Microsoft review usability with CRM 2013 release

From as early as RU 12 on CRM 2011 a version of the new activity feeds were available, but in CRM 2013 this unique way of looking at customer interaction is embedded into the core customer screen for accounts contact and Leads, along with being available from the main Sales dashboard.   This makes working with the current release of Microsoft CRM easier and stream lines some of the activity tracking and is definitely a step in the right direction in helping end users get to the right information quickly. The CRM 2013 release has taken on a new bold design which give the application a brand new look and feel and the Microsoft design team have obviously given a lot of thought about end... [More]

Unique ways that CRM can aid a company

A new piece in the Box Free IT website has taken an in-depth look at the CRM industry. It has highlighted some of the key benefits that CRM can have with the emphasis firmly on providing genuine results. The first point that is highlighted in the piece is that CRM data and software can help to introduce a genuine system to smaller businesses.  SMEs often lack an in-place system designed to help record and follow up on potential prospects, which means that some genuine leads often fall through the cracks, leading to a revenue loss. Secondly, it highlights the value of putting into writing all of the steps of its sales process.  CRM software can enable a company to both initially d... [More]

What is CRM and how can I use my CRM data?

If you have ever asked yourself “what is CRM all about, and why does my business even need one?” then take a read though and I’ll try to explain how you can use the data you accumulate in your CRM system. But firstly - and lots have people have asked me this one - “What is CRM?” In short it is a database you collect information about your customers in.  I’d be surprised if you don’t already have one, although it might not be super effective and it might not be Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You might even have several with different information - some on spreadsheets like Microsoft excel. In this latest article, I try to discuss how CRM data can be us... [More]

Microsoft releases industry templates for CRM 2013

Microsoft is making an attempt to differentiate its Dynamics CRM software from other competitors in the sector by including a new set of 18 specific industry templates as part of the software.  These templates are designed to be used by companies in those industries, and include sports management, healthcare and even more specialist areas such as prison inmate data. The customised templates were announced during Microsoft's Convergence 2013 EMEA event, held in Barcelona. As well as the templates, Microsoft also publicised a new pricing offer which will bundle the Dynamics software with Office 365.  The offer will be available up until March 2014 according to the company’s... [More]

Questions to ask before investing in your next CRM system

A CRM system can have a number of positive impacts on almost any company.  However, it is important that before a system is invested in, certain key questions are asked of it: Is it easy to use onboard? It is important to make sure that one, intuitive cross-referencing tool is used in order to allow that offline customer data is used in order to increase the online audience.  This should be do-able in an immediate, genuinely actionable way. How compatible is the system? It is important for a CRM system to be able to link up effectively with other data and tools.  Therefore, whatever particular apps a company considers essential, whether it is advertising click data or shop... [More]

How can CRM software aid different business processes?

After doing some research and reviewing a number of articles including this new piece on CIO.com, I just thought I‘d take the opportunity to cover off some of the key processes and areas that a good implementation of CRM can be used for. The article on CIO talks about 3 key areas and explores the CRM sector in a different way.  Essentially, it looks at three ways in which an effective CRM system can help to improve a company's business processes.  But from experience and understanding what CRM systems can be used for I’ve taken the opportunity to add what is missing. A CRM system implemented correctly is and can be so much more. The first three points below are correc... [More]

More to good CRM than just software!

CRM software has been developed to a high standard over the years and it is mostly considered to be very efficient. However, according to enterpriseAPPStoday, this might not be enough to make sure that there is a good customer experience.   The article highlights that only 65 of the Fortune 500 companies in the US in 1955 have survived to the present day, demonstrating the importance of being able to adapt quickly to changes in the market and ensuring that their service is still relevant to their customers.   The use of Customer Relationship Management software has helped companies of all shapes and sizes to adapt to the needs of their customers, but CRM also needs to take into... [More]

Mobiles: a perfect addition to a Microsoft CRM strategy

A new piece in Business 2 Community has highlighted the importance of mobile devices in implementing an effective CRM strategy.  What details, though, should you include as part of the mobile application?  What makes an app valuable and useful? Complete insight into planning Whenever you're carrying out the work of actually implementing your customer relationship management strategy, one of the most important things to be able to access is the original planning documentation.  How many customers or leads are you planning to communicate with?  How are we going to engage with them?  What topics do we think should be discussed?  Having access to the original plan... [More]

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 ... [More]

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 as... [More]