If you are the head of a company preparing to implement a new CRM system, you probably have many questions. You want to know how to keep a project on schedule, how to avoid cost overruns, who should be involved, and more.

We at Fanetech implement, advise and support our clients on Dynamics CRM solutions, and know the answers to frequently asked questions.

In this article you will find answers to the 10 most important of them.

1. What are the stages of CRM implementation?

The implementation method we use consists of 5 steps:

Diagnostics: an introductory meeting between you and your solution partner to identify and validate your core business needs.
Analysis: launch of the project. A detailed overview of your business processes and requirements.
Simulation of the solution: Your partner designs, develops and tests your CRM system.
Deployment: inspections, migration and testing. These activities lead to the implementation of the new system.
Exploitation: work with real data and use real processes in the new system. Hold a project review meeting.

2. What are the main reasons for CRM implementation failures?

The most common reasons why a CRM implementation fails to achieve its goal is due to a failure to realistically assess the project's needs.

Failure to properly evaluate resources

An overly optimistic timeline or budget will lead to serious difficulties. Make sure your CSP partner can help you determine your true costs.

Inability to control volume

In every solution implementation project, there is a temptation to add another feature or requirement. Some unforeseen changes to the original plan are inevitable, but you (with the help of your implementation partner) must carefully distinguish between "necessary" and "nice but not necessary."

Failure to allocate the right internal resources

It is often difficult to dedicate the hours of your qualified specialists to the implementation process. But without their active participation, a CRM project may not meet the real needs of the business.

Failure to invest time and effort into gaining user acceptance and approval

Don't make the mistake of thinking that CRM implementation is just a technical project. This is also a change management project. Time must be spent throughout the process to educate and prepare employees to make the necessary changes to their work procedures once the CRM is launched.

3. How long does a CRM implementation project take?

A small project that uses almost completely ready-made CRM capabilities, without integration with other systems, can be completed in a few weeks.

A large project that involves rebuilding complex systems and processes or creating deep integrations with your ERP or other systems can take months or even a year.

An experienced CSP partner like Fanetech will create an implementation plan and break it down into steps so you can budget and plan properly.

4. How much time and effort does CRM implementation require from internal team members?

For a small project, you don’t have to allocate permanent full-time employees. 

Medium to large implementations will require a team dedicated entirely to the implementation process. You will also need a project manager to coordinate this team.

Employees will conduct user acceptance testing, verify requirements, and explain processes and requirements to the CSP partner for CRM implementation.

5. Who should be responsible for implementing CRM in a company?

If a company plans to implement a CRM system, you should appoint an employee who will be responsible for making decisions.

This person must:

Say no to adding new functionality to a project unless necessary; 
Be familiar with your business goals;
Be familiar with the organization's business processes and current system.

6. How to adapt users to CRM?

In fact, your user onboarding efforts should begin well before implementation is complete.

At the beginning of the implementation process, send a message to all employees. Explain the company's current situation, its goals, and how the new CRM will help achieve those goals.
Get feedback from your employees throughout the implementation process. 
Involve users in testing. 
Once the CRM system is launched, all employees must have an idea of how it works. 

7. What factors influence the cost of CRM implementation?

The cost of CRM implementation is strongly influenced by 3 factors: complexity, expansion of functionality and availability of resources.

Complexity of implementation. How much customization does a CRM system require to meet your business requirements? How many internal systems do you integrate with? Do any of these systems run on legacy code? 

Unscheduled expansion of functionality. Are you able to strictly adhere to the list developed at the beginning of the implementation process? 

8. What should be the KPIs for CRM implementation?

KPIs for CRM implementation:

  • Budget;
  • Stage schedule;
  • Fulfillment of project requirements;
  • Uptime of the implemented system (including disaster recovery and backup functions);
  • Response time to support requests from the implementation partner.

9. What do you need to know about integration before implementing a CRM system?

Thoughtful integration is required for most, if not all, implementations.

If you have critical processes in a legacy system, make sure your implementation partner can integrate them into the new CRM system.

Also make sure your new CRM will work alongside your existing productivity, communication, and analytics tools. For many businesses using the Microsoft stack - Word, Outlook, Power BI, etc. - this is the main reason for using Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM solutions.

10. What should I look for in a CRM implementation partner?

The CRM implementation partner must meet these 5 criteria:

Understand your business model and strategy;
Have extensive experience and certifications in the CRM products they will implement;
Provide technical verification of the feasibility of your project before implementation begins;
Advise you on best practices;
Assist with implementation and user training;

At Fanetech, we are implementing Dynamics across the full range of Microsoft CRM and ERP solutions, as well as Power Platform.

We also provide guidance and support to our clients in the long term. If you are considering a Dynamics solution and need advice from an experienced partner, Contact us.

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