Dynamics CRM Portals – Design, Drag and Drop, Don’t Dig Deep on Development!

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If you are reading this, you are likely responsible for your company’s Customer Relationship Management system, or consult with Dynamics CRM clients and prospects. You may have been considering:

  • Ways to get more strategic value from Dynamics CRM
  • Deploying Dynamics CRM portals
  • Developing a responsive web experience, or even mobile apps for tablets and smartphones.
  • Web based forms, dashboards and grids for your clients to access their sales, support, and/or contact profile you keep within your CRM system

Sounds like a whole lot of coding and development work, doesn’t it?  Sure, it would be nice to give clients 24x7x365 access to their data. However you have already invested time and effort into giving your internal employees access to Dynamics CRM Online or on premise. But are you getting full value on your CRM investment with your data, when it’s locked within your internal network?

It doesn’t have to be as complex as you might think. If you have web design-savvy people on your marketing staff, you can leverage their skills, and avoid putting the burden on your IT or development team. If you are a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner, you can build a practice within your company to deploy portals for clients who don’t have technology or development resources, and empower them to manage it themselves going forward. PriceWaterHouseCoopers says an online self-service transaction cost is in the neighbourhood of $0.10 to $0.15, while a call into your contact center or a live person can cost upwards of $4 per interaction.

The Portal Connector is a proven, mobile-friendly way to quickly deploy Dynamics CRM portals, leveraging the mature Sitefinity Content Management System. Sitefinity is Microsoft .NET friendly, and powers websites for such clients as:

  • Microsoft
  • NASA
  • Kraft
  • Toyota
  • Visa
  • Coca-Cola

Instead of developing a Portal for clients to support case updates, and a separate mobile app for other customer interactions, a Portal should have the flexibility to provide clients with documents like whitepapers or manuals, videos and other rich content. The Portal Connector takes advantage of Sitefinity’s drag and drop content and form building tools. You have the flexibility to migrate your existing website content to the portal, or keep your existing site and have the portal on a subdomain. Your sales and/or marketing team can take of advantage of Sitefinity features such as:

  • e-Commerce catalogs for B2B or B2C online sales
  • SEO friendly URL’s, meta descriptions, sitemaps and integrated Google Analytics tracking
  • SharePoint integration
  • Digital Marketing features such as landing pages, squeeze pages, and social media sharing tools

Content marketing is evolving as a prominent source of leads and revenue. Companies that can deploy a CRM portal which has the flexibility to manage multiple marketing activities has an edge over those who have to code and build piece meal portal functionality. Here are just some of the possibilities you can achieve with a responsive, content rich portal:

  • Lead capture forms through offers of eBooks, whitepapers and/or webinars
  • Support case ticket creation and tracking to resolution
  • Event registration, including break-out sessions, keynotes, and even offer presentation materials available pre-or-post event
  • Partner, investor, independent contractor, or supplier portals integrated into CRM via custom entities
  • Performance dashboards with charts, graphs and grids of data from CRM

Why task your development team to build portals using “frameworks” or spend weeks or months coding forms or grids?  Why should your customer’s call center handle the high volumes of inquiries for months until their portal works? Demonstrate thought leadership, and contact The Portal Connector team. Innovative, content rich Dynamics CRM portals which are flexible, integrate with Dynamics CRM for real time updates, and deliver fast return on investment.

By Mark Burdon, "The Portal Connector"


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