About the company
The business has operated since 1946 in the centralized lubrication systems and components industry. Based in Europe, the organization was the first lubrication company in its country to earn ISO 9001 accreditation. It prides itself on continual reinvestment into company growth and development. Its U.S. subsidiary, which assembles the products and components manufactured in Europe, is located in the greater Detroit area.
As an existing client of The TM Group, this business already utilized Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The company utilized Dynamics NAV to manage many operational concerns, including the assembly of many components that arrive from its overseas parent organization. Dynamics NAV gave the business the capability to address those issues and move forward.
The issues facing the business
Following The TM Group’s successful implementation of Dynamics NAV, the business had another priority project: implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The business faced a number of challenges, including giving sales staff a single platform and as well as a provide a method to easily capture, standardize and view sales team information. Getting lead information from the initial source – be it a web form, email or phone call – to the sales staff was difficult and disconnected, as the many forms of communication used and lack of useful follow-up info made it hard to track the progression and status of leads in the sales funnel.
The company had trouble determining why potential sales fell through, as the data about potential customers and when they stopped progressing in the sales process was difficult to organize and analyze. Without that data, making timely adjustments and mitigating common pain points was difficult. The company in general wanted to better manage its sales force. It needed more pipeline management, more information about sales opportunities made available and improved customer classification and segmentation.
The company desired a clearer, more direct process for quantifying sales and determining sales staff performance. They also needed a level of customizability that simply wasn’t present in the basic CRM provided in Dynamics NAV, which has a basic CRM system to only keeps track of contacts and opportunities. That system couldn’t provide the detail the company wanted in tracking marketing campaigns and other events.
More success with Microsoft Dynamics CRM
After determining Dynamics CRM offered a more robust system attuned to its needs, the first action taken was installing a Microsoft Outlook client to track customer emails and maintain appointment schedules. The TM Group also helped improve the forms used by the company for initial contact with leads, including more fields for industry-specific information and monitoring progress.
Better tracking of leads and contacts, including a distinction between potential and existing customers, was also implemented at the individual account level. All existing customers in Dynamics NAV were integrated into Dynamics CRM. Other information integrated included accounts receivable data, invoices and sales orders. Sales order and invoicing information operations take place in Dynamics NAV, but the entire process is visible in Dynamics CRM. Additional information made easily and immediately visible include reports and dashboards that offer open leads, a daily schedule, open orders and opportunities. For management, lead tracking in terms of time a lead spends open, current opportunities and associated forecasting based on probability percentage were added.
The company has future plans to implement Dynamics CRM marketing features, like email blasts, although the discussions are still in the opening stages. More immediate are the improvements in building reports and metrics to track and follow up on leads. The business now documents the source of each lead at the beginning of their sales and marketing process. Dynamics CRM generates reports for managers that inform them about the length of time for which leads are open, indicating potential issues.
That same information is passed along to salespeople based on the last interaction with a lead, acting as a reminder to reach out. Reports about the number of leads converted to opportunities versus leads lost or disqualified, and another report that covers the opportunity to quote process provides more information about the second half of the sales funnel.
Quotes are a major concern for the business as it produces systems and components on a made-to-order basis, meaning each sale can potentially include a unique configuration. With salespeople operating remotely across the U.S., it’s critical to have the information available to everyone. The company also wanted to gather engineer-to-order information on the front end of the sales process to manage opportunities as well from an engineering perspective, using Dynamics NAV to create the proper configuration and gain approval.
This was a challenging implementation process, but the integration of their CRM and ERP solutions made it far simpler to execute effectively. Dynamics CRM tracks pieces and parts, and only becomes an inventory item after it enters Dynamics NAV and part designs are manually created. Additionally, the company has reduced lead time through the use of Microsoft Dynamics NAV Online. Sales staff – who also have engineering backgrounds – design parts on-site during in-person visits with new and existing customers, making the sales and production processes more efficient.
More agile, effective and connected sales staff and management
Implementing Dynamics CRM and integrating it with Dynamics CRM or NAV means the company can now reliably source information for sales and management use, provide a single data source for all reporting and pass along info to salespeople and track leads from the beginning to final sale or failure. Salespeople are more organized and efficient, managers have better insight into operations and lead times for projects are all reduced.