Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Dynamics CRM
- When implemented correctly, I've seen a minimum productivity improvement of 5%, very often much higher than that. This is primarily because it creates significantly streamlined communications, both internal and external to the company. What this means is fewer FTEs needed to do the same job!
- Ease of creating dashboards - A picture is worth a thousand words, and dashboards tell each user how they are performing on a continuous basis. When this clicks, you get a situation of all horses pulling in the same direction, and the results of this are terrific!
- Mid market manufacturing companies have invested heavily in streamlining operations and supply chain to drive down the unit production cost of the widgets they make. Unfortunately, they have not been able to do the same for Sales and Marketing, and Dynamics CRM is a tremendous tool in enforcing good sales process. When you have the discipline of following a good process, and have consistent Sales activity (both measurable from the CRM), you have a situation where the CRM becomes the best Sales Coach the company could ever have and not pay for!!!
- Business owners and managers must understand that it typically takes 6-12 months for the results to flow in. And it is often the case that when the bottlenecks in the Sales and Marketing processes are removed, other issues within the company get highlighted. Companies must be prepared for this, and the corresponding discomfort it creates. But it is all good, since we all want to work as efficiently as possible, and anything that brings inefficiencies to the surface is a good thing.
- Out of the box functionality from smart phones leaves a lot to be desired. Fortunately there are affordable third party products that are really great at this.
- Complex marketing campaigns and implementing a digital marketing strategy unfortunately require third party offerings. I'm sure this will be addressed in the future, but for now, this is limited.
- While Microsoft has addressed the issue of access from multiple browsers, the desktop "experience" is really only replicated on the Surface tablet, which is why some people have purchased this tablet (in addition to their iPads) because it just makes sense for them to do so. Others object to having another asset in inventory, but that is what the tablet wars are about anyway.
- Dynamics CRM 2013 has the "Process" interface which has its pros and cons. Right now, the ability for developers to tweak the look and feel is limited, but it is expected that improvements in this aspect (giving developers more control) is imminent.
- The productivity improvements are huge, and this cuts across Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service. We are a small shop, and one of the support persons was out sick when the customer he was servicing called in with an urgent need. The CRM was the reason why others could access the Case in a few seconds and respond right away, which is huge in terms of Customer loyalty.
- The big advantage is eliminating the total dependency organizations have in terms of the knowledge in people's minds or filing cabinets. The processes become person independent!
- I've seen very good sales reps become fantastic sales reps after we implemented Dynamics CRM. These guys are always looking for ways to create more sell time, and CRM gives them that ability, resulting in much better performance.
1. Take your time and choose the right partner to work with. DO NOT try and do it yourself. You will waste time, do things incorrectly, and pay a steep price to get stuff fixed.
2. Implement in small bite sized chunks. CRM affects the entire organization, and going easy in the initial stages goes a long, long way in preventing the problems that many installs face half way through the implementation. Once your people adjust to the new communication processes, they will start to help tremendously with suggestions that WILL make the overall implementation a success.
3. Understand the difference between training and adoption. Train in small chunks, and then make sure adoption for the functionality that training has covered is in place before moving on to the next stage. Many business owners and managers are under a lot of pressure to show results quickly because the investment in CRM is significant, BUT it is really difficult to force a rate of change on an organization without creating havoc. So my advice is to be clear about milestones and expected achievements, but don't get too aggressive about them. You will be doing yourself a disservice. Enterprise class systems like CRM have to work with the organization's dynamics, not against it!