Good riddance to feature overload, hello simplicity

From slim-line laptops and tablets, to smart phones and watches, we love technology and the latest and greatest software and gadgets available on the market. The more features and functionality, the better because that means you can get even more done, even faster – right?

Very true in many cases, but more often than we care to admit, the devices and software that we frequently purchase are “bloated” with features that are sometimes more eye candy than punch. What is worse, they can inadvertently add levels of complexity that sap away much of the intended convenience and benefit of the investment.

This conundrum is true in the world of CRM solutions, and it can directly impact user adoption, the efficiency of the teams using such solutions, and the ROI to the corporation.

CRM solutions like Salesforce and Dynamics are designed with such a dazzling array of features and robust functionality out of the box, that they are truly awe-inspiring to techies and users alike.

The daunting challenge that frequently comes with purchasing and implementing a CRM solution is properly leveraging all that raw power; and to do so, which of the many “levers” do you turn on, when, why and for whom. In essence, and for example, how to best map the CRM solution to the operations of the sales team. How to implement CRM without inadvertently overwhelming the sales team on activities that are important, but perhaps better suited for other groups within the team.

I have seen, been part of, or observed this conundrum in more than one occasion. Here are some lessons learned:

• Avoid feature overload by only activating the essential features first

• Your situation probably shares 80% of its fundamental elements with other corporations

• There is a best practice for your situation – why not use it?

Don’t launch your team to the deep end of the pool by activating all features of your CRM on day one. Focus on a quick and targeted implementation where every action of the sales professional counts and keeps him/her selling, and in front of the customer. There will be plenty of time to collect and document detailed notes, integrate information with other modules of the software and configure your instance. To get to all the critical functionality successfully, focus first on adoption and ensuring your CRM is aligned with your business goals.

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