I’ve got a lot of CRM productivity challenges to fix. Where do I start?

Dear Admin,

Every time I meet with my management team to talk about all our CRM productivity challenges and priorities, the list grows longer and longer. They are all great ideas, that will really make things better for sales reps, call center agents and more, but there’s so many of them! Am I alone? What challenges do CRM Admins around the world face?

I Think I Can Get it All Done

Dear I Think I Can,

I know that feeling all too well! I once referred to all the things on my to-do list as a horizontal priority list, because they all needed to be done yesterday, and they all would make a big impact! Early in my career, I spent several years working in accounting and finance roles, where the biggest challenges I faced involved keeping journal entries balanced and closing the monthly financials on time. I was a system user, not an system administrator. What I have determined in the many years since then is there’s one major difference between a user and an administrator: Focus.

Focus – But Where?

The user’s main focus is on what tools are needed to complete their job, the routine tasks they are charged with handling, as well as the occasional extras. The CRM administrator’s main focus is on process automation, organizational efficiency, CRM productivity and enabling others to do their jobs faster and smarter. Lets examine the top 2 challenges faced by CRM administrators, according to a 2017 global survey done Apttus.

Integrating With Other Systems

As much as CRM Admins would like to see all data reside inside CRM, most realize that the likelihood of that happening is low. Data migration is typically a large and very involved process, and while there are certainly benefits, if the system where the data currently resides is not being decommissioned, the best solution is integration. What’s the difference between migration and integration? Migration takes data from other systems, spreadsheets, CRM instances, etc., and physically loads the data into your CRM instance. Integration creates a connection between where your data currently resides and your CRM, making that data available for use along side your CRM data.

Data Administration

Data administration is a pretty wide net, that covers everything from provisioning new users, to data de-duplication, to creating processes so that users are presented with screens that are partially completed with known data. All of these issues go right back to what I mentioned earlier about focus. CRM Administrators’ main focus should be on things that will help user adoption and create efficiencies. Of course, inherent to that are some additional challenges, like the need to clearly define, and map out business processes. And make sure you get buy in from your stakeholders so they will be excited to use the tools you will build!

“Before you build anything in Salesforce, map out the process(es) in detail and get sign off from key stakeholders.”
Becky Webster, Salesforce MVP & Managing Partner, Allenium

One Final Thought

Don’t forget to look at your own processes. Chances are there are improvements you can make there too! What can you do with your new found time, from your own more efficient processes? Build more tools to drive even more productivity improvements down to your end users, of course. That’s what I’d call a win-win!

Good luck!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Admin

Need answers to more questions? Attend Apttus Accelerate, San Francisco, May 2 – 4, 2017, and hear from the experts! Registration is open now!