Getting Small Business CRM Up and Running

One of the goals of the CRM v3 Small Business Edition is to target the small business segment of the market in partnership with the highly successful Windows Small Business Server. This presented a bit of a challenge for us…how do we take CRM, which was designed around having a partner available to configure and customize it, and give it to small businesses with limited budget and resources?

Our answer to this problem was the Small Business Edition Configuration Wizard.

This is a one-stop wizard that takes care of most of the basic configuration tasks of CRM and gets customers into a working state quickly after the initial installation.  The wizard configures the following things:

·         Subject hierarchy.

·         Defining sales territories.

·         Defining top competitors.

·         Creating queues.

·         Basic e-mail configuration.

·         Creating sites for service scheduling.

·         Setting the full name format.

·         Creating default relationship roles.

·         Renaming of Account, Contact, and Case entities to be more appropriate to the customer.

We want the Configuration Wizard to configurate only the areas that are relevant to them. The wizard leads the user through a series of questions to determine if the wizard can help the user to configure things like queues and services sites, functionality that some customers may not need. During the process, we also give the user an education in the way CRM works as they configure the system. We do this using dialog boxes that answer the question, “Why is this important to you?”

We like to think we made the process of getting up and running with CRM a bit more down to earth. Take a look sometime! For partners out there who think this is cool, we even give you the ability to create a configuration in the wizard, save it in a file, and apply it on a customer’s server when you’re ready.

Michael J. Lu

Comments (3)

  1. Larry Lentz [CRM MVP] says:

    Unfortunately in the real world it is not so simple. Read some of the MVP blogs on the many issues being experienced ‘in the wild’ with installing CRM SBE.

  2. Nick Nelson says:

    As an IT services company owner implementing CRM on SBS 2003 I think that for small business implementation it would be a good idea to provide a choice of templates to provide an ‘ideal’ setup configuration for various business types.

    The reason for this is that many potential CRM customers want as part of a move to CRM a chance to re-engineer their business process – they simply don’t want to recreate their current unsatisfactory setup in a new tool.


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