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4 Ways to Extend the Power of CRM

4 Ways to Extend the Power of CRM

Extend the Power of CRM

Via Dynamics University: Extend the Power of CRM by Eric Gjerdevig

Implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM can provide your business a lot of value.  However, significantly more value can be realized by extending your CRM system.  Think about all of the ways your business and staff interact with customers beyond simple emails and phone calls.  Customers visit your website or customer portal.  Customers and employees may interact with your business through these tools or maybe a mobile application. Customer data may sit inside numerous silos such as your accounting solution or documents stored in SharePoint.

Does your CRM system tie together all of those areas?  Imagine if it did while providing your staff access at any time, any place, and on any device.  Customer visits to your website captured and scored in your Marketing Automation solution.  Customers visiting your customer portal and viewing an invoice or entering a support case.  Seamlessly tying together your customer documents and accounting data to the customer CRM record.  The power of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is extended greatly when it goes beyond a simple stand-alone CRM system.  Let’s dive in a little deeper.

1. Integration
So, why is it important to integrate your CRM system to your accounting system or document management solution?  The reason is simple.  Two separate systems are disjointed.  Sales team productivity struggles when they can’t see the larger picture of customer history, activities, or documents. Not only does this slow the sales cycle, but also representatives may miss valuable opportunities to up-sell or cross-sell. Even worse, missing relevant information can derail an opportunity. Equally important, executives lack the all-encompassing view of the customer needed to drive timely and accurate company-wide forecasting and planning.

2. Marketing Automation

Modern customers are web-savvy, mobile, and typically spend more time online than reading magazines and watching TV. These changes in behavior are changing the marketing industry.  This is bringing together the areas of direct marketing and mass marketing.  If you want to reach today’s consumers, you must meet them where they like to play – on the Internet, through their mobile devices and on social media sites.  This requires sophisticated marketing automation technologies that leverage customer intelligence, optimize interactions, and monitor and respond to changes in customer behaviors.  Now, imagine if your CRM system did all of this!  It can.

3. Portals

Allowing customers to interact directly with you through your CRM system (via a customer portal) is extremely impactful.  Not only does it drive efficiency but it also helps engage your customers in an entire new way.  Allow customers to view invoices, enter a support incident, and interact socially in discussion groups.  Those are few examples but there are dozens of potential uses.

4. Mobile

With the power of Microsoft Dynamics in the palms of their hands, your mobile professionals can be productive on their own devices and on their own terms.  You spend a lot of company resources managing your data; make sure to take it the last mile with mobile solutions that put the data into the hands of your mobile professionals.  Provide employees with a familiar user experience, powerful integration with native device applications such as email and calendar, and even mobile dashboards.




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