CRMUG Summit 2016: What Does User Adoption of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Really Require?

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By:  Linda Rosencrance

When Ashley Steiner concludes her presentation “CRM Sucks: A Sales Person’s Story” at CRMUG Summit 2016 (October 11-14, Tampa, Fla.), her hope is that attendees will walk away with ideas on how they can make their organizations better.

Steiner has been the CRM administrator at TrueBlue Inc., a staffing company based in Tacoma, Wash., since 2014. In her role, she provides system management and support while driving strategic initiatives for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Steiner has been administering Dynamics CRM since version 4.0, giving her varied experience with implementation and software upgrades.

She is also the co-chair of the Seattle Chapter of the CRM User Group (CRMUG) and a leader of a CRMUG Special Interest Group.

Steiner talked to about her participation in the CRMUG Summit 2016 and the value of the event to users.

MSDW: What is your involvement with CRMUG and CRMUG Summit?

Ashley Steiner: I am currently the co-chair for the Seattle chapter of the CRMUG, which involves marketing, agenda-planning, putting together the meeting and making it successful within the group. It also involves bringing up topics, brainstorming, and trying to make sure that we’re bringing to the table what’s going to be beneficial, but also making the connections within the group. So seeing if somebody has a need or an issue and trying to connect them with someone who can help them.

I’m going to be leading my own session at CRMUG Summit this year really focusing on the sales aspect of CRM – sales people, processes, and teams and how you make that effective within CRM. The session is called “CRM Sucks.” We’re really going to talk about why your sales people say CRM sucks or why they say it’s broken. And that’s not necessarily because it’s always the technology that’s broken.

There’s a lot that goes into making a CRM successful and most of the work is done before you actually implement the system. So we’re going to talk about what makes a sales organization successful, the processes that go into that, the activity that the sales people do and then how you can take a tool like a CRM and implement it inside of those processes to make that seamless. But it’s more about making sure you have your processes set before you implement a technology and how that technology can support the process.

I’m also going to be involved in two or three expert panels surrounding mobility, user adoption, and sales process.

What was the process for developing the educational tracks at Summit?

There was a lot of brainstorming about what I have seen [as a Dynamics CRM user]. I’ve been working with CRM for six and a half years and my boss has been involved with CRM for about four. So for my session, it’s really just our personal history, what we’ve seen at the different organizations that we’ve worked at and really trying to come to the root of the problem – why sales people think CRM sucks.

For example, when sales people say that CRM is bad, what does that mean and where does that start? We looked at our organization and we also looked at what other successful sales organizations do and how they are successful. Then we just came up with a business case and wrote that into a format that will allow people to take information from my session away with them.

I didn’t reach out to the user group for help with my session. But I did give the user group my two cents on the panel sessions people might be interested in – mobility and user adoption.

Why should CRM users attend Summit?

I was a user of CRM before I became an administrator and really got into the backend and process building part of CRM. When I first attended Summit I truly was a user. The tracks are really meant for people who are trying to figure their way around the best way to use CRM as well as the best practices and lessons learned.

It’s really meant for the people who are using it every day, not the people who are at the higher levels of organizations.

As a CRM administrator, I’m not a day-to-day user of CRM now. But when I was a CRM user, I found that the value of Summit was the network building. Finding people who were trying to do the same things as you was fantastic. The sessions were also valuable because of the people who were talking about the problems that I couldn’t figure out as a user.

Summit is kind of what catapulted me into an admin role because of the top-tier presentations that the CRMUG offered. Attending Summit, I built this great network of other people involved in CRM and they’ve become my lifeline. I go to them for advice, for help. If I run into an issue they’re the first people I reach out to.

About Linda Rosencrance

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer/editor in the Boston area. Rosencrance has over 25 years experience as an reporter/investigative reporter, writing for many newspapers in the metropolitan Boston area. Rosencrance has been writing about information technology for the past 16 years.

She has covered a variety of IT subjects, including Microsoft Dynamics, mobile security issues such as data loss prevention, network management, secure mobile app development, privacy, cloud computing, BI, big data, analytics, HR, CRM, ERP, and enterprise IT.

Rosencrance is the author of six true crime books for Kensington Publishing Corp