Microsoft Dynamics Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a fantastic tool for managing customers, accounts, cases, opportunity, sales people, etc. The possibilities with CRM are endless, which is why we often refer to it as xRM (the x can be anything you want it to be). As a CRM implementation, support, and development partner we often get questions from customer starting out with, “Can CRM do (insert request here)?” And the answer is usually, “Sure it can, but the question really is ‘Do you have the data to support a function like that’?”
Let’s say you are a sales person and you are going to be visiting a client in NW DC, and you want to stop in to other prospects in the area. Can you run a report to see all the accounts in the area? Absolutely, but let’s take a step back. If you have 8,000 accounts in the system and 700 of them are in that area and addresses and contacts have not been updated in five years, how useful is that report going to be? Probably not very helpful. Furthermore, is your CRM really working for you at that point? What value are you getting out of it?
We always tell our CRM clients, “Your system is only as good as the data you put in to it.” However, we know firsthand just how difficult it is to keep your data up to date. There are several things you can do to keep your CRM data “clean.”
1. Make It A Habit – Instill in your CRM users the importance of keeping data up to date and encourage them to update accounts, activities, contacts, etc. daily. A few minutes a day will make all the difference.
2. Change Contact Addresses – One thing about Dynamics CRM that people either do not know or often forget (Guilty!) is that when you change the address of an account/company it does not roll down to all of the contacts. Contacts need to be individually changed. If you are not doing this, it will be a nightmare when you go to mail something based on a contacts list. Everything gets returned to you.
3. Invest In A Data Appending Solution – There are several data appending solutions that are also add-ins to CRM. At KTL, we use InsideView. This is a great tool that allows us to see new contacts, company changes, news articles, and contact connections all on the account screen of a company. You can also sync the InsideView information to your CRM, so it will make the necessary changes without the user having to hand key information in. Of course, these solutions cannot be 100% accurate, but they will greatly help in the fight to keep your data clean.
CRM has infinite possibilities and can be an immense asset to any organization, as long as the data is there to support it. As long as you make this a top priority in your organization, CRM will increase your efficiency and take your business further!
MARY CHARUHAS | Business Development/ Internal Sales
Mary Charuhas has been with KTL since 2013, starting as a sales intern in the summer of 2013 and moving to Business Development and Internal Sales in the spring of 2014. She is currently pursuing her Associates Degree in Business Management from Frederick Community College and hopes to continue her education at the University of Maryland next spring. Mary also possesses several Microsoft Dynamics and Acumatica Cloud ERP Sales certifications. Mary assists the sales team in finding new and exciting opportunities. She also manages KTL’s existing customers through providing them with ongoing knowledge of the products, assisting them with upgrades and continuing projects, keeping them informed about updates/new releases, events, and training opportunities. Her charisma and passion for providing excellent customer service make her a valuable asset to KTL’s sales department.