Do You Need a CRM?

Database marketing gives your business a competitive edge. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) dashboard like Microsoft Dynamics can be used to leverage marketing techniques that drive sales. Too often there is a divide between operations, marketing, and sales teams. But a good CRM can pull these teams together with a singular focus—to target new clients, bring them on board, and retain them. Here’s how this can work.


If your business is still using an Excel spreadsheet to track leads, or Outlook email to contact them, you are absolutely missing out on the efficiencies that come with modern CRM.

While we don’t mean to say these two tools aren’t terrific, we know that there are improved efficiencies in today’s CRM software that you might not be taking advantage of.

One benefit is that you can schedule automated drip campaigns to educate potential clients by sending them helpful content periodically. The goal in these instances is to stay in front of prospects, so they think of you first when they’re ready to buy. Eliminating manual processes is a huge time saver that allows sales to do what they do best (sell) and marketing to focus on the message. 

That’s just one example of how CRM will increase your closed deals over time. You can also use it as a customer service tool to help your operations team stay on top of their client retention efforts.

But wait—there’s more.


You can segment a large database into regions, which is incredibly helpful if your sales teams are responsible for geographic territories. Imagine running a report on how many businesses are in a region, how many of those companies have been contacted in the last six months, and whether or not those contacts converted into sales. If you’re trying to motivate a sales team, a simple report on prospecting effectiveness could go a long way toward that goal.

The functional reporting mechanisms found in Microsoft Dynamics are efficient and easy-to-use. We’ve found these tools not only help drive sales activities but also create a real sense of transparency around client interactions that improves overall company performance.

If you’re running an email campaign, Microsoft Dynamics can show you how many prospects opened your email, along with the click-through rate for any call to action messaging. Marketing teams will be able to track this data and hone their marketing messages around what resonates best in a particular market. Then, if marketing has a message that works, and the sales team is following up on that messaging – BaZinga! – You are going to improve your closed deals. 

Here is the workflow on a typical automated campaign:

  • Select a targeted prospecting list
  • Develop the content to send
  • Design a pleasing template for use in the email blast
  • Schedule the campaign
  • Analyze the click-through rate
  • Leverage the sales team to call leads
  • Measure the effectiveness of the campaign
  • Clean out any unsubscribed or bounced emails
  • Schedule the next campaign

Wash, rinse, and repeat.

Are you starting to see how a CRM in marketing can be a great integrator in your business? When you look at it this way, you’ll quickly understand that CRM is a great investment with a clear ROI. These platforms pay for themselves in closed revenue.


So there’s only one tiny snippet of bad news – these efforts are only going to be as good as the data you’re utilizing. When you begin integrating a CRM in marketing, we typically suggest a list clean up before dropping all those Excel sheets into the platform. This is a foundational necessity for any future marketing and sales prospecting campaigns.

The keyword for using a CRM in marketing is “data,” of course. It’s a good idea to designate one person in your organization to manage database administrative tasks such as list uploads or report generation. That person will help you control the flow of information between marketing, sales, and operations so that the database has some consistency. Consider the CRM your link to a goldmine of potential business, so having someone available to set standards around data capture is not a bad idea. That way, even though your sales teams can update individual records in the CRM, the information they collect will be consistent.


Can you use the CRM to manage existing clients and not just prospects? Of course! If you don’t, you’re missing out on the full potential of the software, especially in the case of Microsoft Dynamics. Every potential or existing client interaction should be carefully tracked in the database. Ticklers can be set up to remind you to reach out to individual clients. You can even segment lists, so existing clients receive a marketing email that suggests a particular product upsell, while potential clients receive an entirely different message.

CRMs are also great project management tools; you can upload all related documents into one project room while tracking the activities by the project team members. You can invite team members to meetings while encouraging them to visit the project room to review specific items prior to the event.

With all the uses for a modern CRM in marketing, you’re probably wondering one thing: How can I get started?

Posted by IES –