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5 more things you need to consider when implementing Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Going into a software implementation unprepared or with unrealistic expectations is a recipe for disaster. With any implementations there things you need to consider and prepare for - so you and your organization know what to expect and the outcome is what you anticipated.

We have outlined 5 of the most important considerations you need to take into account when deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Business Process Analysis (BPA)

Before starting any software related project I highly recommend a Business Process Analysis (BPA). Conducting a BPA allows for an examination of current processes and practices that need to be addressed by the new CRM implementation. A proper analysis should give all parties an accurate and agreed upon assessment of the client’s current use of their system. This information will ultimately drive the design and functionality of the new CRM implementation.

Available Resources

In order to accomplish work we need resources. Resources may include professional employees, hardware and software all the same. Once the BPA is finalized and the client's choice is to implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM a resource evaluation should take place. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has specific software and hardware requirements so ensuring everything is in order will help eliminate delays regarding the CRM implementation.

Project Management

The best way to set and keep expectations is to devise a proper project plan and leverage a project manager for execution. A good project plan coupled with an experienced project manager is ultimately the way to go. This will undoubtedly help with negotiating expectations, timelines and deliverables. Having these bases covered allows other professionals to focus on their assigned tasks. Keep a contingency plan in your back pocket for when complications present themselves.

Integration Points

Not often does a Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation function completely on its own. In my experience there is almost always a need to integrate Microsoft Dynamics CRM with other systems a client currently has in place. I have yet to see a "one stop shop" piece of software that satisfies 100% of all business needs. Potential integration points should have been identified during the BPA process and the design phase will dictate how data flows between these systems. I almost always expect some sort of a data migration to take place for the product launch.

Launch Day

Have you tested everything? Have you tested anything? Do you have a training plan in place? If not I highly recommend you take the time to do it. Before launch day I would recommend that all phases of the design and data migration have been tested. This concept helps eliminate delays in a "go live" situation. Not all projects will execute perfectly smooth but our job as professionals is to make sure the client is prepared to take over once expectations have been delivered.

We have written an additional blog post on how to prepare for a CRM implementation. Our ebook on CRM and its power with sales and marketing can also help generate ideas on where CRM can make a huge impact on your business. Making sure you have taken these all into account will help you make the most of your new software investment.