Today’s guest blogger is Gregory Gant, Lead CRM Architect at SADA Systems
“We are OK with working out of an Excel sheet stored on a USB drive that we pass around the office,” we recently heard a client say.
Of course, there is good reason why the Excel sheet works so well for many organizations. It is simple to edit and set up, everyone knows how to use Excel already, and all your information is right there on a single page.
Although the Excel sheet has many advantages, it also doesn’t take long to reach its limits. According to a study by Forrester Research, “Competitive Strategy In The Age Of The Customer,” we are now entrenched in what it refers to as the “age of the customer.” This means that all of our business strategies and operations efforts must be carefully connected and designed to contribute to the satisfaction and positive experience of our customers. As your business grows and customer relationships deepen, this is where the Excel sheet falls short – it has a still format, and cannot be connected to other tools your team might use to engage with and delight your customers. It doesn’t let your customer service representative leave a date-stamped note about a previous discussion, or your associate create a follow-up reminder that synchronizes with your calendar, or your salesperson see the evolution of a prospect in order to turn them into a customer.
In today’s business environment, you are missing out by not having a dedicated CRM system sophisticated enough to handle any customer interaction. Every day there is an opportunity cost when using a platform that does not maximize efficiency and empower your employees to provide the best possible customer experience.
Everything you do as a company should be for your customers. Without a CRM system that unifies and aligns all of your customer-facing efforts, that is virtually impossible.
In light of this challenge, Microsoft has developed additional opportunities and techniques for ensuring the best possible customer experience. At the end of the day, it is how happy your customers are that will define your business’ growth, success, or downfall.
Microsoft’s latest software, designed to support the latest trends and proven customer priorities, is Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. CRM Online is powered by the cloud to make sure information is always up-to-date and stored in a centralized location that can be accessed from any device, so that excellent service can be delivered anytime and anywhere.
Why Do I Need CRM Online?
How much is your company intending to grow? How will your current CRM solution – which may be a Excel sheet – scale? At how many users will the results take a downturn? When considering a CRM system, it is critical to look beyond short term costs to long term benefits aligned with your company goals. Wouldn’t it make more sense now to implement a platform like Dynamics CRM Online that can facilitate and record all your customer interactions from 10 to 10,000 users? Getting a project going for a few reps and then building on those insights to grow it in the future will be easier than derailing a large sales team by retraining them on an entirely new system after they are already accustomed to a homegrown one.
One last note, and I can’t clarify this enough – CRM is not just for sales. Dynamics CRM Online is for anyone who is doing anything for a customer, and everything you do as a business should be for your customers. Dynamics CRM Online is built for a purpose far beyond just managing conflicts or making sales, it handles virtually all client-facing activities to unify your sales, marketing, and operations systems, essentially realigning every task and opportunity into a customer-focused activity. This razor focus will clarify your vision and drive every department, goal, and activity to the end goal of creating a unified and delightful customer experience. It’s about the ability to deliver the value your customers want.
With a 360-degree picture of the customer, businesses can proactively give customers what they want – even before they realize they want it. That’s the beautiful thing about the 360-degree view: When I go into my customer’s lobby for an upsell, I can check the status of their post-sell trouble tickets from last month. Proactive, proactive, proactive.
And better yet, the foundation of those insights falls back on the power and simplicity of Excel. With the new Carina release for 2015, CRM and Excel play so well together in the cloud. The new Immersive Excel functionality is unparalleled; ad-hoc BI and bulk editing become embedded experiences in CRM that have never been easier or more powerful. There are so many exciting new opportunities for Excel-based organizations. Just get it off the USB drive.
We would love the opportunity to discuss the possibilities with you. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website to learn more.