What is a 360-degree view of your customer, why you need it, and why Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the best way to get it

360 View of your Client

There’s an old expression that knowledge is power. In business, knowledge is much more than that. Properly harnessed and managed, knowledge makes money, saves time, strengthens relationships, and grows your business. And there is no better tool on the market to help you reap the benefits of knowledge than Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Having readily available information is critical to account management. Consider the common situation of a salesperson calling on a customer. There are many reasons reps do this: to make sure a customer is engaged, account penetration, and opportunity identification. The more informed the rep is going in, the more proactive she can be and the less chance of getting blindsided by an issue that throws them off of the game plan. The rep absolutely needs a 360-degree view of the customer. Some questions a rep needs answered before going in include:

  • Who else is working on this account from my company? Who do we know?
  • What have they purchased from us?
  • Are any projects currently on the go? How are they progressing?
  • Are there any payment issues? Are there any credit concerns for the next project?
  • Are there any support issues outstanding? Will I be blindsided by a big thorny issue?

Calling on a customer without first understanding your customer’s relationship with your company is like working blind. Without an effective CRM, reps need to spend time pulling reports and often need to call Finance, Operations, Customer Service, and others to understand the account. It forces salespeople to spend a lot of precious time on non-sales activities. Alternately, they walk in unprepared. Microsoft Dynamics CRM changes all that. All the information is now available instantly at a glance right in your CRM. We call this the “single pane of glass.”

DID YOU KNOW THAT REPS SPEND MORE THAN 75% OF THEIR TIME ON NON-SELLING ACTIVITIES? ~ Source: Pace Productivity.

Account Management: Single Pane of Glass

With Microsoft’s “single pane of glass“, you can see account information in this one place. This includes core account information, plus related information that is relevant to account management. This often includes contacts, work orders, opportunities, contracts, cases and information from your financial system including product sales history, A/R, and Credit information. CRM can be configured to show information that is relevant to your company even if that information is in other systems. The ability to connect to other systems at your company is one of Microsoft CRM’s key strengths.


Cost Effective License Model

Bill Gardner, Managing Partner of CRM Dynamics, a Toronto-based Microsoft Gold Partner specialized in CRM, explains:

“Microsoft Dynamics CRM is uniquely suited for integration. It has built-in ability to integrate and automate right out of the box. Your Dynamics license costs don’t increase when you want to add Workflow or API integration. This is in marked contrast to the key Dynamics competitor where a low license cost is offered in the beginning but costs soon double when Workflow, Integration, and Mobile are added. We term the competitor’s strategy ‘thin edge of the wedge.’ This wedge becomes more than uncomfortable when their customers realize that they are locked in for up to 3 years.”


A Platform you have Already Invested in

Dynamics CRM is a Microsoft product: it works out of Outlook, web browsers and smart phones. It also integrates seamlessly with Excel, Word, SharePoint, OneNote and others. The intuitive nature of the platform and ability to integrate with what people use every day aids in better adoption.


Future Friendly Investment

In addition to buying into a platform that your team is already using, you are also purchasing a platform with significant R&D investment. The solution that you invest in today will only get stronger. Microsoft spends more than 10 Billion yearly on R&D.

Knowledge is power. Microsoft Dynamics CRM puts the information you need in one convenient place to give you a complete 360-degree view of your customer. Click here to learn more about harnessing customer data, and to learn more about how Microsoft Dynamics CRM can help your business.

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Bill Gardner

With over two decades of experience implementing CRM, Bill is a sales and marketing strategist focused on helping clients achieve their business objectives by effectively leveraging CRM and other technologies.