Sales: “You didn’t meet the deadline”.
Service: “You didn’t quote enough hours”.
If you run a project-based business, you have likely heard these types of accusations. But if everyone on your team has complete visibility of the project management metrics, you can bridge the disconnect between sales and service. (
For a service organization, once an opportunity is won by the sales team, the project delivery or service team takes ownership and is responsible to deliver on what was sold.
Most CRM software solutions end with the sales phase. Then the delivery team uses a separate system, such as Microsoft Project, to manage their project cycle; this causes a disconnect between your teams. And disconnects cause trouble.
The sales team is often still responsible for the client relationship, acting as the liaison between the project team and the customer. When a customer calls the salesperson to ask for a project status update or to complain about a billing issue, the potential for problems is tremendous. Not having the information readily available causes embarrassment and frustration for the salesperson and leaves the customer with a poor customer service experience that may shake his confidence in your company.
The solution is to use a Project Management system, embedded inside the CRM software, that everyone can easily access and use.
The solution is
After an opportunity is won in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, it is converted to a project. The same milestones that were presented to the client in the proposal can be used by the project team.
Each milestone has a start and end date, and tasks and budgets can be tracked against each milestone. The project team enters time against each task. When project tasks are completed automated alerts, can be sent out to notify key team members. Nobody is left wondering if a task is completed. Everyone involved with the project can see the overall project status, including any variations among estimated, billable and actual hours.
Time entries can be created from Project Task records or from a Time Sheet where they can be added, deleted or edited.
- More accurate quotes
Before bidding future projects, the sales team can compare project cost accounting reports for past projects to see if the project team is spending more time than was budgeted, or if the sales team is leaving money on the table by estimating too low in certain areas.
- Happier customers
Customers like to be kept in the loop. Project status reports can be exported to Excel and emailed to the client on a regular basis or at key milestones. This eliminates doubts and keeps everyone on the same page.
- Increased accountability
If a project comes in over budget, who is to blame? The sales team would say the project team is taking too long. The project team would say that the sales team is underbidding and overpromising. Let the project reports answer the question in black and white.
These benefits boil down to increased revenue for your organization, better relationships with your customers and peace between the sales and services teams - priceless.
Find out more about AbleBridge Project Management for Microsoft Dynamics CRM at:
By AbleBridge, Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner for Professional Services,