February 12 2015 08:07
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:.
February 4 2015 15:38
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.
December 8 2014 15:07
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 800-880-1960 x106.
September 18 2014 15:43
‘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!
August 19 2014 09:32
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 email@example.com.
May 5 2014 13:48
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 13 2014 11:51
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 email@example.com.
February 19 2014 15:44
For those of us who spend quite a bit of our day in Outlook managing email communications, I would like to share a tip on how to easily transition an email into an activity which can then be tracked in your Microsoft Dynamics CRM database.
Flagging an email is a very helpful Outlook feature; however, it falls short when you need to track these items in your Microsoft Dynamics CRM system. The email message is added as a to-do in the task section of Outlook and the email can be tracked in CRM, but you do not have a record of the action you performed on the email.
To transition the email message to an activity, you can create a custom task using Quick Steps. In the Quick Steps area of the ribbon, scroll down until you see the Create New command.
In the Edit Quick Step dialog enter a name for your Quick Step like, “Create a Task.” Click on the drop down arrow in the Choose an Action field. Scroll down and select create a task with the text of this message. Notice there are many other actions available to choose from to help you with managing your email.
You can select a shortcut key and enter a tooltip in the Optional section of the dialog, then chose Finish.
Now we are ready to use our newly created Quick Step. As an example, you receive an email inquiry from a customer which requires you to do some research before you respond. You may not have enough time to do the research immediately, so it would be helpful to create a task that will be linked to the contact record in CRM. Select the email from your inbox, and select our new Create a Task Quick Step.
Your email message will be converted to an Outlook task and you now have the option to track the item as a CRM task or phone call. The Set Regarding feature allows you to link this to the actual entity in CRM like the contact record. The activity is now visible in the CRM system and can be completed so the email message and the next action are both recorded. This feature will help you stay organized with the tasks you need to complete and also provide an easy mechanism which tracks all activities back to your Microsoft Dynamics CRM database – it’s a win,win!
February 12 2014 11:10
Microsoft Dynamics CRM has always offered many productivity tools inherent with its unmatched Microsoft Outlook integration and stellar sales automation. With the latest release, Microsoft CRM 2013 is taking productivity to a whole new level. Below are my top three productivity enhancements in MS CRM 2013: 1. The auto-save feature gives an instant user benefit: no more worries about losing data. The auto-save is performed in the background every 30 seconds or any time a form is closed.
2. The inline editing feature allow a user to perform fast edits and new entries into the main view without requiring navigation to the entity. See your account information and make inline changes or add a new contact, a new opportunity or a new case.
3. The guided process feature is phenomenal in simplicity yet powerful in results. It gives you a visual as to where you are in respect to an account allowing for predefined and customized phases to be filled and viewed instantly. For the sales person, this is a very quick way to make sure all steps are implemented and tracked with speed. The guided process is not limited to a single sales process and can accommodate multiple selling processes. Productivity is only one of the core enhancements of this latest release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. Microsoft Dynamics CRM continues to steadily distance itself from less innovative competitive CRM products with every new release. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 represents a true transformation of the CRM experience and its focus is on simplicity. Productivity is only one of the core enhancements of this latest release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. Microsoft Dynamics CRM continues to steadily distance itself from less innovative competitive CRM products with every new release. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 represents a true transformation of the CRM experience and its focus is on simplicity.
January 20 2014 10:29
When using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM web client, you can customize your experience using your browser settings. The program can be used with Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari; however, in this example, I am working with Internet Explorer.
When working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, I prefer to work in one browser window even when I need to review multiple forms in CRM. I am able to accomplish this by using the multiple tabs view in Internet Explorer. Here is a quick review of how to update your settings to view multiple CRM ‘tabs’ within one browser window.
1. In Internet Explorer, select Internet Options located in the Tools menu.
2. Click on the Tabs button.
3. Next you must select two options from the list of checkboxes:
a. When a pop-up is encountered: > Always open pop-ups in a new tab
b. Open links from other programs in: > A new tab in the current window.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is highly flexible to adopt to the way you work. For more tips, sign up for our quarterly CRM newsletter. Send your contact information to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.