10 Ways Microsoft Dynamics CRM can help Manufacturing Firms through Brexit

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Since the UK voted to leave the EU back in June, manufacturing has already slumped and, thanks to the weaker pound, risen again. The UK manufacturing industry needs European customers to stay customers, for global trade to take a second look, and for Foreign Direct Investment to continue to use the UK as a base.

Perhaps the UK construction and manufacturing industries will look within the UK more and more for suppliers but what happens next will be dictated by the negotiated terms of the exit with the manufacturing battlegrounds of red tape, tariffs, currency values, immigration and legal frameworks all crucial to creating a favourable landscape to do business in.

For an industry that is already facing the investment challenges brought about by the pace of technology and skills shortages, long term thinking needs to be done now.

There’s a temptation not to spend on IT, to simply batten down the hatches and go about business quietly as you are. Or, perhaps to only invest in technology that improves the products being manufactured.

Yet customer service is one of the most crucial success factors in profitable, growing companies. And excellent customer service can only be delivered where efficient communication channels exist within an organisation, and between that organisation and its customers.

And here’s where CRM comes in.

• Customer Service Is A Method Of Differentiation

With the possibility of fewer contracts, prices are often the biggest factor in decision-making. But within an industry where people value ‘you get what you pay for’, customer service is hugely important. The best customer service can only be delivered with insight on each and every customer, their interactions with you, and knowledge of their expectations across the business and then meeting those expectations. Forget the dropped batons, happy customers = follow on sales.

• Business Focus

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘busy fool’. CRM provides the insight needed to identify the priorities and to focus efforts in the right directions, with the right information.

• Transparent Business Development

Using CRM not only helps you look after live business better, it helps you win new business. In a more competitive market, sales efforts have to be highly managed and effective. Knowledge of a potential customer’s every interaction with you and specific areas of concern makes for more meaningful and successful conversations.

• Make Marketing More Meaningful

In the current digital environment, there’s no excuse for generic emails or mailshots. If your marketing efforts are suffering low response rates, you need to look at the relevance of the content, the method of delivery and the handling of any resulting responses. CRM lets you segment your database, create targeted messages based on previous sales knowledge and manage the campaign from start to finish with every interaction recorded and traceable.

• Departmental harmony

A 360-degree view of a customer’s project or relationship with the business improves communication. Those times when the sales team could have done with knowing that a customer had already received a brochure. Or, when a project manager could really have benefited from knowing that there was a query with an invoice affecting a project. Removing the silos can only ever be a good thing.

• Make geography irrelevant

With MS Dynamics CRM, your workforce can communicate and make things happen quickly, easily and effectively from wherever they are.

• User Adoption

The MS Dynamics’ intuitive and familiar user interface and integration with other Microsoft products mean that everyone in the business can get to grips with it. MS Dynamics has one of the highest adoptions rates in the category.

• Hosting

Regardless of whether you want to keep systems on site or use Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, your CRM will always be running and secure so that you don’t lose everything at the touch of a button. Microsoft Cloud’s recent UK Data Centres creation offers a security for UK customers that are perhaps unsure what Brexit will do to their data protection laws and prices.

• Customisable

Every business is different. Every MS Dynamics implementation is different. Your solution will closely meet the communication, marketing, sales and project management needs of your business.

• Globality

Microsoft is spending more money than you can imagine continually evolving Microsoft Dynamics to meet the needs of businesses of all shapes and sizes across the world. It recently understood the need for UK data-centres and was one of the first Cloud providers to do just that. It’s in a great position to understand the needs of businesses both pre and post Brexit.

CRM is about engagement. The EU is the perfect example of what happens when that breaks down. If the UK is to face a decline in manufacturing, or in construction output, a drive to just be the cheapest may just put you in the running of the race to the bottom. The companies that survive are the ones that will deliver value beyond the invoice.

We’ll be hosting a free webinar about CRM in the manufacturing industry on the 20th October at 11:00am. Join us and discover our view of how CRM and other Cloud technologies are going to change the way manufacturing does business.

To signup for our October webinar where our MD, Billy Lyle, will discuss this topic in more detail please click HERE to register.

Why Choose Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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If you’re reading this, then chances are you already know what CRM as a category sets out to do.

Comparing all of the features of different platforms is time consuming and wieldy. As we work with it every minute of every day, here are just ten of the reasons we have found to be the decision making factor for our customers.

1. Deployment Options

Most CRM platforms only have one deployment option but MS Dynamics CRM has three – On-Premise, Cloud, Private Cloud and Hybrid Cloud. There is even the flexibility to change your deployment approach as often as you need to without losing your customisations as the infrastructure is the same.

2. Integration
With a 360-degree view of every customer, interactions across all channels couldn’t be simpler, more comprehensive or more effective. As you’d expect being part of the Microsoft family, Dynamics CRM integrates seamlessly with Outlook, Office 365 and Skype among others. The launch of Dynamics 365 and the acquisition of LinkedIn will take that capability to a new level of business productivity that will be very difficult to beat. It’s a connectivity that other providers simply don’t have and that makes collaboration and productivity so much better.

3. Familiar User Interface
The MS Dynamics’ intuitive and familiar user interface and integration with other MS products mean that everyone in the business can get to grips with it. MS Dynamics has one of the highest adoptions rates in the category with clients reporting swift uptake following implementation and training. It’s hardly surprising that the user adoptions rate of Dynamics CRM is one of the highest in the sector.

4. Customisation
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a fully customisable platform with a configuration approach allowing businesses to build a solution that can meet the needs of multiple departments and roles with a simple drag and drop. With the right partner guiding you through essential and non essential tools, your business’ CRM system will fit your objectives with no unnecessary complication and its scalability means it will always fit the business, and even more importantly, each individual user so that they can get to the information they need more quickly. With Dynamics 365, the customization is going to get even more granular and make the system relevant at role and task level.

5. Easier Administration
With many CRM platforms, you need JavaScript and Real Time Workflow understanding to set up bespoke requirements in CRM. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the administrative function is extensive, allowing you to alter fields, entities and processes without code, third party tools and other solutions.

6. Scalable and Innovative
With Brexit on the horizon and an ever more digital business environment, Microsoft continually invest into Dynamics, ensuring it meets the demands of businesses of all shapes and sizes. Understanding that customer relationships are about interaction across a whole company and all channels, Dynamics has been at the forefront of the role of CRM across the world, evolving its reputation from database to a fully integrated collaboration, communication and business development tool.

7. Data Security
The benefits of Cloud-Hosted CRM are increasingly available to businesses that once needed to bear the cost of On-Premise because of concerns over security. MS Dynamics CRM Online is hosted in data centres across the UK, US and Europe. Microsoft has physical and environmental security within these data centres including Perimeter security, multi-factor authentication, locked racks and extensive video monitoring.

8. Microsoft Partner Network
Microsoft has one of the world’s largest partner networks of professional services and third-party applications to complement Microsoft Dynamics CRM, making it easy to absolutely fine-tune it to your product, people and processes.

9. Extended CRM
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is not just about sales and marketing. The Dynamics platform is designed to be built-on where required to manage other important relationships with suppliers, contractors, partners etc.

10. Pricing

There are seven main cost factors to consider: licensing, services, training, customisation, implementation, administration and maintenance. Users, press, industry analysts and partners alike, all rate MS Dynamics as one of the best value across all factors.

Microsoft Dynamics is one of the most respected CRM systems in the world but choosing the right CRM system for your business is a process that we would urge all businesses to go through. You can read more about that process in our Step-by-Step Guide to Getting CRM Right.

To get a closer look at Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, contact us today and our CRM experts will guide you through what Microsoft Dynamics can do for your business.

In the mean time please feel free to check out our Ultimate Guide to Getting CRM Right. 

Redspire Limited Selected as Official Supplier for the Government’s Crown Commercial Service G-Cloud 8 Framework

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Redspire Limited is pleased to announce it has been confirmed as an approved supplier for the Government’s G-Cloud 8 Digital Marketplace.

Public sector organisations will now have unlimited access to Redspire’s delivery of digital transformation solutions, customer relationship management (CRM) software, consulting services and expertise as a leading Microsoft Gold Competency Partner for Cloud CRM.

G-Cloud 8 is the latest iteration of the Crown Commercial Service’s purchasing framework that enables UK Public Sector organisations to select, and purchase, Software as a Service (SaaS) and Specialist Cloud services, from approved supplier, Redspire Limited.

The G-Cloud framework, is a pre-approved list of suppliers that offer cloud services via an online Digital Marketplace portal reinforcing the government’s commitment to making it easier for suppliers to sell their services whilst enabling a faster and simpler process of cloud based IT procurement. Central government, local government, health and education administration, defence services, housing associations and emergency services can take advantage of faster, easier access to innovative IT solutions and products straight from their suppliers.

“We are delighted to become a G Cloud supplier for the UK Government’s Digital Marketplace. It offers Redspire an excellent opportunity to offer extensive citizen service delivery, digital transformation services, dedicated SaaS services and specialist cloud services. Redspire can also offer full-lifecycle application support and maintenance services.” says Billy Lyle, Managing Director, Redspire Limited.

For more information about Redspire, its services and its presence on G-Cloud 8, Click Here to get in touch with us, or visit the Digital Marketplace service listings:

Software as a Service:
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Education Licenses

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Government Licenses

Redspire CRM Support Pack – Microsoft Dynamics CRM Support Service

Redspire Digital Transformation – Channel Shift Delivery and Citizen Service Management

Redspire Digital Transformation – Citizen Service Management through self-service Portals

Redspire Education – Student, Staff, Faculty and Stakeholder Management through self-service Portals

Redspire Limited: CRM for Education – Academia

Redspire Limited: Upgrade and Cloud Migration for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Redspire’s CRM Plus service, agile CRM implementation at a fixed monthly cost.

Specialist Cloud Services:
Redspire CRM Service Pack – Microsoft Dynamics CRM Services

CRM for Sales: 5 things yours should be doing

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Sales run the risk of reduced productivity and efficiency if they don’t embrace the far-reaching potential of CRM.

On paper, the adoption of CRM by Sales should be a ‘no-brainer’. Its toolset is designed to aid sales efficiency, enabling teams to close more deals, increase sales and improve forecast accuracy.

But there is a very real problem.

Takeaways:

  • Embrace CRM automation to boost sales efficiency and productivity.
  • Boost forecasting and reporting effectiveness.
  • Bring Sales and Marketing closer into alignment to realise their full potential.
  • Allow Sales to access vital information via mobile solutions to maximise their sales success wherever they may be.
  • Offer full and proper training to ensure your sales team buy-in to your CRM platform.

Only 4% of companies don’t achieve ROI from their CRM system within the expected time. Uncover real CRM results, download our 2016 Benchmark Report: Measuring CRM Success.

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Senior Leaders: Improve Departmental Performance with CRM

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The drivers of CRM adoption vary by department – here are some tips for each team leader.

You may be convinced of the case for CRM. But what about the people who work for you?

9 out of 10 companies of over ten people use CRM.

If you lead a team or department, you know it’s the people on those teams who’ll determine whether a CRM effort succeeds or stagnates. But too often, CRM is positioned as a mandatory take-it-or-leave-it to employees… without articulating how it can deliver better outcomes for their working lives.

Here’s how Directors and other C-level people like you can make sure your people know the size of the prize.

Read more

Adopt Microsoft Dynamics 2016 to Improve Your Sales Visibility

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Microsoft Dynamics 2016 updates drive extra sales by offering better sales pipeline CRM visibility and CRM insights.

When business leaders use the phrase “the story behind the numbers”, they’re not talking about the bottom line or the profit margin. Rather, they are asking what delivered those numbers – the actions and practices that led to success.

Why? So the business can do more of them.

How Microsoft Dynamics 2016 brings you the story behind the numbers

In today’s connected business, it’s software that delivers those stories – most frequently, CRM-savvy software like Microsoft Dynamics. The new 2016 updates serve to make the sales team even more competitive … by shouting those stories loud and clear from the sales pipeline. It’s about increasing visibility of your success!

So what are these updates? Let’s take a look.

Cortana integration: a helping hand for important questions

Microsoft Dynamics 2016 hooks up with Cortana – the Redmond giant’s software personal assistant launched alongside Windows 10. If you’re getting flashbacks of Clippy the Infuriating Paperclip, don’t worry – the new software is unobtrusive and general-purpose, answering problems rather than providing in-your-face advice.

Cortana integration lets you ask questions of your sales pipeline CRM in natural language.

A few years back, queries like “Show me all customers who’ve spent over £10,000 in all time but nothing in the last 12 months” needed report-generating skills. Today, salespeople can answer that question in a much more straightforward way, embedded within their everyday sales activities. Making it far more likely that illuminating questions have the opportunity to be asked.

Excel experience: keeping Excel in the loop

The 2016 updates also bring Excel into the mix – recognising that while the sales pipeline CRM in Microsoft Dynamics provides plenty of numbers, tried-and-tested spreadsheets are still widely used across all departments. Whenever you connect data, you add visibility.

The benefits add up wherever sales performance would be improved by information not stored directly within Microsoft Dynamics. Perhaps a shared spreadsheet contains forecasts for a prospect’s sector, or the prospect’s growth curve against its peer group? That information can make or break a sales call.

Marketing automation: linking Sales and Marketing

Sales and Marketing teams always want to strengthen their relationship – and new, tighter integration between Microsoft Dynamics and marketing automation systems help. Other updates let Sales not just connect, but collaborate with Marketing to gain richer insights about their  prospects while prioritising conversion of leads into actual sales.

A June 2015 Sales and Marketing Alignment Survey found that 73% of respondents felt Sales and Marketing alignment was critical to the overall success of their company… and yet only 17% of them were aligned.

This helps both teams achieve greater sales pipeline visibility and deeper customer insight.

On the go: CRM app for outlook

Microsoft’s strategy is to align with how and where salespeople want to work and in the new updates, they are delivering key sales capabilities within Outlook desktop and mobile browser, making it even easier to stay productive.

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM App for Outlook makes it easy to track emails, add contacts from within an email or even create new records to track emails against the browser on PC or Mac or mobile browser on the user’s phone.

This helps Sales to achieve greater sales pipeline visibility, wherever they are, whenever they need it.

And that’s visibility for you

Visibility can provide Sales with the ability to update their pipeline more meaningfully, reconnect with cold leads more effectively, and put far more information about their leads and prospects to profitable use.

So if your sales teams aren’t benefiting from increased visibility and integration with marketing, take a lot of what Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 can bring to the party. Even if you’re not using it already!

Takeaways:

  • 73% of a survey’s respondents feel that Sales and Marketing alignment is critical to the overall success of their company.
  • Gain sales pipeline visibility, better quality leads, streamline processes and more with a CRM system that enables improved sales and marketing integration.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 now offers machine learning intelligence with Cortana Analytics integration to enable your sales teams to work smarter while increasing cross-selling opportunities through improved customer insight.
  • A properly integrated and intelligent CRM system will not only encourage collaboration between sales and marketing, but enables sales to benefit from shorter lead conversion times.
  • Track the customer journey, and turn cold leads into hot prospects with a better understanding of what motivates each customer.

While Microsoft Dynamics 2016 updates can help your business, you should always use a system that gives you the best view of your pipeline. Find out how by watching this webinar: One Step Ahead: Getting your CRM Specification Right

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Adopt CRM: your customer engagement journey

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In order to keep one step ahead in the modern marketplace, companies must focus on maximising CRM customer engagement.
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Inspiring Positivity: Managing Attitudes Towards CRM Adoption

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Maximise CRM user adoption and make sure employee sentiment about your CRM is as positive as your ambitions for it.

Do you know why some of the best CRM people have experience outside CRM?

It’s because today, CRM providers and partners alike know people matter most. The value of CRM to your business doesn’t stem from just the software, but from how deeply people integrate it into their jobs.

It’s why disciplines like change management, process improvement, and organisation design feature on the CVs of today’s CRM experts. Because when an implementation fails – as, sadly, some still do – it’s usually because the software was rolled out without taking the people along and there has been a lack of CRM user adoption.

This SlideShare outlines how you can inspire positive attitudes towards CRM adoption.

That’s change management. A process. Above all, demonstrate at every step how CRM user adoption will make everyone’s life more rewarding.

Find out how to choose the right CRM system by downloading: Ultimate Guide to: Assessing and choosing the right CRM for your business

Ultimate-Guide-to-Assessing-and-choosing-the-right-CRM-for-your-business