Top Five New Features in CRM 2011

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Imagine that you had a tool that could help you generate leads, close sales, build lasting customer relationships, and streamline operations.  No, it’s not a magic wand; it’s Microsoft Dynamics® CRM 2011.  More and more companies are investigating business intelligence software as a tool to help them run their business more efficiently and with greater success.  Sure, you can say Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is a great solution and is helping companies, worldwide, enhance their business. But what specific features are helping them achieve this? Here are five common goals and servicing features that make Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 one of the best magic wands out there:

  1. Real-Time Operational Insights – Where would we be without dashboards? Take driving for example. “I’m sorry Officer; I had no way of knowing what speed I was going”. We wouldn’t expect this to work at the roadside, so can we really expect it to work with businesses activities? CRM 2011 offers an exciting new dashboard and charting experience out-of-the-box. Data views have extended functionality, connecting to charts that graphically display rolled up information. The forms customization now allows for multiple views to be placed as sub-grids within the new screen designer. These new approaches in the CRM 2011 UI design allow you to build rich, informative, real time dashboards to your organization’s current inner workings.
  2. Consistent Customer Service – At some point, all businesses need to interact with their customers on a personal level. CRM 2011 creates consistent and scripted processes that allow your employees, and the customers they serve, to navigate through your common practices. Think of receiving technical support enquiries or customers calling to place orders over the phone. With CRM 2011 Dialogues, we now have the capability to create a consistent approach to handling these interactive processes. Based upon the results, or chosen path of each dialogue, we can also fire off the appropriate record creations or workflow processes to service your customers correctly and professionally.
  3. Full Auditing capabilities – All types of records have a lifecycle. When we store and organize information in our business, we don’t want to set any of it in stone just the once. Similarly, we might want to maintain a history on some things. So, with a demand for flexibility to change, but to remember what once was, we can use CRM 2011’s new auditing capabilities. We can pick and choose what to enable it on, again flexibly, it’s not an all or nothing feature. It helps us build a really granular approach to knowing what values used to be stored, right down to the field level, on our records.
  4. Full MS Office Ribbon Look and Feel – Using Microsoft Office in the workplace is a given these days. Most people know Outlook, Word, and Excel like the back of their hand. Luckily for those people, CRM 2011 looks, works, and feels exactly the same. You can even get straight back to Recently Viewed Items, like your most recent Word documents. Top tip for Project Management teams with a nervous receiving audience – don’t tell them a new system is coming, call it Office Extra and no one will lose a wink of sleep.
  5. User friendly Data Import – I’m drawn back to my previous point about Excel holding an irreplaceable fondness in our hearts. CRM 2011 has an improved import process that plays to the Excel skills of the masses, and frees up our overworked IT staffs availability to read more Dilbert comic strips. CRM 2011 will give us an Excel template from an entity, with all the available columns we’d want to fill out. We can copy and paste our data from our burgeoning collection of Excel spreadsheets and import that fuller template file right back in to CRM. I’d hazard a guess that the data is in that same Excel collection that encouraged us to want CRM 2011 in the first place.

Technology such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is designed to make businesses better, run smoother, and become more successful.  It’s not magic; it’s a solid tool that can put you one step ahead of the rest.  For more information about Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, contact BDO Solutions – Canada.

By Benn Wood, Solutions Consultant with BDO Solutions, Leading Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner in Canada

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