored solutions.  We are based in Sydney, with clients in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and across Australia.  We offer Microsoft Dynamics 365 strategy, Microsoft Dynamics 365 scoping, Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation, Microsoft Dynamics 365 technical support, Microsoft Dynamics 365 advice and guidance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 training and mentoring.