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7 Habits of Highly Effective CRM Leaders

By Asif Rehmani
Updated February 14, 2024

Geoff Ables presented a very compelling presentation listing out 7 things you can do to ensure CRM project success. I was watching this in context of Dynamics 365 CE (Customer Engagement), but the points in this presentation apply to any CRM implementation. Nice job Geoff!

Below is a cliff notes version of some of the important points from the 7 habits presentation. Watch the video here for the complete presentation.

1. Plan, Plan, Plan

  • Understand why are you deploying the CRM?
  • What's in it for each stakeholder?
  • Planning should be 20 to 40% of time

2. Slow and Simple Change

  • Acquiring habits takes time. Usually 60 days on the average.
  • It's hard for sales folks when being asked to change their behavior.
  • Go slow with incremental change.

3. Manage Activities

  • If your users are not using activities, expect to fail.
  • CRM is not a tracking tool, CRM is a planning tool.

4. Rethink Processes

  • Just because Dynamics makes certain process items available to you, doesn’t mean it's right for your business.
  • Many companies invest in CRM, but have trouble getting their folks to adopt the processes. Don't get hung up on what the tool allows you to do because it might not be something you need to run your business.

5. Integrate, Migrate, Eliminate

  • Less is more.
  • Average number of applications that an employee uses per week: 25. That's a Lot!
  • People feel burdened with too many systems when they have to remember how to use each technology.
  • Many users feel that instead of the CRM working for them, they are working for it.
  • Sometimes the job becomes harder when you just add "CRM" to the mix instead of planning for how it's going to truly help your people.

6. Leaders Gotta Lead

  • Dynamics is also a leader tool and not just a user tool.
  • Leaders and managers gotta use the tools that they are asking their team to use.
  • Having a very clear digital vision is important.

7. Continuous Adoption

  • There is no silver bullet for user adoption.
  • Define your "why". Why are you implementing the CRM?
  • The LUCK Principle - Listen, Understand, Connect, Know. (Note: Geoff is also the author of the book on "The LUCK Principle")
  • Truly understand your customers.
  • Enable your people to discover new things in our ever-changing workplace.

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