Every business aspires to become client-centric as much as possible to create a positive experience for their customers. To achieve this vision, companies are implementing CRM solutions to leverage customer relationship insights to provide superior services to their customers. As per the study by Gartner, worldwide customer experience, and relationship management software market grew 15.6% in 2018.
Out of several CRM solutions in the market, Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps organizations streamline processes across marketing and sales, field, service, customer service, and project service automation in a more unified manner. However, we noticed that Dynamics 365 Customers typically faces below listed challenges during the implementation:
- Schedule & Cost overruns
- Setting Clear Objectives & success criteria
- Plan Right Integration approach
- Achieving User Adoption
- Finding the Right CRM Solution Provider
So, how you avoid these challenges while implementing the CRM determines the success of your business.
Here, we can categorize Dynamics 365 implementation challenges broadly into:
- During Implementation
- Post Implementation
Unclear Scope and Budget Constraints
There could be various apparent challenges related to scope and budget.
- Not giving enough time and budget for requirements discovery
- Not foreseeing the quantity and quality of data before migrating it to the new CRM
- Miscalculating integration effort
- Miscalculating resistance and training costs of end-user
- Miscalculating infrastructure, customization, and implementation costs
Inexperienced Solution Provider
- The provider doesn’t have adequate experience with Dynamics 365
- Lack of technology or process maturity of delivering similar Dynamics 365 projects
- Provider not fully aware of the implementation challenges and isn’t fully prepared to address them effectively
Difficulties in Management Approval
An organization cannot think of implementing Dynamics 365 project if the upper management doesn’t approve it. Here are some of the management-related challenges faced before implementing such a project:
- Dynamics 365 project plan solely managed by the IT team without management contribution
- Business users unsure about Dynamics 365 project benefits
- Management taking time to get convinced to enforce Dynamics 365 adoption
Every project has a fixed timeline to get completed and deployed, but sometimes, individuals may expect things to happen too soon.
- Trying to accomplish all project objectives during the initial launch
- Ignoring the ‘Agile’ methodology for implementing the Dynamics 365 project
- Underestimating end-user transition by giving them full-featured, complex Dynamics 365 system from the beginning
Changes in Key Stakeholders During the Project
When there are changes in the core Dynamics 365 deployment team, it can affect the whole process, and even delay it.
- Internal Dynamics 365 experts exiting the organization or having a change of department or role
- Appointing the new IT or Business Head, having a different vision
- Modifications in the core team from the Dynamics 365 provider’s side
Change in Business Priorities Midway
- Restructuring of the project budget
- Shifted focus on acquisitions and mergers,
- Variations in the regulatory environment
Lack of User Adoption
Individuals often assume that as soon as the software is implemented, users will start making good use of it. However, that’s not always the case. Even though user adoption is crucial for Dynamics 365 success, many organizations don’t have a proper strategy in advance.
Lack of Actionable Insights
The Dynamics 365 software can only fetch the data for you; it can't draw assumptions on your behalf or enable your team to act on them. Your sales or marketing team needs to use this data to effectively utilize opportunities, address customer issues, and close more sales.
Complications in Information Security
- Conflicting encryption standards
- Government access and control over data
- Industrial surveillance in some regions
How to Avoid Challenges Faced while Implementing CRM?
Set a Budget
Cost is one of the major challenges faced by businesses during the Dynamics 365 solution implementation. If you do it in haste, and without proper planning, it can cost you heavily. So, it’s highly suggested that you decide why your business needs Dynamics 365. That will give you a clearer picture of the implementation techniques required to help you set a budget. Additionally, always discuss the total cost of ownership, hardware or software, IT resources, etc.
Define your Objectives
The secret for a successful Dynamics 365 implementation is defining your objectives clearly that you intend to achieve. Work towards making your objectives as measurable metrics. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to calculate the ROI or benefits of the Dynamics 365 system. Besides, it's time to work on the features you expect from the system. It will be best if you determine whether you want to have it for marketing, sales, customer service, or all of them, and the problems you intend to address. Having your ideas clear about the system's objectives and functionalities is vital towards a smooth Dynamics 365 implementation.
Compare All the Deployment Types
While choosing between different deployment types, you need to compare the set budget vs. the total ownership cost, including the cost of all the required resources, infrastructures, upgrades, maintenance, etc. before taking a final call for the business preferences, type of industry for business operations, etc. You need a dedicated Dynamics 365 team in your organization that includes the IT department, top management, senior executives, customer support, and end-users. It will help if you discuss their daily routine, the reason for any inefficiency they face, suggestions to boost throughput, etc. It will help you determine what type of deployments suits best for your business.
Provide Proper Training for Enhanced User Adoption
Without proper training and support, user adoption could be lost while implementing the Dynamics 365 system. It's always a better idea to include all the upcoming system users in all your processes. The day-to-day user training and support can also maximize the functionality of the system, its usability, and significantly increase the ROI.
Create an Integration Plan
Integrating Dynamics 365 with other business solutions such as payroll, ERP, etc. is the priority for most businesses seeking Dynamics 365 solutions. However, you can plan integration needs to avoid implementation and information overload.
Hire an Experienced CRM Solution Provider
Hiring an ideal Dynamics 365 partner is the core of its successful implementation. Go with a partner who can help you with both implementation and pre-implementation strategies. Moreover, your partner must list down all the implementation risks well before you sign the deal.
Implementing Dynamics 365 can immensely improve your sales, marketing, customer service processes. Although, if you want to develop long-lasting customer relationships, address their needs, and stand out from the crowd. Challenges with Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation are quite a few, but the key to a fruitful implementation is a vigilant, thoughtful strategy and planning.