Overcome the Challenges of Adopting Technology Within Professional Services Firms

Published February 22 2019 by Tony Walmsley
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As a manager or leader in a professional services organisation, you may have made the decision that a cloud-based CRM system is the way forward for your business. You understand exactly how it can help you to collate, store and access all your data in one place, how it will give you the tools to analyse that data, build your pipeline and the ability to cross-sell and upsell.

But all these incredible benefits are only within reach if the employees of the organisation use the software. It is essential to make sure that adoption is widespread and that everyone in the business can see how the CRM system will help them to do their job.

There are several key ways in which a CRM platform such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 can help to ensure that the system is not only adopted but embraced by all staff.

It will give staff the information they need to do their job

A good CRM system will offer 360-degree visibility of all data to help staff to do their job and do it better. There will be no departmental siloes, meaning every employee who is given access will be able to see all information about customers, pipeline and projects. Employees will find it easier and more rewarding to do their job as, when they are dealing with clients or leads, they will be fully informed with all the knowledge they need to help, sell or advise.

Mark Sykes, National Head of BDO Drive UK, explains: “We have many different services, for example one person might not be a payroll expert another person might not be a company secretarial expert. In putting in the CRM system we were able to ask those teams what things you should be asking at different stages and then we were able to map those across so that now anyone in the sales process can go out and confidently talk about other service lines and ask the right questions at the right time so that those people can quickly price it,  quickly scope the work and, in a very robust way, you know what is going to be delivered at the end is the same thing that was discussed in the initial sales meeting.” 

It will give staff the jobs that match their skillset

If you have employees that have a particular area of expertise, they are going to want to be able to use their skills. The CRM system can help managers to search for staff with the appropriate skills, client knowledge or customer connections for each job.

Mark Sykes says: “We can actually look through the skillset and look through the database and say, we have got people who can do that, and they are currently working on another project, but maybe we can divert them from the project they are working on. Actually, the system is helping our people who have got certain skills to use those skills.” 

It will give staff the information they need to be autonomous

Your employees want to be able to get on with their job without having to constantly ask what they need to do next or which job is the priority. It is important for employee satisfaction to feel that they know what they need to do as well as having the information they need to do it.

A good cloud-based CRM system will be able to show employees which tasks are required, which are the priority and when they need to be completed.

Mark Sykes says: “People doing the tasks knew exactly what was needed of them, they weren’t saying what do I need to do next? The system tells you, the notes are there, the tasks are there, the activities are there.” 

It will give staff the help they need to excel

Within the CRM platform, managers can see instantly when tasks have been completed and which stage projects are at. It is very easy to spot if an employee is struggling, whether with the amount of work they need to complete or with a particular client or task. Managers can then allocate extra help, switch the employee to another client or offer support and coaching. The CRM systems helps managers to do their overseeing job more easily and quickly.

Mark Sykes says that the CRM system “makes the managers much more efficient and gives them more time to go out and actually engage with their clients, which is much more enjoyable for them”.

It will give staff a familiar system that is integrated and easy to use

Finally, adoption is going to be far easier if the CRM system is part of a familiar software platform. One of the huge benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 is that it is part of the Microsoft platform. Office 365, Word, SharePoint, OneNote and many more, are used by millions of businesses, across the world every day. Not only will the familiar system aid adoption, but the integration of the CRM system with these means that more data can be shared more easily, and you can access the CRM via a single login with the rest of your business software.

Katy Bassett, Sales Operations and Enablement Director at Serco, says: “We chose Microsoft Dynamics because, as an organisation, we’ve started to migrate a lot of our portfolio to Microsoft as a platform and as that journey has happened we have realised that legacy systems, like the Salesforce system that we used for sales reporting historically, no longer met the needs of either our IT strategy moving forward but also the needs of the users.”

Design the CRM system around your business needs

The other way to ensure that your CRM system is fully adopted is to choose a partner organisation that will help you to design and implement it with your specific business goals in mind. Fullscope, an Alithya Company, has a unique approach to implementation which focuses on the desired business outcomes an organisation would like to achieve using Microsoft Dynamics.

Paul Sweeney, Chairman of cloud services provider ANS, says: “What we found with our partnership is that we were coached all the way through. We thought we were going to get this all singing, all dancing CRM system on day one. But what we actually got was a huge amount of coaching, which meant that we got a system that was designed by us, for us and can be maintained by us that was absolutely fit for purpose.

“We drove user adoption really through training, but the secret really was in the design of the system. It was designed with the sales guys in mind.”

If you would to learn more about how Microsoft Dynamics 365 can help you to achieve your business goals, watch our on-demand webcast DRIVE CLIENT SERVICE & WIN MORE BUSINESS WITH CRM



Tony is Business Development Executive providing customer focused account development through real time collaboration to help his customers achieve competitive advantage and operational efficiency from their Digital Transformation initiatives.

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