Transforming to Cloud CRM: 4 things you need to know
It's all about the priorities
The chances are that your existing CRM was procured over five years ago, at a point in time when your organisation was struggling with a whole set of different priorities than you are facing now. The relentless drive of technology has also meant that the rise of the smartphone, big data, mobility, social, AI and machine learning are probably either not available or not being leveraged strategically.
If you are considering transforming your organisation with a move to CRM Online, this is the golden opportunity to reset the project scope to align with the new business priorities and operating realities. But be careful you don’t go around collecting a detailed wish list with all the woes and hopes of the organisation dumped in there – you can never hope to meet those expectations and the project will be doomed. Instead, consider focusing solely on themes that will drive growth and efficiencies within the organisation and work from the strategic drivers downwards.
Technical debt and technical wealth
The likelihood is that much of what was invested and built into your original CRM will not be fit to migrate, due to no longer being aligned to a business priority or else being mired in technical debt. This implementation has morphed over time to a Frankenstein’s monster - complex and brittle.
But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Review what is there across the business and determine if there is anything of value in the existing CRM. Usually, there is one critical function that is sacrosanct and vigorously defended. It could be a single consolidated sales report or a debit-collection process within finance. Make sure you take those into account in the new world and not just as is, but with a view to transforming them into better automated, better integrated and more flexible. Show the migration will be simple and the additional value it will add to avoid creating fear and being a potential blocker.
Data, data everywhere
…And not a drop to drink. Probably a rough diamond, but a diamond nonetheless, will be the data in the CRM. Whether it is master data on customers or a history of interactions, getting at this data to create a foundation for the new CRM will be vital. Look at your data through these lenses:
Recency – Generally in business the value or data degrades quickly. Choose to migrate only what will help you today or tomorrow. Use a data mart or data warehouse and PowerBI if you want to look at historic analysis.
Privacy – CRM can often contain a lot of personal data, which under GDPR would need to be addressed appropriately. As part of the assessment, divide this personal data into two sections before migrating: destroy or revalidate. Revalidating can be costly as it requires implementing the GDPR controls and a process to revalidate preferences. It isn’t possible to do a simple lift and shift without simply transferring and compounding risk.
Quality – Not all data is created equally. Whilst there are some great tools to allow you to assess data quality, a casual review of your CRM will normally give you shivers as you realise the gaping holes in the data quality, as the checks and balances over time have fallen away. Now not everything has to be pristine and complete, if it is critical to operations then prioritise improving data quality at source in the new system. If the data is important for business intelligence, then take a measured approach to improving the data quality to acceptable level of tolerance. Of course if the data has no operational nor business intelligence importance then think about discarding it, or put it into a notes field in the new system. But be careful it doesn’t contain personal data.
Dynamics 365 is a powerful platform, not just to run your business. Because it is in the cloud, you can quickly create an end-state vision that will help all stakeholders within the business to buy into the transformation. When doing the envisioning, think of getting stakeholders into the envisioning process, not just the showcase. They will benefit from seeing the depth of the platform and not just the end demo.
As well as that, make it short and sharp: choose the proof points with most impact. You want to convey as much of the value in the shortest time. Don’t be tempted to start designing and definitely don’t code anything. Start with the end in mind; typically you want to be able to take the outcome of the envisioning phase and turn it into the internal business case, so work backwards from your business case to scope and scale the vision.
You've got the information you need now to kickstart your ascension in to cloud. But how are you going to plan this out to make sure you're getting the most effective return possible for your business? My final piece of advice: partner with a company who understands both your business and the technology need to transform it, and let them show you the unlimited benefit that the cloud has to offer. Ergo has these capabilities. These tips that I have outlined above is the exact approach we use in how we help our clietns achieve measurable outcomes and results. Use cloud to drive your business forward, and then enjoy the immense benefits it brings afterwards.
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