5 Best Practices for a Successful Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Implementation

How do you ensure that you are among the Microsoft Dynamics CRM success stories? In this post, we share the 5 best practices for a successful implementation.

How to Become a CRM Success Story

When you think of a CRM deployment, what comes to mind? Sadly, for so many of us, one of the first things that we think of is how often we hear about these projects failing.

Across multiple industry studies, it was found that an estimated 47-63% of CRM deployment projects are considered failures by business executives. While these numbers are certainly daunting, we also know that companies that have experienced success with their CRM implementations saw distinct benefits and value for their business as a result.

So, how do you ensure that you are among the Microsoft Dynamics CRM success stories? In this post, we share elements of our Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation methodology and give you 5 best practices for a successful Dynamic s 365 Customer Engagement implementation.

 

1. Take the time for thorough CRM deployment planning

Whether you are just beginning to consider an implementation, or you are ready to implement CRM now, it is important that you take the time for thorough planning. Beginning the CRM system implementation process with the end in mind helps give you a clear roadmap to know how to scope a CRM project for your business.

While thorough CRM deployment planning takes a bit more time upfront, it reduces the risk of expensive surprises during the implementation process. Proper planning also speeds up solution design and development, helps define user requirements, and keeps the project scope intact with costs under control.

Our CRM deployment planning methodology is centred around mitigating risk so you can deploy CRM with confidence. We focus on asking questions in the planning phase to encourage you to think about your business in depth and develop a solid agreement on the desired outcomes of the new system.

Matt Hanson, Vice President of Business Development at Maxi-Lift Inc. shared his experience working with our deployment methodology to implement CRM for his business.

 

“New Dynamic came in with a proposal and deployment planning outline that impressed us. They were very specific about their scoping and estimates which I questioned at first, but then I saw their pre-workshop questionnaires and how detailed they were. They made us think through our business with good questions, and then put it all on paper for us, which allowed us to start with a solid agreement on what we’re doing and why.”

Only once you have a clear understanding of your business and the goals you are striving to achieve with a CRM deployment can you begin an implementation plan. Taking the time for thorough CRM deployment planning takes more time up front, but in the end, it will give you the

confidence to move forward with a full implementation plan that you know to be comprehensive and custom designed for your business.

 

2. Think about adoption on day 1 of your CRM deployment

When it comes to CRM implementations, adoption should never be an afterthought. Unfortunately, low rates of user adoption are far too common within companies attempting to deploy CRM. Low adoption occurs when your D365 users actively resist utilizing the components of the system. Failing to plan with adoption in mind will almost guarantee that your CRM deployment project falls somewhere in that 47-63% of failed project implementations that we mentioned earlier.

 

So, how do we avoid low rates of user adoption?

  • By involving the right people in the project
  • By ensuring that end-user value is addressed in process design
  • By simplifying the user experience / Eliminating unnecessary complication
  • By designing an effective training program and documentation

For a CRM effort to succeed, user adoption is paramount. Our approach involves users at every stage, ensuring value is delivered and complexity is managed. Using our Microsoft Dynamics implementation methodology, adoption planning is woven into the project fabric from the very first stitch. New Dynamic’s focus on end-user adoption means that your project is much more likely to achieve its intended purpose than the average implementation effort.

 

3. Leverage user stories as you plan for your CRM implementation project

A Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement implementation can be a large endeavor when it comes to the investment of time, money, and people to ensure project success. How can you best prepare for a CRM deployment ahead of project kick-off? By leveraging user stories!

Before beginning the process of a CRM implementation, user stories can be created as a jumping-off point or a wish list to help you dive deeper into understanding which CRM configurations and customizations are best for your business.

 

How To Write User Stories

User stories capture the who, what, and why of a desired action in the system from a user’s perspective. It can take some time to get the hang of creating use stories, but a little practice using some basic guidelines can help.

Step 1: Identify the users of the system. These are called “personas” and refer to roles such as accounting assistant, sales user, service rep, etc.

Step 2: Identify what the user wants to achieve through using CRM and why this function is important.

For example, a salesperson might create the following user story:

“As a sales user, I would like a dashboard that shows key accounts that have not been contacted in the last 30 days.”

This kind of user story helps you get a better idea of the types of personas that will be using the tools, and further help you understand your CRM project scope. With this example, you now have a better idea of a specific desired function of CRM for the salespeople as a user persona.

Leveraging user stories is the easiest thing a business can do to ensure a successful CRM implementation. This action allows Dynamics 365 implementation partners to convert your business needs into a quality solution with a higher likelihood of user adoption.

 

4. Prioritize customer experience solutions first

While understanding user needs, leveraging user stories, and prioritizing adoption of CRM into your business are all important pieces to the puzzle, the big picture should always be about the customer. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and while the main objective of the tool is right there in the name, it can easily get lost in all of the configurations and customizations desired by users.

At the end of the day, it is important that you prioritize the functionality of your CRM implementation based on the value it will bring to your customer/prospect relationships. As much as benefits to the salespeople and management in your business are important for a successful implementation, these objectives should always be secondary to customer experience.

 

If implemented successfully, CRM will offer:

  • A better knowledge of who your customers are, and what they want
  • Insights that help in finding and nurturing new clients
  • Better customer retention by providing the ability to proactively address your customer’s needs
  • Better data and privacy protection
  • More effective communication with your customers
  • Streamlined internal sales, marketing and customer service processes

 

It is important that we always remember that CRM implementations should always prioritize customer experience solutions first.

 

5. Select the right Dynamics 365 implementation partner

To achieve a successful CRM implementation, it is important that you have the right partner on your side.

A good Dynamics 365 implementation partner can help your organization from the deployment planning phase, all the way through system roll-out, training and on-going support. This will ensure that you can have confidence in a CRM system implementation that is comprehensive and custom-designed for your business.

New Dynamic helps maximize the value of Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement solutions based on your unique situation. Whether your organization is in the evaluation phase, ready for a CRM deployment, or upgrading an existing system, New Dynamic has a proven approach to mitigate risk and get the most out of your CRM investment.

Access our expert guidance to support your Dynamics 365 implementation, and help improve marketing effectiveness, boost sales and enrich customer service interactions.

To learn more about how we’ve helped businesses like yours achieve CRM success, check out our Client Success Stories.

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