There is no point having a CRM if it’s not saving you any time – and it certainly shouldn’t cost you more time that you would have spent on said task in the past. An efficient CRM policy should streamline your business operations, freeing up time to work on more important, long term strategic targets. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Ask yourself if you’re making the most of the features available on your CRM. Below are some small but often overlooked tasks that can be simplified by committing to an effective CRM strategy. Learn about how Microsoft Dynamics, in particular, can provide your organisation the foundation to streamline your marketing operations.

Choose adaptability

If your business is still in the process of choosing a CRM, push for a system that’s adaptable.
There is nothing worse than tying yourself into a licensing deal just as your company experiences huge growth and your current system is no longer suitable. This can lead to two costly outcomes; either you pay off the remainder of your licensing fee or your supplement the ineffective CRM with additional software.
A CRM like Microsoft Dynamics has adaptability and customisability at its core, offering real time adaptability to deal with external volatility and internal alterations.

Increase automation

Make sure that everyone in the business is taking advantage of the automation facilities embedded within your CRM system. Microsoft Dynamics, for example, can ensure valuable time is saved with automated functions such as:

  • Prioritising customer support cases
  • Automated email responses to customers
  • Automated reminders when customers are nearing the end of contracts etc.
  • Automated messages to management when sales go through
  • Organising and grading potential leads

The time spent saved writing personalised replies to customers can be used for other things, without compromising the personalisation. Staff can get on with tasks that directly affect profit margins.

Not to mention the benefits your marketing team can get from CRM:

  • Marketing automation
  • Personalised content
  • Lead nurturing

You may not know how these techniques are implemented, but we can guarantee that the increased sales from these activities are directly linked to an effective, all encompassing, CRM strategy.

Increase visibility

From a financial point of view, perhaps the most important thing to consider about adopting a CRM is the company-wide visibility a system can offer. If adopted throughout the business, the finance department can have access to all customer transactions and customer expenses. Find out which clients are bringing in the most money – as well as those that are doing less well. Access to these records can help you, in conjunction with marketing & sales, devise new cost-effective action plans.

Is customer A receiving far too much attention in comparison to their spending habit? Could customer B become a far more profitable customer, with just a little more attention?
The visibility of a modern CRM can ensure that revenue can be increased through these sorts of operational observations and improvements.

Saving templates

Crucial time savings can be made by saving templates. Having a go-to standard email for a variety of different causes and contexts rather than starting from a blank page is so much easier, quicker and it ensures brand consistency. Although an email may only take 5 minutes to write if you’re writing similar ones several times a day, the time begins to add up. It makes sense to have something prepared. Microsoft Dynamics provides its users with an archive to store all their email templates, allowing you to create a library of templates.

Microsoft Dynamics goes one further by allowing users to create a template for a whole host of different business operations. Invoices, quotes, contracts and much more can all be drafted and saved, if you know that they regularly follow a familiar pattern.

Personalised fields

Once you have your templates in place, further efficiencies can be had from the ability to automate personalised fields. There is no point having a template in place if you have to systematically edit all your emails to include name and relevant details to each of the leads you’re communicating with.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM alters this by poaching relevant information from the database to automatically personalise communication on your behalf.

Sharing calendars

Bring all your departments together by sharing calendars and itineraries. Know what your colleagues and your teams are up to in advance without having to interrupt staff in the middle of their work.
Plan meetings and share tasks all in the one place, no longer using disparate tools to organise your workforce.

Direct integration with MS Office

Direct integration with Microsoft Office is one of Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s biggest blessings garnered from using the CRM. Your Microsoft Outlook contacts can be hooked up automatically without a complex transferal system. Microsoft’s CRM allows you to share documents created on its industry standard software with little effort.

Spend less time researching

Minimise the time you spend researching your leads with InsideView on Microsoft Dynamics. The tool gives an immense amount of, constantly updating, information about thousands of companies and their employees. It is an essential tool for planning marketing campaigns and sales pitches, which could give you the upper hand over your competitors while saving you time in the process.