Dynamics 365, User Adoption

Dynamics 365 & User Adoption: How to Get Executive Buy In

Posted by Heidi Neuhauser

User adoption continues to be an issue at many organizations. A growing management mindset continues to permeate executive thinking, especially in this post-COVID digital work world.

“They’ll use the system because they have to.”

– Management

How do you balance your Dynamics 365 CRM system to incorporate management requirements but keep user adoption top of mind?

The quick, easy win here – of course – is executive buy in. But that’s not always an option. If you lack executive buy in: what options do you have?

Build a Team

First thing’s first: build a team of stakeholders for your Dynamics 365 system. This can include a number of roles: super users, management, system administrators – anyone who has a hand in CRM. You certainly should include at least one member of upper management.

Who should be on the team?

  • Your advocate: Someone who understands the system and understands your users. Someone who completely buys into the CRM system.
  • Influencer(s): Every company has someone who everyone else listens to. Their opinions command respect from their peers. Get this person on your side and you’ll be near unstoppable!
  • The stick in the mud: I know, you really don’t want them on your team. We’re building a team to help achieve executive buy-in to aid in user adoption – so why include the stick in the mud? Because they’ll tell you why they don’t like the system. And help you understand why people aren’t using it.
  • An executive: You need a member of the executive team to bring up the klout and help influence the rest of the executive team.
  • Your system administrator(s). Definitely include the people who manage the day-to-day operations of your system. They’re armed with more know-how than you probably realize!

Tell a Story

Use this most excellent team you have created to tell a story. Here are some ways we have seen others achieve success:

  • Best Practices. Familiarize yourselves with best practices and where they can fit for your organization. Figure out how you can position Dynamics 365 in your system as a strategic advantage. How can increased user adoption help your company’s bottom line? Include numbers when you can. What are the costs of NOT embracing user adoption? How does this effect your company now in terms of lost revenue? Cases not logged? Quotes generated by hand outside of the system? Pick the KPIs that make sense and apply them to your organization.
  • Business Cases. Build a strong connection between updating Dynamics 365 with an eye on user adoption to realizing your company’s core objectives and benefits. Be prepared to defend your business cases and educate others about the bottom-line benefit of a system streamlined for user adoption. When you have 100% buy-in, the data in your system becomes stronger. The ROI is accurate. Metrics that guide executive reporting are accurate. Dashboards that cull together systems well beyond CRM tell a precise story that leads to excellent business decisions. Suddenly, it becomes very easy to forecast the next quarter’s sales numbers, provide accurate estimates and balance inventory availability to ensure no sales are lost because your product wasn’t in stock. Use the stories and business cases that resonate with your team and your implementation of Dynamics 365.
  • Bring in an Expert. Sometimes, your executive team needs to hear some of this from an outside expert. Find someone to help achieve the goals your team has laid out. Find an expert in Dynamics 365 and user adoption who has the same goals as you: to encourage end-user buy-in and in turn help achieve executive buy-in.

High Fives All Around!

After you’ve told your story and helped the executive team realize the benefits of Dynamics 365, keep that team engaged! You’ll be able to use them throughout the life of your CRM system. They can help you roll out changes, new add-ons, system updates and enhancements and more.

If you need any help, or want to talk through some ideas, please feel free to contact me. I’m passionate about Dynamics 365 and user adoption and I’d be happy to help your organization achieve success!

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