This year, we expanded our offerings at Silverware to include a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) practice. We’ve grown from both our home products, Microsoft Dynamics Business Central (formerly NAV) and Sage Intacct, to include the Microsoft CRM offering, Microsoft Customer Engagement.
When most people hear CRM they think first of the Sales Cycle; they assume, Lead to Opportunity to Quote and finally ending with the Sale. Although the actual sales cycle is obviously important, it is only one stage of true relationship management. There is no real “Ending” to the process. CRM enables users to manage the entire lifecycle of the customer relationship, all the way from Lead to Sale, then back again to Lead, for recurring and/or new business.
By leveraging the entire Microsoft Dynamics 365 stack, including Dynamics 365 Business Central (ERP), Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CRM), as well as Office 365 (Microsoft Office Suite, SharePoint, Skype, Teams, OneDrive), there are more ways to optimally manage your business.
We recently spoke with Silverware’s CRM Practice Manager, Dan and our Lead Consultant, Meredith to learn more.
What are the most impactful benefits of adding Microsoft CRM to a business?
Meredith: The central benefit of CRM is consistent, accurate, and actionable information. By identifying key business processes and required information for those processes, CRM provides a consistent methodology for information to flow between your departments in a way that is unobtrusive to your customers. Having this information readily available allows you to give your customers a truly positive experience. Key areas include:
- The Sales Process – Throughout this process, you nurture leads and prospects and shepherd them through your sales process through to customer attainment. CRM tracks individual interactions, provides visibility of those interactions to others, offers reminders for future tasks, evaluates value and likelihood of potential sales, and much more.
- Customer Management – Once you have won the sale, you manage key information and interactions with that customer. CRM enables all team members to service customers efficiently and promote new opportunities and continued contract management.
- Process Management – Internal processes may not necessarily be customer facing, but they can have a great impact on your customers. CRM helps tame processes and guide staff through a defined process that promotes data integrity and consistency while at the same time easing their workload.
How do I know when my company needs a CRM application?
Dan: That’s a great question! In all honesty, that’s code for “Well … there’s really not a firm, tried and true set of rules or a specific scenario where we can tell you that you need CRM! So, we’ll just come clean and answer this one as best we can!”
The truth is, if you’re asking that question, you probably already know that the need is at least emerging in your organization. Needing CRM isn’t about company size, number of customers, or revenue. It’s all about your processes. More importantly, it’s about your desire for continuous improvement of those processes and their resulting data and actions. You’re already doing some form of CRM today either in spreadsheets, your email client, or even just in your head. What a Microsoft CRM application like Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement does is to ease the burden and help provide a consistent experience to your customers.
How do I determine if the time is right to implement CRM?
Meredith: As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to look at key processes where multiple people touch or react to the same information. Another strong indicator is a desire to automate key, people-driven processes. A few examples of questions to ask would be:
- Do I have multiple people modifying information about a customer? For example, are two salespeople, or a salesperson and customer service agents, all interacting with the same customer? CRM provides visibility into these contacts, limits duplication of efforts, and allows all involved to see important communications and modifications.
- Do we find it difficult to identify and resolve customer issues?
- Could we benefit from a more consistent process for customer interactions?
Why did Silverware choose Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement as the flagship product for the CRM Practice?
Dan: We looked at multiple potential products for the practice. As part of our Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP offering, we already had a lite version of CRM that is fairly robust and met the needs of some customers, but it was limited in functionality and really geared just toward the sales process. We knew we had a gap and wanted to ensure we could offer our customers “The Complete Package.” As we compared the differences in functionality and fit, the decision became clear very quickly. Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement had all the functionality of competing packages, but it also added one key benefit that made our decision easy. By being part of the Microsoft stack, the inclusion of Customer Engagement gives Silverware the opportunity to really look at our customer’s businesses and holistically design a complete solution tailored for their exact needs. This close-knit and integrated suite of applications provides not only a cross-platform, unified experience for business users, but also a seamless and positive experience for their customer’s interactions with them.
Why should customers choose Silverware for their CRM needs?
Meredith: At Silverware, we focus on outcomes and creating a system and processes that promote interdepartmental harmony. We work empathetically with users to not only create processes that meet the goals of the business, but do so in a way that increases user efficiency and job satisfaction.
Dan: By bringing over 30 years of business systems experience in myriad industries and platforms, Silverware provides a uniquely skilled team and perspective in this field. In addition, we focus on never treating projects as simple check lists of requirements and delivered functionality. We foster an environment of true partnership with our customers and fully invest ourselves by providing systems that promote success and strive to ensure that all our customers are “Customers for Life.”