March 31, 2012
Due to the new challenging economic realities of the global hyper-competitive environment, many firms are desperately trying to sustain performance levels and keep customers happy. As customer expectations rise and brand loyalty declines faster than ever before, the firms that still insist upon focusing on short-term transactions and quick wins will certainly lose market share over the long haul. On the other hand, the firms that exhibit a renewed commitment to building long term client relationships and offering a consistent, engaging, and highly relevant end-to-end customer experience will stand out from the competition. Leading companies looking to become truly customer-centric and successfully implement a voice-of-the-customer strategy are choosing to invest in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
March 27, 2012
Due to mounting competition and increasing client acquisition costs, extending customer loyalty is extremely important in today’s business environment. Compared to trying to penetrate new markets and find brand new customers, it is much easier to cross-sell, upsell, and retain existing highly satisfied clients. Companies committed to earning and maintaining customer loyalty will definitely experience steady revenue growth, lower cost of sales, and higher profits, no matter what state the economy is in. Implementing a leading-edge CRM system, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, can serve as the foundation of a firm’s transformation to becoming more customer-centric and focusing on customer service quality and loyalty.
March 26, 2012
Sooner or later, you will come across a more complicated report than can be handled in the report wizard or with custom views in CRM 2011. No problem, just write one in reporting services using Business Intelligence Developer Studio, right? But what if you want to use filtering in CRM to allow users the flexibility in selecting records? There are a few simple rules to follow in creating your report that will make publishing the report back to CRM painless, and very functional.
The first key is to make sure your development environment is configured to connect directly to CRM.
March 23, 2012
Customer Effective, a leading Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation partner focused on financial services, is offering another free webinar titled “Using Microsoft CRM to Grow Your Advisory Business”. This webinar will focus on the latest trends in wealth management and will cover how organizations have been leveraging Microsoft CRM and Customer Effective: Wealth Management to deliver exceptional client service and streamline their businesses.
March 22, 2012
How Microsoft Dynamics CRM Played a Key Role in Helping a High School Charitable Fundraising Project
Customer relationship management tools can go beyond business in bringing people together.
My daughter and I recently had a great opportunity to work together on a school project where Microsoft Dynamics CRM played an integral role. My daughter is currently in 10th grade at an Episcopal School in South Carolina. A sophomore project has been part of the school curriculum for many years. As a 9th grader my daughter, and about 40 other students, participated as a model in a fashion show fundraiser project produced by two girls in that year’s 10th grade class. Approximately 200 people attended the show and the project team raised just over $1,100 for their chosen charity.
The 16th version of Microsoft Dynamics Convergence has come and gone and below are some numbers I have collected from various sources and speakers this week. Taken as a whole, these speak to the remarkable momentum Microsoft CRM (as well as Microsoft and Dynamics in general) is experiencing right now.
9,000,000,000: Amount of dollars that Microsoft invests in R&D annually. That is $3 billion more than its closest competitor in technology, and ranks Microsoft as the number 1 or 2 for any company in any industry in the world .
2,250,000: Microsoft CRM users worldwide.
March 19, 2012
In my previous post, I discussed using goals to enable rollup notifications in Microsoft CRM. One piece of feedback that I get when I tell people about the goal functionality in CRM is “that looks really nice, but it would take a lot of work to manually create goals for frequently repeating time periods?” This is true --If you are creating quarterly or annual goals, it is not very difficult to manually create goals; however, if you want to measure something on a daily or weekly basis, having to manually create a goal for each time period would not be practical.
The good news is, that it is not very difficult to have CRM automatically create recurring goal instances. Here is one way to do it:
March 13, 2012
Many people use workflows in Microsoft Dynamics CRM to trigger and send record-based notifications—for example, notifying sale representatives when a new account is assigned to them, or notifying a customer when a case is closed. But sometimes you don’t want a single-record notification—you want a cumulative notification when a certain threshold is reached.
Let’s say an investment manager wants to get alerted if a client calls in more than two times during a month to question portfolio performance so she can call the client and save the relationship before it reaches a critical state, and the firm uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM cases to track client issues.
March 12, 2012
Many organizations are still using Excel to manage their leads and opportunities. Despite being the industry standard for spreadsheets, Excel does have its drawbacks when used to track and report on sales pipelines. First and foremost, the administrative overhead of using Excel for this routine results in top producers wasting valuable time. Since sales reps have to constantly input, revise, and exchange spreadsheets with their sales administrators and sales managers, they spend less time prospecting and meeting with clients to win new business.
March 09, 2012
This is a great video overview by Microsoft product manager Reuben Krippner covering what is coming in the CRM 2011 R8 update, including cross-browser support, mobile client, and other enhancements coming in Q2 2012. The video includes demonstrations of the mobile client and some of the new business intelligence functionality.
Private Equity Shops Rely on CRM 2011 to Improve Operational Efficiencies and Overcome Rising Scrutiny
The private equity industry now has over $1 trillion in total assets under management according to the New York Times. Despite its vast size and influence, the industry is being forced to adjust to an extremely challenging environment, even excluding any mention of it in the context of a presidential election.
Unlike prior years, today’s private equity firms can no longer count on favorable credit-market conditions. Since acquisitions are now less leveraged with bank debt, deal sizes and expected rate of returns are also generally lower.
March 08, 2012
If you don’t read the Microsoft CRM team blog, you may have missed a recent post regarding changes in UR6 to improve upgrade performance. This post detailed some new Windows registry setting that you can set that will significantly increase the speed of upgrading a large 4.0 database to 2011.
This is the quote that really caught my eye: “Index upgrade can take several hours for a large CRM database, and we've seen reductions of over 75% through the combined application of these options.”
If you have gone through the upgrade process, you know that it can be a long process—these changes are very welcome news.
As we’ve recommended in previous posts, always read the small print in the KB articles for upgrades—if you don’t, you’ll miss something.
March 06, 2012
One reason many CRM projects fail is because they adhere to a big-bang approach. By trying to cram in everything imaginable right from the beginning, these deployments struggle to get off the ground. On the other hand, successful CRM implementations generally utilize a phased approach. Opting for well-defined initial and subsequent phases makes it much easier to execute properly, consistently meet deadlines, demonstrate value early on, generate interest in CRM, and increase user adoption right off the bat.
March 01, 2012
Keeping Up with Personal Relationships to Win Deals with Customer Effective: Private Equity for Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Sourcing deals is the key to success in Private Equity. And apparently, personal relationships are the key to sourcing deals. A recent LexisNexis survey reveled that 78% of PE professionals surveyed said they used personal relationships to source deals ‘a number of times’, ‘frequently’, or ‘very often’. The report goes on to say:
With competition rising, the influence that networking and personal relationships can have on the ability to effectively source deals is changing. Although there is a realization that these factors alone are unlikely to win a deal, there is a widespread acceptance and belief that they are valuable in a number of different ways – especially in enabling a firm to be the first to get a foot in the door and therefore have more scope to consider and drive the direction of any future bidding process.
SQL Server sizing is critical for good CRM Performance. Maybe you are standing up a new environment and wanting to ensure that your SQL environment will handle your estimated load of data and users, or maybe you have an existing CRM deployment and you want to enhance it to improve performance.
The following are rules of thumb to follow when sizing your CRM database server. These are general recommendations—you will want to take into account your expected user count and transaction levels, but the following principles should be helpful guidelines to follow when estimating your sizing requirements.