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Ryan Plourde, Crowe

Why You Should Calculate Non-Billable Goodwill Activities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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Do you track non-billable "goodwill" activities done for your clients?

Many organizations that use Microsoft Dynamics CRM track relationships with people and organizations that are not paying clients in the traditional sense;  they still want to have some way to track, tabulate and report on the non-billable goodwill activities done to support those relationships. This could include meetings, events, phone calls, training, site visits. Maybe a sales rep sent them an anniversary card or gift. Any type of non-billable activity that provides value can be tracked.

After all, if you can’t quantify it, then it is just a feeling. If there is a change in response from the other party how can you substantiate all the goodwill your team provided throughout the year? And how can you hold your employees accountable for maintaining those relationships?

For example, MassHousing is a nonprofit agency using Dynamics CRM. Their business development reps don’t collect revenue, but they are tasked with visiting and educating lending offices about their programs. By tracking their activities, management holds each rep accountable and they can report the activities and time spent to the state of Massachusetts who provides their funding.

Another example is a wealth management firm using Dynamics CRM that tracks the interaction they have with different family members. As a trusted advisor they are constantly nurturing their relationships and they are able to prove that.

Each of these companies can easily track their non-billable activity in Microsoft Dynamics CRM because they use EditAble CRM Grid from AbleBridge. This tool allow you to turn Dynamics CRM forms (or pages) into a grid format similar to Microsoft Excel. Then you can easily update, group and organize the information in the grids.

Grouping Goodwill Activities by Type

Using EditAble CRM Grid you can group all of your activities in Dynamics CRM by type. Perhaps you want to see how many phone calls, meetings or emails were made by a specific rep to a specific account.

You can also make quick updates. If you want to add details to a note field to show what the activity involved,  you just use the inline editing features to go through each row quickly. It looks like you are on one big excel-like dashboard but it is organizing the information in Dynamics CRM, aggregating it, and allowing you to quickly update it without opening separate windows.

Calculating Duration of Goodwill Activities

If you want to quantify it further you can customize the Activity form to include a dropdown for “Duration” so every activity (such as a phone call) entered can have the duration tracked.

Using the EditAble CRM views you can look at all activities per organization on a weekly basis using different filters for a grid, calling it: “This Week”

"This Week" and “Last Week” (defined filters) will list all of the activities done, with the duration column included. Then it rolls up the duration number for each type of activity that you have provided. This makes reporting very easy.

What Can You Do with Goodwill Activity Reports?

We have customers that send out a nice report at the end of the quarter or the year to their accounts, showing the activities done for them. Thus substantiating their value as a partner.

Of course the reports can also be used to hold your team accountable. Ultimately employees are accountable for certain levels of activity they should be providing or substantiating how they are spending their time. And looking at these reports can help management to make adjustments in priorities.

Does Tracking Goodwill Activities Really Matter?

If you don’t make it easy to track these activities it simply won’t get done. When billable time and money are not involved it is easy to let it slip. And if all the activities are not entered, your reports won’t be accurate.

Using EditAble CRM Grid makes entering these activities, in a simple Excel like grid format, extremely easy.  And the value to your organization can be tremendous.

There are so many ways you can expand the use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM beyond the traditional “client” relationship. The term CRM has been replaced by XRM. C equals customer but X equals any type of entity. (What is XRM?)

Is there something you want to track in Microsoft Dynamics CRM to strengthen your relationships and your business?  Contact AbleBridge at 877-600-2253 or [email protected] to brainstorm ideas.

By AbleBridge, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner in Massachusetts, www.ablebridge.com

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