Does socializing your business mean good CRM?

Good question really, and yes - there is a lot of hype about social CRM and Social Marketing. So with that I thought I’d add my views and thoughts.  There are a lot of questions to be answered and there is very little point trying to jump on a bandwagon if socialising your brand and business does not fit with your product or service, although there are very few products or services these days that are not available online.   So, what is CRM? Okay, let’s drop back to basics for a while and get a grasp on what CRM really means to your business and to your customers. So what is CRM? Well the one thing it is not is an expensive investment in software and computer equipment. CRM is the process methodology used in a business for Sales, Marketing and Support strategy to understand the approach you want to or will take when managing your customers.  CRM software like Microsoft Dynamics CRM supplied as a managed service by MyCRM (http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/) should be seen as a software application that can help your organisation achieve good processes to handle and track customer activities. A common mistake that is made (and this is the key reason a number of CRM projects fail) is that the emphasis is placed on the technology and that the software application will somehow manage your customers for you. So where should you begin? There are many methodologies and guides on the subjects as you can probably imagine. So step back and think of it like this: what do you want to achieve in the key areas of your business? Key areas are likely to be Sales, Marketing, Service and Support but take each one as an individual process.   Let’s take Sales: We all want more sales but giving some thought on how you can capture these will pay dividends. Firstly: what type of sales does your business do, and what I mean by that is, is your organisation solution selling or product selling? Solution Selling can be defined as having arranged an appointment and probably demonstrated a solution in use, then a proposal is written and a level of negotiation will take place before a deal is closed. So first step is to define that process, and then using CRM software like Microsoft Dynamics you can map the process through the several stages.  I will be writing a separate post on defining the sales process in Microsoft CRM. Product Selling can be more easily defined as “I want one of those”. This is where a customer has a need for a product, but the strategy here needs to be given thought on why they should buy it from you (i.e. what is better about the way you can sell product X?). That simplifies the type of selling a little, and thought should also be given to who the intended target are.  If your business model is B2C then consider the best way to fit your product into the target sector. If your business model is B2B then examine and understand the target business sector. Socialising your business for the sake of it (i.e. “Oh, we have a Facebook page”) is not really a strategy and thought needs to be given on how you can attract potential prospects to your organisation via popular social media sites and blogs.   Let’s Consider Marketing:- There are many ways to attract a prospects attention and depending on size of the organisation some or all of the list below may be in reach and used in a campaign: Social Media Marketing Search engine Marketing Email Marketing SMS marketing Hard Copy Print Media Hard Copy Print Direct Online Network Advertising TV Advertising Radio Advertising Web Site For the purpose of this post I’m not going to review each, but take a look at the social aspect and how to drive interest using these channels. The first port of call has to be your businesses web site, things to consider: Is the site current? Does it work correctly in all browsers? Does it represent the business and target audience that you need to attract?  Does the presentation of information work well on tablet PCs and mobiles? Is the content updated regularly? Is the Meta data correct? Can it be integrated into your CRM System easily? With the launch of such devices as the Microsoft Surface and the Apple iPad there has been a huge increase in mobile computing and the way we all consume information and access data, so consideration has to be given on how your organisation presents itself.   As more and more people access information on the go with these types of devices more businesses will have to adapt or potentially lose out to competitors that can deliver a good customer journey and access to the right information at the right time. When I started in business one thing that people would always say to me was “Cash is King!” But for good presence, awareness and marketing then “Content is King”. Once consideration has been given to presence then the next step is to consider the best approach in how to contact your prospects and customers and keep them informed of latest service updates and product updates. Email Marketing:- The most popular approach to contacting customers and individuals is by the tried and tested method of tracked email. Tracked email solutions, or email marketing solutions, enable an organisation to track who reads an email and what level of interest was shown - usually through interactions and web tracking. Email marketing solutions like the MyCRM eCampaign solution (http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eCampaign.aspx) has 2 key stages - the first being design of template and sending, and the second being the tracking and rating of activity. The second stage enables an organisation to prioritise the activity of sales and customer services through to prospects and customers that interact more. This approach is usually called smart selling. SMS Marketing:- This approach has also seen some popularity and is excellent to gain a response from an individual if an activity is happening within a 3 hour time frame.  A good example of this was when working with a Rugby club: The marketing team would send SMS messages to fans 3 hours before a game with special offers that were on in the bar or the restaurant. By doing this the revenue for the club pre-game increased by 40%. But sending an SMS about a special offer that is online is not likely to have the same impact, or the same call to action. Social Media Marketing:- In only a few years we have also seen the increase in the use of social networks, and although Microsoft CRM does not connect up to Facebook or Twitter natively there are options available.   That said, creating activity on a company page on Facebook or Twitter can amplify and drive traffic to a company website - and MyCRM as an organisation use this approach quite actively. See our Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-CRM-Limited/367480604689. More is discussed in the section below about building the social network and presence. Search Engine Marketing:- There are two main popular types of search engine marketing and these are “adwords” and banner marketing. Both Google and Bing have their own services and you can read more here: Bing https://secure.bingads.microsoft.com/ Google https://adwords.google.com Making use of adwords can be an expensive process depending on which keywords are required, and some specialist help may be required to help set up the adverts and keywords used to get the best effect if working on a smaller budget. Overall, marketing is key for driving repeat and new business and sales teams will always want more qualified opportunity coming into the business.   Support and getting it right:- A number of larger organisations are already using social media for support and I recently discovered this by making a complaint about a product I had bought from Argos on their Facebook page, only to get a very quick response and great customer service.  There are a number of ways to go about this: you can give a customer support representative access to your support page on Facebook, or have integration into another software product like Microsoft CRM.  At the end of the day the process is the same and enables a new interface to be used for your business so customers can interact with you. What is very important to understand though is that using social media for support should be considered as just a single tool and a single channel, and should not be left as the only way a customer can interact with support.   Getting Social:- Building a social media presence is an ongoing process. Some organisations do it well, and some as an afterthought. You can see the MyCRM Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-CRM-Limited/367480604689) that we actively post news and information that links to products and support updates.  We also run sponsored links and advertising campaigns two or three times per year on Facebook. Facebook is a great brand builder for your product - regardless of size of organisation – content can be easily placed in newsfeeds or on advertising feeds. By doing this awareness will grow, and if you have interesting things to say about product or problems that your organisation can help with then more interest will build around your social presence and brand. There are now dedicated agency businesses that will help build your social presence from as little as £1000 ($1500) per month, but you’re not going to get a great deal of content. If you’re working on a low budget then you might want to look at alternatives like Pure Content (http://www.purecontent.com/) that can help build specific content around your business by providing new stories on a daily or weekly basis. Twitter is another great tool for driving people to your web site and raising awareness about products and services that you may sell or offer.  Just like Facebook, you need people and organisations to follow what you are saying. If you don’t have an audience of volume then you’re not going to get a great return, and this is why I said that social awareness and social brand recognition is built over time. Marketing services and ads from Facebook can help but also organisations like Twitter Counter http://twittercounter.com/ can help build followers. Keep in mind that you do need to have the right message and keep tweets relevant to the service you offer. Using Twitter for competitions and special offers is also great - I have seen many competitions and promotions where an organisation will offer a free iPad or the latest smartphone if you complete your details online for a new product or event.  These competitions or promotions then draw the lucky winner from all those that entered.  This said, you do need a page and a way to record this information, so thought needs to be given on how you are going to run an online promotion with Twitter. Twitter is also great for including #HashTags. By using #HashTags you can generate interest outside of your direct followers, for instance we use #CRM and #MSDYNCRM regularly in our posts for #MyCRM (https://twitter.com/MyCRMGroup). In conclusion; does socialising your business mean good CRM? Well, like all technology enhancements if it is done correctly and the correct message is used, or you have the requirement of instant answers then yes, at MyCRM we believe that social integration will help you drive your business forward.   To get a trial of Microsoft Dynamics CRM you can register with MyCRM here http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/demorequest.aspx To gain access to product extensions from the MyCRM team please register here http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/Account/Register.aspx   About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore we have developed a number of off-the-shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity. We offer from our own fully managed datacentre a licence per user Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/ As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) we offer a range of pre-built application extensions for your Microsoft CRM Solution:- http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eNumber.aspx Extend your Microsoft CRM system with automated numbering for individual entities and text updates. http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eSurvey.aspx  The all-new eSurvey solution for Microsoft Dynamics CRM extends the marketing capability of Microsoft CRM even further, by delivering a fully integrated customer survey tool.

Microsoft Dynamics 2013 Apps in an App Store near you

It has been announced that Redmond has rolled out the new tablet app for Microsoft Dynamics.  The app can now be downloaded from both the Apple app store and the Windows store. The main Dynamics CRM software (RTM) set was released earlier this month. It has received good reviews from those who've used it, and the hype for the tablet app has continued amongst those who downloaded the software. The app itself promises to involve the user in all of the main activities from the main software itself.  It's easy for users to access their current activities, view their accounts, and look at current open leads and opportunities as well as viewing their contact books. Interestingly, the app also possesses the ability to access key performance indicators, with all of the necessary charts and data available for viewing through the customisable start screen and app dashboard. Bob Stutz, the corporate vice president of Dynamics CRM, said that the solution marked a 'turning point' in the industry, and invited anyone unsure about the software to give it a free trial.  He was also keen to obtain feedback: “We want to hear from you. Please let us know what you think of this product, either here in the comments, or on Twitter at #CRM2013,” Mr Stutz said. “Over the next few weeks on the lead up to our Global Premiere Event -- a virtual event where we will feature stories of customers using this new release to deliver exceptional customer experiences -- we are going to kick-off a blog series to examine the state of the market. " Read the article here Source: CIO-Today To get a trail of Microsoft Dynamics CRM you can register with MyCRM here http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/demorequest.aspx To gain access to product extensions from the MyCRM team please register here http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/Account/Register.aspx  

7 Steps to getting a CRM implementation right

A new piece from Smart Data Collective has explored some of the key elements that will help a company implement a new CRM system smoothly and efficiently.  As with any new system, taking the time to ensure a good transition is valuable, so the points are well worth exploring: Prepare properly It's important to ensure that the team integrating the new project is put together efficiently, with an equal balance developed between the various key skills that will go into ensuring the system is a success.  Don’t become reliant on a 3rd party partner for all the implementation, make sure your internal team can and has time to take ownership from the outset. Make sure every area is covered and part of the team The article notes that the team implementing the system should include a senior figure to help generate awareness, key executives, departmental managers from customer service, sales and marketing, IT managers, genuine subject matter experts, experts in customer resource management technology (usually an outside consultant) and a genuine project manager. Don’t try and complete the project as one big bang, if small steps and department by department works then take this approach, at the end of the day you still have a business to run. Have a set goal and define the process As with absolutely every project, it's going to be impossible to measure a CRM system's success if concrete goals aren't set before the project goes ahead.  It's important to take the time to consult the key stakeholders and create a solid, common set of expectations that are listed in priority order.  Define as a process how you want to work and then sense check this approach to make sure that just because it is the “how is”, can there be, or is there a better way. Reviewing processes and examining the way people are working can be a great drive to review efficiency and improve working practices. Personalise the database It's important to ensure that when the relevant data is being imported from different sources across the business, it's vital that the team takes the time to make sure everything is kept consistent.  Duplicates need to be removed and irrelevant data needs to be kept away from the new database.  If it isn't, you'll end up with the same problems that you have now! Consistency is key to the implementation of CRM across all departments and this enable a unified way of working. Configure and Own the System It is likely that you will work with a partner like MyCRM to help advise and configure the software solution but remember the technology is just a tool or a means to an end for collecting the data.  All internal stakeholders need to work together to define what data they need to see and hold, and how that data is used in the organisation and how the flow of the customer’s journey is defined. All on the same page This might be the obvious one but make user a full session of User Acceptance Testing is done and make sure all end users understand the process on how to use the implementation of CRM. Go Live but Mind the Gap Firstly make sure before you switch to production that the system has the latest dataset and all users have been set up with the correct roles and access along with suitable passwords. In the early stages of production end users will sometimes try to find a reason not to use a new system, so try and make the process as painless as possible. Once the implementation is in production then be ready to “mind the gap” as business process will change and so will end users. Make sure regular review of data, user acceptance and process are carried out. To read more from the original article: Smart Data Collective About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore we have developed a number of off the shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eSurvey.aspx Our Integrated Survey Solution can be used to get valid feedback from customers and prospects. http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ePDF.aspx Our record to PDF solution enables increased productivity directly in CRM by allowing an end user to quickly send a Quote or Order or even an invoice by email to the end customer in just a few clicks. We also offer from our own datacentre a fully managed version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/ To find out more visit http://www.mycrmgroup.com

RFU Implements Microsoft Dynamics CRM as part of IBM Project, but can Small Clubs benefit from the Same Technology?

The benefits of CRM have been given an obvious boost this week. The UK Rugby Football Union has announced that it is to introduce the new Microsoft CRM software in order to better understand and to make better use of its data. The aim for the Union is to try and improve its engagement with both fans and players of the sport by making use of the information they have as well as trying to obtain more of it. The RFU is the main governing body for English Rugby Union and currently employs over 500 people in order to help develop the sport at both a national and a youth level.  The organisation currently has an annual turnover of around £116 million. The CRM service will be created as part of an ongoing deal that the Union has with IBM and the software used will be the Microsoft Dynamics Customer Relationship Management platform.  It will be integrated onto the RFU website. Nick Shaw, head of digital for the union, said: "We have so much data in different places, so we need to understand who are our customers are and what they are doing so that we can better inform them about where they can play rugby in their local area for example, rather than just firing messages at them sporadically." The message is obvious. For small organisations and businesses, effectively managing CRM processes will enable them to make better use of their data and hopefully grow and improve engagement as a result. Source: Computer World I know from experience that maybe a number of smaller clubs will read this article and think: “that would be great, but we don’t have that sort of budget!”. As an organisation MyCRM has had a number of opportunities to work with sports clubs in both Rugby and Football and currently sponsors an under 16’s team.  Working with organisations like Salford City Reds http://www.thereddevils.net/ over the past 4 years we have had the opportunity to advise and help with the delivery of email and SMS marketing while keeping player, membership and sponsorship data directly in a hosted CRM solution using Microsoft Dynamics CRM. MyCRM is the ideal solution provider for smaller clubs where budget for IT and marketing can be restrictive. To find out more contact us below. About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore we have developed a number of off the shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eSurvey.aspx Our Integrated Survey Solution can be used to get valid feedback from customers and prospects. http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eView.aspx Our Customer 360 View and search solution enables a snapshot of all activity on an individual customer. We also offer from our own datacentre a fully managed version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can see more hear about using MyCRM as a managed service http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/ To find out more visit http://www.mycrmgroup.com

Do you need to troubleshoot your CRM processes and do they still work for your business?

A new article on CIO has taken a look at how best to explore your current CRM process and if you are having any issues, the sorts of problems that you should be looking to troubleshoot. Data quality is the first thing looked at, and with good reason, as it is often cited as being a contributor to user dissatisfaction.  Some of the reasons for a lack of quality data include duplication of records, mis-owned or improperly assigned records, field accuracy (especially with contact details and addresses) and a lack of completeness. Functionality is also noted by the article as being worthy of exploration.  For instance, if there are some items missing in the records, it needs to be asked if serious effort had been made to attain them early on in the project, so that the best chance possible had been given for completion. Engagement is also noted as being a potential issue.  Remember, all users have to be continuously engaged with the process, otherwise some of the details can be glossed over and details are the key to effective CRM. The article also looked at the two main areas that are usually cited as being reasons for poor performance.  Poor design, architecture and conception make up one area with the other based around implementation, development and deployment.  Essentially, one is structure and the other implementation of that structure.  If you are having problems, the root cause is usually to be found under one of these two 'umbrellas'. As with all areas of customer relationship management, it can help a great deal to engage expert opinion and to make use of CRM software to manage the process.  One of the two common mistakes with the implementation of any CRM system is that CRM is a piece of technology, and is implemented as such.  By taking this approach it is likely to lead to short and long term problems as CRM really is about strategy and methodology of how any organisation wants to centre and help its customers i.e. the customer experience or customer engagement with an organisation. The other common mistake is that a CRM process has to evolve over time and post implementation of a new system like Microsoft Dynamics CRM it is key to make sure your business processes are reviewed in line with changes in thought process and customer reaction along with new enhancements to technology. The process of monitoring you organisations CRM process is sometimes referred to as “Mind the Gap” as at all times the systems in place should support current thinking and ways or working. With the evident changes in technology and work patterns customers have become savvier and with the birth and growth of Cloud Computing or Software as a Service customer expect more, and need access to organisations in new ways. These access points may be as simple as easy to use web site or access to support and customer service over social media, or access to accounts via a mobile device. The reason that major corporate are investing heavily in to providing access to product and services via mobile devices is that computing and internet browsing as we knew it is going through a paradigm shift and as individual customers and works embrace the new technology we all want access to products and services in new ways. Source: http://www.cio.com/article/741126/What_to_Do_When_Your_CRM_Project_Fails To find out more from MyCRM and about how we might help you help your business follow the links below. About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore we have developed a number of off the shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eSpell.aspx Our Spell Check solution enables businesses to integrate full spell checking in several languages directly on CRM records. http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eView.aspx Our Customer 360 View and search solution enables a snapshot of all activity on an individual customer. We also offer from our own datacentre a fully managed version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. To find out more visit http://www.mycrmgroup.com

Microsoft begins the roll out of CRM Online 2013

Tech giant Microsoft has begun the roll out of the much anticipated next release of Dynamics CRM to its own CRM Online platform, with trials now being available for partners and customers, and with upgrades happening over the next quarter. It is planning to deliver its Windows 8/iPad client compliments for the service during the next few weeks, along with on premise and partner hosted releases of the software. The staged rollout for Dynamics CRM Online 2013, which has been codenamed "Orion", and first went live last week in the datacentres in the Asia Pacific region.  On or after October 7, it is being put live in the UK.  Finally, it will go live in the Americas within the next week or so. The on premise compliment of the CRM 2013 software is not yet available as (GA) general release, with a blog post on the Microsoft site indicating that it will come later this month.  The full release is anticipate for the end of October and as a managed service provider MyCRM are working to not only deliver this new release but up lift and make fully compatible its full product extension range for CRM. The iPad and Windows 8 companion apps have not yet been released with information indicating that they will become available around the same time as the on premise version.  Microsoft recently released a substantial 19-page "Release Preview Guide" for the upcoming stream of releases based around customer relationship management which can be viewed here http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/F/1/7F10F758-0846-4210-B9F4-6AF79A96CA76/Release_Preview_Guide_September_2013.pdf Following on from this major release of the software, Microsoft's team are also planning to deliver a further two updates, named "Leo" and then "Vega", with the former expected to drop support for Classic Forms and then add support for both Android smartphones and iPhones.   Article Source: http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-begins-rolling-out-crm-online-2013-7000021628/ With the growing use of online services in business and the demand for Cost affective fully managed offering MyCRM will be releasing its role out strategy from December 2013 and will start to upgrade customers from February 2014. About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore developed a number of off the shelf extensions like email marketing with eCampaign http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eCampaign.aspx and location awareness with Bing Maps http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eMap.aspx which can help reduce the cost of implementation greatly by using plug-in solutions. We also offer from our own datacentre a fully managed version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. To find out more visit http://www.mycrmgroup.com

Some common causes of CRM Data Duplication

Anyone looking to improve the way in which they utilise their CRM systems will know the issues that can arise when data is duplicated as a result of poor system management or software error.  Usefully, though, a new piece on CIO.com has focused on the different ways in which this issue occurs and what to look out for: Often, humans inputting data will simply not double check the existing records before adding in new potential leads, accounts or contacts.  Whilst this is obviously something that should be discouraged at a basic level, (it is poor administration!), it remains a major reason for duplication. On some occasions, data import tools may not be successful in identifying duplication before they carry out their tasks. Although some of the software does use a "potential duplicate" flag. Often, integration with other outside sources such as website registration forms, partner portals and message brokers will mean that other applications could end up not querying the CRM data before it inserts additions to the existing records. The other main existing cause is again an administrative one, with errors and software bugs typically causing the existing software to lead to thousands of duplications being created. The article correctly highlights the fact that at around 2% duplication, there is very little to actually worry about, as long as you have effective tools in place that will seek out the duplication and correct it.  However, if the figure goes beyond 5% then users will begin to complain and you will run the risk of losing existing customers. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM you have the advantage of duplication rules and the ability to merge duplicated records if they exist, but the key factor is to make sure that end users are aware of search and find capability that is easy to use, products from MyCRM like eView http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eView.aspx can and will enhance customer search capability giving the end user a quick 360 degree view of a customer record and activity. Source: CIO.com To find out more about how MyCRM can help you manage your customer interaction then please visit our web site at www.mycrmgroup.com

eMap the next generation of CRM Mapping version 1.1.3 has been released

After many months of work and some great customer feedback from all of our customers using eMap for CRM 2011 we now have a new release with a range of new functionality which extends data visualisation and manipulation even further in the Microsoft CRM interface.  The new functionality includes 1.       Pivot Data through relationships 2.       View Selector at entity layer 3.       Default Pan and Zoom   Pivot Data and Pivot Rules though data relationships One of the great new features with eMap is the ability to pivot related data from a single pin, this means you can now select a single Account pin and show related data on the map for that account based on a configurable rule. Rules are created in the settings and can be used on different layers   You can create a rule that maps a relationship to the data that is requested for the relationship to display As an example you can see below the data for the Isle of Wight, this is where MyCRM is based and in the first screen shot you can see all related data    Now by switching the pivot view on you only see related data for the Account Record based on the rule    This is a very powerful option as it enable end users to identify single customers with related data and work directly with those records selected. View Selector at entity layer Another of the great new features for this release of eMap is the ability to switch on the view selector at the layer level, which gives end users the ability to quickly switch data views    By switching this setting on end users have access to system and personnel views that have been created on the CRM system for the data type.       This extend further the ability to visualize CRM data on a map interface and work directly with different view sets.  Default Pan and Zoom   The final new feature in this release of eMap is the ability to set the default pan and zoom when loading a Map in CRM   The map centre can be set to “All Pins” or “Form Entity”. “All Pins” is the current default behaviour and zooms and pans the map to fit all available pins.  New settings “Form Entity” only works on Form maps, and will set the centre of the map to be the location of the form entity. When this option is used, a default zoom level can also be set.    To get access to the latest version of eMap either view setting in the MyCRM licence manager where eMap is install or head to our application download centre to get a 14 day trial http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eMap.aspx   About MyCRM MyCRM Limited is a UK based global seller of ISV extensions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.  We provide a number of extension products via our Application Download Centre and also offer a fully managed service for CRM to organisation across the UK and EMEA. Trading since 2009 MyCRM Limited has seen continued growth year and year with profits at an average of 28% of revenue. Please contact Alistair Dickinson for any clarification or further information Alistair@mycrmgroup.com  

eMap Release Candidate Now Ready for Beta Testing

LATEST UPDATE 6th December :- eMap is released via Download Centre http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eMap.aspx LATEST UPDATE :- The new demo video is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqLKpkrL3Ws&feature=plcp   It’s been a little while since I blogged about our forthcoming release of eMap which is a full integration with Bing Maps and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  There are a number of reasons for this and below we cover off some of the points on why we decided to delay the release to improve on what was the initial proto-type.Originally we had built a solution in Silverlight that delivered some Bing Map functionality, but after further development we quickly realised that the adoption of Silverlight was probably not the best option for end users.  At this point we decided to hit the brakes and go with JavaScript and below you can see some of the results of how this looks in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.       The one thing we really wanted to achieve was a slick look and feel that complemented the way CRM worked, but extend the functionality of MAPS so that end users could easily work with data as pins on a MAP.    You can easily see from the map pin pop-up on the above screen shot that not only is the data that is shown in the pop-up configurable but there are a number of functions that enable actionsThese include:- 1. Add the pin to the route you are planning2. Create any standard or custom activities in CRM3. Assign a record to another CRM user In nearly all circumstances we have followed the standard design and reuse of Microsoft CRM components so if you wanted to create an activity from the pop-up then you would see the standard screen in CRM      If you then go onto create an activity as you would expect all the data from the record will come across to the newly created entity.      You can see from the side navigation tool bar that there are a number of MAP functions available for working with the data on the different layers. You can also see that you have the option to select different MAPS as within the eMAP solution there is the ability to create more than one map with one or more layers.  This means you could have a Customer map, or a Sales Opportunity Map by territory or a Service case Map, so the whole business can actively see where current activity is.      Currently in the eMAP solution there are 6 main functions to work with CRM data these are:-1. Map Section:- As stated before you can create more than one MAP and this part of the tool allows you to select which map you want to work with.2. View Type:- The view type allows you to select how you see the map either Aerial, Road or the standard Automatic setting.3. Quick Filter:- As the name suggest this allows you to filter the CRM data on the MAP layers  by typing In a name of a company or a contact or related record that is displayed on the Map4. Entity Distance Filter:- This filter enables an end user to quickly find records that are within a distance of each other and in the above example you can see contacts that are within 5 miles of an account record.5. Route Planner:- The route planner is a great way of creating a drive route  or visit plan for a number of listed customers and there a number of way to do.6. List Creator:- The list creator is a great feature for creating bulk actions and from here a user can create a bulk workflow job, add record to a Marketing list, copy data to the clipboard and bulk assign records from the selected list. One of the great features of eMAP is the ability to create lists containing data so that different actions can be taken, the screen shot below shows a range of data that has been selected.     You can see that the data is then displayed in a table and from here bulk jobs can be performed. These tasks include1. Copy the data from the table to the local clipboard so that it can be used in Microsoft Word or Excel or other applications2. Run a workflow against selected records3. Add selected records to a marketing list4. Add the data selected to use a quick campaign 5. Bulk assigns records to a new user or different team or Queue.So far we have only been looking at the Map capability from the left navigation but MAPs can also be included in individual entities giving additional functions The screen shot below shows a typical account with a map  Note that related sub accounts and contacts can be shown at the individual layer and easy to get navigation and driving instructions to a contact can be obtained by using the router planner and adding the contact to the route. This covers off most of the features available in eMAP with the first release with additional features like location sorting and data filtering coming in future releases. eMAP is a practical and easy way to work with Data in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and provides a great visualisation tool for Sales, Marketing and Service.There are many features and ways to combine MAP and GIS features into your business. For more information please register with the MyCRM Download Centre http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ or email sales@mycrmgroup.com    

Creating Surveys in Microsoft Dynamics CRM with the all New! eSurvey

Creating Surveys in Microsoft Dynamics CRM with the all New! eSurvey Soon to be released is the latest fully integrated solution for Microsoft Dynamics CRM from MyCRM.  eSurvey is a full functional Survey, Poll and Data collection solution that can be used for Customer and Prospect Surveys, Competitions and even has the option to be used for running online Quizzes and Training, resulting in response scores and total scores. Data capture has never been so easy, as all questions can be created in CRM and all responses to the questions asked if stored against the contact.We have taken the opportunity although there are other no so functional options available to extend Microsoft CRM Marketing even further.With a drag and drop flexible user interface creating surveys has never been so easy the screen shot details the main survey screen in CRM.       With the rise in popularity of Social media and platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs, you now have the ability to track in CRM where the responses came from. So if you were running a Poll or a Competition on Facebook and LinkedIn you could record the success and data from the individual responses, and trend the response rates. All the Survey responses are recorded directly in the CRM and this is a great way to also record prospect data that has contributed to an individual survey or entered a competition.     Each of the responses is stored within CRM can be used in workflow, so if certain questions are answered in a certain way then a work flow could trigger a call or an activity in CRM, increasing return on investment and coherence  between Marketing and Sales functions within the organisation. Each Survey, Poll or Competition will create a landing page for recipients outside of the organisation, this page can be branded to you company colours and you can add a default logo directly from CRM    After configuration the page might look like this, although this is just an example of colour change and adding logo’s     eSurvey will be accessible for demo via the MyCRM Download Centre detailing current on-premise price points for 2012.Please email Sales@mycrmgroup.com for further information