See your organization thrive! Improve the customer experience by keeping your sales, marketing
and customer service teams on the same page.
and customer service teams on the same page.
No Longer Just a Sales System
CRM software (Customer Relationship Management) has evolved to support organizational business goals across the enterprise; sales, marketing, customer service, relationship building, field service and project management. For non-profits the utilization reaches beyond these areas to include membership management, fundraising, variance in quality, case worker scheduling and volunteer management.
A well-implemented Dynamics CRM will focus users on achieving the business goals, both with processes and behaviors monitoring. While a poorly implemented deployment will waste time and money and cause needless frustration for your employees, partners and customers.
Why the focus on implementation and not the software?
While the CRM software you select IS important, most failures come from lack of follow through on the software implementation. Organizations try to save money by doing the implementation without guidance, going live with an out-of-the-box deployment or are expecting to learn and correct the application design and set-up later. Later never comes and an organization starts cutting corners on user training and on-going support.
InfoGrow does a lot of Dynamics CRM rescue projects. and we see three common issues in these failures.
Red Flag 1: Treating Dynamic CRM as technology project.
Unlike installing Office 365 or an accounting system, CRM is not a system that performs well by installing it and forgetting. First, a CRM project only is 20% about getting the technology right. Because of this fundamental truth about CRM, we often see that a self-implemented CRM system by an IT Department is not being used nine months down the road.
A CRM implementation is a line-of-business project. The 80% part of the deployment is about defining what business process need to be reinforced and what user behaviors should be monitored in order to know that the best-practices are being followed. The technology is aligned to support the processes. However, often we find that the business processes are not well defined. User agreement on those is the first step. To expect a software application designed to accommodate hundreds of industries, to impose processes is like expecting to wear the same shirt and pants every day regardless of the seasons or activities planned for the day. There is a good chance that you will be uncomfortable on a number of days with this approach.
Even if you have an amazing IT Team, you can’t compete with an experienced Dynamics CRM implementation partner who:
The money you save with an IT-only implementation often becomes a slow revenue leak that shows up as reduced efficiency or takes a much longer time to fully realize the associated benefits. When projects take too long for full deployment, users forget what the expected benefits are and keep running their old way to doing their work.
Red Flag #2: Missing or Unclear Expected Business Value
There is no reason that a CRM system should not be held to the same expected value standard as any other purchase.
If you buy a piece of manufacturing equipment, you know how much it costs to purchase and operate, and you have set production expectations for every shift. Treat your CRM system the same way.
Let’s say you decide you want to grow revenue by 10%. You then defined what actions will help you achieve that revenue growth.
Each of these objectives should have definable actions that can be measured.
Too often we take on a new client, that doesn’t know what the business levers should be. For example, the sales process may be a mysterious or convoluted series of steps that varies from sales rep to sales rep or territory to territory. As such, there is no way to build a pipeline to forecast sales because there is not a common language that classifies the sales stages.
When a Dynamics CRM project doesn’t have written expected outcomes and when those outcomes are expected, how can success be measured? As time passes and people change, these outcomes are forgotten to the point where users are not sure why they have tool at all.
Set expectations in the beginning, measure success, make changes, and reset new expectations. Building an 18-month Dynamics Strategic Roadmap that is reviewed each quarter and updated is essential to your success.
Red Flag #3: No On-going Training
Not only do users change but so do processes. A 30-minute introduction of CRM to a new user is inadequate. Even existing users need a refresh and to learn new skills. Remember it is not the technical side of the software that is important. Knowing which button to push is only part of the answer -- knowing why is the full answer. And users questioning if there is a better way leads to more productivity and value from the system.
Put a structured training program in place for new users. Also put in place a monthly ongoing training program for users. We have had good success with monthly “lunch & Learn” sessions. A session that spends 15-20 minutes to introduce or re-introduce a new feature with 10-mintues for open Q&A is good way to grow users and strengthen user acceptance for the system.
It is important to remember that CRM is not a system that performs well by installing it and forgetting. Think of Dynamics CRM as helping you mature your processes and improve them. As your process evolves, so to must the application that is driving the desired behaviors, monitoring and measuring how well the process are working.
Please call on us if there anything we can do to help your success - 330-929-1353.
We have been so focused on getting Dynamics right for our sales process that we have neglected our service side. What is the best way to bring their calls, request for returns and quality issues, tracked in a separate system, into a company-wide view of the customer?
It’s good you are thinking along the lines that there is value in having one-view of your relationship with a customer. Too often I see account managers needing to chase down customer services issues before a client call, or that service is fixing an old product, or worse yet, a competitive product, that if sales knew they would want to replace
My CFO is asking if our Dynamics CRM deployment was worth the cost. We are in year three of our use of Dynamics and I was not here for the decision to purchase. How do I respond?
-- Jack, New Sales Manager
Since you were not part of the decision process it will be difficult for you collect all of the deployment cost to build your case. I therefore suggest using a combination of the following approaches:
We spend a good deal of resources generate leads for our sales team only to see that the leads are not being followed up. How do I get my CEO to get the sales and manger managers in the same room to make lead follow up a priority?
There are two primary reasons that lead follow up doesn’t happen. First, the leads are not what I would call Marketing Qualified. Second, there is not enough vision by the CEO, CSO and CMO into what is happening with leads, or better yet what is not happening.
Marketing Qualified Leads
Account managers will focus on efforts that put dollars in their pocket. As marketers we must recognize that is a truism. As such, marketing must make any leaded passed on an account manager as qualified. Marketing Qualified means that a lead meets the qualification you have for industry type, size, product and whatever sales has provided you as the top three items that a good lead must contain. And that you have included this information with the lead as well verifying the company name, website, and phone number.
I have a client with an older copy of Goldmine that they just have outgrown. I am afraid to outsource what I don’t know and risk the relationship.
Don’t be afraid to partner. Don’t be afraid to tell your client that CRM is not your specialty, however, you have the capability to bring in someone who is an expert. And together, we can work with you to provide the best possible solution.
Change is inevitable – but how do you keep evolving?
Leads can come in many ways; website, referral, trade show, direct mail, email drip and even an account rep prospecting. But if we don’t know the sales return from each or the cost of each, how do we evaluate where to invest a limited marketing budget?
Some B2B companies run their sales and marketing activities with Excel because it is easy to use and well known by employees. However, to more efficiently manage and profitably use data, other B2Bs use a relational-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management). A CRM consists of a database and a user-interface with which you can easily create, update, manage, process, share, and report data across the organization.
While Excel spreadsheets are great calculators, they are not good as a shareable database. That is because, in part, Excel has no relational tables and limited interface capabilities. Excel becomes cumbersome and difficult to manage with thousands of items.
I was reminded this week of how much fun this business can be working with clients. As I met with three different clients on their Dynamics Roadmap for the next few quarters, it reminded me of why I am in this business of strengthening customer engagement.
Each of the clients has been with us for some time and each understand the value of CRM to the organization’s profitability and growth. However, it was good to hear that they also view CRM as a tool to strengthen a deeper relationship with their clients for all the various touch points that they have with the client. CRM is a tool to guide existing and new users in their behaviors while getting everyone in marketing, sales and customer service on the same page with the client needs.
Experience unprecedented productivity by seeing exactly where your best customers and prospects are located in relation to where you are calling, all without leaving CRM.
InfoGrow recently released its most popular CRM mapping solution with enhanced desktop functionality and new mobile capabilities, enabling account managers to schedule more appointments and make more sales.
Here’s the beauty of integrating Dynamics 365 for Sales with a CRM mapping application: raw CRM data comes alive on an interactive map so you can quickly visualize what would have taken hours to analyze in a spreadsheet.
What value does this have for sales reps? It helps them see exactly where their best customers and prospects are located so they can plan more-productive sales trips and close more sales, all without leaving CRM.
A Tiered Approach to Dynamics CRM
Another way of looking at the issue of overhauling your Dynamics 365 CRM is a three-tiered approach. The first tier is technical. How well is Microsoft CRM actually working in your technical environment? This is often the lowest tier because with most well established CRM systems the technical side is a non-issue overall. However, one spot of concern at this level does linger. How well is Dynamics CRM aligned, technically speaking, with your mobile strategy? Do you have a mobile strategy? Or are your users beating you up to make Microsoft Dynamics CRM work with their tablet or cell phone du jour?
I have written before regarding the sales growth value of getting your sales and marketing teams on the same page. This is an effort that can’t be left up to sales or marketing alone, it is too important to the organization and must be monitored at the CEO level.
InsideView does an excellence job in the following infographic to highlight what current leaders are doing to get things right. Point number 6 – “Align on Pipeline” is the element I like the most. By emphasizing the sales pipeline you should expect alignment on lead and nurturing campaigns throughout the sales process. This approach will help drive greater cohesion between both team leaders, as well as provide account reps with advanced insight into the contribution of the marketing team.
Microsoft recently acquired Incent Games Inc., the developer and owner of FantasySalesTeam (FST), an innovative sales "gamification" platform that plugs into Dynamics CRM to help companies boost sales productivity. CRM user acceptance among sales teams has always been a challenge. This is especially true dealing with a highly effective senior rep. What benefit does CRM really provide him/her?
Many companies don’t appreciate the value of a CRM system until they understand its pivotal role in closing more sales. CRM’s virtues are not always apparent unless one is intimate with the ins and outs of how business gets done in the organization.
Accurate sales forecasting is essential to growing revenue and managing your business effectively. When you know the timing and amount of incoming revenue, you can plan and focus on the right business initiatives; budget and allocate resources appropriately; set organizational goals; and provide teams with priorities and guidelines for how they spend their time.
Volumes have been written about customer engagement, which is an increasingly vital part of boosting sales, increasing membership, and satisfying both customers and prospects. While successful customer engagement requires a multi-level strategy, it doesn’t have to be complex... just thoughtful and complete.
You’ve seen the ads. The CRM software is free, forever or on a trial basis. Installation takes seconds. Learning takes minutes. Enter some contacts, play around with reports, and voilà! Within hours, everyone is tracking leads, analyzing pipelines, and monitoring customer interaction.
CRM can provide significant benefits to any sales-driven organization that’s focused on customer service. And it can have a profoundly positive impact on internal processes and performance, both individually and organizationally. Despite CRM’s inherent ability to boost profits and deliver insights, there are some things that CRM simply can’t do on its own.
In the state of Ohio, there are roughly 5,000 mid-size businesses in operation, with a mid-market business being defined as an organization that brings in between 10 million and 1 billion dollars in annual revenue. These companies also account for nearly 2 million employed workers statewide, with 74% adding new workers at an average rate of 6.3% in 2014-2015. In comparison, mid-sized businesses nationally only grew their work force by 3.2% - (National Center for the Middle Market.)
Today's CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is better than yesterday's because: (a) CRM systems can now deliver greater productivity returns and (b) vendors' software usability is much improved. These advancements (and others) mean less time and lower costs to implement a CRM system. And the more people in a given company who use a CRM system translates to more benefits and a higher ROI on a CRM investment. Research notes that for every dollar a company invests in a CRM system, it earns $5.60.