Wednesdays With Will: Empowering Your Sales Team With Microsoft Dynamics CRM
By William Marchesano, Technology Advisor & Evangelist
As a Business Owner, VP of Sales, or Sales Manager you are heavily invested in the level of success your sales team can reach and rightfully so. If they are unable to close enough business in a set period of time it may lead to the downsizing of your overall staff. If they are greatly exceeding company goals, this can lead to challenges for your operations teams to meet the expectations of your clients. It may also lead to a secondary adverse effect on your customer service team in keeping current customers happy. It seems to be a delicate balancing act in this ecosystem you call your business.
Last time we discussed a smarter way to market, “smarketing’, by using Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The methods highlighted in last week’s post were suggestions for improving lead generation. Leads generated by your marketing team will become new opportunities for your sales team. Once you have entered these opportunities into Dynamics CRM, you can now properly usher them through your company’s defined sales process, increasing your probability for a win. If the opportunity is lost, you now have the ability to analyze why it was lost as to make corrections for other future opportunities. If you are looking for a way to increase the value of an opportunity, Dynamics CRM makes it simple to set up upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Possibly the most important aspect of opportunity tracking is forecasting. Proper forecasting plays a huge role in scheduling and allocating the proper resources on the operations side of the house. From a management prospective, it may be used to dictate whether to hire more people and if so for which role or roles.
Something that may seem so basic but is often overlooked is the handoff from marketing to sales. The reason the lead, from marketing, became an opportunity, for sales, is because they followed a certain path or journey that qualified them. Understanding how and why they arrived is imperative to understanding how your business can solve their challenge and gauging the timing for a decision to be made. When you leverage a tool such as Dynamics CRM, you are able to align your sales and marketing departments, in turn making each much more effective.
From a sales aspect, contact management has been the most fundamental use of a CRM system over the past 20-30 years. It gives you a searchable, centralized location to keep information about an organization, contact information for its people, as well as a place to log notes from phone calls, emails, appointments, and other interactions. Most systems will also provide you a follow-up component that alerts you of when to reach out to a particular contact. These functions are highly valuable when prospecting and/or managing multiple accounts. With Dynamics CRM you can add more meaning to the way you follow up with prospects and clients through social selling. The Microsoft Insights and Social Engagements components of Dynamics CRM gives sellers this ability in two different ways. Microsoft Insights pulls information about an organization (size, annual revenue, industry, etc.), its people (phone number, email address, role, etc.), and recent news (mergers, acquisitions, expansions, etc.) from multiple social media platforms. By leveraging Social Engagements, you can captures information about what is trending on social media. This is helpful for learning about a change occurring in your prospect or client’s business without them having to tell you.
Most sales professionals are always on the go so most of what we have discussed would not be as useful unless it was easily accessible “out in the wild”. Dynamics CRM can be used on a variety of mobile devices such as tablets and cell phones. This allows you to access information already entered into the system as well as the ability to input additional information. I’m really excited about the next iteration, Microsoft Dynamics 2016, which will take advantage of Cortana’s search by voice capabilities.
We covered quite a bit today regarding the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM sales automation and there is still so much more such as the ability to instantly generate proposals through the system and save documents pertaining to accounts. I can go on forever about how you can empower your sales team with this platform but I digress. As always, I encourage you to reach out to me to discuss these topics in deeper detail. I hope you enjoyed and found this week’s article informative. If you’re interested in some how-to related CRM material, check out blogs by my colleague Ben Ward here. Till next time…