By Marcia Doron,
Once upon a time, I was a marketing manager for a Great Plains partner. Obviously, this was a long, long time ago, before Microsoft purchased Great Plains which has since been renamed
This was also before Microsoft launched Dynamics CRM. Of course, as the marketing manager, my job was communicating on a regular basis with our clients as well as promoting our services to prospective clients by reaching out to them on a regular basis.
At the time, we had ACT! as our contact management system, but there was no easy way to send monthly mail or email messages out of ACT! so I was using spreadsheets. The owner of the company came into my office one day and saw what a struggle that was. And sure enough, much to my appreciation, we soon implemented a CRM system – a version of Siebel that had been developed as a front end for Great Plains. Life was good.
But all good things must come to an end and I soon moved into another marketing position with a company that was running Salesforce. Of course, there’s a learning curve involved any time you have to adopt a new system. Still, there were – at least from my perspective – some real drawbacks to Salesforce. It was not intuitive. It was hard to navigate around. Don’t get me wrong, the number crunchers on the marketing team loved it. But as a non-technical end user of Salesforce.com, I was frustrated.
This time, salvation arrived in the form of another new job with a company that had just signed up for NetSuite CRM. This was good because it meant I was able to get training right from the start. And you know, NetSuite worked pretty well. But my company was using Microsoft Dynamics GP as their ERP/accounting system, and it just made a whole lot of sense to implement
However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Microsoft CRM was very intuitive. It felt like an old friend because the look and feel is so much like Outlook, which of course everyone uses (don’t they?). Even given my technical limitations, I found that I was able to handle some of the administrative aspects of Dynamics CRM and configure the application to work for me as a fantastic marketing tool.
At our company, everyone (even the President and CEO) enters information in CRM. So it serves as a truly collaborative tool and an indispensable source of shared, updated information. The sales team welcomed it. The implementation consultants embraced it. The support desk loved it. And with everyone on board, Microsoft Dynamics CRM reaches its full potential.
Based on my experience with 4 other CRM systems – ACT!, Siebel, NetSuite, and Salesforce.com – I have found that Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the most comprehensive and easiest to use Customer Relationship Management system. And that’s why…I’m a diehard fan.
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