Are You Getting the Most Out of Your CRM?

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There are so many capabilities within Microsoft Dynamics CRM that provide benefits which have a direct impact on a company’s profitability.  What are these benefits, and how can your company ensure it recognizes these benefits?

Microsoft commissioned Forrester to complete a study on The Total Economic Impact Of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.   The study is impressive and provides a whole host of benefits that can be directly related to reduced costs, increased sales, and improved user productivity.  Below is what I took away from the study.  You’ll find my Top 5 list of benefits and what we’ve found to be key considerations to help companies recognize these benefits.   I hope that you find it useful.

1.  Improved Sales Productivity – accessing Microsoft Dynamics CRM through Outlook increases adoption rates with salespeople.  Their familiarity with Outlook for organizing their communications makes it extremely easy to use Microsoft CRM from within Outlook.  Instant real-time access to customer information and tracking their activities makes sales pipeline management easier and more accurate.  

Bottom line: Ledgeview’s initial goal for our customers is user adoption.  We focus our sales training on the key aspects of CRM that will make their jobs more effective.

2.  Improved Customer Service – using a centralized database for all customer activities provides an efficient way of servicing customers throughout the company.  Sales, marketing and service activities are all visible to the customer service representative enabling them to more directly and rapidly address customer questions.

Bottom line: We encourage our clients to look at their customers from a 360 degree view by making sure that all departments that touch a customer have access to key information.   Meeting a customer’s needs comes first and you need a tool that supports customer service across the organization.

3. Reduced Cost Of Sales – During implementation of Microsoft CRM, companies benefit from taking the time to evaluate current sales processes that can be streamlined and automated to help reduce the overall cost of sales.  Using Workflow tools can help ensure that all steps in a sales cycle are being followed in a timely manner.  Better pipeline management enables all resources to spend their efforts on the most timely and probable opportunities.

 Bottom line: A thorough design process prior to CRM implementation is essential for determining how work flows and how sales processes can become more effective using CRM.

4.  Faster Revenue Recognition from Improved Deal Conversion – using Microsoft CRM for communications and information sharing throughout the organization helps companies fine tune their sales cycle resulting in a reduction of the overall time it takes to close a sale.

 Bottom Line: Lead generation management and organized sales processes help the sales people focus on the most promising opportunities, and potentially shortening the sales cycle.

5.  Marketing Cost Avoidance –the ability to build targeted marketing lists from relevant customer data enables companies to generate targeted messaging.  Analytics tools for evaluating historical sales and win/loss data will enable a company to target areas they already excel at, and focus on areas where they are looking for more sales growth.  Marketing dollars can be more effectively used and analyzed for effectiveness.

Bottom line: Marketing needs to be top consideration when designing the data elements within CRM.  This enables targeted messaging and tracking to measure the effectiveness of marketing dollars.

As a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Certified Gold Partner we have helped over 100 customers recognize these benefits by taking a structured approach to design and implementation of Dynamics CRM.  You can read about their CRM customer success stories on our website.

By Ledgeview Partners – Wisconsin based Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner serving the Midwest and Heartland regions

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