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3 Tips for Ensuring CRM User Adoption

With Ignify being both a Microsoft Dynamics CRM vendor and user, a recent article in CRM Buyer magazine titled “CRM Vendors are the Worst CRM Practitioners” definitely caught my attention.  Tell us what you really think, CRM Buyer.

The core argument of the article, an argument that is 100% correct, is: “If a vendor can't effectively use its own application, how are you going to do it?”

How can customers trust a vendor to implement and configure a CRM system if the vendor doesn't fully understand or use it? How can a customer truly learn about, and benefit from, the powerful sales, marketing, and customer service functionality that a CRM system offers if the vendor doesn't appreciate, or act on, those benefits themselves?

Ignify fully recognized how important Microsoft Dynamics CRM was as a customer relationship management tool, streamlining and consolidating sales and customer service data and processes. And Ignify also recognized that in order to guide our customers toward success with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we as a company needed to know the system inside out. To understand the mindset of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM end user, we knew that we needed to be an end user as well.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the core of Ignify’s sales and customer service operations, supporting our team members with crucial data and insight into our company’s processes.

Read our three tips for ensuring successful, across-the-board adoption of your CRM system in your organization.

1. Treat CRM as a Discipline, Not an Application

According to the article, “One of the main reasons SMB CRM users drop their vendors is because they don't engage with their CRM application, and that's because they're treating it like an application and not a discipline – just as their vendor does.”

Yes, a CRM system is technically an application. But instead of looking at it as just a piece of software, it’s important to look at it as a key business element.

Ignify has incorporated Microsoft Dynamics CRM into the business by structuring the company’s sales processes on it. For example, if a lead comes in, it is first sent to lead management team members who first research the lead contact, and then assign the lead to the correct salesperson. The salesperson is then responsible for updating contact information with further details, as well as tracking communication.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the gatekeeper of sales information, with the entire sales team recognizing this and acting accordingly. In fact, a motto of the sales team is, “If it’s not in CRM, then it doesn't exist.” If a sales team member does not keep his or her data fresh and up-to-date, then the executive management team is not able to identify or provide the resources that the sales team member needs.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM consolidates all sales data in one place

Microsoft Dynamics CRM consolidates all sales data in one place, providing a central database for lead and opportunity information, customer information, etc.

2. Get Executive Buy-In

Team members follow the example of their leaders. If their boss uses a particular application, and if the boss expects them to use that application as well, then the team is going to use it – period.

As explained in the point above, if an Ignify executive cannot see what the status, or progress, of a deal is, then he or she cannot provide the support that will best help the sales representative. In fact, when sales meetings occur at Ignify, the Ignify Microsoft Dynamics CRM system is the main focal point of the meeting. The executive team runs down the list of sales leads and opportunities in the system, and then asks questions based on the information there.

To ensure that your team members organization-wide successfully use CRM, you need to make sure that each member of your executive team is on board. Confirm that your executives recognize and understand the value of a CRM system – enhanced visibility into the sales pipeline; lead management automation; in-depth analytical and reporting capabilities; etc. If an executive fully appreciates how important a CRM system is as a business tool, then they’re going to use it.

Dashboard and chart capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM

By showing executives the in-depth, powerful analytical and reporting tools within a CRM system (such as the dashboard and chart capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, pictured above), you communicate the business value of the system. And the sooner that value is recognized, the sooner you will get them on board.

3. Make Sure CRM Works with Employees’ Processes

We are all creatures of habit – it can be tough learning new things, or changing up routines. When selecting a CRM system, you want to choose one that’s intuitive to how your company works – a system that will easily and smoothly fit into your employees’ work lives. Because the less disruption that a CRM solution’s implementation causes a company’s individual workers, then the more quickly they can transition to the system.

Since Ignify is a Microsoft shop, Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s ability to integrate directly to Microsoft Outlook was a hugely valuable asset. Being able to access the CRM database right from Outlook, as well as the ability to track emails to customers and prospects with just a click of a button, saves time and keeps sales reps on top of tasks. Since the Ignify team uses Microsoft Outlook on a daily basis, having Microsoft Dynamics CRM within the Outlook application itself made it easy to incorporate Microsoft Dynamics CRM into their daily habits as well. And because the Ignify team is so well-accustomed to Outlook, Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s integration tools with Outlook provided team members additional familiarity with the CRM system.

Walking the Walk

By using Microsoft Dynamics CRM to support business processes, Ignify understands not only the software itself but also the mindset of the end customer. What better way to grasp the needs, concerns, and wants of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM customer than by being a customer yourself?

As the article states, “When you can’t capitalize on CRM, it sends a message that no one can. Instead of paying lip service to what CRM ought to be, vendors need to assert their expertise, walk the walk, and take pride in setting the pace as the world’s best CRM practitioners.”

Ignify knows how a CRM solution can take a business to the next level. Does your CRM vendor?

If you have questions or would like more information, please email us at crm@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRM, and eCommerce software solutions to businesses and public sector organizations. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 5 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine and ranked as one of 100 most innovative companies in the world in the Red Herring Global 100 in 2011.

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