Why Associations Need Microsoft Dynamics CRM to Manage Their Members

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Most associations do not have “customers”, so do they need Customer Relationship Management?  Crestwood Associates and Microsoft Dynamics CRM believe they do.  Microsoft had an accelerator (add-on to Microsoft Dynamics CRM) built to specifically help associations; it's called Event Management.   Because of Chicago’s central location and access to airports and highways, many associations are headquartered in the area.   Crestwood has worked with many of these associations that are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage their members.

Because associations have members, events, sponsors, publications, inventory, and many unique types of revenue, they need to manage not only companies and individuals, but vendors, prospects, and other organizations as well.  These can be maintained as Accounts in Microsoft Dynamics CRM with different classifications.

Traditional Association Membership Software systems (AMS) do not have all the flexibility of a CRM system.  They handle operations such as registration and dues very well, but add-ons may be required for handling e-mail campaigns or social networking updates.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM add-ons such as SalesFUSION can track web analytics such as who opened your newsletter and clicked through to the website.  It can track who started to fill out an application along with the user’s domain name.   More and more products are being developed by Microsoft partners to add functionality to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

What specifically can your association do with Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

  • Manage your membership team just like a traditional sales team with sales leads and pipelines.
  • Deploy focused marketing campaigns for your existing membership as well as set up on-going nurture marketing campaigns to gather new members.
  • Track all revenue from the marketing campaigns with integrated quote and order capabilities.
  • Use built-in Microsoft SQL Reporting Services reports and Advanced Finds to report on sales, marketing, and service activities and records.
  • Work within Microsoft Outlook, using the web browser, or from your mobile device.
  • Use Microsoft Dynamics CRM stand-alone or integrate Microsoft Dynamics CRM to your current AMS solution.
  • The software can easily be deployed either on premise or “in the cloud”.

By Mary Lenehan, Client Education Manager, at Crestwood Associates, your Chicago, Illinois area Microsoft Gold Certified partner.

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