Don’t Overwhelm Your Users

Typical Menus in CRM Implementations

A lot of times when we arrive at client sites we often see CRM implementations where the menu system has not been modified at all from out of the box.  It is usually a scenario that not even security has been adjusted to modify what is shown and not shown in the menu.  As a result, the users of the CRM we meet are often times completely overwhelmed with what they have to choose to do their job.  And because there are more options than they need, they figure the menu options must be there for a reason and that perhaps they should be using them, which in turn leads to many questions to the IT department or consulting firm that implemented the solution.

Show What They Need and Nothing More

A focus that we take with all our implementations is to show in the menu system exactly what the user needs to see and not one thing more.  This can actually be quite tricky because it forces us into the job of removing items that the users may find useful down the road, but we still remove them.  The focus of the system should be to have the users access exactly what they need to do their job, which is what their employers are paying them to do.  When more is shown in the menu system than is necessary, you often have staff playing the role of IT experts and coming up with new ways of doing things.  This can be fine; however, doing this means that the company is paying their staff to do things that are not the tasks they hired them to do.  What we should be wanting to do is to build a menu system that enables the staff to do the job they were hired to do in the most efficient manner possible.  That also means the we often change the names of menu items to not be complicated table names, but rather we change them to be very meaningful for their job.

Adding Functionality, One Piece at a Time

There is also another advantage of keeping the menu trimmed to exactly the functionality required by the user, and that is with introducing new functionality.  What we have found is that when the menu is trimmed to the essentials, adding new functionality, which often means changes to the menu, makes those changes stand out.  It becomes more apparent and exciting for the users when the new functionality is released.

Focus is Key

This brings it all back to a key principal upon which Purely CRM has been formed.  We don’t want to be a swiss army knife with staff that might be able to do everything, but don’t do any of those things exceptionally well.  The focus of Purely CRM and the focus of your solution should be more like a scalpel; that is, a precise tool designed for the job at hand.