Gill Walker – CRM Success Catalyst, Speaker, Educator, D365 Project Manager, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Functional Consultant, Solution Architect, Advisor, Trainer, MCT, MVP, DTM


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Top Four Dos and One Don’ts of CRM Success

CRM success steps with numbers 1 to 5 written on a whiteboard - Opsis

CRM’s reputation has suffered from a history of misuse and failure, but we’re now facing a new era in CRM solutions, where their potential is limited only by your imagination.

When used to their full potential, modern CRM solutions can help businesses:

  • Manage data
  • Improve the customer service experience
  • Streamline sales and business processes
  • Run marketing campaigns
  • Manage assets, events, contracts and training more efficiently and more

The key benefits of successfully implementing a CRM system are customer retention and business growth. Businesses will not lose their customers to the competition and will clearly see opportunities for growth.

The good news is you only need to avoid one thing and follow four to achieve CRM success for your business.

1. Do determine your business needs before choosing a CRM.

Woman creating a checklist of business needs - Opsis

CRM success partly comes from knowing what you want from the solution, and then buying the right product. Out-of-the-box the technology rarely meets the needs of businesses, so it’s vital to work with a CRM provider to communicate your business needs. Your CRM should be tailored to provide effective solutions to your major business issues.

The following tips will help you write a well-defined list of your CRM requirements:

  • Identify critical business issues (preferably 5 to 10).
  • Identify your business’s unique processes.
  • Involve key staff to ensure issues in all departments are identified.
  • Hire a consultant to help with the identification of issues and processes, if necessary.
  • Keep it simple. Avoid adding basic CRM functions as requirements. Focus on additional functions that are unique to your business.
  • Use diagrams, wherever possible, to demonstrate your needs.
  • Avoid determining potential solutions to your requirements. Assess providers on their ability to present creative solutions to your needs.

Download the eBook Five Fundamentals of a Foolproof CRM Implementation Strategy for more information on how to hatch a successful plan. 

2. Do take a holistic approach to your CRM project.
Blocks piled with CRM and other features written on, inc. service and support - Opsis

Businesses that only see CRM as software are doomed to experience failure in any CRM project.

Success with CRM is reliant on a holistic approach. The effect on all parts of the business must be considered and change must be implemented universally.

This may mean restructuring or training staff, hiring new staff and rewriting processes and procedures. You will likely need to make changes:

  • Before a new CRM system is implemented to ensure staff are prepared and the correct processes are in place
  • During implementation as you learn what further changes are required
  • After implementation, once any issues become apparent

3. Do take full advantage of your new CRM solution.

Group of people in a staff meeting - OpsisPoor implementation, training and communication all lead to teams that do not use CRM systems to their full potential. This often leads to CRM failure and large amounts of wasted time and money.

By writing a clear list of requirements and working with a CRM expert, you are starting the process with a deep understanding of what your new CRM solution can offer.

To ensure that the solution is used effectively, it’s vital to:

  • Involve staff in the CRM evaluation and testing process
  • Train staff in the new CRM system
  • Encourage acceptance by demonstrating the benefits of the chosen CRM solution
  • Create straightforward user guidelines and set clear expectations for staff
  • Avoid a long implementation process
  • Hold regular CRM demonstrations to remind staff of your unique system’s capabilities
  • Regularly assess whether staff are using the CRM system to its full potential

4. Do Choose an Effective and Focused CRM Project Manager.

Female top-notch project manager with a team behind her - Opsis

CRM solutions need to be implemented well to ensure staff adopt the new system wholeheartedly.

A top-notch CRM project manager will ensure staff are on board, the implementation process is streamlined, and staff are well-trained and able to use the new CRM system to its full potential.

5. Don’t Assume Everyone Will Love the New CRM System Like You Do.

Convince spelled out in individual wood tiles - Opsis

People’s mindsets are one of the biggest challenges to overcome during any CRM project. Creating a strategy to sell the idea to staff and deal with negativity is fundamental to CRM success.

The following tips may help you manage this:

  • Adopt a superuser early on. Anyone who is convinced that CRM is the future and is highly motivated to move forward with the project is a potential superuser. This person can test the system, use their extensive knowledge to help staff when problems arise and be an advocate for the CRM project.
  • Stifle the idea that CRM is only a sales tool. Highlight the benefits to each department.
  • Encourage rather than force staff, wherever possible, to adopt the chosen CRM solution. The chances of CRM success are much higher if staff are motivated and excited about adopting the new system.

CRM success is a team effort, so it’s important to involve and consider all stakeholders when designing and implementing the right CRM solution for your business. If you do this well, CRM can help your business become more efficient and increase your profits.

Are you using Microsoft Dynamics 365? Opsis offers implementation services to help you maximise the potential of Dynamics 365 and ensure your staff or end-users will see its value and use the platform to their advantage.

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Opsis is an expert Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power Platform and CRM strategy consulting company. Our focus is your CRM success, with Microsoft Dynamics 365 / Microsoft Power Platform or any CRM technology - not licence sales or billable hours. As Principal CRM Success Catalyst, Gill oversees all business operations, 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.  Gill is the creator of SuccessRM - your blueprint for CRM success.  We offer:

  • Strategy for your successful CRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform
    • scoping
    • implementation
    • technical support
    • training
    • consulting, advice and guidance
    • assistance with your centre of excellence
  • Mentoring for CIOs and other decision makers tasked with implementing CRM.