5 Keys to a Successful Dynamics CRM Discovery Session

Implementing, migrating, or upgrading Microsoft Dynamics CRM often requires the services of a certified CRM expert. A good Dynamics CRM partner will vastly increase the probability of a successful deployment. But there is also some work the client can do to ensure a positive result. Clients can help ensure a successful implementation by paying attention to these 5 keys to a successful Microsoft Dynamics CRM Discovery Session.

Here’s a little “Help me, help you!” list that will get your Dynamics CRM project started off with a bang! The first step in any comprehensive project is the Discovery phase. This is often the most important phase of an implementation, where we meet all the stakeholders and do a deep dive into the project requirements. Our Consultants love Discovery sessions. It’s our first opportunity to get our hands dirty. These are pivotal meetings and worth thinking about in advance.

1. Get the right balance of stakeholders involved in Discovery

Get the right people involved in the beginning. We want to hear the voices of staff members that will use CRM – from the top of the org chart on down. We understand that you have jobs to do and we’ll be respectful of your time. Having someone representing each of the departments that depend on CRM is a wise move. Since CRM is designed to support their daily activities, understanding workflow is critical to getting CRM right the first time.

2. Do a little homework

Compile some information relevant to your CRM goals and business process before the first Discovery session. That first session will be more productive if you can articulate how you’d prefer to manage prospects, customers, and business processes.

To start, make notes regarding how things like Sales and Customer Service should be handled in CRM. Do you have key metrics that are important to operating and planning your business? Bring those and any reports you’ll want to create or replicate in the new system.

It’s important to know how the actual users should interact with and utilize the CRM system. Meet with the CRM users to find out how they manage sales, marketing and customer service.

Together, we’ll make sure to cover all the critical areas. But getting a head start on gathering the information will save time and money.

3. Expect to hear “So, walk us through your day, your process, your job”

Sometimes this is met with uncomfortable silence, but it really is a great place to start. We want to know how you currently GET THINGS DONE. We don’t want to necessarily reinvent your wheel, especially if it’s rolling right along. Explain your process, your pain points, expectations and business needs. Those are what we’re digging for.

4. Have YOUR List of questions and feel free to ask them

Bring a list of the questions you have for us about implementation methodology and practice. Each project is comprised of various stages and you want to be aware of what they entail and which stakeholders need to be involved. Don’t expect every detail, but look for the broad strokes that help you conceptualize how the project will unfold. This is a great opportunity for all the players to meet and get a feel for the group dynamic, energy, roles and responsibilities.

5. Take a minute for a high five or pat on the back for all involved at the end of the meeting

Cheers to your kickoff for an AWESOME project. You’re on your way to CRM bliss!

By Erin Karatkiewicz, Applications Consultant, with xRM³, a Microsoft Partner specializing in Dynamics CRM consulting, implementation, integration, and administrative services. Based in San Diego County Southern California. For help with your CRM, contact us clicking here.