Deploying Dynamics 365 in a High Turnover Industry

Implementing a new CRM system can present some challenges, such as user adoption, training, and data quality. These challenges are amplified in industries with very high employee turnover. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, the following industries have some of the highest turnover rates:

  • Retail turnover is 60%-70%
  • Information technology average tenure is 12-18 months
  • Sales turnover is 60%-75% depending on the industry, and highest for sales roles that are straight commission like insurance agents and auto sales.
  • Inbound customer service representative turnover is between 30%-45%

As a note, the average employee turnover in the US is 15%.

If 30% or more of your workforce changes every year, many of the challenges inherent in a CRM deployment can be amplified. The following list addresses the five most common challenges faced by high turnover companies — and how these challenges can be addressed.

1. Employee onboarding and offboarding: In a high turnover company, employees are being onboarded and offboarded every week. Adding new users to Active Directory, assigning application licenses, adding user security roles, assigning records, and turning off employees who leave the company can be a full-time job for the CRM administrator. If the new users don’t have records assigned to them after they get onboarded, they will waste time and have a frustrating experience.

Mitigation strategy:

  • Document your onboarding and offboarding process.
  • Ensure that every step in the process has an owner.
  • Validate that there is a backup owner for each step to avoid unnecessary delays during PTO or if the administrator quits.
  • Validate that relationship “cascading” settings are set optimally, so that when you reassign accounts and contacts to new users, closed activities and notes are not reassigned to the new users.
  • Automate the process whenever possible. For example by adding Office 365 licenses and CRM roles to users via PowerShell much of the onboarding process can be automated.

2. Training: When multiple new users are starting every week, training can be a huge challenge. It is typically not realistic to have instructor lead training every week. Without immediate training new users might struggle with using the system. As a result user frustration increases, user adoption is negatively impacted and the high turnover rate climbs or remains steady.

Mitigation strategy:

  • KISS (keep it simple, stupid). Make your deployment configuration as simple as possible to make it highly intuitive for new users who have had minimal training. Don’t over complicate menus. Use the App Designer to give users a simple, focused user experience that only includes the links, forms and fields that are needed to do their job. Take advantage of business process flow to “wizardize” the user experience.
  • Schedule monthly Dynamics 365 training classes so that users are never more than 2-3 weeks away from a training class when they are onboarded.
  • Supplement classroom training with alternative training materials, such as short training videos and Learning Path.

3. Data Quality: With dozens of users being onboarded every month, data quality can suffer. New users lack context when they start and are likely to enter incomplete data or mistype information.

Mitigation strategy

  • Make data quality somebody’s job and have the data quality manager validate that data is clean.
  • Make use of tools like Insights from Inside View to enhance your customer and prospect data and reduce the amount of data that users must enter.
  • Develop a Master Data Management (MDM) strategy to cleanse your application data and establish reasonable controls over your company and contact data. This can leverage standard system components like duplicate detection, or third party MDM tools like.

4. Security: The more frequently that users leave your company, the greater risk your company faces of losing sensitive customer data.

Mitigation strategy

  • Limit new users at the highest risk of leaving the company from exporting to Excel. For example, in Dynamics 365 this can be done for the entire application via security role, or by entity by modifying the application ribbons.
  • Use supported Mobile Device Management (MDM) software like Good Technologies or Microsoft Intune to provide remote wiping of the Dynamics 365 mobile app when someone leaves the company.
  • For users in high turnover roles, limit data and records access.

5. Administration: Environments with higher turnover will require a larger CRM admin team to support users. That’s because users will have many questions, you will see higher than average application tickets from users new to the application, and significant time will be required to onboard/offboard new users (as discussed in #1).

Mitigation strategy

  • One or more people must be available when needed to support users. See Functional roles all deployments should have.
  • You can reduce the burden on your admin team by having super users strategically positioned within functional groups. When new users start, the new users are mentored by the super user who can validate that the new users are using the system correctly and handle the “PEBCAK”.

Reducing Turnover with Dynamics 365

While high levels of employee turnover are a fact of life in some industries, many companies in high turnover industries have successfully reduced employee turnover with Microsoft Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 can reduce common sources of employee frustration that frequently contribute to high levels of turnover.

  • Dynamics 365 can increase collaboration between users and management by providing a single source of truth (salespeople working on opportunities which are reported on real time from the sales manager’s dashboard).
  • Dynamics 365 can display a 360-degree view of client and prospect information, including data that doesn’t live inside the Dynamics 365 database. This makes users’ lives easier and gives them the information they need to do their jobs with minimal user frustration.
  • Dynamics 365 Mobile can reduce stress for users by making CRM available where they are. Rather than forcing salespeople or agents to wait until they are in front of their computer at night to enter their leads and activities, make it available wherever they are via Dynamics 365 mobile.
  • For customer service, call centers, and inside sales, integrating your telephony system with Dynamics 365 will increase user productivity and reduce user frustration.
  • Make it easy and make it fun—one of the reasons that new users find CRM systems to be frustrating is because they are forced to capture a bunch of data and don’t see the benefit. Dynamics 365 includes capabilities, like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, that can make CRM more valuable to sales users. Relationship Insights can make the system provide intelligent recommendations and reduce the burden on users. And with Dynamics 365 Gamification, users will be motivated to use the system so they can compete with their colleagues!

Dynamics 365 may not eliminate all employee turnover, but it will equip your users with the tools they need to do their jobs effectively, eliminate the need to navigate between multiple systems to perform a task, remove frustrations, and make work more fun, which in turn will help reduce employee turnover.

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