Magazine article CRM Magazine

Shining a Light on Efficiency: Since Installing Microsoft Dynamics CRM, This Festive Firm's Conversion of New Leads Has Increased by 67 Percent

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Shining a Light on Efficiency: Since Installing Microsoft Dynamics CRM, This Festive Firm's Conversion of New Leads Has Increased by 67 Percent

Article excerpt

THE CHALLENGE

Downtown Decorations is a Syracuse, N.Y.-based firm that designs, installs, and maintains holiday and seasonal decorations for municipalities, college campuses, shopping centers, office complexes, and event venues in all 50 states and a few international locations. In addition to offering a full range of traditional products, the company has an in-house design team that can customize products as needed.

The company had been using multiple CRM systems, including Sage ACT, FrontRange Solutions' GoldMine, and Intuit's QuickBase. "They were all out-of-the-box solutions without any customization," recalls Thomas Martin, director of corporate development at Downtown Decorations. "They weren't driving efficiency or helping our bottom line."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Downtown Decorations has five or six competitors. "We all have price points that are very similar because we use the same factories, suppliers, and distributors," Martin says. "Our differentiator is customer service, and we needed a CRM system that allowed us to do more."

THE SOLUTION

In May 2011, Downtown Decorations began working with Microsoft and Zero2Ten, a Microsoft partner and integrator, to migrate to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. It began the implementation in two phases: The first part of the project involved sales and marketing; the second involved a customer service component.

Since the company installed Microsoft Dynamics CRM in July 2011, account executives have been able to focus more of their efforts on demand creation and lead generation and spend less time generating lists of the best-qualified prospects.

Between internal decisioning, onboarding, customizations, equipment upgrades, and staff training, it took Downtown Decorations about two months to get its Microsoft Dynamics solution up and running. "The only challenges were in user adoption," Martin says. "We had a few older account executives who did not want to change."

To get them on board, Martin highlighted the increased sales process efficiencies that could be achieved, which in turn would lead to higher sales and higher commissions. "Once they understood that, they were eager to jump right in and start using it," he explains.

The sales team now more efficiently manages prospects and clients by staying within Outlook to manage their interactions and CRM activities. …

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