Heal your business pain with Dynamics QuickStart CRM

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When it comes to business pain, at Redspire we’ve seen it all. And help our clients UK-wide solve theirs, via our Dynamics QuickStart CRM package or phased CRM implementation.

As one of the UK’s leading CRM consultancies, we are experts in resolving the digital and data pain points that all businesses face.

Our client base share similar internal challenges, but we understand that the internal approach to resolving them may vary from business to business. Time constraints, changeable budgets and operational capacity all impact the ability to undertake a CRM implementation project, even when it’s badly needed.

That doesn’t change the fact that we are living through the 4th Industrial Revolution. Consumer expectations are at their highest, radically transforming the way businesses interact when they sell, promote and provide service. In this digital age, personalisation and customer connectivity are a fundamental business priority. And the only way to achieve them is with a fit for purpose CRM system that will unify data, streamline processes and improve productivity.

Introducing Dynamics QuickStart CRM…

Dynamics QuickStart CRM is a fixed scope, fast implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365, built to fit your business need, type and budget. Implement a new CRM, upgrade a current CRM or entirely replace your existing system fast, for maximum impact and little business disruption.

Perfect for busy businesses who want quick improvements and results, and suitable for all organisations of all shapes and sizes – from Banking and Financial Services to Manufacturing, Government and the Public Sector – QuickStart CRM from Redspire is a quick and simple CRM solution that delivers immediate results.

If you’ve heard your c-suite leaders and department heads make any of the following statements, your business will benefit from Dynamics QuickStart CRM…

PAIN POINT 1: “There’s no single version of the truth!”

Also known as the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

It’s surprising just how many large multi-national businesses are operating with outdated data silos and no single view of their customer across various departments. Which begs the question, how can you understand your customer, predict sales propensity and provide great service, if you can’t view their interactions with your business holistically?

If your customer, sales and service data sit on multiple databases and spreadsheets, you’re undoubtedly only skimming the surface of your sales capabilities. Whilst delivering poor service to your client base. Yet you can optimise operations fast with Dynamics QuickStart CRM. Your teams and your bottom line will benefit from a single customer view that accelerates sales, personalises service and increases customer engagement.

PAIN POINT 2: “What are the salespeople doing?!”

Also known as the boss is getting twitchy because there’s no visibility of what the moneymakers are up to.

Digitally optimised workplaces and effective data and pipeline management have been proven to make teams much more productive. Yet workforces often resist the serious benefits of a transparent CRM system for fear of big brother watching, measuring their performance and finding it lacking.

With a collaborative, visible pipeline, the improvements to the workforce, customer and management are immeasurable. Put your hands on real time reports with ease, review an up-to-the-minute pipeline status and automate business reports at the click of a button with Dynamics QuickStart CRM

PAIN POINT 3 : “Excellent – sales are up…but where are they coming from?”

Also know as winging the sales process rather than using an evidence-based approach

If you aren’t tracking customer buying patterns, sourcing lead traffic and attributing your sales to marketing touchpoints, how can you understand your sweet spot? If you don’t track the customer journey and how you win or lose, you’re undoubtedly leaving money on the table. Which makes your salespeople’s lives harder and returns poor ROI from your marketing spend. Integrate Dynamics QuickStart CRM with your existing systems to see the bigger picture and find your strengths and weaknesses. And then watch your sales grow.

PAIN POINT 4: “I’m sick of the ‘them and us’ – they’re supposed to be part of the same team!”

Also known as sales and marketing blaming each instead of working towards shared goals

Despite being part of the same organisational family, with shared business goals, Sales and Marketing teams are notorious for being the warring siblings of the business world. How often are you hearing ‘what are marketing doing, there’s no leads coming through, and when they are, they’re awful!’ Or marketing complaining about lack of sourcing and poor conversions from the sales teams?

The issue is typically lack of visibility, reporting and communication. A CRM that works for all departments, tracking campaigns, leads and opportunities will encourage a positive workforce, working together with shared vision, and MI that fosters a collaborative, data-driven approach

PAIN POINT 5: “Where’s the paper trail for this complaint?!”

Also known as lack of customer information management

We’ve all endured the customer frustration of a poorly handled complaint. It’s often just as challenging for agents trying to manage customer services issues if their organisation isn’t managing data properly. Customers need to repeat themselves each time they call or email, and your employee is on the back foot from the outset, not knowing what decisions have been made previously. With QuickStart you can automate and aggregate customer service information, so that your people always have what they need to hand, when they need it.

PAIN POINT 6: “Reporting shouldn’t be this hard. Can’t we automate it?”

The simple answer is yes. And you should be! Free up your key people’s time from hand preparing reports and get them back to their day job. With QuickStart, you’ll access management information, sales, marketing and customer satisfaction reports as and when you need them, even when you’re on the go.

Ready to find out more about QuickStart CRM?

At Redspire, we specialise exclusively in Dynamics 365, helping clients across different industries – from Government to Financial Services – transform digitally. Working with world-class tools from the Microsoft universe, Dynamics integrates seamlessly with existing operations to unify whole businesses into a single, intelligent system. Get quick installation, rapid delivery and faster return on investment with Microsoft Dynamics QuickStart CRM. Read more today or get in touch for a no-obligation chat with our consultants now.

Public Sector: Digital Transformation through Microsoft Dynamics 365

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Can public sector organisations afford not to take advantage of digital tools?

It’s a slightly controversial statement but nevertheless true. Whilst commerce and industry advance at speed towards great digital change, the public sector in the UK is in danger of being left behind. Potentially, at great sacrifice to public health, well-being and economic wealth. It’s indeed an uncomfortable truth that our most visionary, forward thinking public sector leaders are challenged every day in a drive to make UK public services world-leading again.

Digital transformation in the public sector

In the UK’s Institute for Government’s Manifesto for Changing Public Services it’s estimated that up to £46billion could be saved across UK public sector year on year with digital transformation that eradicates out-dated legacy systems and the need for costly suppliers. Which equates to an additional 1m frontline public servants.

Which begs the question, can public sector organisations afford not to take advantage of the digital tools available today?

Innovative public sector leaders value digital change

Innovative leaders in the public sector continue to push the mandate in a positive direction, encouraging their boards and final decision makers to engineer the digital change that will steer the UK and its people in the right direction. All the while, commercial private sector businesses, innovative third sector organisations and manufacturing, banking and financial services leap ahead with digital transformation that’s energising their business, boosting their bottom lines, massively slashing costs and increasing customer satisfaction tenfold.

Deploying an innovative digital toolkit has the power to solve much of the organisational pain our local authorities and service providers face, whilst correcting the disconnect that so many of our citizens feel from our elected leaders and public services. Saving heaps of money from public funds in the process.

CRM for citizen engagement

As the demographic make-up of our country ages and shifts, it has never been more important to reach citizens at a time that suits them, where they naturally consume their media and messages. Our culturally diverse and digitally switched on nation demand personalised multi-channel, multi-lingual interactions. Keeping citizens informed, engaged and aware in a cost effective, timely manner, and in a way that speaks their metaphorical language is invaluable. Yet a difficult operation without the right digital tools.

CRM solutions for the public sector

Enter Redspire and Microsoft Dynamics 365, with the tools and expertise you need revolutionise your organisation. Bespoke solutions built to your organisational needs, these purpose-built Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications work seamlessly to help manage specific business functions across the organisation including Customer Service, Operations, Finance, Field Service, and Marketing, and all contribute to Customer/Citizen Insights.

CRM in simple terms simple terms is a category of integrated, data-driven solutions that improve how you interact and do business with your clients. CRM systems and applications are designed to manage relationships, track engagements and sales, and deliver actionable data, all in one place.

The next generation of intelligent business

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the next generation of intelligent business applications that enable organisations to grow, evolve and transform. As technology continues to transform the world, Redspire are a driving force that will help public sector organisations optimise operations, reach and engage with the public and empower employees to deliver services and the most personalised and powerful ways

Digital Transformation is here. And it isn’t only for corporate, digitally focused businesses. The tools must be deployed for public sector organisations. Our public services can, and should be as accessible as Amazon, as easy to use as Google and as exciting and flexible as Uber and AirBnB. And all delivered ethically to deliver front end services, in the public’s best interests and with the ability to save millions in public funds.

AI for the Public Sector

Artificial Intelligence has become ‘The New Normal’ and touches many aspects of our everyday life. Early adopter public sector agencies like Enfield Council and Aylesbury Vale District Council are already seeing the transformative value for services and citizen engagement, investing in AI chatbots to improve customer service, simplify internal processes and to guide residents through various form fill processes.

Constantly learning from previous conversations with residents, these revolutionary bots have the power to improve response times to generic service queries in areas like benefits and council tax queries, refuse collection requests and so much more.

Future planning with CRM

What does the future hold? The certainties are improved efficiencies, reduced demand on services and employees, a holistic citizen view that creates a better client experience and improved insights that lead more effective service provision. Digital tech provides a tremendous opportunity to improve all citizens life, for the common good of our country, and with ethics, security and privacy at the forefront of all decision making.

The fourth Industrial Revolution is here

We are now part of the 4th Industrial Revolution. The McKinsey Institute has stated that AI is contributing directly to a tremendous transformation of society, “happening ten times faster and at 300 times the scale, or roughly 3,000 times the impact” of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800’s.

What does this mean practically? Digital learning and skills development will be a core component of literacy and basic life skills. From pre-school to higher education, our education system must revolutionise and ‘keep up’ with the constant digital developments to ensure we don’t face skills shortages or challenges with talent acquisition.

What is certain however, is that change resistance within the public sector is beginning to break down. The opportunities for cost and efficiency savings, shared resources and joined up processes are too phenomenal to be ignored. Case in point, the Smart London plan, in which the City of London sets out the bold yet achievable ambition to become the smartest city in the world through mobilised services, data innovation and Artificial Intelligence. Improving the lives of some 30 million visitors, residents and workers.

Accelerating Digital: An Interactive Forum for Public Sector Leaders

Redspire has been a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner for over 15 years, helping all types of organisations across the UK transform through digital innovation and improvement. Our ever-expanding team of Microsoft certified consultants bring Dynamics 365 to life, with a bespoke solution that overcomes unique organisational challenges with a straightforward, customer centric approach. Our clients stick around, partnering with us long term, every time.

If you’re a digital leader who’d like to be part of the discussion on advancing digital transformation for the greater good in your organisation, reserve your spot at our interactive forum for public sector leaders today.

This not to be missed forum at Microsoft Scotland HQ, Edinburgh on 1st November 2018 will be chaired by Dr Jim Hamill – in association with Microsoft, Bridgeall and Exactive. Together, we’ll set the tone for the future of digital innovation in Scotland, and provide invaluable tools and support that persuades stakeholders and key decision makers on your future vision.

Full details can be found here – Accelerating Digital: An Interactive Forum for Public Sector Leaders. Sign up today.

5 Reasons to Celebrate GDPR

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25th May 2018 is etched onto the minds of businesses as the date where all data has to be in order. GDPR is approaching fast.

 

Is it a big task? Yes, of course.

Should you be worried? Only if you’re doing nothing.

Is it an opportunity? Absolutely!

 

It’s an Opportunity to Contact

Yes, it’s ironic. The very fact that some people may not want to be contacted anymore gives you a reason to contact them.  That’s a fantastic opportunity. You are delivering good news – that you take their privacy seriously and that you only ever want them to send information that will add value to their day. That’s better than many other messages they will have had from you in the past. As long as you are/have been clear and transparent with opt-ins and you can track this, you can keep them on file. Win-Win.

 

Better data means truer results.

So, yes, your data count may come down by quite a lot. But how engaged is your database? You’d expect your active customer database to be vibrant and active but what about your prospects? The chances are you have mailed them more than they’d like and if they haven’t replied by now, well, I think you know the answer. So, how does that look when you’re reporting campaign results? If you can weed out the prospects that don’t want to be contacted, your response rate will actually improve. Don’t worry about those you’ve lost. They’ll be grateful to you and chances are they’ll find you again if they have a need.

 

Get the edge over your Competitors

Who would you rather do business with? The company who respected your right to privacy? Or the one who didn’t get around to it? The one who saw it as an opportunity to check in with you and see if there is still an opportunity there? Or the one who just did nothing and hoped for the best?  GDPR is not just a new legal requirement. It’s a customer experience opportunity and something that should become regular practice. This could be one of the best incentives you’ll ever have to sharpen up your data strategy.

 

Underhand Tactics Cost

There’s something reassuring about knowing that the businesses who disregard data privacy will have bigger penalties. Although getting it right for your business will initially take effort, the overall benefit for us all as businesses and consumers makes it worthwhile. GDPR is a customer experience improvement that we all benefit from and whilst it’s a high cost for unintentional slip-ups, it’s a fair one for blatant disregard.

 

Inform your Strategy

Use the opportunity well and you could find out more about what makes them tick and where exactly they are in the buying journey. You can discover content needs, preferred communication, other interests just for starters. Basically, segmentation and targeting insight that will help you to freshen up your conversation with them and move them along the pipeline.

From our point of view, a Dynamics 365 CRM system with true, segmented and up to date data will always provide sharper insights for operational efficiency and opportunity spotting. With a platform so good at bringing information from around the organisation into single customer views, it means precision and process that will convert.

Want to know more about GDPR? Watch our GDPR Q&A webinar or drop us an email at info@redspire.co.uk for more information on how Dynamics 365 can help.

Unlocking the Insight of your Customer Data

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The travel sector is awash with data. Mobile technology is fostering new data generating consumer behaviours and is dominating the travel industry.

Google seems to have hit the nail on the head when it described the modern customer journey as a series of micro-moments. Think back to the last time a friend recommended a hotel, holiday or journey to you. Did you patiently wait till you got home to look it up? No, nor us!  60% of travel searches start on mobile and 94% continue to jump between devices as they piece together options*, likes, dislikes, reviews and final plans. And it doesn’t end there, with 85% of leisure travellers deciding on activities after they have arrived at their destination. Swathes of time is spent experiencing, then reporting on those experiences on social media– good or bad.

None of this is surprising and more than ever, we are seeing the travel businesses that embrace data driven marketing and product development lead the way. And why not? According to a study by American Express, 83% of millennials said they would let travel brands track their digital patterns if it would provide them with a more personalised experience. In fact, 85% of all ages thought that customised itineraries were far more desirable than general offerings.

Customers are generating valuable, insightful data faster that it can be analysed.

 

Where does your travel business sit?

Every business on the planet (that wants to survive) is on a digital transformation journey.

Some are at the early stages; realising that having all customer data on separate platforms is not only ineffective, but is holding them back.

Some have their data in order on one central system but now need to identify how to analyse it for actionable insights that will feed product development and better ROI.

Some are already producing those insights and making the most of the increasing spontaneity and experience-led decision making of travellers with well-timed promotions and products.

Some travel firms have been on the journey since the beginning and are advancing quickly. New analysis of 321 million social engagements by Adobe Digital Insights has found at least 8 of the largest hotels have tested virtual reality experiences during the past six months and most of these were programmes that paired with a traveller’s mobile device.

 

Five Steps for Better Data Analysis and Use

 

  1. Data Management

Data is only as useful as its storage and use.  Bearing in mind that GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) are on the horizon and come with large penalties, the right data infrastructures and processes are critical.  Your data environment needs to be GDPR compliant and allow you to capture individual interactions as they happen against one record.

 

  1. Connection

A Single Customer View will allow you to join the dots between online and offline customer journeys. Your customers will have a better experience and you will be able to use the data to spot opportunities and patterns within a client group. You’ll also see what is and isn’t working. As a result, ROI can’t help but improve.

 

  1. Deeper Knowledge

Customers expect you to know them. To know what the booked or did last, what they might want to do next and on what terms. You can’t do any of that without better use and understanding of your data.

 

  1. More Creativity

When you know who you’re marketing to and what makes them tick, you can be more creative and innovative in your messaging, reflecting them in your materials and interacting with them more meaningfully on social platforms too. With the right system, you can then watch those interactions, learn about behaviour trends and manage them.

  1. Understanding your ROI

When you are operating a CRM system that has been carefully tuned to your business’ needs, people and processes, you will be in a better position to plot your customer journeys and attribute online and offline channel success.

 

Want more?

Feel to join us for our next webinar, Digital Transformation in Travel & Leisure.

Date: Thursday 17th August

Time: 11am BST

Attendees: Best suited to marketing, sales, IT and data officers working in the travel and leisure industry and who use (or are considering) CRM for data management, inbound marketing and email marketing.

During the webinar, we will discuss:

  • The main themes of digital transformation in the travel and leisure industry.
  • What a 360-degree view of your customers looks like.
  • GDPR, a catalyst for positive change?
  • Creating a better customer experience and journey.
  • How Microsoft’s platforms and tools are helping us to improve our travel clients’ processes, productivity and insights.

It takes seconds to register. If you can’t join, you can still register for us to email you the recording. The industry is changing so quickly, it’s worth being informed.

 

 

Sources

https://econsultancy.com/blog/68183-10-spectacular-digital-marketing-stats-from-this-week/

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/mobile-influence-travel-decision-making-explore-moments.html

 

GDPR, a catalyst for positive change

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There are two ways to look at the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

For businesses already digitally underway, it’s another important tick in the box for compliance and best practice. They may even identify a few opportunities to enhance what they’re already doing.

However, if you’re in a business that’s been dragging its digital heels, it could be the difference between growth and being left behind. The businesses in your sector that identify the opportunities of GDPR will not only comply with it and avoid heavy penalties, they’ll reap the benefits of having been forced to look at their processes.

Yes, there will be those who simply just tick the boxes and essentially plaster over the cracks that GDPR has revealed but that is a massive missed opportunity. If businesses that are digitally behind don’t untangle their existing processes, they are adding knots and loops to deal with further down the line as more and more data sources demand more and more processes.

In contrast, the businesses who use the time between now and May next year to properly review their processes and systems can look at their overall digital fitness and get an edge over the competition who haven’t bothered.

Here’s how:

Mapping the policies and processes that surround how you use and collect data will give every department ideas for business development.

Better data means better relationships. Not only that, it will ensure a better start to your customer journey as people will be parting with their data with more awareness of exactly how it will be used. People who don’t want to engage won’t provide their data. So, no wasted time chasing, and no resentment before you even begin communicating.

Technology can power most of the internal change needed and can, in the case of Dynamics 365, join up all the disparate systems in a business. That brings a massive benefit; a 360-degree view of every customer. Suddenly it’s easier to engage with customers with the right information at the right time as well as have end-to-end data governance. When all that information is in one place with the intelligence of Dynamics 365 wrapped around it, it becomes more powerful.

Reporting and Decision Making become so much easier when the data can interact across departments on the back of active data.

Staff Adoption of the new GDPR processes could be the difference between compliance and a huge fine. It stacks up that the easier staff find the new processes, the less likely non-compliance is. So again, the businesses that look to consolidate their systems into one familiar space are already ahead of the game.

How much of an opportunity do you see for your business as we march towards the GDPR?

Watch our essential GDPR webinar for more information.

5 FAQs About GDPR

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It’s only 11 months until the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations come into force (25th May 2018).

Our webinar this week is taking a look at how you can start your planning process for GDPR.

First though, here is a rundown of our 5 most frequently asked questions. If any of this is new to you, or this is as far as your knowledge already goes, please do join us on Thursday!

 

What is The EU GDPR?

Standing for The General Data Protection Regulations, GDPR is the EU’s regulation of data processing for its citizens. It applies to every country holding and using data of EU members and replaces the inconsistent and out of date approaches of individual countries. It’s a binding legislative act that will replace a 20-year EU directive that first came into place when web technology was still very new. The GDPR will address security vulnerabilities that have arisen due to the digital lives we all now lead. The big aim is to enable a secure flow of data that individuals have greater control and visibility over by improving consent processes.

The GDPR applies to organisations located within the EU as well as businesses out-with, that supply goods or services to (or monitor the behaviour of) EU data subjects.  It’s important to remember that this isn’t just about you and your systems. Your suppliers will also need to play by the rules or you could still be fined.

 

Does it apply to my business before and after Brexit?

Come May 2018, we’re still part of the EU. So it will apply to every UK business. After that, it makes sense to comply anyway. If you are selling goods or services to EU members/citizens then you need to meet your obligations. If you’re operating only within the UK, the UK government has said it will probably follow suit.

 

What are the main headlines?

Storage – You need to be able to clearly define what personal data is stored, how it’s collected and how it’s used.

Processes – Businesses will have to be able to provide evidence of what type of data processing is carried out, how data is used, the flow of data throughout and out-with the organisation, access to data and protections at each step.

Consent – Consent agreements must be separate, simple and dedicated and recorded against each customer. Double opt in’s will become the standard, opt-in boxes cannot be ticked by default, and soft opt-in’s will become a thing of the past. People must understand why they are giving permission and be able to revoke it easily (even that must be recorded back to the customer file). The ‘right to be forgotten’ falls into this category too. If your existing data meets the new consent rules, it should be fine. If you’re in doubt, you should inform your databases and give them their right to be deleted.

Privacy by design – Just as it sounds; data protection should be part of the foundation of designing data systems rather than an addition.

Data Protection Roles – Depending on your business, you may be required to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) under the GDPR. Public bodies are included in this as well as businesses that carry out large scale systematic monitoring of individuals (e.g. online behaviour tracking) and businesses that process large scale data relating to special categories. Regardless of whether or not you are obliged to appoint a DPO, you will need to ensure you have the staff numbers and understanding that you need to meet your GDPR obligations.

 

What’s the price of non-compliance?

Substantial. Technical related non-compliance e.g. impact assessments, breach notifications and certifications will attract fines up to an amount that is the GREATER of €10 million or 2% of global annual turnover (revenue). Key provision non-compliance will attract fines up to the GREATER of €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover. And that’s before we talk about reputational damage.

Data controllers within your business will be legally obliged to notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of any data breach within 72 hours of its occurrence.  Note that if you are a public authority or you regularly monitor data on a large scale, you will need to appoint a Data Protection Officer, something worth doing regardless.

 

Business v CRM Responsibility

The GDPR offers an opportunity for cleaner databases, better quality lead pipelines, lower cost per acquisition, more accurate forecasting and better ongoing CRM.

Your CRM system should meet GDPR standards by implementing privacy by design and default in build processes. However, it’s a joint responsibility. Whilst Microsoft (and we, as partners) should ensure your tech is GDPR compliant with access controls and privacy functions, you must also ensure your processes and people are also compliant.  Dynamics 365 is already well prepared in its set up for GDPR so speak with your Microsoft Partner for further support and information.

Watch our essential GDPR webinar for more information.

Your Microsoft Partner’s Role In Your GDPR Transition

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Redspire is a Microsoft CRM solutions specialist and a Microsoft strategic Partner, which means we are qualified and trusted by Microsoft to deliver their solutions.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a big focus for us right now. Less than a year away, it will replace The Data Protection Act and means significant changes for how businesses handle data not least the severe fines for non-compliance. Even when the UK is out of Europe, non-conformity and data breaches can result in fines of up to €20m or 4% of your annual worldwide turnover.

There’s currently a lot of IT complexity out there. GDPR is an opportunity to streamline that technology architecture. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is already well prepared and meets those needs, it not only helps you to comply but crucially, demonstrates that compliance.

Can your Microsoft CRM Partner support your business and people journey to GDPR compliance? The rules of finding a CRM partner still apply.

A good GDPR CRM partner should be:

  • Looking at the role of data in your organisation, finding the changes GDPR will enforce, and identifying the edits and customisations to enable them.
  • Advising on role, record and field-based security for your team, reducing the risks associated with administrative rights.
  • Helping you evaluate how you answer points on consent, data purpose, and data retention.
  • Reviewing what triggers may be required throughout your system to maximise Dynamics 365’s detection and data breach reporting.
  • Pointing out the areas where Dynamics 365 will maximise the opportunity of compliance with GDPR such as turning double opt-in and lower sign up volumes into better engagement and conversion.
  • Knowledgeable in every facet of GDPR, of your current system(s) and integrations.
  • Following a process for supporting you through GDPR based on experience of your sector.
  • Prepared to continue to work with you as you get to grips with how it works in practice.

Watch our essential GDPR webinar for more information.

The Big Data Challenge for Marketers

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When we meet our clients for the first time, there are usually five immediate discussions.

The first is about how Dynamics365 will make processes and people more effective. That’s an easy one. The next four questions revolve around data – big data (size isn’t everything), data management (management is not the same as insight), storing it (cloud, cloud, cloud) and understanding it (not the what, the how).

If you are creating marketing campaigns for a product or service with a relatively short customer lead time, the chances are you are selling lots of that product or service and accumulating vast amounts of data. Data counts mean nothing if you don’t understand them.  Some (from the old world of marketing) would describe it as transactional but as we all know, a transaction is informed by context and, regardless of lead-in time, every customer is a potential relationship or referral.

How do you make that transaction mean more?  It’s not enough to manage the data better. It’s true that data is only as valuable to your business as what you do with it. If it doesn’t ultimately help you make more confident, productive decisions, spot lucrative opportunities and halt underperforming activities, it’s holding you back.

It’s 2017 though. This is not fresh news.  So what gives?

Thanks to digital technology and the realisation of customer experience, marketing plays a huge role in the entire customer lifecycle. To be effective, marketers need access to a myriad of different data sources to connect to get the 360 view of the customer. The cross-business collaboration needed can be a struggle.

There are three key differences between the marketing departments of leading businesses and those that lag behind.

 

  1. The right data

According to Openrise, 54% of marketers would cite poor data accessibility as a key barrier to data management success. 44% cited poor data quality and as a sign of the times, 37% cited poor database integration. We’d argue that the accessibility and integration points are one in the same and can be remedied with the right platform and that in time, data quality could also be addressed.

 

  1. Knowledge and Skills

There’s no point having the right data in the right place without the right people to analyse it properly. It’s a difficult one as it’s only been the last few years that marketers have needed this data focus. A cross-discipline approach across the business makes sense with Business Analysts and IT contributing. That lets marketers focus on their main skill set instead of spreading their efforts too wide whilst we wait for the next generation of marketers to join the ranks.

 

  1. Creativity

Marketing is a creative process. Content is still king so the challenge is integrating the work being done to make marketing more data driven, with the work being done to engage customers with better experiences.

Introducing Dynamics 365 has taken our conversations up a gear. Even businesses with a huge amount of data lack information that ultimately delivers decision-making confidence. Eyes light up when the penny drops that the common data model means no more silos. Information to pinpoint future opportunities is more accessible; whether it’s marketing effort, sales pipeline issues, budget reallocation, product development or expansion into new markets.

Find out more information by watching our High Volume Marketing webinar.

Barriers to CRM: Lack of management experience and knowledge of how to approach CRM properly

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Reason Why 63% of CRM Initiatives Fail

New CRM initiatives currently have a 63% fail rate, according to a new study by Merkle Group Inc. For anyone considering CRM this is quite a scary statistic, although not surprising, when you consider the number of that barriers that face organisations implementing a new CRM system or updating their current one. These barriers include; Lack of employee buy-in, unclear business objectives, lack of long term strategy, unclear about data requirements and companies often buy systems that are not fit for their specific business requirements. These are just a few examples of barriers that face organisations considering CRM. It is of the utmost importance for companies thinking about investing in CRM to fully understand CRM what it can do and the level of commitment required to make it a success, along with the possible pitfalls and the steps required to avoid them. This article will focus on how a lack of managerial experience, and knowledge of how to approach CRM properly can cause major issues for companies who try to implement CRM without heeding this advice.

Keys to Success

In order for a CRM project to be a success, it is imperative that all levels of the organisation buy into it from the very start. This needs to be a top to bottom process, where top level management illustrate the benefits of implementation to the rest of the organisation, in terms of;
• Why there is a need for CRM in the first place.
• How it will enable the end users to increase their productivity
• How it will helps the organisation as a whole
• How it will remedy current pain points

Areas that require Understanding

When an organisation is implementing a new CRM system or updating their current one, there is a lot of information required before selecting a system that can cater to an organisations specific business needs and data requirements. Managers need to have an in-depth understanding of their customer’s buying cycle, current pain points that end users are experiencing, and the data they need to harvest in order to meet the needs of their customers more effectively.

Lack of Managerial Experience in CRM

When top level management do not have the knowledge required to approach CRM implementation properly, it will be impossible for them illustrate the benefits to the rest of the organisation, which means that they are essentially setting themselves up for failure. Many managers view CRM as a glorified address book, and in order for CRM implementation to be successful this outlook has to change as it will inevitably permeate down through the organisation to the end users. If management approach a CRM initiative without researching the full spectrum of benefits that a correctly tailored, implemented and maintained system with full stakeholder buy-in can provide in relation to their specific business objectives, they will have difficulty achieving a satisfactory ROI in a reasonable timeframe.

Management Need to Understand Customer Buying Cycle

An issue that many managers face is that they do not understand the buying cycle of their customers to the required depth. David Ciccarelli, cofounder and CEO of Voices.com says “to solve this problem, organizations should sketch out a workflow diagram that depicts the customer life cycle.” This visual tool will aid in not only customizing your CRM but fully taking advantage of its functionality.

Management Need to Understand CRM

It is imperative that management take the time to fully understand CRM and how it can benefit them in terms of achieving their business objectives and their staff in terms of how it makes their life less stressful thus enabling them to increase productivity. The process of acquiring this knowledge may not be as straight forward as some managers’ think. In order to drill down to the necessary depth managers need to engage in an on-going dialogue with front line staff, Chris Fritsch, CRM consultant and owner of CLIENTSFirst Consulting states that “To succeed with CRM, organizations should get end users actively involved before even looking at systems.” This dialogue may take some time to put in place, and significant commitment from staff at all levels to maintain, however it is an integral part of CRM implementation and if done correctly will pay dividends down the line.
Management Need to Understand Front Line Needs Pain points
If an organisation is implementing a new CRM or updating an existing one, it is crucial to understand the areas where their front line staff are experiencing issues or areas where they could be better supported. It is one of the main jobs of an effectively implemented CRM system to enable users to focus 100% on the job at hand, as opposed to getting round the flaws in their current CRM system that is simply not fit for purpose.

Takeaways

There is a lot of legwork that needs to be done before implementing a CRM solution. If this legwork is not done properly, it is likely that you will add to the 63% of companies that fail. However, if the necessary steps are taken to get to grips with what CRM can actually do and how it can be tailored to your organisation, your customers and your staff, it is likely that you will become part of the 37% of companies that enjoy a great ROI, increased staff productivity and customer satisfaction. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a fantastic tool, which can provide companies with the necessary tools to turn data into profit.