Marketing is an increasingly complex affair for any type of business. The days of taking out an advert in the local paper or splashing out some eye-catching posters are long gone if you’re expecting to bring in a lot of customers. After all, your customers are no longer a passive audience. They are online, increasingly sophisticated, internet-savvy and always seeking better and cheaper services.
What’s more, they are watching YouTube unboxings, reading online evaluations, and even on occasion, writing their own reviews. Social media platforms mean that everyone is talking to each other about goods and services and if people have complaints, it’s going to affect your business and reputation.
This can be a nightmare for a small business owner trying to stay ahead of the competition while at the same time trying to keep current customers happy. Luckily, there is software out there to help; Customer Relationship Management or CRM in short.
A CRM software helps increase your marketing efficiency with powerful tools and platforms that combine business intelligence, social insights and campaign management ensuring you get a better overview of your whole marketing and customer-relations strategy. CRM lets you better understand your current customers, anticipate the needs of future prospects/customers and modify your product and service offerings accordingly.
How does it work?
Basically CRM tracks, gathers and analyses all of your company’s interaction with current clients and helps you reach out to potential ones via a range of channels. Most often, the primary source of this vital client information will be your company’s website – the analytics, surveys and data entered by visitors.
CRM also takes into account email marketing, live chat and social media activity. By gathering and analysing data from these sources, you learn about what your customers really want and expect from your company and products, as well as how they plan to use your services. You can also find out things they might not like about your organisation in general. Although these sort of information is not really fun to read, it is the most useful feedback. Once this data is collected and collated it can then be displayed on one dashboard for an easy overview and analysis.
A good CRM system provides the ability to share this information across your organisation instead of just with sales teams; so everyone is on the same page with respect to your clients’ expectations and needs. As a business owner this data helps you improve customer relations, target your marketing activities and focus on ways to retain current customers while driving future growth.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM
As we have seen above, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is aimed at helping small businesses with their sales, marketing and service. It is perhaps one of the biggest CRM solutions in the market and can integrate with other well-known Microsoft products such as Office, SharePoint Server, Power Point and Outlook.
It also ensures teams get all the information they need without having to check multiple systems with multiple and endless logins. Microsoft Dynamics CRM can also be scaled across multiple branches and offices, on premise, or in the cloud with no need to purchase extra software.
Whether you are a small organisation or a large one, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is definitely worth exploring. Let’s take a look at some of its benefits.
- Enjoy a better picture of your customers
With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, whether you’re on the sales team or a business owner, you will enjoy greater real-time visibility into what’s going on between your company and you customers such as orders, requests, conversations between customers/prospects and sales team and associated notes. Access to external data including social feeds and industry-related news helps you manage higher order volumes and efficiently deal with complaints. This boosts sales and ensure previous contacts/customers feel well looked after as the system provides instant notifications of customer issues and complaints.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM also helps you to find new customers by building marketing lists. Leads and prospects can be sent targeted emails with dynamic content that appeals to them. With the data obtained through customer feedback, product/service offerings can be contextually modified.
- Help your sales team
For many companies, how the sales team operates and gets results marks the difference between success and bankruptcy. Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers sales-automation that helps manage the sales process and turn leads into paying customers.
Sales teams have information and insights that enable them to focus on leads/contacts by prioritising them in advance. Personalised and relevant information allows build trust and forge long term relationships. With all the information shared with colleagues, these strong customer relations roll out to the whole sales team, giving your customers several contact people who know their history and needs.
- Social Networks and social selling
Your customers are socialising online as well as seeking out products and services. Microsoft Dynamics CRM can help you spot trends and act on buying signals. You can also take into account social feeds to better understand your clients and their partners and spot any new opportunities.
One of the most useful features of Dynamics CRM is “Insider View” which helps you find customers similar to the ones you already have discovered that’s trending in your industry area; enabling you to reach out to prospective clients based on their roles and job titles and make a dedicated pitch directed to their needs. Insider View even helps find friends, acquaintances and employers you might have in common with a potential lead to be able to add a personal touch to your conversation.
- Enjoy better team management
Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps you plan for the future by setting goals for your teams, recording the results and getting real time feedback. You can also use the software to give training and offer motivation. And you can set standards and best practices regarding customer engagement for your sales reps.
- Enjoy enhanced flexibility and customisation
No two companies operate in the same way, have exactly the same staff or the customer base. Microsoft CRM recognises this and allows business owners to customise the software according to their unique needs and work processes. Dynamics CRM integrates with other Microsoft products your business probably already operates, as well as third party software such as Sage Accounting and many others. As Dynamics CRM is based on the .NET framework, it is can be easily extended, adapted and/or customised to cater to individual customer requirements.
Salim Sukari, Director of Empower IT Solutions says “CRM software is vital if businesses need to maintain and create relationships with customers and build bonds for mutual success. Here at Empower, we are a Microsoft Gold Partner and can give you the best advice about how to get started with Dynamics CRM and optimise it to help drive your business to new levels of success.”
Want to know more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM and other Microsoft offerings? Come and talk to our certified consultants today!