Microsoft Dynamics 365 for SMBs Is it the right ERP for you?

Why SMBs should consider Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Why SMBs should consider Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central? 700 500 Xcelpros Team


Every business needs a reliable way to effectively manage its operations to remain profitable and grow over time, regardless of the industry. While large organizations have the resources to invest in dedicated solutions that help them keep track of their processes, small businesses often work with many different programs to get everything they need out of one platform.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central offers small businesses the flexibility and ease-of-use of an all-in-one solution that caters to many departments in their organization, including sales, finance, project management, human resources, service desk and more.

What is it? Why should SMBs consider using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Master planning, or master scheduling, is the formal process of creating a set of goals and strategies for an organization to achieve its vision. Master Planning is an essential business management practice used by many companies to maintain control and strategic direction.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a complete business management software solution that can replace traditional desktop applications, making MD365 Business Central an effective alternative to other enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.

Dynamics 365 Business Central includes analytics and business intelligence tools to let small businesses better understand how their business is performing and what areas could use improvement. This Microsoft software offers every business owner everything they need to run their firm efficiently, such as sales force automation (SFA), financials, customer relationship management (CRM), project management and human capital management.

Essentially, MD365 Business Central is designed to be a comprehensive system that provides its users with real-time information from all aspects of their business. MD365 Business Central was built as an easy-to-use business management solution so that small businesses can make better decisions and improve their daily operations.

The intuitive design of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central means anyone can quickly learn how to use it, reducing training costs and improving employee productivity.

One of the main reasons that small businesses should consider using MD365 Business Central is because it’s a complete business management solution that doesn’t require additional software. This makes MD365 Business Central an increasingly attractive option because its users don’t have to spend money on extra software licenses or pay hefty implementation fees.

Critical Features for Today’s Modern SMBs

Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Business Central product is aimed squarely at mid-market businesses or SMBs. Some key features include a user-friendly interface and customizable dashboards that allow business owners to easily track their progress toward goals and monitor metrics such as sales performance, inventory levels and more.

The solution also offers financial management tools that includes a budgeting feature that helps businesses manage their cash flow by forecasting future expenses against projected revenues. Small businesses can take advantage of plenty of other benefits with Business Central, but they may be hard to see if you’re not familiar with how solutions like these work.

For example, using Business Central allows companies to quickly react to changing market conditions without making costly changes on an ongoing basis. This agility gives them a leg up over competitors who can’t move as quickly. It’s no wonder why Business Central is one of Microsoft’s fastest-growing business solutions.

This solution has been built with today’s businesses in mind, offering tools that make life easier and more productive than ever before. For example, small business owners can now complete payroll and HR management tasks through their mobile devices, allowing them to work when they want and where they want.

Microsoft Dynamics solutions have been built with today’s businesses in mind, offering tools that make life easier and more productive than ever before. When a business is just starting, there’s no need to spend thousands of dollars on the software they don’t need or have time to learn how to use. Business owners can now cover all of their basic accounting needs with Business Central at a fraction of what similar solutions cost just a few years ago.

Business owners also have access to an online community where they can ask questions, share ideas and connect with others working in similar industries—all without leaving their desktops or mobile devices.

Is Business Central right for you

Business Central is designed to be customized for each industry. Some industries have pre-built templates that are offered out of box, but other industries will need a custom solution that is tailored specifically to their business needs. For example, a family-owned construction company will have very different requirements from an S corporation than a fully distributed software development firm working out of cubicles in 3 different countries. Business Central is extremely customizable for every industry.

Microsoft continues to partner with top industry leaders in every sector including retail, healthcare, government and more to provide a customized experience in every iteration.

Common Considerations

Business owners need to be aware of the various business solutions available. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a suitable ERP solution that businesses can consider, especially if they are small businesses or startups.

There are several advantages with Dynamics 365 Business Central, including its many CRM options. SMBs need to consider these options and the other available solutions before choosing Dynamics 365 Business Central. In addition, they also need to ensure they choose the right level of customization to suit their company’s needs and ensure it is set up correctly before using it.

If your business is considering moving to MD365 Business Central from another software, then you should think about what’s important to your business and how you want your business run. You should compare and contrast each option based on functionality, cost, time frame for implementation, integration possibilities (especially with other systems), etc.

SMBs can use an assessment tool like Microsoft Power Platform to find out which features in Dynamics 365 Business Central might benefit their business. They also need to look at their specific needs before choosing a solution because they will get precisely what they pay for in terms of customizations, number of users and more.

Let’s take a look at why SMBs should use MD365 Business Central in more detail.

Let’s have a look

Final Thoughts

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a good choice for SMBs because of its affordable pricing, ready-to-use business apps, and flexible deployment options. So much of small business success is about customization and Microsoft knows that.

Whether you want to add just a couple of new business processes or implement a complete digital transformation plan, Microsoft Dynamics 365 can help your business stay competitive with powerful functionalities designed for small businesses.

Microsoft has been an innovator in what’s now known as business process management—helping businesses succeed by streamlining their operations into repeatable workflows—for more than 25 years. Now, with MD365 Business Central, even small businesses can access previously reserved technology for Fortune 500 companies.

Also Read:

Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations: Comparison

References: Connect operations across your small or medium-sized business

Clean Your Bad CRM Data & Boost Efficiencies: Best Practices

Clean Up Your CRM Data & Increase Efficiency

Clean Up Your CRM Data & Increase Efficiency 700 500 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

Sales teams around the world rely on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to drive sales force automation. Bad data or “dirty data” prevents companies from gaining the benefits of a CRM system. It causes revenue losses while risking damage to your brand reputation through incorrect messaging and lack of targeted marketing.

  • 15% of companies have confidence in the quality of their CRM data
  • Poor quality data costs US businesses $3.1 trillion per year, IBM estimates
  • Eight out of 10 companies surveyed stated that bad CRM data had a significant impact on lead generation campaigns and industry outreach
  • A data quality initiative can boost sales by 20% – 40% while reducing IT costs by 40% – 50%

An overview of CRM and Customer 360

Today’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions are a lot more than just salesforce automation or contact management tools. CRM systems are being leveraged to run Sales, Field Service, Customer Service, Project Service Automation, Marketing, internet of things (IoT), call records, emails and more.

CRM is now at the core of every aspiring company. They can capture and present a 360 degree view of customer interactions in real-time. Different departments within your organization can benefit from this single source of truth. Embedded Analytics tools assimilate data from different data sources such as ERP, Big Data, Social Media, Email interactions and aid in building this 360 degree view. It is imperative to plan for and include Data Quality Management (DQM) processes and tools while managing such critical data.

Fig 1: Customer 360

One Customer’s Story

One of our customers decided to migrate to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. They immediately saw their data quality was bad and required extreme manual intervention. The clean-up initiative was a nightmare lasting several weeks requiring 10 full-time people to clean three years worth of dirty data.

Among the questions this client asked were: “Are there any tools that can help automate this clean-up? Is this some kind of prehistoric CRM?” This is more common than you might think.

Only 15% of all companies are confident in the quality of their CRM data. This customer was using a good CRM solution equipped with powerful data-cleanup tools. So why weren’t these tools used? According to the customer, they were.

A major reason for the dirty data was some technology-averse users recorded data inconsistently and used fields for incorrect purposes. Enforcing good data capture processes would have eliminated these issues.

This customer’s database includes more than 30,000 leads in the system. About 10% are duplicates. Roughly 20% of the remainder have problems such as:

  • Leads (people) not with the company
  • Missing email and contact information
  • Missing revenue details
  • Missing customer feedback


All of this dirty data delayed marketing campaigns for key events, costing revenue. Current leads are at best “unknown” causing missed sales and opportunities and adding stress to the sales and marketing teams.

Some Truth

This customer isn’t the first to have these problems. Many of our customers suffered similar ordeals resulting in lost opportunities and revenue earning potential.

How did data get this dirty, and most importantly, what are the lessons learned?

A few of the many ways that a CRM system can go from a super valuable tool to an expensive headache are:

  • Improper training
  • Years of incorrect processes when capturing data
  • Failing to perform due diligence when selecting specific fields
  • Careless typos
  • Lacking an embedded data quality management

These recurring issues can be addressed proactively by active management.

Why is CRM data critical for companies?

The success of an organization relies on a constant flow of smart data-driven decisions. This creates the question: “How do you make the right decisions to ensure organizational growth?”

Among the environmental challenges facing chemical and pharmaceutical firms are setting and meeting public targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in-line with the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

High-quality information and strategy are the pillars of any objective decision taken within an organization. Imagine the impact of incomplete or unreliable CRM data—a significant element used by sales and marketing departments—on marketing campaigns? Lead conversions and other metrics cannot be calculated because of bad data.

A CRM solution with unreliable data is similar to buildings without foundations. Just as a building can’t stand without its foundations, a customer relationship management system can’t deliver intended value to businesses without up-to-date, high-quality, reliable information.

Poor data quality costs organizations an average of $9.7 million per year. Source: Gartner Research


Trillion amount of loss being incurred by US-based businesses annually due to poor quality data.

Source: IBM

How to Identify dirty data

Dirty data or bad data refers to information with incorrect facts or assumptions. It can exist anywhere —in your CRM, ERP, shared documents, reports, etc.— and it’s usually a specific type of error or simple mistake.

According to Techopedia: misleading data, incorrect data, inaccurate data, duplicate data, non-integrated data, misspelled data, non-formatted data and incomplete data fall within the category of dirty data.

Some definitions are:

Sources of bad CRM data

  • Invalid Data: Information that is inserted in wrong fields, records that cause software errors or unusable information from improper formatting.
  • Fraudulent Data: Intentional insertion of wrong information by users or sophisticated CRM bots designed to adversely impact a company.
  • Duplicate Data: Records of the same customer under various pseudonyms and accounts input by user error.
  • Inconsistent Data: Data redundancy in the system that when left unchecked, causes greater problems.
  • Outdated Data: CRM data that was valid years ago but was not updated or is no longer required.
  • Incomplete Data: Records that don’t contain important information requiring additional material to make it functional.

The Cost of Dirty Data

Many companies overestimate their quality of data and at times even ridicule any chance of dirty data attack to their business. This often causes significant losses in business.

Consequences of bata CRM data

  • Companies can’t afford to ignore their CRM data quality.
  • Companies need an effective approach to data quality management when they want to convert bad leads to viable customer opportunities.
  • Implementing a Data Quality Management initiative can boost sales by 20% – 40%.
  • IT spending can be reduced by 40% – 50%.

Bad data costs U.S. companies $3 trillion a year. Most organizations lose $14.2 million a year. Source:

How bad CRM data impacts a business

Bad data cost businesses a minimum of of their revenue, which reached as high as 25% in some cases. – EXPERIAN | 2017

Dirty CRM data is a plague that should be eradicated. Its impact on a single business can be staggering. Drawbacks to having and using outdated, inaccurate or just plain bad data include:

  • Increased maintenance costs and resource utilization
  • Lower customer satisfaction and retention
  • Increased errors in messages and emails, resulting in spam reports and potential fines of $16,000 for each email sent in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act
  • Prolonged sales cycles heightening costs
  • Reduced productivity and performance
  • Affected sales and distribution channels due to inaccuracies
  • Non-compliance issues resulting in regulatory penalties
  • Damage to reputation and a decrease in revenue generation

Impact of bad CRM data on sales

Any one of these effects is bad news for a business. Dirty data can create many of them at once.

Figure: 1Impact of Bad Data in all Areas of the Enterprise

Impact of bad CRM data on Enterprise

The typical organization invests roughly $150,000 to generate 1,000 leads.Of these leads, only 30% are typically routed to sales and 700 leads are left behind. This translates to the company losing millions of dollars in pipeline opportunities– Carlos Hidalgo, Founder & CEO of VisumCx

Data Failures are Expensive

Data failures can happen to any organization big or small causing serious damage. The cost to repair a company’s reputation can be in the millions. Fines and penalties for legal violations are already steep, and will continue to rise.

For example, the Fleet Bank set out to deploy a $38 million CRM project in 1996. The project failed to meet its objectives for three straight years, leading to a complete failure, TDWI reported.

  • A large insurance wasted thousands of dollars on a campaign from duplicate records in its list of mail contacts.
  • Erroneous data entry prevented bills from being sent, costing a major telecommunications company $8 million in one month.

Risks due to bad CRM data

A global chemical company’s failure to identify and reconcile with global suppliers cost it millions in lost volume procurement discounts. The average cost of fixing and cleaning a single, duplicated data record can range anywhere from $20 – $100.

Prevent Dirty Data with Data Quality Management

Multiple data challenges

Most organizations don’t have a data quality management strategy in place. A minimum amount of planning would enable these organizations to design a suitable data quality management (DQM) plan. A DQM plan ensures that the information gathered within a developed long-term business strategy is properly maintained. Such a plan prevents interruptions to day-to-day operations. Among the topics the DMQ looks at are:

  • Accuracy: Is the information correct and can it be validated?
  • Integrity: Is there a coherent, logical data structure?
  • Consistency: Is the data consistent and easily understood?
  • Completeness: Does it provide all the information required?
  • Validity: Does the data fit within the business’ required parameters?
  • Timeliness: Is it available whenever required?
  • Accessibility: Can the data be easily accessed and exported to other applications?
  • Compliance: Does the information comply with regulatory and industry standards?

It’s time to Clean Your CRM Data

Data decays at an average rate of 2% per month or up to 25-30% per year. Losing any of this data often results in lost opportunities. Cleaning this data lets your marketing efforts reach prospects faster, helps target the right audience, increases revenue from campaigns and eliminates wasted time and labor.

So how can a company achieve this? What are some ways to prevent dirty data?

ways to prevent dirty data

  • Regularly update complete customer information: Train the sales and marketing staff to gather all essential data during their customer contacts.
  • Integrate other systems with the CRM solution to update purchase order details and customer payment status levels. This helps keep customer details current.
  • Maintain records. Stored information becomes stale in the database when it is unused or administrators have not actively managed it. Confirming customer information at every contact helps prevent this. Another option is hiring professional database cleaners to keep the CRM data current.

Other methods include:

Setting a data quality policy. Management can hold CRM data input training sessions while using a comprehensive data management policy to guide employees.

Automating data entry to avoid incorrect data insertion and duplication using software that automatically captures and logs information. When manual entry is the only option, check what’s been input for spelling and grammatical errors.

  • Ensuring only clean data is entered into the CRM database

Clean CRM Data Creates Successes

With a little planning and by having the right processes in place to follow, a company can turn its CRM into the organization’s financial heartbeat. Businesses of any size can benefit from keeping clean data.

For example, Schwan Food Company’s parent firm was greatly impacted by invalid customer records leading to delays in delivery. Customer service representative efforts to satisfy complaints were wasted. The company placed a concentrated effort on eliminating duplicate CRM data. This generated a quality data management solution removing duplicate customer records and establishing a 360-degree view of the customer. The result was better customer service.

After a merger, MSC Industrial Direct Co. – a Forbes Platinum 400 company – discovered its business workflow was being affected by duplicate customer record entries, causing compensation issues within sales. To resolve this, the organization implemented a business-insight driven data management solution that removed duplicate customer records while minimizing credit risk exposure.

How to reap benefits from CRM data

Use Dynamics 365 Rules to Keep Data Clean

Microsoft Dynamics customer engagement apps (Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Dynamics 365 Field Service, Dynamics 365 Marketing, and Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation) automatically detect several types of duplicate records. These include: accounts, contacts and leads.

Companies can use Dynamics 365 to clean data by having authorized users—systems administrators and above—create new rules to avoid duplications in other fields. They can create a new duplicate detection rule or edit an unpublished one.

The process starts by selecting a base record type and then a matching record type plus criteria such as “Exact Match.”” The people setting these rules can also exclude inactive matching records, be case sensitive, ignore blank fields and adjust other settings.

These Microsoft D365 apps have a limit of five rules for the same base record type.

Key Takeaways – Move Forward Plan

Employees of some companies take a casual approach to entering CRM data, which often results in incomplete records. Three years later there are thousands of garbage leads and contacts in your CRM. They lack a quick way to fix the data errors and cannot run campaigns until the mess is sorted.

Keeping a CRM free of dirty data CAN be done with a little work. Having the right processes in place will minimize the amount of dirty data. Your sales and marketing teams can take advantage of an immensely valuable technology.

Cleaning dirty data is admittedly a time-consuming affair: don’t ignore it. The effort you spend on cleaning your CRM is worthwhile. The effort you spend keeping data clean will lead to major growth and a positive change in your day-to-day operations.

Get a assessment to learn best ways to manage your CRM data & increase the efficiency of your CRM.

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Artificial Intelligence in Sales Performance

How Artificial Intelligence Helps in Boosting Sales Performance

How Artificial Intelligence Helps in Boosting Sales Performance 700 500 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • In today’s hyper-connected digital world, customers expect personalization, convenience, and targeted sales experiences. Sales professionals are continuously striving to provide an enhanced and integrated customer experience.
  • Sales Professionals face many challenges every day – a better understanding of buyers’ needs, value communication, demand prediction and most importantly, staying connected with the customer.
  • Low customer engagement hinders companies’ brand image, forcing them to switch to other brands that better cater to customer requirements. Availability of market data and customer behavior is driving sales professionals to understand customer needs better. Enhanced customer experience ensures business outcomes.
  • Sales powered by Artificial Intelligence is the differentiator that can build better customer relationships as AI helps to understand customer behavior, enhances your ability to forecast, and enables you to focus on sales that matter. AI in sales also helps you in effective demand forecasting to stay in line with the market demands.

The Age of Distraction

Your sales departments play a pivotal role in your organization. They face numerous challenges in increasing customer satisfaction. The significant consequence of living in a digital era is that sales reps get defocussed as they cannot accurately read the customer information. Sellers need appropriate tools to instill a focused effort on sales.

These distractions reduce sales efficiencies by 14%

59%Sales people claim to have too many tools

64% Sales reps’ time is spent on non-selling activities

50%Sales reps’ have no idea about what is expected of them

In addition to distractions, sellers face increasing complexity in today’s sales environment. They work with an average of 10 stakeholders for every purchase decision to be made, resulting in buying decisions to take 97%¹ (Gartner) longer than expected.

Yet, 60% of companies lack a well-defined sales process, further contributing to the long sales cycles. The need to work with different functions and people requires more collaboration, adding to its complexity.

Using Artificial intelligence in sales helps you streamline your sales process by automating various functions like – sales execution, tracking sales performance, connecting with prospects helping you increase your conversion and win rates.

For instance, AI automation in sales has helped automate purchasing using bots decreasing 15 to 20% of expenditure sourced through e-platforms.

Gartner predicts that 30% of all B2B companies will employ some type of AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes by 2020. Your competitors are experimenting with artificial intelligence, looking at the benefits it offers from automating their sales processes. Per McKinsey, companies using artificial intelligence in sales have seen –

  • 50% increase in leads and appointments
  • 40-60% decrease in overall costs
  • 60-70% decrease in call time

While staying at par with competition makes automation a must, clarifying the software’s personalized capabilities and limitations is paramount.


of customers will manage their relationships with different enterprises using bots or virtual assistants by 2020.

Source: Gartner

Smart CRM Solutions Can

  • Transform decision-making across many functional areas
  • Unite key functional areas on organizational goals
  • Improve efficiency, accuracy, profitability
  • Allow staffers to do more creative & strategic work

How can AI help your sales department?

There remains a misconception that AI automation can replace humans. Instead, AI helps humans to increase accuracy and perform their jobs better than before. Incorporating artificial intelligence in your sales departments enables you to automate various tasks done by humans and reduces the scope for human error increasing efficiency. Your sales department can benefit from AI by –

AI for increased price optimization: To decide the discount to be given to a client is always a tricky question for companies. As important as winning the deal is, leaving money on the table is a loss for you. Adopting artificial intelligence in sales departments helps you estimate the ideal discount rate for a proposal by viewing the specific features of a past deal closed. These features also include Features could include: the size of the deal in dollars, product specification compliance, number of competitors, company size, territory/region, client’s industry, client’s annual revenues, a public or private company, and level of decision-makers (influencers) involved.

AI for Better Forecasting: Forbes estimates that 74% of large B2B firms engage in sales forecasting every week. They also estimate that 69% of companies, regardless of their size, consider their sales forecasting methods to be ineffective. Sales managers face a daunting challenge in tracking where their team’s total revenue falls short each revenue cycle. Using AI in sales can help you effectively estimate and predict your revenue, reducing your operational challenges to manage your inventory and resources better.

Companies boasting accurate sales forecasts are 10% more likely to grow their revenue and 7% more likely to meet their targets.Source: Aberdeen Group

Cross-selling and up-selling: The most effective and economical way to increase profits is to sell more to your existing client base. But how do you understand which audience to target? You can spend your revenue marketing your product to the wrong audience or use AI algorithms to identify which clients would be willing to update their product (up-selling) and/or buy a completely different product that you offer (cross-selling).

Enhanced lead scoring: 61% of companies say misleading buying signals are a huge barrier to effective lead scoring. They claim to fall prey to customers’ gut impulses and inaccurate information, which significantly hurts their lead scoring or bottom line. Per Forbes, 68% of respondents reported implementing lead scoring strategies, whereas 40% believe in the value associated with lead scoring.

Effective performance management: Sales managers are expected to eagerly track their team performance and look out for barriers in meeting their revenue targets. With AI, they can now use dashboards that showcase employee performance and help managers predict which salespeople are likely to hit their quotas and which deals have a higher chance of being closed.

Empowering your sales force with AI technology

Before investing in a pilot project, you need to meet your sales managers and understand the potential use cases to determine the suited requirement. Three types of AI technology promises results for B2B sales organizations. They are –

  • AI in Sales Predictions – Analytics like AI in sales forecasting find correlations between various data points. Such tools automatically create the insights that are essential to managers and sales reps. For example, they can determine a prospect’s likelihood to become your client and help in sales forecasting.
  • Prescriptive – Such analytics supports guided selling. AI suggests activities based on all the sales methodologies adopted by the firm. This is a step forward to move a deal to the next sales stage or develop a pricing model based on a prospect’s general preferences.
  • AI for Text and sentiment analysis with Natural Language Processing – understands and analyzes the context of customers’ questions and their behavior. Using sentiment analysis, sales reps are alerted if signs of dissatisfaction are discovered.

What Microsoft Dynamics has to offer: Exclusive Features

Dynamics 365 AI for Sales enables salespeople to build stronger functional relationships with their customers to increase customer satisfaction. It helps them take actions based on helpful insights helping them close sales faster.

Dynamics 365 AI for Sales offers the following capabilities for sellers:

  • Relationship analytics: This feature helps you assemble relevant information from the entire database to create a graphical representation of all the KPIs and activity histories. Such a visual display showcases KPIs and activity histories for any contact, opportunity, lead or account.
  • Predictive lead scoring: This feature helps you generate scores for all your leads in the pipeline. It assigns a score between 0 to 100 to leads based on signals from them and related entities such as contact and account. This helps you identify and prioritize leads with more chances of converting into opportunities.
  • Predictive opportunity scoring: This feature provides a scoring model to generate scores for opportunities in your pipeline. It assigns a score between 0 and 100 to all the opportunities based on the signals they give out and other related entities such as contact and account. This helps identify and prioritize opportunities that have more chances of converting into sales.
  • Notes analysis: Notes give you intelligent suggestions to help you save time and effort by taking actions such as creating a meeting request and adding a contact. The text in the note is highlighted and when selected, suggestions are displayed.
  • Talking points: This feature is useful to help you start conversations with customers based on emails. The conservation starters include topics that are related to Health, sports, vacation, family, and entertainment. These topics help you start a conversation with your customer, as you can choose your customer’s area of interest. Talking points will display only the latest communication for each topic in hand.
  • Who knows whom: This feature provides you details such as your contact’s name and email address who knows the lead. Using these details, you can reach out to your contact and get introduced to a lead and increase the chances of a positive outcome during the interaction.

Key Takeaways

  • Good sales professionals advance their sales processes by leveraging the right skills at the right time. They become agile in their approach to numerous stakeholders who represent a host of opinions and interests.
  • Sales managers will require their workforce to have skills and tools to help customers build the case for change by understanding how factors like desired outcomes and solution options influence decisions.
  • Companies can benefit from seeing tangible rep to customer conversion analytics and identify different ways to improve deal closure rate.

Get Your Consultation to Enhance Sales With AI Integration.

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CRM in Pharmaceutical Industry

How CRM Fosters Customer Engagement in the Pharmaceutical Industry

How CRM Fosters Customer Engagement in the Pharmaceutical Industry 700 500 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Pharmaceutical Companies are updating their software systems to improve customer retention, customer satisfaction and increase up-selling products.
  • By the end of 2018, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system became the most extensive and fastest-growing software market globally, estimated to churn out $80 billion revenue by 2025.
  • The primary reason for the staggering growth of the CRM software industry is the accessibility to customer data that help businesses close customer deals.
  • The pharmaceutical industry’s complexity makes CRM software a must for faster development to retain and expand its existing customer base.

Post COVID19, most sales and marketing teams have gone remote. The unforeseen circumstances of not having an in-person interaction with customers have driven businesses to invest in the latest and conversion-oriented CRM tools. Pharmaceutical Companies are rapidly onboarding systems for marketing, sales, and customer service. Companies now have newer sales objectives such as managing long-distance interactions, maintaining the same engagement with health care providers, pharmacies and even end patients. Tools need to be interactive, AI-based and understand customer behavior based on their interactions to meet the mentioned sales objectives. We have seen an increase in polls and surveys, more digital content like videos, podcasts. And more impetus on tracking each of these interactions’ results. There is a lot more crossover between sales and marketing now, with sales professionals taking over some marketing responsibilities. With the role shifting, there is no other way than moving to digital-AI-based CRM systems.

All these changes and life sciences companies rushing to bring out a COVID19 vaccine have intensified competition. But competition is just a small concern that pharmaceutical organizations face. Profitability becomes a key concern with rapidly changing stringent government regulations, time lag between testing, commercialization of the medicine. And stiff competition due to lower-priced products.

Recently Mark Cuban, an American billionaire entrepreneur and investor, announced that he is investing in a business that will manufacture low-cost generic medicines. Per Forbes, the low-cost generic pharmaceutical drug company’s business plan is to maintain supply chain transparency. They intend to achieve this by buying medicines from wholesalers, packaging them, adding only a 15% markup, selling to pharmacies, clinics and health systems.”

Driving drug costs down will become a trend moving forward to make prescription medicines more affordable for end-users. The Pharmaceutical market anticipates its growth to exceed $1.2 trillion by 2022. Due to this growth, companies invest in innovative, and cutting-edge technologies to manage their most significant asset – customer insights.

According to a report by Seeking Alpha, the CRM market’s potential is estimated to be approximately $82 Billion by the year 2025, with an annual growth rate of about 12% per year. The report also suggested that if the same annual growth rate is maintained until 2034, the CRM market can grow to $228 billion. Your company is more successful in selling, maintaining customer relationships. And improve customer loyalty when users from different departments are trained on the right CRM tools.

The statistics prove that CRM helps meet the end-to-end customer acquisition demands, potential leads from the vast database of loyal customers. And keep customers satisfied with the products offered. Pharmaceutical firms gain a competitive edge through lead scoring, quote management, marketing automation integration. Most Pharmaceutical companies need to send samples to customers before actual orders are placed. They track how samples performed and what the viability is for sale to happen.

The solution to a slow-growth company is to increase its profits by keeping the existing customers happy. And acquiring a more extensive customer base. CRM in the pharmaceutical industry offers to centralize functioning by providing a common platform for maintaining the existing customer base and developing new strategies to expand in the market. Maintaining customer relationships helps ensure that customers are happy and will not be poached by competitors.

Figure: 1 How much time do your sellers spend engaging with customers?

32%on average sellers only spend 32% of their time selling.

Source: CSO Insights

59% of sellers say they have too many sales tools.

Source: Accenture

18%Only 18% of salespeople are considered trusted advisor.

Source: HBR

Why Pharmaceutical Companies Need CRM?

  • Building better relationships with customers – The directly proportional relationship between drugs released and an increasing number of patients makes it essential for your pharmaceutical company to strategize relationship building with your existing customer base.
  • Finding and utilizing data – Effectively using CRM insights by capturing useful data about patients, doctors and medicines. Developing a centralized repository with customer interactions accessible to various departments ensures transparency and enhances customer experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Improving marketing strategies – Smart marketing through collateral and digital media can help gain customer attention. CRM in such customer-centric industries derives valuable insights from centralized repositories containing relevant information (of all their open and closed activities) for pharmacies, doctors and other clients. This helps sales experts to expand their customer base and increase customer loyalty.
  • Tracking campaigns – An advanced CRM software helps in campaign management for pharma companies who advertise their products. The software also increases transparency in sales costs vs. the number of leads generated and converted.
  • Effective customer service – Solving queries raised by customers immediately, reducing delays. And providing effective customer support services are must-haves to increase customer retention. Various AI-based customer service tools like assignment rules and alerts are instrumental in building a customer base.
  • Building on customer feedback – The feedback and suggestions gathered from the existing customer base help strategize better customer interaction in the future. This helps in making more refined, enhanced products and services thus, expanding the business areas. Implementing a tool to track feedback helps ensure that departments know to manage unhappy customers, and help with customer pain points.

According to a report by Capterra, 80% of the CRM users reported that their sales teams are the ones who have access to these systems, helping them acquire better quality leads and potential customers. The marketing and customer service departments come after the sales department to access the CRM software used for pipeline reporting and ROI tracking, edging at approximately 45%.

Why building effective customer relationship management in pharmaceutical industry is essential?

  • Salesforce predicts that 51% of sales pros give building and maintaining customer relationships more importance.
  • Building functional customer relationships is the paramount need for companies to increase their customer retention metrics and expand their customer bases.
  • Research conducted by Zesty showed that only 5% increase in customer retention results in up to 25-90% increase in profits for firms.
  • Building an effective customer relationship is essential for pharmaceutical companies as maintaining functional relationships with customers boosts the company’s revenue. And helps acquire large customer bases by increasing customer satisfaction in the pharma industry.

How Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM serves your pharmaceutical company?

Dynamics 365 CRM helps improve the connection between you and your customer instantly by managing your customer engagement from Discovery to closure. It offers you the full range of functionality you need for a high-performance, motivated sales department.

Dynamics 365 CRM for pharmaceutical integrates into your ERP and BI systems to leverage your customer data’s full potential. It is used as your central information platform from leads management functions to smart customer analytics. And with AI helps you make the right moves to close deals. Move ahead of your competition with advanced sales force automation. Dynamics 365 Sales is a state-of-the-art CRM solution that integrates with your everyday tools like Microsoft Office applications to increase seller productivity, fully grasp your customer needs, and increase sales.

Figure: 2What can your company do to get ahead?

Make Smarter Decisions

How do sellers know which opportunities to pursue and how to personalize conversations?

Leverage data-driven insights and AI to guide sellers with next-best point for personalized engagement.

Free up time selling

How much time do your sellers spend on administrative tasks?

Reduce busywork by automating manual tasks and enable sellers to complete actions right from Outlook to be more productive.

Get up and running fast

How many tools does your sales team use to get work done?

Empower your sellers and help your IT staff focus on other priorities with a connected sales platform that is easy to set up, configure, and maintain.

D365 provides you the following add-ons for project-specific extensions-

  • Business intelligence with Microsoft Power BI for business development
  • Campaign management
  • Customer segmentation
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) integration
  • Project and Resource management
  • Terms and conditions data price/lists

Key Takeaways

  • You must stay at par with the growing market structures to thrive, mostly post COVID19. And adopt the new technologies as they emerge.
  • The benefits of CRM, especially with AI, has transitioned from just customer acquisition to maintenance of good customer relations and many more.
  • With all the capabilities to make your sales and marketing teams successful, the right CRM application is a key growth-enabler for your company.

Get the right tools for customer engagement and customer relationship management

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