Investment Firm Customizes Microsoft Dynamics to Enhance Visibility into Critical Client Information

Making the Most of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Investment

Written By // Jeff Lanham

Lending
Midmarket
Chicago, IL (Headquartered in New York, NY)

This investment firm was struggling to realize the full value of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Manual data entry from an array of dispersed sources was not only time consuming, but hindering the opportunity to develop critical investor relationships with better automation and insights.

By realigning their business requirements and objectives with proper integration and automation, the firm was hoping to regain the value of their investment in Dynamics CRM, as well as deliver a better customer experience that would drive greater business growth.

An international investment company based in Chicago was looking to reinvent the way they accessed customer information and shared it across their organization. After the initial rollout of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the company was discouraged to learn that the new solution was not delivering the expected results. With increasing pressure on IT and sales to increase efficiency with customer-facing functions wherever possible, the company recognized something needed to be done.

By realigning their business requirements and objectives with the technology that supports their teams, the firm was hoping to regain the value of their investment in Dynamics CRM, as well as deliver a better customer experience that would drive greater business growth.

  • Reduce Cost: By incorporating better automation, the company estimated they could save 8 hours per day in redundant CRM data-entry, or around $50,000 in salaried worker hours!
  • Increase Productivity: Greater productivity meant the organization could redeploy sales and administrative resources to focus on more value-added initiatives to drive business growth.
  • Future-Proof: With the right systems in place, the organization would be ready to accelerate CRM in the cloud to meet additional needs as the business continued to grow.

Making the Most of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Investment

For this investment firm, client relationships were the foundation of their success. As a result, company stakeholders wanted insights into customer interactions on a daily basis. To provide this information, sales and administrative staff had to manually enter data into CRM from an array of dispersed sources. This repetitive process was not only daunting, but costing the organization time, money, and ultimately hindering the opportunity to develop critical investor relationships.

Without innovating their processes and systems with better automation and integration, the company was facing the following risks:

  • Lack of ROI: After investing in Dynamics CRM, the company was struggling to leverage the tool to its full potential. Without careful planning and ROI justification, the CRM rollout failed to deliver the hoped-for results. A solution that was supposed to enhance the job of sales ended up costing even more time and money in maintenance of overly complex systems.
  • Lack of User Adoption: Their existing solution was clunky and hard to use. The sales team couldn’t easily and efficiently find the information they needed, and administrative staff was getting burnt out with manual work that could easily be automated. As frustrations grew, user adoption diminished.
  • Complexity Hindering Sales: With an overly complex system in place, the company was unable to leverage their investment in Microsoft Dynamics properly. The sales team was spending most of their time searching for critical, unreliable information, leaving little time to invest in building key client relationships. In today’s fast-paced environment, the company risked falling behind changing market conditions and meeting ever-evolving customer preferences.

A Holistic Approach to Dynamics CRM Customization

Given the investment firm’s unique structure, they needed a streamlined, flexible solution to overcome the unexpected challenges that emerged after their initial CRM rollout.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, SWC has proven experience in customizing Microsoft Dynamics CRM. By tapping the depth and breadth of expertise of a holistic provider, the investment firm was able to improve automation and integration, while avoiding the pitfalls of unnecessary spending and costly delays.

Additionally, outsourcing certain IT functions afforded the company extra bandwidth to get up and running quickly. Within days of deployment and user training, users were able to start utilizing the functionality and productivity opportunities available in Dynamics CRM.

Getting to the Root of the Issue

The first step in the CRM upgrade was to uncover the source of the problem through an in-depth discovery. By interviewing company stakeholders, department leads, and key individuals involved in the day-to-day workflows, SWC discovered that, like many technical issues, the problem was not only a technology problem but a process problem as well.

During this discovery phase, the organization uncovered the following primary challenges:

  • Data: Investor data was stored in numerous places across CRM, making it difficult to assemble reports.
  • Governance: The business lacked governance around how to enter data into the system, compounding the problem of a widely dispersed data set.
  • Technology: Their existing setup in CRM had issues with synchronization, which was corrupting the data and rendering it unreliable.

After collecting the business requirements, a group of developers and business analysts were able to design a solution that offered the flexibility their company needed to enable their sales team.

Aligning the Right People, Process, and Technology

Before any development took place, SWC made sure to validate the designs with the sales team and stakeholders. This emphasis on business/IT alignment proved to be a critical component in ensuring the successful outcome of the solution. Iterative checkpoints between business and IT were scheduled to align expectations while avoiding costly rework down the line. This collaboration also helped to streamline post-deployment adoption by designing a solution that met the needs of end-users every step of the way.

After interpreting the needs of the business, SWC developed a custom solution for understanding “investor activity.” Instead of clicking through hundreds of screens to gather the information they needed, this tool provided a central hub for sales teams and company stakeholders to visualize significant client relationships and their investments at a glance.

Additionally, a tool for editing activities in bulk was created to enable faster data input of multiple activities. This new functionality alone significantly reduced the amount of time spent maintaining data within the CRM environment. After the rollout, administrative staff reported saving a combined 8 hours per day in data entry – this translated to around $50,000 in cost-savings!

A Solution to Meet the Evolving Needs of the Business

With the successful launch of a revamped Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the firm has significantly furthered their investment in Dynamics CRM. The streamlined solution promotes easy data input and a better user experience. The company is now able to quickly access the information they need in seconds, rather than hours or days.

With a strong foundation in place, the investment firm is excited about the possibilities of expanding a partnership with SWC – with plans to migrate to Microsoft Dynamics 365 to leverage the new capabilities in the cloud that can further enhance their business.

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