Microsoft Dynamics CRM targeting user adoption issues


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An interview at with Microsoft’s Chris Caren reveals that he and PACE both recognize the same issue in the CRM marketplace: user adoption.

We view business applications—and I’d say this both applies to ERP and CRM—as long-existing categories of software that are woefully underutilized and underused inside of organizations….

AMR did a poll and found on average about 10 percent of employees are licensed to use a business application, and of those 10 percent, only about half actually access the application as part of their job.

Caren’s take is to increase the use of CRM and ERP by making these applications easier to use, and more broadly integrated into Microsoft Office, which is used by a much broader horizontal segment. In essence, they’re viewing this as an opportunity to expand the market for CRM.

What’s interesting is that even though Microsoft developers can make their product’s user interface easier to use, they really can’t address the core problem for the ultimate users: a lack of willingness to adopt.
And this isn’t their fault, nor is it the fault of any CRM application developer. The breakdown happens between sales managers and salespeople – if sales managers aren’t bought into the vision and value of CRM that the CIO has paid for, it will not get adopted and it will not provide value to the organization.

What PACE has found as a common objection is that salespeople and managers both struggle with the idea that adding CRM means “adding a new process.” They’re busy enough, why add work? However, this is mostly a mental block. Whether they recognize it or not, they are already practicing a sales process. A proper CRM initiative is meant to compliment and strengthen that process, not weigh it down.

The measurement and intelligence that CRM can deliver is a necessary building block toward becoming a World Class Selling organization .

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Will Horton
Will Horton combines words, visuals and design into compelling materials for sales, marketing, and training. Working with PACE, Will has produced websites, sales tools, and training materials that have been deployed all over the world.


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