30 Tips from Microsoft for Moving Your Data into a CRM

July 23rd, 2014

Microsoft Dynamics has spent the last 17 years working on integration of CRM, marketing automation and ERP. In those years, they’ve collaborated with thousands of different customers’ integration projects and all the data that comes with it.

Read these great tips provided from them that will help you move your data into a CRM:

1. Define the word ‘integration” so everyone in your company understands it
2. Assume that people don’t understand and need more explanation
3. Have a common goal and stick to it
4. Aggregate your data in stages, not all at once
5. Have milestones along the way with metrics to monitor the results
6. Know that your budget may not include 100 percent of the costs (there are always hidden surprises)
7. Be open about the possibility of outsourcing certain functions
8. Clearly understand each of the systems involved in your integration project
9. Reality often varies from the documentation
10. Anticipate inconsistencies
11. Many integration tasks are one-time events
12. It may be more cost-effective to bring in an experienced installer
13. You can’t get where you’re going unless you’ve carefully mapped your way there
14. Involve stakeholders every step of the way
15. Bad data discourages user adoption
16. “Good” data is good in the context of the system currently using it
17. Cleaning data properly requires multiple passes, processes and vigilance
18. You’ll be more efficient if your processes can serve you again and again
19. Break the project down into manageable tasks and prioritize
20. Be careful to only make changes that will survive the next vendor upgrade
21. Use APIs wherever and whenever possible (this creates flexibility)
22. Resist achieving performance increases by going “directly to the data”
23. Exercise caution when deciding to replicate data instead of integrating it
24. When you must replicate, include an intermediary quality assurance step so you don’t transfer bad data
25. Manage your user’s response to your system first and foremost (it’s valueless unless they use it)
26. Find champions within the user base to help promote your cause
27. Commitment to specific results is critical, but remember that preserving some agility always helps
28. The real measures of success are the results users get from using your integrated solution
29. The best way to prevent users’ fears is to keep them involved and hands-on as much as possible
30. Your project is only successful when your users are successful

To read the original article, click here.


White Paper: CRM in the World of Buyer 2.0

July 16th, 2014

In a rapidly changing business world, sales organizations are under intense pressure to differentiate both their offerings as well as the customer experience. Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides an exceptional platform for companies to raise their game by supporting three key drivers of competitive advantage for sales in today’s world of informed buyers.

In the white paper, CRM in the World of Buyer 2.0 you learn more about:99

Sales Process Enablement

The ability to implement and evolve the sales “playbook” for better execution.

Sales Agility

The ability “serve up” just in time customer intelligence and provide context-based methodology guidance in real time.

Sales Mobility

The ability to provide anytime, anywhere access to vital CRM information for “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) workforce.

Click here to read the white paper.

Is Marketing Automation the Right Fit for Your Organization?

July 9th, 2014

Are you considering implementing a marketing automation tool at your organization? Here are the top benefits that will aid you in your decision.Businessman circling a marketing bubble

It’s a time saver.

You can create multiple campaigns and posts ahead of time and schedule them for a time and date in the future.

CRM integration.

Rather than having to manually segments customers based on their needs and preferences, some marketing automation solutions allow you to simply create restrictions that will allow customers to be automatically separated. This can be integrated with your current database of customers located directly in your CRM system.

Make the most of your staff resources.

With an automated solution, a single staff member can execute complex and ongoing campaigns and can connect with many more customers than would be possible manually.

Maintain consistency.

If you have automated posts or tweets scheduled, your account stays fresh and up to date so visitors know that you are an active and engaged business. A stale or inconsistently updated social media account may be the sign of a business that cannot properly manage its customer communication or, worse, does not view it as important.

Detailed reporting.

A great solution will provide you with detailed graphs, statistics and other report data that you can analyze in order to optimize your future campaigns. Having data from your campaigns automatically collected and organized makes it simple to review this essential data.

Save money.

If you are looking to efficiently manage your budget, marketing automation can be an ideal solution. By reducing the need for staff to spend as much time and effort creating and distributing messages and collecting data, you can make the most of your resources.

Brand awareness.

Allowing customers to interact with your business in multiple ways makes it easy for customers to reach you in a way that is convenient for them, and it increases your visibility which helps to draw in new customers. Some automated marketing solutions even offer multiple channels in a single solution.

Not a techie? No problem.

Marketing automation is simple even for people who are not technically inclined. With most automated marketing solutions that are now available, you do not need any coding or design experience to create great campaigns. Most solutions offer ready-made templates, easy to use editors and helpful information to guide you through the creation and distribution processes.

Easy nurturing.

No longer do you have to only connect with each lead manually, which can be time-consuming. An automated marketing solution can help you reach out to a potential lead right from the beginning of their interaction.

Customer profiling.

Marketing automation helps you to build more useful and detailed customer profiles. An automated solution is always gathering information based on customers’ purchases, email opens and responses, selected preferences and more. All this data is stored for future use, to allow you (and your handy automated marketing solution) to reach out to each customer more effectively.

To view the original source, click here.

eBook: 5 Cool Things You Can Do with CRM for Tablets

July 2nd, 2014

The first step of course is to install the Microsoft Dynamics CRM app on your tablet from your device’s app store. Once installed, you can now get started! Make sure that you connect to your CRM web address and sign in with your username and password.

Next, read this handy eBook from Microsoft and learn about the 5 cool things you can do with CRM on your tablet by clicking here.


eBook: 10 Keys to Entrepreneurial Success

June 27th, 2014


Learn all the secrets to Pat Sullivan’s success in his eBook. Click here to read it!

As a two-time Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Pat Sullivan has distilled the critical career lessons that drove his remarkable success.

TopLine Strategies is an unabashed supporter of Sullivan and his work. He is a great friend and a strong supporter of TopLine Strategies.

“TopLine Strategies is actively engaged with many of the firms where I have served as a director. Take my word for it – when it comes to business analysis, CRM, revenue related systems and IT staffing – the team’s award-winning services are second to none,” said Sullivan.

Enjoy his eBook! And please let us know if you have any feedback about his eBook that you would like to share.

Make the Most of Social Media with CRM Integration

June 25th, 2014

In the whitepaper, CRM and Social Networking: Engaging the Social Customer, Microsoft gives a few suggestions for success:00

Treat social networking as a new channel within CRM.

Many companies already use CRM solutions to manage customers, contacts, interactions, and communications, so it makes sense to continue to use customer management tools when these activities move into social networking channels.

Enhance and extend CRM through social networking.

While social networking activities can be considered as an additional channel in CRM, they also extend and enhance the capabilities of CRM with new ways of engaging customers and managing conversations.

Play to the strengths of both CRM and social networks.

Use CRM and social networking sites together to better listen to customers, analyze information, and respond to customers in a way that’s meaningful to them.

To download the whitepaper, click here or on the white paper image above.

To view the original source, click here.


Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Application and User Interface New Features

June 18th, 2014

Learn how Microsoft reimagined the user interface, navigation bar and forms in the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.


eBook: Microsoft Social Listening

June 11th, 2014

Click here to learn more about Microsoft’s Social Listening capabilities.



eBook: Increase your impact with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

June 5th, 2014

Click to read: ebook_Increase_your_impact_with_Microsoft_Dynamics_Marketing


Content Marketing with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

May 21st, 2014

Content marketing is the future for anyone doing marketing automation. The trouble is, how do you come up with all of those marketing assets to send out and publish- whitepapers, viral videos, demos, infographics, etc.? The answer is a great content creation tool called Microsoft Dynamics Marketing.  To learn more, click here to see a more in-depth video.