Dreamforce ’14

October 22nd, 2014

This past week we attended Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. There, we were able to hear from keynote speakers about what is the ahead in the road map for the company as well as listen to expert-led learning sessions. Take a look below at some pictures we took while we were at the conference!

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Announcing Promotional Pricing for Sales Productivity!

October 15th, 2014

Microsoft recently announced a limited time promotional offer for sales professionals that combines the familiarity of Office 365, with the leading business application Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and self-service BI solution Power BI for Office 365 called “Sales Productivity.”

Customers will receive a combined price of this solution at $65 per user per month:

  • Office 365 Enterprise E3 – The latest full Office across devices, advanced email and collaboration, online conferencing, compliance features and full IT power.
  • Power BI add-on for Office 365 – Self-service Business Intelligence cloud solution that works with Excel.
  • CRM Online Professional – The recommended offering for sales professionals.

Office 365 E3 or E4 Customers can also add Sales Productivity, for just $45 per user per month for CRM Online Professional and Power BI.

MS CRM

Sales productivity combines the leading franchise in productivity (Office 365) with a powerful service to discover, analyze and visualize data (Power BI) and with the cloud solution that gives sales professionals an integrated view of their customers (Dynamics CRM Online). With Sales Productivity, sales professionals can efficiently work on what matters most to their customers, prioritizing their time on the most promising leads, getting social insights and working with their network to close deals faster. Managers can stay on top of critical performance indicators, explore data, manage their pipeline and make necessary calls to help their teams drive opportunities to close. Executives can track the overall health of the sales organization, reach their teams from anywhere and make decisions fast. Everyone working on a familiar experience also means faster and easier adoption.

To learn more or get started, contact us today at sales@toplinestrategies.com.

Whitepaper: Which chart or graph is right for you?

October 8th, 2014

You’ve got data and you’ve got questions. But which chart or graph helps you get to the heart of your goal?1

Get started by creating the best type of chart for your data and questions. From there, you’ll quickly find you’re not only answering your initial questions, but telling amazing stories with your data.

The charts and graphs described in the paper include:

  • Lines
  • Pies
  • Maps
  • Scatter Plots
  • Gantts
  • Bubbles
  • Histograms
  • Bullets
  • Heat Maps
  • Highlight Tables

Click here to download the whitepaper.

Infographic: 12 Great Reasons Companies Use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to Drive Revenue

September 30th, 2014

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Release Preview Guide is Now Available!

September 24th, 2014

Find out how Microsoft’s vision will enable you to market smarter, sell effectively and provide care everywhere in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Release Preview Guide.

Today, sellers and marketers must work more closely together to seamlessly and successfully engage customers. Microsoft is providing the solutions that can enable them to deliver amazing customer experiences together. By aligning your organization around what matters most, companies will be able to drive greater success and engagement with their customers.

This document highlights the capabilities in:ms

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 & Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online (2015 Update)

  • Enhanced branching logic & tablet functionality
  • Boosted cross-sell/up-sell effectiveness
  • New hierarchical visualizations and roll-ups
  • Improved customer service case management capabilities

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing (2015 Update)

  • Upgraded segmentation with graphical email editing
  • A/B and split testing
  • Integrated social listening
  • Added sales collaboration tools
  • Lead scoring and visibility management
  • Automated design approval process

Microsoft Social Listening (2014 R2)

  • Enabled location filters to narrow data set
  • Monitor and listen to conversations in 19 languages
  • Analyze sentiment

As the world grows smaller and more complicated, technology plays an important role enabling a business to understand and effectively engage their customers. Microsoft Dynamics CRM products help companies unite their marketing, sales and service teams with the insights they need to deliver amazing customer experiences every time.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Spring ’14 Overview

September 17th, 2014

This high-level video overview of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing by Tony Schmidt shows marketers how to manage all their marketing in one place, from developing marketing plans and budgets to managing projects and assets to supporting effective marketing communications across traditional and digital channels.

Watch the video below to learn more.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Spring 14 Overview from TopLine Strategies on Vimeo.

eBook: ABC’s of Sales in the Modern Era

September 10th, 2014

“The alphabet is a foundational lesson we learn early on and internalize to the point where we hardly even notice it as we move through our days, no matter how ubiquitous it is on our lives. When we think of the abc’s, perhaps even more so than the popular sales mantra ‘always be closing,’ we think of getting back to the basics,” said Fred Studer, GM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

In the eBook, Always be Closing - ABC’s of Sales in the Modern Era from Microsoft, they explain how you can find your way back to the heart of sales with technology that is helpful without getting in the way. We need technology that doesn’t waste a salesperson’s time —that actually helps salespeople do their jobs better, improving their productivity while enabling them to meet today’s customer expectations and the dramatically different buying process.

In this eBook, Microsoft tackles the issues facing sales today head on, incorporating changes and developments in the market that your teams need to understand.

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Marketing’s New Role—Marketing Technology Officer (MTO

September 3rd, 2014

As a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), are you prepared to understand all the technologies you’ll need in order to survive and thrive? As we move into 2015, one thing has become very clear – technology is playing a key role in the transformation of marketing into a revenue center. Savvy heads of marketing should be working both to understand the key role of technology, and to learn how to optimize this stack of technology.377ad8ae-4850-40ba-ba47-7b016a54c2fb

A recent report from Gartner tells us that marketing automation will be the fastest growing category in CRM over the next four years and that by 2017, CMO’s will have a bigger IT budget than Chief Information Officers (CIOs). With this news comes the idea that marketing departments should add a new position to the team—Marketing Technology Officer (MTO).

What is an MTO you ask? Well, this position leads technology strategy, develops marketing technologies and evangelizes innovations throughout the marketing department.

One company that recently added an MTO is Rubbermaid. They have used this position to help their brands think about how they share product information in different stages. Because of this, there has been a value shift from thinking about how their customers could fit into product lines to putting the customer at the center of operations and thinking about what products they could design to suit their customer base.

Who does this person report to? The MTO at Rubbermaid reports directly to the CMO, not the CIO. The relationship that exists between the MTO and CIO is that the marketing department is complying with the company’s defined IT standards and process. CIOs and IT departments look after the infrastructure and back-end systems, while the MTO’s and CMO’s look after the front-end technology.

Has your company recently added an MTO?  We would love to hear your feedback.

Sources:

http://www.business2community.com/leadership/new-role-mto-marketing-technology-officer-0989833#!bPcZrN

http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/software/3409535/forrester-sell-idea-of-marketing-technology-office-cios/

http://www.crmsearch.com/marketing-automation-social-marketing.php

CRM: Why your company needs one!

August 26th, 2014

Why do you need a CRM system within your organization? Well, to start, CRM first stands for Customer Relationship Management, which is exactly what it does. A CRM tool is intended to help track interactions with current and future customers for the entire company.

Customer relationship management

What value can a CRM system bring and how do you know what to look for? Here is a list below:

Maintain Institutional Knowledge

One of the most valuable aspects of a good CRM is to have a repository of information about your company’s opportunities and customers. This is probably one of the most overlooked aspects of a good CRM. Using a shared spreadsheet on a network drive just doesn’t cut it. A disgruntled employee might delete the file. Invest in a platform with role-based security.

Coordinate Across Departments

It’s about more than just sales and salespeople. Have you ever called a customer to talk about your new offering only to find out that they are having a major problem right now?  Most of us have had that happen. Ensure that your entire organization uses the platform to document customer interactions. Of course, your salespeople need the discipline to check the system before contacting the customer.

Tight Email Integration

Most of your communication is likely via email. Don’t make your team jump through hoops to capture email conversations in the CRM. If you don’t have seamless integration with your email system, you are either using an antiquated email platform, or a soon-to-be-outdated CRM platform. Once you type the client or prospect’s name the system should forever link that email to their CRM record.

Native Mobile Support

I don’t need to convince you that mobile is essential. If your team can’t access what they need from tablets and smartphones, then you’ve made a bad investment. When the customer calls while you are on the road, you should have easy access to everything about their account.

Effective Follow-up and Automation

The greatest value in an effective CRM platform is the ability to remind sales reps to follow-up with opportunities at the right time.

Know the Three Things You Need

Focus on the most important elements that tell you “which opportunities are real.” For my money, you should be tracking 1) What problem is the customer trying to solve; 2) Why is it important for them to solve that issue with urgency; and 3) How will they measure success of the solution. If you have that information, you are 90% of the way toward successful, same-side selling.

To view the original article, click here.

Tableau: Building the Next Generation of Data Analysis

August 20th, 2014

Helping people see and understand their data drives everything Tableau does. Put together an Academy Award-winning professor, a brilliant computer scientist at the world’s most prestigious university and a savvy business leader with a passion for data. Add in one of the most challenging problems in software – making databases and spreadsheets understandable to ordinary people, and what are the results? You have just recreated the fundamental ingredients for Tableau’s products. At Tableau, they are continually growing and building their technologies for the future.

What are some new features that they just unleashed?

Story Points
Create compelling, interactive, data-driven stories. Assemble sheets and dashboards into a narrative arc that tells the story in your data. Capture key insights with annotations, highlights and filters. Add descriptions to emphasize findings. Make your story interactive to encourage further exploration.

New Map Designs
Maps are critical to geographic analysis and have received a major overhaul in Tableau 8.2. This includes new map designs produced in collaboration with Stamen, worldwide detailed levels of zoom, an improved mapping server and support for high DPI displays.

Later in the road map, icons may be used instead of position marks making it easier to read.

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Visual Data Windows
Tableau redesigned the data connection experience from the ground up. Connect to multiple tables, add joins with one click, and preview your data to make sure you’ve got what you need. You can also modify field properties, add data source filters and extract your data.

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To read more visit:

http://gigaom.com/2014/07/07/a-tiny-research-team-at-tableau-is-building-tomorrows-ux-for-data/

http://www.tableausoftware.com/about