Managing customer relationships is a vital part of a successful business, making a well-defined CRM system one of the most important tools you will have within your organization.
A CRM system helps front line workers by having a central resource of information and makes managers’ jobs easier by giving them a way to view current performance and respond proactively.
While CRM systems used to be primarily a sales tool Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be used for so much more, along with marketing, sales and customer service there also is project management, field service and the ability to create custom record types if more are needed.
Microsoft provides a well-rounded out of box solution that can be utilized right away; however, there are a few areas where I would recommend some basic customization to make the CRM specific to your organization.
Customized Forms – Keep what you need, remove what you don’t and add in more if needed.
Creating a custom form allows you to select what data fields are on the form and where they are placed. This makes it easier for users to know what they need to enter and eliminates searching around trying to figure out where data needs to go. Fields can be added and defined as required to ensure no pertinent data is missing.
Business Process Flows – It all runs easier when you go with the flow.
Use business process flows to guide your users through required steps on records. A well-defined business process not only helps end users know what to do next, but also helps to manage the team. Different stages help to create a more accurate pipeline and allows you to identify areas that may be falling behind by tracking time in each stage.
Workflows – Pull the trigger and make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
Workflows can be set up based on different triggers, such as record creation, changes to certain fields or stage/status changes. These trigger an action to be taken with the record, including updating fields on a record, creating a new record or sending an email to selected users. Email notifications and automatic record creation have proven very beneficial in helping records move along within business processes and avoiding duplicate data entry.
Dashboards – Always important to know how fast you are going and if you are running out of fuel.
CRM dashboards allow you to choose charts and lists of records to display. Once created the dashboard can be selected to be the home screen on the CRM. For end users it is helpful to have a dashboard set up that allows them to access all daily tasks from the dashboard versus having to navigate through the system. For managers it is helpful to have charts showing current progress which allows them to identify areas or people that may be struggling.
In upcoming blog posts we will cover these different aspects in more detail on how they are used and ways they can benefit an organization.
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-Jerica Coleman, CRM and Power BI Consultant