Best of CRM: October 26th

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Every week, we recount some of the best buzz around CRM and data integration. We’ll review our favorite articles and share the most pressing findings or key takeaways from each.

CRM Can be the Answer to the Productivity Slump as Companies Position Themselves for Better Days
By: Mike Richardson
Even as we see promising economic movement, labor productivity continues to remain a major challenge, with Europe in particular failing to see any recovery in that regard. However, companies have been taking matters in to their own hands, turning to CRM systems to achieve benefits like 140% higher revenues per employee – and that number doesn’t even take into account the enhanced productivity of mobile CRM systems. Mobile further enhances those benefits, as “a 2012 survey by Nucleus Research found the companies saw an average productivity gain of 14.6% when they used a CRM system with mobile capabilities.” Those reading this piece likely already recognize the importance of CRM, but it’s good to be reminded of the benefits of a system that provides actionable, accurate and comprehensive customer data.

Microsoft CRM for iPhone, Android, Windows Phones Due in 30 Days
By: Mary Jo Foley (@maryjofoley)
With so much attention focused on the new version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online rolling out this month, it was easy to miss another key announcement from Microsoft: their CRM app for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone will all be available within the next month. These apps will complement the Dynamics CRM apps already available for iPads and Windows tablets, and will make their CRM system accessible from all major platforms. This new underscores Microsoft’s continuing commitment to increasing accessibility and flexibility, as “Microsoft (also) recently made available Remote Desktop clients for iPhones and Android phones (as well as an updated Mac OS X version),” and will soon add Window Phone to the roster.

How to Transition to a New CRM Platform in 8 Steps
By: Prialto Staff Writer (@Prialto)
One of the major challenges with CRM systems is how to go about transitioning to a new platform. The task of transferring information for multiple users, hundreds or thousands of contacts and all the relevant fields presents a daunting task that can prevent companies from making the jump, even when they are unsatisfied with or outgrow their current system. This article provides an eight-step process to successfully transitioning systems. To start, you need to set a hard export date to avoid pushing your timing back indefinitely. Then you must decide which data to transfer to the new CRM system, pick a tool to support the transfer (a native import tool or third party tool like Dataloader.io), sort your data for batch export, tweak your .CSV before the import, complete the import and lastly, test the process as you bring data over in small batches to adjust for errors as they occur. If done properly, “completing the process can take 2-4 weeks from start to finish. If your company’s CRM transition needs to be faster than that, consider leaving certain things out of the transition or importing historical data (like activities) at a later date.”

CRM Technology Trends and Changes
By: Robert Lawson (@RobLawson3)
In this piece, Robert analyzes the way changing technology (specifically related to CRM systems) affects small and midsize businesses. For one, technology has increased rather than decreased uncertainty for businesses, as they must adapt to the increasing pace of new technological advances. Robert explains that “With the complexity and exponential growth of technology and the response of small and midsize business to it, CRM will have to be a primary focus for companies in order for them to innovate and to respond to an increasingly connected customer base with changing expectations.” With more digital technology available to customers and businesses, the amount of data will increase exponentially, such as contextual data from customers relying on wearable technology. These new types of data must be incorporated into CRM, and moving forward, identifying causality will be more important than correlation.

Microsoft Switches on Dynamics CRM 2013 Cloud Worldwide
By: Pedro Hernandez (@pedrohernandez)
At the beginning of October, Microsoft announced their plans to roll out Dynamics CRM 2013, and the staggered release cycle is now complete worldwide for Dynamics CRM 2013 Online. The on-premise and partner-hosted versions will be available on October 31st. With this release, Microsoft is making a major push to offer comprehensive integrated services for a variety of business needs and the “updated CRM product features tighter integration with its Yammer enterprise social networking platform along with its Lync and Skype communications offerings.” In addition to integration with Microsoft-owned properties, the company also announced a strategic partnership with InsideView to offer the latter company’s technology free of charge to Dynamics customers, which will help marketing, sales and account management spend less time researching and more time selling.


We hope you had a great week! We’ll see you again soon with a roundup of all the movers and shakers in CRM and data integration news.

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