Three Reasons to Work with a Certified Consultant for your CRM Implementation

May 11 2015 14:04 by Kimberly Goulet
Why should you work with a certified consultant for your CRM implementation?  Outlined below are three of the most important reasons.   1.     Experience.  Many companies assume that because they have an IT department or work with an IT consultant, they do not need to hire a certified CRM specialist.  While it’s true that most IT professionals are very knowledgeable and competent regarding computer networks and commonly used software packages, they often have not had a great deal of experience in CRM.  With a successful CRM rollout, experience is key.  A veteran professional who specializes in CRM can help an organization navigate the process to avoid pitfalls and keep the project within budget specs.         2.     Support for IT.  Information Technology department resources are often stretched thin.  The department bares many responsibilities for the company’s operations and cannot devote a full measure of attention to the CRM implementation.  Further, an in-house CRM system can require additional investments in IT infrastructure, such as servers and corresponding software, along with ongoing maintenance and support.  A CRM consulting firm can supplement those in-house resources with technology and training support.  In addition, hosting your CRM with a trusted partner, like TopLine Results, eliminates the need for costly infrastructure investments.   3.     Knowledge.  As a Microsoft Silver Certified Partner, TopLine Results has completed many hours of training and work dedicated to customer relationship management.  Our team has passed rigorous exams and met annual requirements set by Microsoft to insure its partners are well equipped to counsel and guide organizations to a successful CRM solution.  With experience, comes knowledge.  For more than fifteen years, TopLine Results has led the way in implementing CRM for clients in wide-ranging industries – from financial services to manufacturing, and local governments to healthcare.   Experience, support for IT and knowledge – these are three keys to unlocking CRM in your organization.  We will work together with your IT professionals to deliver a CRM system tailor-made to your organization.  Call us to get started today, 800-880-1960.

Create Quick Shortcuts for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Pages

March 18 2015 14:58 by Dan Boehm
While working in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, do you find yourself repeatedly creating new phone calls or other types of records?  In version 2013 or 2015, you can easily create quick shortcuts for your commonly used MS CRM pages. Start by going to the New Phone Call page by clicking on Quick Create button and choosing Phone Call. Next, click on the Pop out button which will open your New Phone Call record in its own window.   The address bar in your web browser now contains a very long set of words and characters. You can now either: 1.     Save this web address to your browser favorites. 2.   Or, click on the icon just to the left of https:// and drag that to your desktop. Now every time you open that shortcut either from your browser favorites or by double-clicking on the desktop icon, it will launch the page you saved. Remember, an important key for this shortcut is that you must go to the desired quick-access page in CRM and click on Pop-out button.  You can save almost any page in Microsoft Dynamics CRM this way. Contact TopLine Results at info@toplineresults.com for more ways to improve your productivity in CRM!

The Greater Flexibility of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Deployments

March 13 2015 11:50 by Fred Varin
One key differentiator among Microsoft Dynamics CRM and its closest competitors is deployment flexibility.  With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, businesses can choose from three powerful deployment options:  partner-hosted, on premise, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM online.   For a large organization with abundant infrastructure and resources, this flexibility allows them the opportunity to compare and implement the most cost-effective solution, while leveraging their existing resources.  When analyzing cost effectiveness of deployment options, it is important to consider all of the variables.    While it is fairly easy to evaluate costs such as software, software maintenance, installation and implementation; it is a bit harder to predict the cost of the hardware required to operate the CRM system along with the technical expertise required to maintain the system over time. In addition, future hardware and software upgrade costs must be considered.   For a small or medium size company with 10 to 100 users, the return on investment (ROI) for a hosted CRM solution is a very attractive choice.  Choose partner- or vendor-hosted deployments to join the millions of CRM users in the cloud.  At TopLine Results, we provide a partner-hosted option to our clients which includes many benefits over a vendor-hosted option, including personalized US-based service.  Taking the time to compare your options is well worth the effort.    For more information or to receive a personal CRM comparison for your business, contact us at 800-880-1960.  

New Features Now Available in TopLine Maps

February 12 2015 08:07 by Chuck Wojciuk
The latest release of TopLine Maps for Microsoft Dynamics CRM includes some exciting new features.  ·         Select and map or route multiple contacts ·         Print your map now with optimized text driving directions -    Use the print button next to the search bar to get accurate directions ·         Add locations from the search bar and they are automatically added to the route ·         Easily import TopLine Maps to CRM ·         Free and easy-to-follow installation instructions and tutorial.   Best of all, it’s still free!  To install, use the link below to download:. http://www.toplineresults.com/topline-maps-download-capture.aspx.

CRM Competitive Advantage: Installed Base Info

February 4 2015 15:38 by Melanie Varin
To get the most out of your CRM, you need to use it for looking back as well as for looking forward. The obvious value in CRM is to track your potential sales funnel – leads, opportunities, deal stages, orders and sales. Whether you are selling products, services, or complex solutions, using your CRM to record your sales – including details regarding your installed base – will increase the value of your CRM investment significantly. Unless you are starting a new organization or business venture, you are likely to have some history of legacy sales. Should you bother putting these into your CRM or simply start with new sales that you achieve after your CRM is implemented? In addition to contemplating that question, you’ll need to consider how much detail you should include. I suggest you give as much thought to the structure and inclusion of your installed-base data as you do your sales funnel. Begin with the end in mind; how will you use this data? Here are several thoughts which only scratch the surface: -          Good data on your (and your competitors’) installed base can help you develop marketing campaigns that are specific to a customer segment, an aging product fleet or a software upgrade opportunity. Get your marketing team involved in the design of your installed-base data file! Ensure you capture the level of data they need while avoid making the information too complex to maintain. -          Good installed-based data can help you predict future opportunities which, in turn, can help your sales managers develop more appropriate territory-level sales targets. Sales managers should be given the chance to provide input on what kind of sales data should be captured and at what level of detail. -          Excellent sales reps can use good historical data to better serve their current customers. Make sure your top 2-3 sales reps are involved in your CRM installed-base planning process. They will become early adopters and can help others see the value in the tool. They will lead by example! -          New sales reps will be happy to inherit good data from their predecessor – potentially making their learning curve shorter and smoothing their transition. This could significantly reduce the costs associated with a new hire. Once you have a good sense of how much data to capture and how you will organize it to meet your objectives, start capturing this data on new sales. Do it for a quarter. Integrate it with your sales system where possible, so that data feeds into your CRM automatically with no manual intervention required. Check in with your sales team, sales managers and marketing team to see if this installed-base data is meeting their expectations. Once you are comfortable that you have an appropriate data structure and a consistent process for ensuring new sales information is integrated into your CRM system, find a way to import historical sales data. Make sure it is good, clean data, so that it is believable and valued by the teams which will use it. This may not be trivial, but is worth the time and investment. If your data is not clean or believable, then don’t put it in your system. Even a little garbage data may instill a sense of distrust with your teams. It is not worth it! Lastly, you need to ensure that your sales and marketing teams understand the value of keeping this data current. As they see competitive products in use, they need to record as much detail as possible, so that it can be included in the CRM system. You may even want to create a reward or prize for capturing excellent competitive intelligence to increase their motivation for participating in this process. In addition some market research organizations provide installed-base services. They will do the research for you and will provide you with data that you can import into your CRM. However, remember that market research data is accurate for a single point in time. You’ll still need a process for keeping competitive data current, if you don’t already have one. Old, outdated data is as bad as garbage data, so keep it up-to-date! CRM systems are an investment of time, money and human resources. Make sure you are getting the most out of your CRM by capturing, reporting and analyzing installed-base data, so that you can turn it into a competitive advantage and create programs that will drive a strong, positive ROI for your organization!   Melanie R. Varin is a Sales, Marketing and Business Process Consultant with TopLine Results Corporation. She has 25 years of professional experience across a variety of business functions with General Motors, Eastman Kodak, and General Electric. For more information about Melanie, please find her Linked In profile here. TopLine Results Corporation is a full-service consulting firm specializing in customer relationship management (CRM) solutions using industry-leading CRM software. TopLine Results serves clients throughout the United States and internationally including Canada, Australia and Europe.  They are based in the Midwest region of the United States with offices in Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri.

Ring in the New Year with the Latest Release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM!

December 8 2014 15:07 by Kimberly Goulet
Microsoft has announced the latest release of Dynamics CRM with general availability beginning this month and into the new year.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM 7.0, also called CRM 2015, brings some exciting updates to the CRM experience, with an emphasis on improving collaboration between marketing and sales in an organization.  The list below highlights some of the new features.   - Marketing enhancements including improved campaign ROI tracking - Introduction of the new sales collaboration panel for targeted selling - New email editor with HTML template capability - Debut of new product families for improved cross-selling opportunities - Sales hierarchical views for real-time forecasting - Microsoft CRM for tablets enhancements   In the coming weeks, we will be announcing launch webinars so you can preview all of the new features live.  Also, watch our blog for more details about the new features.   To reserve your spot at one of our upcoming webinars, email us at info@toplineresults.com or call us at 800-880-1960 x106.

Don’t Miss the ‘Your Business in the Cloud’ Workshop

September 18 2014 15:43 by Kimberly Goulet
‘Cloud’ is the latest buzzword in the business world.  So, what is ‘the cloud’ and what does it mean for your business?  Simply put, the cloud is hosted services.  Hosted services can encompass many things including CRM, VoIP, Office 365 and more.  For an in-depth exploration of cloud services and how they can impact your bottom line, you do not want to miss our upcoming ‘Your Business in the Cloud’ Workshop on October 21, 2014 in Waukesha, Wisconsin.  Southeastern Wisconsin’s top technology thought leaders will converge to bring you the latest in cutting-edge information technology, business strategy and cloud solutions.  Below is a summary of the presenters and their topics: ·         Learn how to take a strategic approach to technology implementation. Presented by:  Bruce Kestelman of the WCTC Center for Business Performance Solutions ·         See the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and get a hands-on tour of the mobile app.  Explore how to effectively manage your marketing campaigns with CRM. Presented by: Fred Varin of TopLine Results Corporation ·         Discover the advantages of Office 365 and see if it is right for your organization.  Examine the differences between public and private clouds to determine your perfect fit. Presented by:  Sarit Singhal of Superior Support Resources ·         Get a guided tour through VoIP telephony and see how it can save you money. Presented by:  Carey Castner of Digicorp ·         Uncover five proven methods for overcoming obstacles to business growth. Presented by Chris Carman of ActionCOACH of Elm Grove   Walk away with a greater understanding of cloud technology and how it can impact your business.  This free event includes continental breakfast, a business workbook, special offers by our sponsors and some great prizes!  Stay for our lunch-and-learn session following the presentation and get your questions answered.  Don’t miss this great opportunity.   Learn more and sign up today!

TopLine Results CRM Hosting Backups

August 19 2014 09:32 by Dan Boehm
Do you trust your critical data to an online cloud provider?  Is your data adequately backed up?  What would happen to your business if there is a disaster of some kind? These are important questions to which every business owner should have answers.  TopLine Results is a cloud services provider for contact management and customer relationship management (CRM) software.  As a hosting provider, we employ several methods of data back-up to ensure our clients’ data is secure and retrievable in the event of some kind of system failure or disaster.     We perform hourly backups for our customer databases which allow us to quickly restore a database, helpful in the situation where a customer has accidentally deleted a large group of data records.    We also back up our entire collection of servers daily.  We are able to quickly restore an entire server from that backup if necessary. Finally, we transmit our customers’ data to Microsoft’s Azure cloud servers which are located in an entirely different region of the world.  By storing data off-site, we provide an extra layer of back-up redundancy. At TopLine Results, we take data seriously.  Providing a robust backup plan to our clients allows them to rest assured that they will not lose their data.  If you are considering a cloud solution for your data, be sure you know the backup strategy for your provider. If you would like more information about CRM hosting with TopLine Results, contact us at info@toplineresults.com.

Subscribe Now - Free CRM Video Resource

May 5 2014 13:48 by Jackie Brajner
The TopLine Results YouTube channel is a great free resource for our customers.  Our channel features over 30 videos covering topics related to Act!  and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get notifications whenever a new video is uploaded.  Simply click on the subscribe button on our YouTube page.   Once you have subscribed to our channel, you will receive an email when a new video is uploaded.  Our video library includes tips and tricks and software demonstrations.  Below is a list of our top viewed videos from last year.  MSCRM Sales Cycle Demo Workflows in MSCRM Sales PipeLine Analytics in MSCRM TopLine Dash Makes Act! Reporting Easy MSCRM Activity Reports TopLine Designer Extends Act! Functionality MSCRM Overview Act! Tips & Tricks: De-duplication TopLine Alerts – Notifications for Act! Microsoft Outlook Integration in MSCRM  More great videos are on the way!  Watch for new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 videos coming soon.  If there is a video topic you would like to see, please email us at info@toplineresults.com.  

Defining your Target Market in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

March 13 2014 11:51 by Jackie Brajner
The first step to a successful marketing campaign is defining your target market.  A target market can be defined into different segments by demographics, geography or products.  Once you have designated your target market, your marketing message and activities can be customized to the target market.  In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, you will need to define your target market in a marketing list prior to launching a quick campaign or marketing campaign activities.   To create a marketing list click on the New icon.    A new view will open. Fill in the details for the marketing list.    Below are definitions of each field. Name: The name of your marketing list. Type: Static is a manual list where members of the marketing list are added manually based on a query or look-up.  Dynamic is an automated list where members are added when they meet the query rules.  Purpose: The reason for the list. Source: Where the members came from, i.e. internal database or purchased. Currency: This is a locked field based on the currency (monetary) type. Cost: The cost to purchase the list, if applicable. Locked: The list can be locked so the owner of the list is the only one who can modify it. Targeted At: Defines the members of the list as accounts, contacts or leads.  Modified On: This is a locked field that shows when the list was last modified. Last Used On: This is a locked field that shows when the list was last used. Owner: The owner is the user who created the list or is maintaining the list. Description: This area can be used to provide additional information on the marketing list.  Notes: This area can be used for notes or thoughts on the marketing list. Once you have completed all the fields click Save.     You will now be able to add members to your marketing list by clicking on Manage Members.    A new window will open where you can choose how you want to add members to the list.  In this example we will use Advanced Find to add all Wisconsin (WI) contacts to our member list. Select “Add using Advanced Find” and click Continue.    The query view will now open and you will select the state equals WI within the query parameters and click Find. Your query results will now be shown and you have the option to add all the search results or only selected results.  In this example, we will select “Add all the members returned by the search to the marketing list” and click Add to Marketing List.   The members have now been added successfully to the marketing list in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.  The marketing list can be applied to multiple marketing campaigns or quick campaigns.  Contact us today to schedule your Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 training:  800-880-1960 or info@toplineresults.com.