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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 / 2013

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Connecting related records in a 360 Degree eView of your Customer, in Microsoft CRM 2013.

One of the key factors of delivering or implementing a CRM strategy in a business, is to understand that placing your customer at the heart of your businesses, is the main objective of the exercise. 

Some, probably most executives or marketing and sales directors (me included), may argue that the purpose of CRM is to create more profit from sales etc. but the sword is double edged.  The CRM strategy should deliver more sales, but on the flip side it should improve customer service and customer loyalty too, creating a well organised efficient business. 

Research has shown that efficiency and therefore profit can come from streamlined business systems, but having a strategy that helps create great customer service will create happy customers. Happy customers become loyal to your service and product, and let’s face it we all like to be treated well or experience great service.

Many times I have seen business specialists and self-appointed guru’s babble on about this, that or the other, being the biggest asset to your business, but surely that’s your customer right?  Then again as a CRM provider or product and service provider: do we believe this, just to sell product and does it actually matter?

Well let’s think about that for a moment, because a business needs customers.  Building a customer base is never easy, but by having all the information at hand to help a customer and deliver a great experience has to help.  I would have to argue that it is your loyal customers that are the lynch pin that makes your potential business grow, and after working with many businesses over the past 20 years I would agree that centralised shared data about your customers is a huge asset.

But enough of all of what’s right and what’s wrong, it’s your business at the end of the day. Today I want to share some information about one of the software components from MyCRM, which can help your organisation realise some of the key successes in recognising the importance of well organised and structured customer data.

In this post we are looking at the latest iteration of the MyCRM eView product, which will help deliver a true 360 degree view of all information held about a single customer, and the organisational structure it is part of.

Our eView solution was first released for CRM 2011, and gave the option of enabling a single view of all related data about a customer.  You can easily see from the screen shot below that this could be very useful when trying to get a snap shot of what was happening with any one customer on your CRM.

The eView solution is a unique tool set, which helps end users visualise and understand all data that is related to an individual contact or organisation, with related contacts.


The eView solution has gone through many iterations to improve performance and customisation features, and to make the data returned relevant to the end user at your business.

With the new modern design of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, eView has been upgraded to work perfectly as an add-on solution in the new environment.

Furthermore, all the great features that eView brings to CRM when displaying a single view of the customer, is now incorporate at the record level with CRM 2013.

From the eView window you can access all related data, but also quickly and easily create new context related records without leaving the single view.  Which means it has never been easier to work with a single record, and create related and activity records directly in CRM.

Below is our new video demonstration of eView, and you can see for yourself the advantages a single view brings to end users when using Microsoft CRM 2013.

About MyCRM

Here at my CRM we offer our customers the best solutions to help them drive business forward and gain real benefits from implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

We are in our 5th year of trading as a business and have seen incremental growth year on year in profits, our team are based in the Isle of Wight, UK and we maintain relationships with customers in 26 countries.

If you need help, support or advice with your Microsoft CRM then we are waiting for your email.


MyCRM Download Centre and App Store 

You can also register with the MyCRM App Store and Download Centre for Microsoft Dynamics CRM here

MyCRM Daily CRM News 21-11-2014

Our CRM weekly update.  Is your data enabling you??  Are you getting actionable data from your CRM system?

In business, data is all over the place and can be an invaluable aspect of business decision-making.  However, the problem is that not all data is created equal.  In fact, some data is just plain useless for some businesses, while other bits of information are like gold.

The trick to getting actionable data – data that is actually useful to the company’s goals and productivity – is to use a good customer relationship management (CRM) system.  And ‘good’ is the key word.

Not all CRM systems are created equal.  In fact, some of the most expensive programmes don’t collect the right kind of data for some businesses.  Remember, collecting the wrong data is a costly investment (of both time and money) that can lead to failure.

In order to yield actionable data, the first question any business should ask is whether or not the data is relevant.  If the data isn’t relevant to fulfilling the needs of the customer, and ultimately the business, then it is not relevant.  A mistake that many businesses make is to collect all sorts of data – both just and actionable – and sort it out later.  This can take a lot of time and resources, which some companies just don’t have.  So, it’s a good idea to start off right.

Gathering the right kind of data will not only help maintain and build strong customer relationships, it will give the company a competitive edge.   


Changing business models and CRM

The question of transitioning from one business model to another without hurting productivity, revenue, or customer relationships can be tricky and is something that a lot of businesses face.

In many cases, it might make sense to change the existing business model, but the reality is that the current model, as obsolete as it might be, still generates profit and revenue.  This leads many managers to decide to just stick with it.

Shifting business models

When it comes to changing business models, there is nothing more difficult than figuring out exactly how to do it without hurting the bottom line.  Continuing on with normal business as usual isn’t always possible in such situations.

Remember, lots of business models do not already have a CRM system in place, so the transition might be to implement one in the first place.  This usually happens when managers realise that they simply cannot exist using spreadsheets only and need a more robust billing and payment solution, better databases, and stronger customer data acquisition.

The simplest answer to this problem is that businesses need to have a good customer relationship management (CRM) strategy in place to make the transition a little smoother.  If the shift involves moving from one CRM system to another or something more involved like switching to a subscription-based business model, the existing CRM strategy should be able to help the company maintain its current client base.


Is there any value to CRM-based customer data?

As most business managers already know, customer relationship management (CRM) systems provide plenty of customer data, which can be a very valuable commodity.  A CRM system actually uses the customer data to generate sales, but it can also add value to the company in a number of other ways.

In essence, data is a hot commodity all on its own. Companies that make the most of it can improve their bottom line.

CRM data is not always a representation of the past.  It can help business managers see the future of their sales and repeat business.  The CRM system that works best should be functional beyond simply making cold calls and selling.  When considering a new CRM system, business managers should ask which areas of the CRM system could be better tailored to suit the needs of customers as well as what the likelihood of repeated customers is.

Primary value

The principle value of CRM data is industry research. Most research analysis firms today consider the customer data derived from CRM to be corporate intelligence.  Many companies actually base their research on CRM data such as timeframe constraints, key performance indicators, and more.


As more and more businesses are starting to understand the importance of obtaining and using CRM system data, analysis has become more important than ever before.  Such intelligence can help businesses succeed or fail depending on how well they utilise the information.


4 ways to get real with your customers

One of the hottest buzzwords in the customer relationship management (CRM) industry these days is ‘real-time personalisation.’  Though the principle behind this theory is a no-brainer, many businesses simply don’t know how to do it.  Real-time personalisation is a method of reaching customers immediately, but it is harder than many managers realise. 

Here are four ways to get real with customers that other businesses have had success with: 

  1. Be trustworthy.  If a customer doesn’t trust a business or the source of contact, there is no point.  In order to be successful, organisations must build a trustworthy reputation with its client base.  Customer trust is a top factor in the success or failure of a company.  This means that organisations should have solid privacy policies designed to protect the customer and keep those policies readily available to the clients at all times.

  2. Don’t get too far ahead of the customer.  Though it is a good idea to know what the customer wants right before he or she knows, it is dangerous to get too far ahead of the client.  Businesses want to remain relevant, not become a nuisance. So apply common sense and logic to the real-time personalisation efforts to ensure that messages are received at appropriate times.

  3. Draw the right emotional response.  Part of any CRM strategy is to elicit emotional responses from customers – but they have to be the right kind!  Keep customers’ emotional responses in mind when reaching out for marketing purposes.  This goes with tip #2 above – use data accurately and be sure that all campaigns are facilitated by that data and properly timed.

  4. Stay open-minded.  Customers typically only want relevant contact, but they also want it to demonstrate that the organisation understands their needs.  This means that businesses should stay open-minded to alternatives – keep traditional bias off the table.  Remember, sometimes customers will shop outside of their traditionally expected niches. 

Just remember, it is a good idea – and very effective – to use all available data to create a solid picture of each customer.  A holistic view can help business managers create compelling, relevant, and effective content that will help maintain, and build, the customer relationship. 


About MyCRM

Here at my CRM we offer our customers the best solutions to help them drive business forward and gain real benefits from implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

We are in our 5th year of trading as a business and have seen incremental growth year on year in profits, our team are based in the Isle of Wight, UK and we maintain relationships with customers in 26 countries.

If you need help, support or advice with your Microsoft CRM then we are waiting for your email.

MyCRM Download Centre and App Store 

You can also register with the MyCRM App Store and Download Centre for Microsoft Dynamics CRM here




MyCRM Daily CRM News 20112014

Here’s today’s indispensable CRM news.  Utilising CRM to its full potential in practice, and making it work for your business and customers.

You must adopt to achieve

When it comes to the success or failure of a CRM strategy, adoption is key.  There are a number of reasons why a business might not fully adopt or implement a CRM system or strategy, but one of the biggest problems occurs when implementation never has a chance to happen.

Here are some ways to help ensure adoption happens:

  1. Make the experience valuable to end users.  First and foremost, implementing a CRM system and strategy is not a technology project; it’s a business project.  Make it clear how CRM will make life easier for everyone involved.  Overall, CRM implementation should improve the efficiency and effectiveness of users in all departments and improve the customer experience as an end result.

  2. Don’t skimp on comprehensive training.  In many cases, when the CRM strategy isn’t fully adopted or the system is only partially used, it is due to lack of training.  It is difficult to recover from a poor start, so be sure to make a strong start by offering comprehensive training and refreshing that training over time.

  3. Start simple.  Don’t start off using the CRM system to its maximum capacity; instead, keep implementation simple and straightforward.  Many employees won’t want to use the system if they don’t understand it or if it seems too complicated.  Ease into it and build more robust customer files and reports as everyone acclimates to it.

  4. Make sure management is on board.  Never let the staff believe that the use of the CRM system is optional.  This means that everyone from the bottom of the ladder to the top needs to be on board. 

  5. Use it or lose it.  This might be obvious, but if no one uses the CRM system or implements the strategy, it will fail.  Make sure that all departments use the system consistently and work together to integrate their reporting, analysis, and customer management schemes. 

Each and every business will have a unique CRM implementation plan, but these steps should help any business move down the path to success.


CRM: Control impulses by controlling cost

When it comes to the most expensive software requirements, it isn’t the ones that cost a lot to launch – it’s the ones that should have never been started in the first place.  This is particularly true in customer relationship management (CRM).

Excessive CRM customisation requirements are typically caused by these factors:

  • Managers are dazzled by demos and testimonials and are therefore over-optimistic.
  • The manager in charge of finding a CRM solution has done too much to overcome internal opposition.
  • A previous CRM system was over-customised and therefore any subsequent solution also requires a high degree of customisation.
  • Managers are confused about the true nature and capability of the CRM system.
  • Users are too optimistic about the system’s ease of use.

When the ends justify the means

Sometimes, it is a good idea to customise the CRM system and invest in a few bells and whistles.  This is acceptable when it adds value to the business.  For example, if certain expenditures can help to improve revenues, decrease costs, or boost customer loyalty, it may be worth it.  If this is not the case, it may just be an "impulse buy" that only leads to spending more money than is advisable.

Remember, CRM isn’t just about the software a business implements; it is also a strategy.  This means that even with the most robust CRM system, which may have been purchased on a whim, a business could still have dissatisfied customers because they simply do not practise solid CRM strategies to ensure loyal and happy customers.


Use CRM to build customer loyalty and satisfaction

Building a sustainable business depends more heavily on the loyalty of existing customers than it does on adding new clients. However, ensuring repeat business is a big challenge.

Every business owner knows that they need to figure out what customers need and then do it better. These are lofty principles, so it is not really surprising to find that many businesses tend to focus on customer relationship management (CRM) to build customer loyalty. In order to do this successfully, it is useful to know exactly what customer loyalty is.

The first thing business managers must remember is that their CRM system is not worth a thing without a solid customer service strategy in place. In order to lock this down, the differences between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty must be made clear.

A loyal customer is one who will come back to make repeated purchases. However, loyal customers might come back again and again out of necessity, not because they are satisfied. This is more of an enforced loyalty rather than true loyalty. Strong loyalty occurs when a customer actually wants to continue the business relationship.

CRM can be used to help determine what kind of loyalty a customer is exhibiting, and it can also help a business combat enforced loyalty over true loyalty. There are a few ways it can accomplish this. First, CRM can help start conversations with customers, capture data, and track results. It can also help keep track of details that help ensure that customers feel taken care of. Finally, CRM allows businesses to maintain regular follow-ups with customers.


Don’t automate bad practises with CRM

Today, most businesses recognise the financial value that they can gain by improving their customer experience and are now focusing on more efficient customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Despite this, many companies focus too heavily on the CRM technology rather than their overall strategy, which can actually end up hurting the very thing they are trying to enhance: the customer experience.

It is vital to remember not to use the CRM system to automate bad practises and behaviours.  Instead, it should be used to eradicate those things and boost the bottom line in the long run.

How do businesses break these bad habits?  First of all, they need to have an in-depth understanding of how their customers define a meaningful experience and learn from it.  Any and all CRM strategy practises should be based on this information.

Getting rid of bad behaviour

Getting rid of bad behaviour is sometimes easier said than done, but it is possible.  Improve the customer relationship and experience by making changes across every point of contact with the organisation, from the sales and marketing teams to collections and customer service.  It is also important to maintain the high-quality experience throughout the business-customer relationship, not just when selling.

CRM technology has come a long way in recent years, but that doesn’t mean that it is the only aspect of maintaining and enhancing the customer relationship.  Don’t be swept away by technology’s promise; focus on understanding what the customer wants and how to make that happen.



About MyCRM

Here at my CRM we offer our customers the best solutions to help them drive business forward and gain real benefits from implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

We are in our 5th year of trading as a business and have seen incremental growth year on year in profits, our team are based in the Isle of Wight, UK and we maintain relationships with customers in 26 countries.

If you need help, support or advice with your Microsoft CRM then we are waiting for your email.


MyCRM Download Centre and App Store

You can also register with the MyCRM App Store and Download Centre for Microsoft Dynamics CRM here




MyCRM Daily CRM News 19112014

Here is the latest from our round up of CRM industry news.   Today we firstly look at a story from Enterprise Apps Today talking about the importance of improving customer focus.

Moving onto utilising external data into your business, compatibility with your current systems and three great tips for implementing CRM within your business.

Bringing customer focus to CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are intended to organise data on customers and sales practises.  They are not designed to actually improve customer relationships; that’s where the CRM strategy comes in.Without a customer relationship, is there really any point in implementing a CRM system? 

Instead of trying to put everything into the CRM system and ending up with too much data that is impossible to sort through, here are four important tips that can help every business manager bring the customer focus back to CRM. 

  1. Don’t try to do it all.  The best way to get started with a solid CRM strategy is to start off slowly and focus on an initial plan point.  Ease into it rather than trying to do everything that the CRM system is capable of all at once.  

  1. Make sure CRM support is ready.  The marketing, service, and sales teams all must be trained on the new processes and workflows that help them deliver excellent customer service.  Each department should be aware of the other’s policies and procedures so that no one is in the dark.
  2. Give customer service reps information.  Ideally, the CRM system will bring all channels, processes, and context together within a single mechanism that everyone has access to.  This allows customer service representatives to do their job because they will have access to complete and consistent data at all times.
  3. Keep the customer’s perspective in mind.  Offering a tailored experience to customers as they interact with the company is an excellent way to build a loyal client base.  At every step, make sure that the context is understood and content is relevant to the customer.  Allow customers to customise their own experience when possible. 


The benefits of integrating CRM data from different sources

Customer relationship management (CRM) software allows business managers to create reports from different data sources to produce robust information that can really help to boost the bottom line.

A good CRM system will use both external and internal data sources to integrate related facts and information and report on the findings.  Internally, the system uses the data obtained and maintained by the business, such as account data and general business information.  External data sources come from outside the business and can shed new light onto business practises.

All managers know the value of comparing a report showing only internal information with one that interprets and analyses information from a number of sources.  The evolution of CRM software has made this type of reporting even better, with findings based on comparative analysis, deductive analysis, and predictive analysis.

Preferences, configurations, and settings are all customisable within the CRM system application to the extent that managers can set rules and special conditions that shape their analytical findings to match the business’ needs.  However, it is worth mentioning that the CRM system is still capable of producing business intelligence dynamically.

An integrated CRM system with both internal and external sources is an invaluable asset to any business hoping to find niche data to help hone marketing campaigns and retain existing customers.  A streamlined and integrated system can also improve the productivity of the sales and marketing departments, provide multichannel access to customer data, and give a clearer insight into customers.

So, why would any business not want a fully integrated CRM system in this Information Age?  Given all of these benefits, it simply doesn’t make sense not to have one.


Is your CRM system compatible with other applications?

If there is one lesson that children learn at an early age, it is the importance of playing well with others.  This same principle should apply to a business’s customer relationship management (CRM) system.

In today’s world, many companies need to work with other businesses in order to sell their goods and services.  This means that in addition to maintaining relationships with their customers, they must also manage relationships with their business partners.

Most CRM systems are actually designed to achieve this dual goal, but some of them do a better job of integrating with third-party applications than others.  In fact, some CRM systems have add-ons that are made for partnership management.  These add-ons often work to help manage the reseller-seller channel better.

Partner relationship management (PRM) applications

Many companies simply don’t use the add-ons available to them or their CRM system doesn’t integrate sufficiently, so managers often resort to spreadsheets to manage their partner relationships.  However, there is a subclass of CRM systems that focuses on partner relationship management, which is mostly marketed to larger companies.

PRM systems are usually marketed to larger companies because they often have a more complex operating system and maintain multiple relationships with a variety of sales channels.  However, a PRM system could benefit smaller organisations as long as there are resources to integrate it.

For smaller companies that don’t have the time or financial resources to fully implement a proper PRM system, their existing CRM system can be used to manage both customer and partner relationships.  This means that they will need to make use of the available add-ons or make customisations to their workflow.


Three great tips for smooth CRM implementation

There comes a time when a business can no longer squeeze efficiency and performance out of its legacy system, which means that existing workarounds are simply not making the cut.  When this happens, it is time for a customer relationship management (CRM) system to be adopted.

Adopting a CRM system sounds like a great idea; after all, it can reduce the workload, improve efficiency, boost sales, and make customers even happier.  However, it is the implementation that can wreak havoc on daily operations, especially when no one is prepared.

Successful CRM isn’t just about getting the software to work. It is also about complementing processes and people connected with it. In order to make the most of implementation, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Never assume.  Get rid of all assumptions and the mind-set that certain things must be done a specific way.  Evaluate business processes and eliminate extraneous steps.  This can be done before implementation.

  2. Start off small and build from there.  Regardless of the developer, CRM systems are robust and offer a ton of features including reporting, processing, integration, communications, and tracking.  There is no rule that says a business must use them all right away.  Start off with the easy stuff and take it from there.

  3. Listen to the staff.  The most important voice to hear, apart from the customer, is the staff.  After all, the staff will be the ones using the CRM system daily and dealing with the customers.  Give employees the opportunity to learn about the new technology and embrace it.  Sharing their concerns is beneficial to the entire organisation.

By making the implementation process as smooth as possible, the end goal of a cleaner, more organised operation will inevitably be achieved.  Keep in mind that this is a process as much as it is a goal; adopting a CRM system is only as effective as its implementation and practise. 



About MyCRM

Here at my CRM we offer our customers the best solutions to help them drive business forward and gain real benefits from implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

We are in our 5th year of trading as a business and have seen incremental growth year on year in profits, our team are based in the Isle of Wight, UK and we maintain relationships with customers in 26 countries.

If you need help, support or advice with your Microsoft CRM then we are waiting for your email.


MyCRM Download Centre and App Store

You can also register with the MyCRM App Store and Download Centre for Microsoft Dynamics CRM here



Drive your business forward and profit up with a structured marketing approach.

I recently attend a very interesting seminar on business positioning and growth and in a number of blog posts I would like to cover some of the key things that were highlighted as a forward thinking business proposition.

We all know the importance of having a good CRM system that is implemented correctly within your business right!

Maybe not but it is vitally important to have a good understanding of Customer history and Customer needs so CRM is a great place to start.

Some people in the past have said to me of CRM that is just a Database of contacts, and of course technically they are correctly but a good CRM system has

History for active and historical clients, History for Orders and Sales made, any support cases raised notes taken and products recorded.

This post is more about the types of marketing your organisation can implement as part of its customer centralisation with CRM which will attract more sales from the investment already made.


We are looking at the 4 key approaches and sometimes these have different name but in principal they achieve the save outcome.  These approaches are defined as follows

  1. Traditional

  2. Distractive

  3. Competition

  4. Disruption.

Below we discuss the approach but these are not marketing methods like email or hard copy or brochure etc. they are the approach that the content will take to drive interest with the end reader or recipient.


Let’s start with the Traditional first, as it is or has been one of the most common approaches to the way content is presented or delivered to prospects and customers.

The traditional way to present content is with Brand i.e. you logo would be at the top of the advert, or the header of the email.  This is usually followed by a punchline of why the company or organisation in question is so great, then it is usually followed by some text which either details the success of the company or a small part on the services it offers.

Let’s take an example of this with a made up security company



ABC Somebody Security

It’s our business to keep your business secure.

ABC Somebody Security is a leading provider and industry

specialist in providing certified and industry standard

security systems and solutions.


Contact us today for our latest prices!




This type of advert may well be used in an online directory, or a Yellow Pages type publication or even a local newspaper, but you only have to read the few lines to realise that it does not tell you a great deal about the company or its services.

Using this type of advert based on your organisations brand can be limiting at best unless your organisation has a global, national or community identity that consumers or other business owners can identify with, as a trusted provider.



Now let’s take a look at the difference in presenting “Distractive” content, as this is where you organisation has the opportunity to present a solution to a problem by presenting a distraction to gain end readers attention

The distraction is usually identification of a problem that as an individual or as a business owner you may have a solution for.

Let’s take the Security Company again and now create some basic content that would cause a distraction for a person seeing the headline.



Security Cameras Disabled by Wi-Fi Transmitter.

After a detailed investigation at a number of factory and office burglaries

in the west midlands, a certain make of remote activated CCTV

camera has been found to have a weakness that can be

Disconnected by its Wi-Fi connection. 


Our advice is that you contact your local supplier for immediate

upgrade to any devices that maybe affected

You can contact ABC Somebody Security and book an engineer today.


ABC Somebody Security

It’s our business to keep your business secure.



Now obviously the statement you use in distraction marketing approach has to be true and you also need to be able to solve the problem that you have identified otherwise you approach with have a negative response.



As the name suggest and is regularly used by many organisations globally, the approach of Competition marketing is very popular and great for grabbing attention.

Some organisation will use this approach of marketing to promote brand i.e. just having individuals register for the competition is enough.

Other organisations will offer an incentive when as a customer you sign up for a service or purchase a product.

Using the example of the security company again, the advert that might be used may look like this!



Get the chance to win an iPad mini

In this month competition we are offering the chance to win a new iPad

mini when you have a full audit and inspection of your current security

system cost just £25 – Book today.


ABC Somebody Security

It’s our business to keep your business secure.



And then finally in this blog post I cover disruption


Disruption marketing and the approach to, has to be my favourite as it gives your organisation the most flexibility when creating content.  Similar to a distraction campaign above the disruption approach is far more succinct as its purpose is to advise and give examples but then ties the reader back to the end point of the service that is on offer by your organisation.

One great way to create disruption marketing is by creating blog posts, editorial in hard copy or case studies, as disruption marketing is the purpose of getting a reader to consume information about a topic that might not be directly linked to the company providing it but highlights areas of interest that the company providing it can help with.

For instance we could take the security company one more time and show some editorial content, but this time the content would be used in conjunction with MyCRM as it would be a case study



Customer Service Award for

ABC Somebody Security Group

As part of the Annual Security awards ABC Somebody Security Group has been

Awarded and named as the overall winner of the converted price of

best Customer Service


As part of ABC Somebody Securities overall growth plan a number

of projects were put in place to implemented a cloud based service

from the Team at MyCRM, the MyCRM team took advantage to advise

on overall approach to customer data and use of technology in the field. 


It is believed by the management of ABC Somebody Security that the

investment in technology and customer service implementation

contributed to the overall success of the company’s growth in

2013 and to them winning the associated Security industries

award for customer service.


ABC Somebody Security

It’s our business to keep your business secure.



That now covers four different approaches to marketing content, and as you would expect there are other approaches that can be used.

But most import to any business either at start up or established is centralised customer management or better known as CRM. 

To complete any type of marketing campaign you will need to have a well implemented CRM solution like Microsoft Dynamics CRM from managed service provider MyCRM.

To find out more please visit our web site at

And if you have read thus far then thank you for reading our blog, and this post is an example of Disruption content.

MyCRM Weekly News Round Up 12/8 – Latest CRM articles.

Each week, we like to try and bring you 5 topics from across the spectrum relating to CRM news from various news and blog sites.  This week we have found our top 5 topics with links to the relevant sites

1.CRM software industry grew significantly in 2013

According to recent analysis by Gartner, the customer relationship management (CRM) software industry grew by about 14 per cent globally last year, and the numbers for 2014 are looking very positive.

The Gartner report, called "Market Share Analysis: Customer Relationship Management Software, Worldwide, 2013", indicates that there was a very strong demand for SaaS, or software as a service, a category that includes CRM software. 

Back in 2012, the CRM software market was worth around £10 billion.  Last year, CRM software revenue was almost £12 billion.

The report also shows that the competition within the CRM software industry has become even fiercer than before, with the top five players comprising almost 50 per cent of the sector’s total revenue.  Microsoft CRM was in the top five.

Customer experience and digital marketing initiatives are the main driving forces of the CRM software market.

"CRM will be at the heart of digital initiatives in coming years," stated Joanne Correia, Gartner’s VP of research.  "This is one technology area that will get funding because digital business is critical for companies to remain competitive."

It is worth mentioning that the IT services, communications, and media industries happen to be the biggest spenders within the CRM software market, primarily because they focus on large groups, which tend to use call centres.  These industries also require strong analytics in order to improve the overall customer experience – a principle of any CRM strategy.



2.CRM secrets every small business should know 

The internet can be a difficult place to compete, especially for small businesses.  However, small businesses can thrive online with the right strategy and plenty of focus.

That’s where CRM – customer relationship management – comes into play.  The customer experience is what drives sales and builds a loyal, satisfied clientele.  Small businesses simply need to identify their strengths and build on them to make their customers happy.

The small business competitive edge

Small businesses often have an advantage over their larger counterparts because they can take the time to really get to know their customers.  The competitive edge here is that small businesses can offer things that big business cannot, such as personalisation.  Get to know the customers and give them the benefit of small business customer familiarity.

Be knowledgeable

A strong CRM strategy doesn’t mean just investing in the latest CRM software; it means also taking action to provide the best possible customer experience.  That is why businesses should have knowledgeable staff members who are prepared to answer any and all questions.  Investing in additional training for sales and customer service staff is always a good idea.

Act like a small business

Even the savviest of customers appreciate the feeling they have when they patronise a mom-and-pop shop, which is why small businesses should act like small businesses, albeit carefully.  Emphasising staff training, as mentioned above, is a must.  However, it goes further than that. Make sure the staff spends time with customers, either via the chat programme, emailing or even on the phone.

These ideas aren’t exactly revolutionary, but they do often fall by the wayside as small businesses try to compete with larger companies in their respective sectors.  All too often, they forget that there is a certain advantage to being a small company.  Remember, CRM is so much more than a programme; it is also a strategy.



3. When CRM fails, it is usually because of the team

Many times, CRM is thought to simply be a technology, but it is not so much a technology as it is a business discipline.  However, it is not a discipline to be practised by one person; it is actually a group effort.  Everyone in the business must be committed to CRM to enhance the overall customer experience.

However, CRM practises aren’t always embraced right away, often because implementing a solid CRM strategy comes with integrating CRM software.  There is always a learning curve, and a little bit of time is usually needed to adjust to the new system.

Sometimes, management deems CRM to have failed, but why?  In most cases, the cause isn’t the CRM system but rather the failure of those using the system to fully embrace it. 

Here is a look at the staff that can often make the most – or the worst – of a new CRM strategy or system.

  • Sales executives.  Often, a new CRM system is brought in because of perceived problems in the sales process.  However, if the executives don’t fully buy into the strategy or system, there will be no benefits.  Even if the sales team uses the programme, the data will go to waste if the higher-ups aren’t using it.

  • Support staff.  Customer service representatives are constantly in contact with customers and play a huge role in building loyalty.  If these employees see entering data into the CRM system as optional, the bottom line will fall.  Make sure that the support team enters everything they can into the CRM system.

  • Marketing department.  If the marketing department doesn’t add sufficient information about each lead into the CRM system, how will sales and support know what the next step is?  If sales and marketing aren’t communicating, customers could feel neglected and might not trust the business.

  • Sales staff.  There is no doubt that the more information a salesperson has about a particular customer, the more likely they are to close that deal.  Often, the failure of sales staff to use the CRM system effectively starts with leadership. 

The success of the CRM strategy should be shared with all employees so that everyone commits to its adoption.  Remember, this is a team effort!



4. Improve fitness sales with a CRM system

An increase in sales is always good for the bottom line in any industry, which is why even fitness facilities should consider adopting a customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Tracking sales opportunities, analysing customer data, and predictive analysis are all essential tools to a business’s success.  They are all also very difficult to achieve without an automated system.  That’s where CRM software comes in.  A CRM programme turns these challenges into opportunities by uniting the sales, marketing, and customer service departments via a single platform that everyone has access to.

It doesn’t matter what size a facility is or its service scope; a good CRM system is a must-have for any company that wants to attract and keep members.  Often, the perception that CRM is only for large businesses stops smaller companies from taking advantage of the benefits that CRM has to offer.  Remember, CRM isn’t just about the software – it is also a strategy.

Getting to know the customer is not a trend.  It is a legitimate business strategy that can reap long-term rewards.

So, how can a CRM system help a fitness facility?  First of all, the cost of finding new customers is more expensive that retaining existing ones.  A CRM system can help increase sales by helping marry customer needs with facility strengths to keep customers happy and loyal.

Another way that a CRM system can help boost sales is through better lead management.  The days of losing hot leads are gone when everyone on the sales team has access to up-to-the-minute information.  This means a decrease in response time and more efficient customer service.

So, what’s the delay?  Invest in a CRM system right away!



5. Turning CRM around with reporting tools 

Business intelligence, or BI, is a vital tool that helps businesses make the most of their efforts.  Often, BI is thought to be limited to customer information, but that isn’t exactly the case.  In reality, BI plays an important role in the CRM strategy.

The CRM system helps businesses gather lots of information about leads, customers, and sales practises, but it can also help record data about the way a business actually uses its CRM strategy.  This can be a great help to any business, but the trick is actually using the reporting tools to turn the CRM strategy around.

One of the great “forgotten features” of the CRM system is the internal reporting.  This is unfortunate because there is so much it can do for a business.

Using the tools

If more businesses would simply use the internal reporting tools that come with the CRM system, they would have a much clearer understanding of their business’s efforts.  Knowing how widely, how frequently, and which employees use the system is extremely beneficial in understanding the effect the CRM strategy has on the company’s success. This information can help determine which departments are lagging in performance and which ones are excelling.

The internal reporting tools can also provide evidence of patterns, which might help managers coach personnel to improve their use of the system and increase sales.  These patterns can also help identify leadership issues.

There is a lot that CRM can teach managers about the business itself, and it can teach them even more about the customers.  So, if business owners are open to learning these lessons, they should make better use of the reporting tools in their CRM system.




About MyCRM 

MyCRM limited are a managed service CRM provider of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, currently in our 5th year of trading with customers in 26 countries.  We can provide either a full managed service platform based on Microsoft technology or have a range of software extensions though our App Store which enables end organization’s to adapt and extend their CRM systems.  We have a full in house product design and development team, along with support and service team to help organization get the best from their Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation.


App Store & Download Centre






MyCRM News round-up 5 top articles on CRM topics

Here is the latest news update, we have been trawling the CRM news channels and blogs once again to get some of the latest stories and articles and include one of our own press release this week


MyCRM launch eMap 1.2 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

“eMap 1.2 is the first release with the integrated data service giving access to over 60 million business records, and completes a milestone that has been in the plan for some time” stated Sales and Marketing Director, Alistair Dickinson



Why every business needs a CRM champion

In the industry, the person who takes responsibility for a company’s CRM strategy is known as the "CRM champion."  This person doesn’t mess around; he or she knows that the main factor in the business’ profit chain is the customer.

The CRM champion must know all the ins and outs of the CRM system and should always be working on honing the company’s CRM strategy; otherwise, sales will suffer.

Here are some reasons every business needs a dedicated CRM champion:

  1. To keep CRM relevant at the executive level.  The CRM champion works to bring the big picture of the CRM strategy to the executive level.  He or she will work with every department to ensure that the strategy is effective and cost-efficient.

  2. To implement cost strategy.  Implementing a CRM system and strategy can get expensive, and the CRM champion should focus on making sure that the process is successful in every way from conception to launch.  As long as timelines, balanced budgets, and quality assurance are accomplished, there is success.

  3. To act as a liaison between tech and staff.  Coordinating all operations for the CRM system implementation can be a challenge, especially when it involves so many different departments: sales, tech, management.  The CRM champion should be able to speak tech just as easily as sales.

  4. To handle CRM-related questions.  There has to be a go-to person when questions related to the CRM implementation come up, and that’s the CRM champion.  He or she should be the ultimate authority on the project and be able to provide a realistic resolution.




The basics: analytical CRM

One of the newer terms in customer relationship management (CRM) is "analytical CRM," but what does this really mean?

In its purest form, analytical CRM is the process of supporting decision-making practises that increase the customer experience and improve customer interactions.  Analytical CRM spans the gamut from data mining and simple reporting to predictive analytics. 

What does analytical CRM entail?

The truth is, most companies already engage in analytical CRM and don’t even realise it; the simple act of reporting on activities fits the bill.  Sales activity reports, conversion reports, or any other similar report is part of typical sales management and is considered to be analytical CRM, although just barely.

Analytical CRM isn’t just simple reporting.  It does get a lot more complex.  Massive, computing-intensive efforts that run automatically, email blasts based on pre-set customer criteria, and other actions, which are typically derived from predictive analytics, are also within the range of analytical CRM.

Reporting does a company good

In general, most companies would benefit from more robust reporting.  While it is true that too much data can be a problem, using only the standard reporting tools from the CRM system is just the starting point.  Every CRM system allows users to customise the reporting features to a certain extent, so managers should do so with more focus.

Having a solid summary and interpretation of information on every level is important to truly understanding the customer experience and improving the impact of CRM strategies overall.  The key is to use customised reporting in small, incremental steps to truly garner the benefits of analytical CRM.



Learning from your customers

Companies spend vast amounts of money on customer relationship management (CRM), market research, and analytics to figure out what customers want.  What many of these companies are not doing is simply asking their customers what they want.  This is something that can go a surprisingly long way.

Remember, giving the client base a voice is an important way to enhance the overall customer experience. So, what are some good ways to source information from customers?


  1. Ask the customers directly.  Taking the time to just ask customers what they want is well worth it.  Managers may find that customers want to learn more about a particular product or service or they may want to see a new variant of customer service.  Talking to customers and finding out what they want is a great way to learn from them and also a great way to build loyalty. 

  2. Find out what your customers are reading.  Integrating some marketing automation software into the CRM system can help correlate content downloads with sales and make connections as to what might be a trigger.  Often, a buyer’s online journey begins with some piece of content and ends with a visit to a site, resulting in a sale.  If businesses know what their clients are reading, they may be able to reach even more potential customers.

  3. Talk to the sales team.  There is no other department that deals with customers more frequently, so talk to the sales team.  The sales staff typically knows what customers are thinking about during the sales process.  It may also be a good idea to use the sales team to find out more from the customers, which goes back to the first point.  Have the sales people ask if there is anything that could have helped make the process easier.


Businesses have an obligation to keep their customers as informed and appreciated as possible while providing the best in services or products.  The customer experience is based on the interaction between client and company, so take advantage of it and learn from it.



Common CRM mistakes and how to avoid them

Sometimes, the customer relationship management (CRM) strategies a business implements just don’t seem to be working, even with all the tools, analytics, and technology available.  Every manager knows that when the customer experience leaves a bad taste, business suffers.

Here is a look at some of the most common CRM mistakes and what managers can do to rectify them.


  • Conducting business piecemeal.  It’s obvious when companies are doing things half-heartedly.  Simply installing a CRM system doesn’t solve the issue; implementing best practises and focusing on customer service goes a long way.

  • Not taking a holistic approach.  All too often, marketers think about individual campaigns, not the big picture.  A strategy with a proactive approach to customer service actually enhances the customer experience.  This means maintaining customer service beyond the sale.

  • Using poor data.  Many customers are savvier than business owners think.  It is time to improve the quality of data and shift from a transaction-based data set to an opt-in preference-based data set to drive personalised communications and offers.

  • Using the wrong metrics to measure success.  Today’s customer typically judges a company based on the overall experience, not just the product.  So, businesses should stop looking at short-term sales and ROI from single campaigns and start looking at performance over time.

Boosting the bottom line isn’t just about numbers, it’s about experience.  That is precisely why a strong CRM strategy is required.  Businesses should try to understand the customer journey from the customer’s perspective to truly satisfy their needs.



About MyCRM

MyCRM limited are a managed service CRM provider of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, currently in our 5th year of trading with customers in 26 countries.  We can provide either a full managed service platform based on Microsoft technology or have a range of software extensions though our App Store which enables end organization’s to adapt and extend their CRM systems.  We have a full in house product design and development team, along with support and service team to help organization get the best from their Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation.


App Store

Case Study - Heritage Construction and Consulting Services selects MyCRM ePDF

“As far as we know, MyCRM has the only cross-platform and cross-browser printing solution for MS CRM in the industry, The MyCRM Team is sharp, provides immediate response and feedback, and delivers both professional products and support.”

Brian Elkins
Heritage Construction & Consulting Services


About Heritage Construction and Consulting Services

Heritage Construction and Consulting Services is a full service construction, remodel, and restoration contractor.  Our specialties are interior design, flooring, cabinetry, tile, granite, countertops, lighting and roofing.  We stand out for our individualized customer service and offer informed consultation.  Our Team Members are skilled and respected negotiators among insurance adjusters, because we provide fair, realistic and reliable assessments.  Among our clients, we have a reputation for trustworthiness, completing work within budget, on time, and according to client specifications; this is why 95% of our business is referral-based.

What was the requirement or problem you needed to resolve?

Our company needed the ability to easily print and email Customer Quotes, Orders and Invoices as PDF files from our Mac systems, avoiding the slow and cumbersome native Microsoft CRM print methodology that only works on a Windows platform.  

Which MyCRM product set made it possible?

We selected ePDF from the MyCRM download Centre

How was the experience of Interacting with the MyCRM Team? 

The MyCRM Team is sharp, provides immediate response and feedback, and delivers both professional products and support.

Did you try any competitor product first? 

Yes, we purchased FocusLive – PDF Generator, which was dependent on MS Word being present.  On a Windows system this was not a problem, but our firm uses Mac with MS Word.  However, FocusLive PDF Generator was not compatible with MS Word 2011 for Mac and only ran in Windows environments.  As far as we know, MyCRM has the only cross-platform and cross-browser printing solution for MS CRM in the industry.

Would you recommend MyCRM?

Absolutely!…with a shining recommendation.

About MyCRM?

MyCRM is an industry leading provider of software solutions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.  The team has over 15 years of development experience and define, build and deliver key usable components for organisations around the globe.

Understanding the concept of great CRM helps our team help your team with off the shelf product that improves process and efficiency.  MyCRM also offer bespoke development services and managed service hosting for CRM.



Download Centre

PRESS RELEASE: - MyCRM launch eMap 1.2 for Microsoft® Dynamics CRM 2011 and 2013

“eMap 1.2 is the first release with the integrated data service giving access to over 60 million

business records, and completes a milestone that has been in the plan for some time” stated

Sales and Marketing Director, Alistair Dickinson

Isle of Wight, UK 22nd July 2014

MyCRM, the Isle of Wight-based solution provider and software development company, has today announced

the next GA (General Availability) release of eMap using Microsoft® Bing Maps for Microsoft® Dynamics

CRM. Effective immediately, the latest solution can be downloaded as a trial from the MyCRM Download Centre:


Existing eMap customers receive the update as part of their monthly subscription.

Included for the first time in eMap is access to a global business database, with over 60 million unique

company records with address and location information.


This connection gives end-users the ability to search for business records of all types in a given location

without owning the data. This enables those companies to build relationships with prospects and customers by location.


Businesses found using the search facility can then be converted into prospect or lead records directly within their own CRM system.


“eMap 1.2 is the first release with the integrated data service, and completes a milestone that has been in the 

plan for some time” stated Sales and Marketing Director, Alistair Dickinson


Mr Dickinson went on to say: “We have been designing, developing and working on the eMap product for the

past two years, and have been releasing major updates every four months. This release contains some amazing 

new features that extend the usability of Microsoft® Dynamics CRM and empower end-users in any size of business in almost any sector.


“Furthermore, there are many scenarios that can be considered where our solution adds a great deal of value.

eMap fits well into Sales, Marketing and Customer Service departments when combined with Microsoft® Dynamics CRM.”


A spokesperson for the MyCRM product team said: “The development of eMap has been a great opportunity

for MyCRM to work with our customers, incorporating their feedback through an iterative release schedule.

“This solution has been designed to incorporate a whole range of standard Microsoft® CRM product

functionality, making eMap a seamless integration and giving a native user experience when working with the software.”





About Microsoft® Bing Maps in Business

Microsoft® Bing Maps is a flexible platform with tools designed for rapid application development and

provides seamless integration with other Microsoft® technology 

The team at MyCRM have taken these tools and built a compelling and tight integration with Microsoft® Dynamics CRM.


About MyCRM

MyCRM offer a range of business services to small and medium sized organisations around the globe, through 

product additions and help and advice around the implementation of Microsoft® Dynamics CRM.


For Company or Product information please contact

Alistair Dickinson (Sales and Marketing Director)

+44(0) 1983 249500


Trial Software

MyCRM can provide a fully featured eMap trial including business data integration for a limited period of 14

days. Please register here

Turn your Microsoft Dynamics CRM into an advanced business prospecting solution for B2B, with access to over 60 million individual business records in 50 countries!

Did you just read that right? Well the answer is Yes! But how?


As a CRM service provider and previously as a CRM consultant to a range of businesses over many years, I cannot count the number of times that when implementing a CRM system for a Sales or Marketing department someone has said

“Oh it would be great if you could have a data feed of businesses in our area?” or “Is there a way we can look up businesses near one of our customers?”

In the past the answer to these questions would be to purchase data from a data broker which can be an expensive, or to have an outside agency prospect for you and create appointments or even a combination of the two.

But as more and more services become available as cloud offerings and more and more data is available to all businesses online, we have designed our products and worked with a number of partners to give all organisations using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 or Microsoft Dynamics 2013 the ability to have access to a global data set of over 60 million business records.

Let me explain further and outline a number of scenarios, as this usually appeals to Marketing and to Sales people in the field or those arranging appointments or setting up trade events.

Scenario for Sales :-

A sales engineer / advisor has booked an appointment to go and see a customer, which is not  a strange thing to do, the Sales individual turns up at the customer address and they are on a typical business park setting with 10’s or even 100’s or other businesses.

The usual step is to conclude the appointment with a customer, and may be drop off some information to other business in the location, which is basically door to door uninvited prospecting.

But now with eMap 2.0 due for release this week we have a new way, some would same a complete game changer to make your sales team more effective and efficient.

Your team of field sales people no longer need to prospect by knocking on doors, as with this release for Microsoft CRM, your team can now research the area buy looking up businesses that are on the same business park, and this data is provide though the MyCRM service enabling contact to be made with organisations and business research done without buying long lists of data.  Once the data has been used it can be converted into a lead record in CRM and prospected, giving your Sales team a head start.

Scenario for Marketing :-

Access to real time business data that is up to date is a must have to a lot of marketing departments and once you have access to a company name a little research can be done to get that initial contacts, and understanding of what business existing and where they are can start the process of effective campaigning.  With eMap 2.0 a marketing team can high light key location areas to see what types of businesses exist and generate pre contact emails though CRM, they can also use the business search to identify businesses by name or by type.

Scenario for events and trade Shows, Organisers:-

Using our maps and data solutions to generate prospects for an event, empowers the event sales team as they can work out from the event site / location and search for appropriate business types in the area, this speeds up the pre-qualification and enables businesses to be located.

Once lead records have been created the data can be easily enhanced by research using services like Linked in to get more contacts or face book and twitter to find related information about a company.

The screen shots below, show how you can easily combine your own data with data from our external data feeds, which give your business a head start with prospecting.

You can see that using the business search look up we have searched for Solicitors, none of these records that appear are in our CRM database





We then selected one of the business data pins the details are displayed with the option to convert the information to a lead record in CRM




To get a trial of eMap and see the solution first hand inside your Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 / 2013 then register here this version with the data look of 60 million records world wide will be available by Friday 11th July 2014