Chapter 18. Implementing Sales Processes

Business processes are intertwined with the workflow rules discussed in detail in Chapter 9. In this chapter, we discuss some of the basic principles involved in designing your processes and how you can implement those design principles in Microsoft CRM.

In the almost 20 years that we've been designing and implementing CRM systems (not always Microsoft CRM, of course), it has been made clear again and again that two basic features allow CRM to earn its keep. The first is its ability to consolidate an entire organization's data into one useful, shareable place. Don't underestimate this.

The second is its ability to automate business processes. The implementation of workflow not only forces you to think about — and then continuously rethink — your business processes but also allows you to replace notoriously inconsistent human activity with automation that always follows the rules.

Sadly, more than 90 percent of CRM implementations never achieve that automation. That initial goal seems to get lost in the effort to get the system up and running and the staff using the software. Too often, we're out of energy and money to invest further in developing the workflow that really makes the investment in CRM pay for itself. If you want to maximize the value of your system, however, don't allow yourself to run out of resources before you finish the entire job.

A good process guides your people through a series of well-documented steps for almost every type ...

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