As a new year dawns upon us, personal resolutions are established while companies set new budgets and goals to reach. If your company uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM, it is also time to determine if your organization is prepared to go through an upgrade.
Upgrades vary in size and complexity. For example, your smartphone apps automatically upgrade themselves behind the scenes, whereas a CRM upgrade is much more time consuming, detail oriented and sometimes costly.
Take the time to determine if your organization is ready to consider an upgrade in 2016.
Here are some questions to help guide you.
Do you have the resources available?
Aside from the actual expenditure of the upgrade, do you have the human resources available and able to dedicate themselves to your upgrade? That includes the time to get on weekly meetings, time to test the entire upgrade, and maybe even determine what custom features you want to remove.
The more customizations you have, the more costly and time consuming it will be to transfer them to the upgraded CRM. Thus, one of the components of a successful upgrade is to have an involved and dedicated team; preferably one that represents a few parts of the whole (i.e. Brokerage, Management, IT, etc.) committed to the upgrade of your CRM.
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Do you have reasonable expectations?
If your users are currently not using CRM and adoption is low, ask yourself: Will a new interface change that? Typically, low adoption can be attributed to various factors, a few including lack of enforcement by management, the inability to measure performance, and an unclear vision of why the company has chosen a CRM to begin with.
A new CRM face-lift will not change adoption dramatically if your company’s strategy remains the same. With enforcement, training, a mini-help desk, and an opportunity for a feedback loop, users can sense that you mean business when it comes to using CRM as a tool to measure an individual and a team’s success.
Do you have a choice?
If you are running MSCRM 2011, Microsoft will eventually stop supporting your version (around June 2016). Even if you had a third party company to support you, as time progresses older versions fall further behind both in feature and functionality, as well as in speed and performance.
If you are running 2013 or 2015, you are considered current enough where you would not need to move to MSCRM 2016 unless you have a compelling reason for the move. Consider where you are in the CRM version-world, and really ask yourself: do I have a choice?
If you decide to abandon CRM altogether and are considering going back to managing your data via spreadsheets, understand the risks involved with that as well (lack of centralization, increased blind spots, loss of reporting capabilities, etc.)
This could be your starting point as the year commences and as your company gears up for a successful quarter!
Reach out to us to learn more about AscendixRE, our CRM solution for commercial real estate.