What to consider when switching your CRM to Microsoft Dynamics 365
- Posted on April 6, 2017
A lot of clients think that switching their CRM to Microsoft Dynamics 365 can be daunting, confusing and filled with uncertainty. But I’ve now helped several enterprises attain a smooth transition with the necessary expertise and tools, and wanted to share some of my learnings [CLICK TO TWEET].
Why Migrate to Microsoft Dynamics 365?
It’s typically a journey that focuses on cost saving, collaboration, empowering employees and increasing customer satisfaction. For example, HP is currently making the shift to Microsoft Dynamics, which was mainly driven by a need to simplify, modernize and accelerate their sales and channel teams.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers you a deeper integration into tools like Outlook, SharePoint and the famous Office suite. This level of integration can also help improve collaboration with customers and external partners, which was another strong argument in HP’s decision making process.
And last but not least, the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 product combines CRM, ERP, Office 365, and Power BI functionality all in one taking the integration aspect even further and making it a full end-to-end product. By adding insightful analytics, using tools like Cortana and cognitive services delivered at the right time to the right person in Dynamics 365, I see enterprises now empowering their employees to co-create relationships that delight their customers.
Think Strategy over Features
When considering migration to another CRM platform, most companies focus on singular CRM features rather than a complete digital strategy. Instead of asking, “What feature should we use?” Ask yourself the following questions: “What are we trying to accomplish? What is the business outcome we need or want?” I see successful organizations coming up with a strong overarching digital strategy that provides the basis for an efficient CRM implementation that achieves desired business results through personalized & optimized business processes.
Optimization before Implementation
Once the overall digital strategy or vision has been established, companies should start identifying their key business processes and map out the needs and pain points of their key stakeholders. After that, they can review, define and optimize those key business processes by leveraging industry and domain experts in sales, service and marketing. Microsoft Dynamics 365 experts can then recommend the best use of Dynamics 365 tools like PowerApps, Flow, business process flow, workflow automation and call scripting to further optimize processes. A high-level assessment of a company’s processes to determine the best use of the Dynamics 365 tools can typically be done during workshop sessions that take up to 5 days over a 2 to 4 week period. Once the processes are well defined in their actual business context and mapped to the Dynamics 365 tools, implementing them in Dynamics CRM is simplified.
Impressive Results and Process Improvements
Some of the benefits I’ve seen so far have been significant. By taking full advantage of the latest Microsoft technological advances like cognitive services for photo and voice recognition in place of data entry, improvements in sales and service business processes, customer experience and operational efficiency are achieved.
Most customers are also realizing important cost savings with Dynamics 365 flexible and truly transparent multi-year contracting. For example, monthly true-ups to accommodate monthly variations due to circumstances like seasonal employees. And compared to other CRM platforms, Dynamics 365 has lower costs when you need to integrate with other internal systems. Lastly, it has module-based pricing so you consume only what you need but also has bundles for those that need more.
With Microsoft Dynamics 365, everyone can now benefit from a truly scalable platform that is configuration-driven, so no need to open the developer toolkit although one exists if you need to do something complex.