I have often heard companies talk about the fact that investments in CRM solutions don’t always pay off, that the ROI never comes. I´ll look into the causes and possible solutions to this problem in the following article.
The commitment that a company’s employees feel at the start of an IT project is rarely the same as the commitment they feel at the end. Their will has probably faded a bit as the real challenges arise, and is very human and quite common reaction to people facing change. Nevertheless, it is often the case that the human aspects – the users, who it’s really all about – are not being prioritized in implementing, for example, a CRM project. And they are often then forgotten entirely in the later development of the CRM project.
I usually say there are two types of value that a company can reap through CRM:
- Strategic value: this is the kind of value that enables management to take important business decisions. Strategic value is supported by technology, providing the company with a good view into the future and a deeper insight into the engine room.
- Operational value: this is the form of value that can be measured through optimizing employees’ daily processes. Operational value is supported by technology, that enables employees to solve their tasks quickly, efficiently and with high quality.
Most people may agree that the pace of work has increased in recent years and that a company’s management should be able to take important decisions in a very short time, and this will probably continue. The market is not static, and neither are the solutions that companies are using.
And this is where the paradox can be seen. If you only measure on the strategic value of a CRM solution, you’re missing the point that a solution should be refined and further developed to always covers the needs it has to. Here we come back to the operational value, because it is the operational users who generate the data every day, and the management needs to qualify their decisions. Therefore, the operational value of a CRM solution is the engine that needs to drive strategic value out of it.
From this perspective, it’s better to ask yourself whether your users are using your CRM solution and if they are happy with it than if management is good at using the CRM solution to make decisions, as the latter informs the former.
If you would like to prioritize operational value associated with implementing a Dynamics solution, fortunately, help can be found in the Dynamics solution itself, where tools such as Learning Path provide the individual with the contextual support they need for their daily tasks. It reduces the need for training, familiarizes users with the solution and so also increases user adoption.
At AlfaPeople we have a maintenance and support agreement – AlfaPeople Application Maintenance Service (AMS), that helps get operational as well as strategic value from your CRM investment. We call it “Maintenance”, but it focusses on both maintenance and development.
You can read more about how to ensure continuous support, maintenance and upgrading of your Microsoft Dynamics platform in the whitepaper Why Invest In Support and Maintenance