Microsoft Dynamnics CRM is fun and exciting when you’re thinking about its possibilities for your sales and marketing efforts. All the grand ideas begin to play out in your head about how you will use it to track sales, customers, cost per opportunity and so forth. Thinking about CRM and its possibilities for your company is a lot like watching Michael Phelps at the Olympics – he makes it look SO easy! CRM looks so EASY.
However, if you were the poor chap in the lane next to Phelps, I guarantee you would feel overwhelmed and possibly even give up halfway through the first lap.
Once you get your feet wet in CRM, it’s this same overwhelming feeling you’d have next to Michael Phelps and in many cases the CRM project actually stops (more like drowns) part way through the first go around. CRM is deceptively easy and often gives people grand ideas until they test the waters and realize they are in over their head.
How to Dive Into CRM Without Drowning!
CRM is a great tool, and the big ideas you have when you first look at CRM are in fact most likely doable. Microsoft CRM does some amazing things. I’ve seen it work in customer sites and in AccuNet’s own sales and marketing.
To safely navigate the waters of a CRM implementation and user rollout, you need to take these big ideas and put them into the framework of a carefully planned and organized design. For AccuNet’s own CRM practice, we insist on a design document before the installation is even discussed.
The Design Document – a.k.a. The Life Guard
A CRM Design Document is your Life Guard. It is there to show you the policies for using CRM, trains you how to use CRM, and gets you into the wading pool to test the waters and your swimmies before opening up the deep end. The Design Document also serves as a great tool for those times you panic in the deep end – just turn to the Design Document and see what it says to do. At AccuNet, we perform the following steps in our Design Documents in order to ensure a successful CRM implementation:
- Bring all the key stakeholders to the table to discuss big ideas.
- Take the big ideas and put them into actionable steps.
- Get all the Go/No Go items on the table: Is a new server needed? Are you integrating it with any other program?
- Discuss the CRM Policies that tell users how and why to use the system. This makes up 90% of a successfully used CRM system.
- Provide a timeline and path for training super users and regular users. Good training makes up the other 10% of a succesfully used CRM system.
- Give a framework for how the actual installation and implementation will proceed.
Before you dive into CRM, get excited, think about your goals, and get a design document to guide you along the way.