Our client, a consulting and professional services firm with offices across the US and all over the world, had a business development department that was buried in administrative responsibilities.  Their team was responsible for preparing proposals requested from management or individual associates in the firm.  They were also responsible for the direct marketing efforts to a large number of potential prospects for major initiatives across all the offices.  Managing these tasks in spreadsheets and Access databases was laborious and error-ridden, and it was nearly impossible to tie marketing efforts to new revenue opportunities.

Their key issues were:

  • The business development branches had been working as separate entities which resulted in duplication of work and little communication about complimentary initiatives.
  •  There was no central place to log, plan and/or store communication efforts with clients and prospects.
  • There were multiple data entry points for the same information, including systems that did not communicate and multiple spreadsheets used for reporting purposes.
  •  There was no universal access to marketing materials and forms.

The business development staff did not know where a specific proposal was in the proposal creation process.  This loose process resulted in lost time trying to track down specific proposal statuses.

To address these issues, the firm asked us to assist in deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.  The solution was designed with all offices using the same CRM database yet each office was only able to see information for their own business unit.  This provided the security to keep all office communications and sales proposals separated, but allowed roll-up sales reporting for the corporate office.  Through a custom workflow, the business development team was now able to manage all proposal requests, know the individual status of any individual proposal, and was able to report to management with a sales opportunity pipeline.

Marketing initiatives are now also managed in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  Individual marketing programs were set up as Microsoft Dynamics CRM marketing campaigns and all direct communication is now tracked to a contact level.  Even better, marketing campaign results are linked directly to individual sales opportunities, which is invaluable information for the marketing team – they now know which marketing campaigns were the most successful.  Our client can now plan, deploy and measure their marketing all in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which makes life much easier for both the marketing and sales teams.

Originally published on www.crmsoftwareblog.com