I have become quite spoiled by modern CRM platforms like Dynamics 365 and Salesforce.com. On any given weekend, I will spend a few hours making enhancements to our Thesis Technologies CRM system. Although this might sound a bit administrative, this time is very strategic because it allows me to take ideas regarding our business process and implement them immediately. This is only possible because our Dynamics 365 CRM system is flexible and easy to change.
Why does this flexibility matter? Flexibility makes you money. When you can continuously shape and form your business processes in real time, you are continuously improving your business. When you continuously improve your business week after week after week, you eventually transform your business processes, your bottom line, and the engagement level of your staff.
I realize that you may not embrace the idea of learning to modify your CRM system and spending your weekend making changes yourself. I don’t blame you. There are other ways we help clients leverage this flexibility in their businesses. Sometimes the ThesisTech team serves as the implementers of continuous change. We are on call for our clients and when an idea needs implementing, we make it happen as quickly as possible. We can also train people in your organization to customize your CRM. It doesn’t matter how you get it done, just make sure that you are able to implement great ideas as they come to light.
Why leverage the flexibility of your CRM? Here are a few specific benefits to your business:
Implement New Ideas
Most business leaders are constantly thinking about ways to improve their business. This is because there seems to be endless opportunities for more sales and more profits. Ideas can be small like adding a new field to a report or ideas can be bigger like adding a new step to your sales process. When these new ideas occur to you, modern CRM systems enable you to implement them very quickly and realize the benefits in a day or a week instead of months later. The most profound impact of this flexibility is to create an environment where new ideas are capitalized on. Way too often, business systems are set in stone, and we live with them for years or even decades. In the past, systems made us slaves to their functionality because of the cost of change. This is no longer the case. Dynamics 365 and Salesforce.com are systems that can respond to your ideas and put you in charge of your business improvement.
Respond to Business Changes
Another great reason foris the constantly changing environment we all operate in. New regulations, new work situations (like Covid), new business opportunities, or new competitive threats can all demand changes to our business processes. Sometimes these changes are temporary and other times they are permanent. Flexible CRM systems allow businesses to react to these changes quickly and inexpensively. Being able to respond quickly in these situations puts you in a competitive advantage in your market and allows you to play offense in the face of change instead of constantly being on defense.
Correct Past Mistakes
Depending on the complexity of your sales process and the needs of your business, CRM implementations can be a handful sometimes. Even with a strong implementation partner, changes often need to be made to a CRM system after the initial startup phase. Sometimes users realize that more automation is needed to support the team. Other times users have even better ideas for the system once it has been implemented for a while. Maybe the word “mistake” is a bit harsh in this context because often we don’t know what we don’t know. But the good news is, when you have a flexible CRM system, changing direction or enhancing current functionality can be done very quickly. In fact, there is great value in quickly implementing initial functionality so that feedback and hands-on experience can inform future changes to the system (see more notes on an “agile mindset” below).
Take Advantage of new Technologies
In this cloud-first business systems environment, CRM systems are constantly being enhanced and super-charged by very capable companies like Microsoft and Salesforce. In fact, you often don’t need to do anything to suddenly have access to powerful new technology. One of my favorite examples of this has been the evolution of the global search function in Dynamics 365 CRM. What started out as a very ho-hum search feature is now a very impressive tool in finding what you need in your CRM. To take advantage of this enhancement, users had to do nothing. It just showed up with a new release. Other technology advancements may require some CRM work to take full advantage. For example, another great advancement in Dynamics 365 is the integration between the . This can be a game changer because it enables new processes that eliminate redundant work and help team members work together better. Enabling this functionality just requires a couple of settings changes and a little training. When you have the right CRM system, you are leveraging new technology that can create strong advantages for your business.
Practice your Agile Mindset
The more you realize the benefits of leveraging the flexibility of your CRM system, the more you will want to do it. It just takes a little practice! Many of us are in the mindset that computer systems offer a fixed set of functionalities and are very difficult to change. This is true of systems in the past, but it is not true of modern CRM systems. We need to develop an agile mindset where change and improvement are our normal course of business. Try it, change it, improve it. Move your business forward through a cadence of constant business process forming and reforming. If your business systems do not support this mindset, then maybe it is time to take another look at what is available today in the business systems arena.
Modern CRM systems like Dynamics 365 CRM and Salesforce.com offer flexible platforms that allow for rapid and continuous improvement of key business processes. Leveraging this flexibility can result in better business results and more engaged team members.
About the author: Brian Busscher is Founder and CEO of Thesis Technologies which pursues a mission to “help you get your systems right.” If you would like to explore how you can leverage the flexibility of your CRM system, please contact our technology consultants at (888) 705-7253.
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