ACT! is a great starter-CRM system, and has many good features. However, when you find yourself wishing that it could handle a sales catalog of hundreds or thousands of items, or scale with an acquisition, or consolidate records from multiple sources, then you need to look at Dynamics CRM. Dynamics CRM is the perfect transition from an SMB solution like ACT!, because it still does all of the great things you love about your old program, but offers you a cost-effective way to add features. You also get the benefit of seamless integration with Outlook and Word, along with a user interface that is familiar to you.
So if you know that you need a bigger and better CRM solution, where do you start?
The first step is to take stock of what you have and how you are currently using it. You'll be surprised how taking a critical look at your business process through CRM can help you identify gaps and put you on track to make necessary improvements.
Make your "dream CRM system" wish list. What would it ultimately do for you? Make sure you focus on functionality that has a measurable business outcome, and don't get pulled into the trap of asking for features that are 'interesting' but don't really help you get the job done every day.
Interview/collect information from at least one member from each team that uses your CRM system. That includes read-only users, administrators, and the daily hard-use folks. Everyone will have a different take on what is important in the new system and to get full buy-in on a switch, you'll go far by making them part of the decision-making process.
Give some thought to whether you want an online CRM system vs an on-premise CRM system. There are advantages to each, it really comes down to what kind of internal resources you have to house the software and maintain it, and what you are willing to pay for the convenience of never having to worry about the technology of it.
View our CRM Evaluation Guide - an objective look at the key components to consider during your evaluation process. Don't reinvent the wheel. Take advantage of some software-agnostic research that will help you nail down exactly what you need from your CRM software and how to get it.
Still need a little guidance, or perhaps you want to get a look at Dynamics CRM? Click, call 847-394-8820 ext. 14, or email us to get your free evaluation (a $175 value).
The first question we often hear from clients is, "How much will this cost me?" And we like to have simple, concrete answer to that question, so we have created this consolidated page to sort out what you need, and how much it will cost.
The first question we need to answer is what type of installation do you want, On-Premise or Online? Do you want CRM to reside on your physical servers in-house, or would you like to have CRM in the cloud/hosted. There are benefits to each model, and there's no right or wrong answer to which you decide upon.
Who is a good fit for CRM Online? CRM online is a great choice for anyone, but is particularly suited for the small-to-medium sized organizations who may not have an in-house IT person; and aren't looking to source and spend money on servers,
Who is a good fit for CRM On-Premise? On-Premise can be great, if you want more control over things like upgrades, and you already have a suitable server, seasoned in-house IT person.
Find, Win, and Grow Your Relationships with Dynamics CRM
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a complete customer relationship management (CRM) system including marketing, sales, and customer service.
CRM: What is it?
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a business application tool used by thousands of companies, and millions of users, to manage their customer interactions. Through this tool you will receive a 360-degree view of your clients and their interaction with you. Enabling you to better serve your customer is the heart of Dynamics CRM.
Increase the effectiveness of your marketing programs to generate demand, manage your marketing lists with data cleansing and list segmentation tools and your marketing campaigns with comprehensive campaign management features and key performance indicator reporting. Use Microsoft Outlook and Word to easily build effective marketing messages. Understand your customers and target your resources to the areas of highest return with Dynamics CRM.
CRM, What Will It Cost Me?
First, you will need to purchase the software, and this can be done via subscription (cloud-based) (brand new pricing options for every budget) or by buying the software outright (let us know if this interests you and we can provide you with pricing). Next, you will need the software installed and configured and you'll want to train all of your users on Dynamics CRM. You are not required to use Crestwood for these services, but our years of experience can help you to navigate the process and avoid mis-steps along the way.
Traditionally, CRM solutions have been used by sales and marketing personnel. However, as you consider an investment in Dynamics CRM, it is important to remember that anyone who interacts with your customers should be considered a potential user of the application. Of course, your marketing folks will want to use it to better manage their daily and weekly marketing activities; and your sales team will love its power and flexibility in assisting with managing leads and opportunities. But your customer service team will love the tools available to better track service issues and inquiries. And your management team will be thrilled to have all customer related information in a single location. In short, we have found that Dynamics CRM can touch anyone on your team who touches your customers!
How Can I Learn More?
When most folks go to buy a car, they do a ton of research on the Internet. And then they go for a test drive. Likewise, we encourage you to read all about Dynamics CRM and alternate solutions online. When you are ready, we suggest you take Dynamics CRM for a testdrive. We can arrange a 30-day trial (try getting that from your average car salesman!) and are we include a few guided sessions to make sure that you get acquainted with all the features. Learn more about our 30-day trial today! Just enter in 30-day trial in the subject and you'll be off to the races.
"With CRM, we as a team are able to keep track of cases, emails and activities. We are more efficient, organized and could not live without it!" - Shelly R.
To maximize the value of your Dynamics CRM system, contact Crestwood Associates, your Chicago, Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana source for Dynamics CRM to see how you can find new customers, win more business and grow your customer relationships.