A 30-year-old distributor that offered both wholesale and retail supplies and is known for its fine customer service was facing a changing marketplace. Company representatives knew they lacked the overall technology that would allow them to continue flourishing. They had an older (mainframe, character-based) system and were quickly outgrowing it. After a detailed search for a new solution, they chose Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM for their new business platform and The TM Group to guide them through the implementation. (Read about the GP implementation at erpsoftwareblog.com.)

The initial phase was a Microsoft Dynamics CRM “COLA” project, which manages contacts, opportunities, leads and accounts. However, the company also wanted the entire sales team to use CRM as their main point of reference for all sales information, including a lot of data that originates in their Magento e-commerce store solution. All this qualified client information flows in one direction — from Magento to Microsoft Dynamics GP and into Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is being used primarily for the sales team to drive sales activities and provide insight into the client base as a whole. Opportunities, sales automation — all the information is being captured as leads in the CRM system. Then those leads will get converted into accounts; after going back into Magento and being entered into the e-commerce store, that data gets converted from a lead into an account. This allows the company to still know what its conversion rates are while associating the leads into CRM. Another huge benefit for the distributor’s salespeople is the ability to look up invoices in CRM more easily than looking them up in Magento.  For example, it is cumbersome to search in Magento for specific products a customer has ordered. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the team executes this search through an advanced find to locate invoices easily.

Unique statuses of the client accounts are generated and established on account activity based on the customer’s actual influx of invoices and activity. New accounts are now deemed active, with a “counter” running — for example, stipulating how many months since their last invoice or purchase. An invoice that is generated from that account shows up as active and moves to different stages based on the invoicing process. The organization is able to detect the status of these accounts, even inactive accounts without any activity, all within a specified timeline. With over 30,000 customers, custom workflows were created to be able to recognize the customers that haven’t had any activity (are dormant) in a specific time frame. The company keeps track of all active vs. inactive customers.

Dashboards were created and are being used daily to assist the management and sales teams with their leads and accounts, tracking opportunities, and sales predictions in their associated pipelines. A future phase of the project will be an authentic connector tool that will be available to convert these leads from Microsoft Dynamics CRM directly into Magento.

Originally Published on www.CRMSoftwareBlog.com.